A CLIENT RESPONSE FOLLOWING A TRAVEL IMAGES PHOTO TOUR
I receive feedback from clients all the time, which once in a while comes from potentially new clients responding to the website prior to taking a trip. Then there is a lot more from those that have taken trips of course.
Some keep the feedback simple, while others such as what follows, go into more detail. This is feedback from a new client in February of 2010 who took my Yellowstone and Grand Teton winter photo tour.
I'll not say any more, and let
Max Warlond of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia do the talking . . .
These are just a few thoughts I have had about this trip. Please feel free to use the comments however you wish. I mean what I say and I am happy to help promote your business in any way possible. I have had a great time with you all, and I thank you very much for allowing me to spend the time with you.
John's photography tour, February, 2010. Yellowstone and Grand Teton: “The BIG 5”
1. What did I learn on this trip?
The first thing I learnt was the importance and indeed the value of having a guide who knows the area as well as John does. He can take us to places where we will get the best photos for that particular time of day, the best angle and for those who need it even down to the camera settings and lens to use. How does he know this? Because he has been here before and he has done it himself and he knows the results. How does that benefit us? Think of how much time it saves us – going directly to the spot, and being ready to just hop out of the vehicle and get the shot. Also knowing if we just walk down there to the bend in the road and look back we have a great view of the waterfall or the river, etc. This type of guidance is invaluable, and only comes with years of photographic experience! Thanks John.
2. Image visualization
Again, I have had the point of looking at the scene before you start shooting re-enforced. I think this is a very important lesson. You can seldom (if ever) convey the complete scene in the one photo so you need to look at the scene in its entirety and decide which part of that scene appeals to you. Plan out the scope of your photo – what is it you are trying to show. Before you leave, quickly check your shots and decide if you achieved what you set out to do.
With wildlife, is it a close-up of the animal you want, the animal in its environment you want, a particular feature such as the horns, the eye, etc., or most likely all three aspects, and did you get them? Also, are you happy just to have the static shot of the animal, or do you want it in motion as well – it may take a little longer to get all these, but you should have a mental check list of what you want and tick them off as you get the shot.
On this trip we have had plenty of time to get everything we desired.
3. Look outside the square!
Far too often I tend to classify myself as a 'wildlife' photographer rather than a 'photographer' whose specialty is wildlife. There is so much more to photography than just one aspect. This trip in particular emphasizes this point. There was so much to explore from fascinating scenery through to tiny aspects of individual stick of grass with hoar frost on one side of it. The difference of steam rising off a river as the sun rays appear is another aspect. We were given the opportunity to discover all these different aspects. We were encouraged to look at all the different possibilities that were available just by changing the angles low to high, or varying the compositions left to right, framing, different focal points and different camera setting, use of filters, etc. – That’s good, but try this, or what about if you were to try from over there, or down lower?
In the end it was always your choice but you were given some great options to choose from, and great examples to look at.
4. Every aspect of this trip was done with the client in mind.
The amount of consideration for the client on this trip was amazing. Most trips will try to accommodate you where possible but this one is actually built around the client’s needs. From the hotels we stayed in, to meals, when and where we ate, the bathroom stops and how long we stayed at each photo stop was all done to benefit the customer. If someone needed something along the way John would work out a way of getting it that would not impact on what we were doing. This is a skill and he has it down to a fine art. It was often done at his own expense but he never complained.
The provisions such as water and snacks that were always available during the trip was fantastic. Likewise, the extra coats, gloves, ongoing camera repairs, etc., was all there for us from day 1. Our comfort was paramount to John and Laurie and this made a big difference as to how we felt and our level of enjoyment. Well done guys!
5. Communication – from start to beyond the finish.
Finally and possibly the most important thing on a trip such as this is the communication aspect. When one lives on the other side of the world it is important to know what is on offer. The Travel Images web site is great. It explains what the trip is all about and most importantly from my point of view it 'shows' me by way of great photos just what is available in the park at this time of the year. My theory is, if it is there I have an opportunity to get something similar. The photos give you hope, build an expectation without going ‘over the top’ with photos we look at and say "Yeah – but we can’t possibly get that shot because it was taken etc., etc., etc." like so many other web sites do. The information John emailed to us before we started packing about what to bring, both by way of clothes and camera gear, etc. was very valuable and the information he has provided during the trip has also been of great assistance to us. He has taken some great photos of us [the clients] along the way and I am sure we will get copies of these sent to us in a few weeks time. I think the communication has been great – the jokes – well every now and again there was a good one.
Max Worland, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Yellowstone and Grand Teton winter, February 2010