Exposure: bespoke safaris
Ok, so I can’t be everywhere at the same time (some might consider that a blessing!). Also, not everyone wants or needs a photographer on their holiday and might not want to travel in a small group. In these cases, we can tailor-make your wildlife adventure for you, putting you in the box seat for some fantastic experiences. This is a service we have called “Exposure”….a self-explanatory name for a no-nonsense approach.
I loathe and detest the way the word “bespoke” has been taken by the travel industry and the real meaning basically forgotten. For many companies, “bespoke” is simply another way of putting you in the same place as they do everyone else, or even where a standard group outing would be sent anyway…but in a more expensive package. Ultimately as well, in some places, you simply have 50 companies all booking the same bed nights in the same lodges….it’s simply their pitch to you that differs. The wildlife experience you get on the ground will still be the same.
We don’t think it should be done that way…
For me, I want you to have a wildlife experience – be it photographically or simply from an observational – point of view that ticks ALL YOUR BOXES.
There are hundreds of these companies out there, so why us? Well, firstly, every photo you see promoting a destination has been taken by me personally. You will go where I go, see what I see in a way that I would approach a shoot. We have no “5 minute” experts trying to tell you that “the best lodge you have to stay is….” because they’ve read it somewhere, or met someone at a trade show.
This is about recycling well over 20 years of photography experience and travel and putting a long-established network, and one in which I am known, at your disposal.
Where we operate…
As I say, we’re not going to waste your time on places we don’t know. Everywhere you go is known to me personally, at first hand, and therefore a place I have photographed in. That is key with us: we don’t just visit a lodge for a day, say “oooh…this is nice, we’ll put it on our itinerary”.
We know the places and the people and, more importantly, the experience you can get. So if you want to walk with wild dogs, stare down a wolf, hide from an elephant, commune with great apes, track black rhino on foot, seek out a Himalayan black bear, seek out newborn polar bear cubs in winter, spend all day with pumas or camp overnight for a giant armadillo, then drop us an email. These are just some of the adventures we have provided.
So why choose us?
- We LISTEN. I’m not about to start simply preaching at you and listing a whole bunch of “you must do’s….” and “you simply have to stay here’s” ….No. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel the point of this is to understand and what you are hoping to achieve/see. Then it’s a matter of working with you to finalise a plan. I can’t stand consultants who spend 90% of the time listening to the sound of their own voice. You lead, we’ll support.
- We won’t WASTE your time. If we can’t do it, don’t know it, haven’t been and photographed there or can’t hook you up in the right way, we’ll simply decline.
- We LIMIT our exposure to the areas I have photographed in through my career. I know the places, the people and the wildlife. You can be certain that your trip is putting you in the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME to get that shot of a lifetime, or simply an experience you will savour forever.
- We use EXPERTS. The guides and locations, our style of in-country travel are all exactly as I would undertake the trip if I was going there to take photos myself. Nothing added, nothing taken away as they say. Our guides have often worked with professional film crews and photographers all their lives, and as such know exactly how to operate.
- We are not PRICE driven. We will not always be the cheapest, and we’re not going to sell these experiences at headline-grabbing (or in the case of some…barely noticeable!) discounts. The trip is the trip and the experience is the experience. If we start discounting, something, somewhere is going to have to give: whether that is your trip, or, undue pressure is put on the places we go and the people we use. That is not my style, and not a route we will go down. THIS IS ABOUT PROVIDING QUALITY.
- We are SMALL and FOCUSED. This is where it really helps not to have a retinue of staff to house, feed and provide pensions for. There is no requirement for us to put on a standard 20% for everything to cover huge bills. This is an add-on service we provide.
- We won’t make OUTRAGEOUS CLAIMS of what you might/might not see and certainly won’t make a trip greater than it can be. One example that always annoys me is wolves in winter Yellowstone. You are fed pictures of close-ups in the literature, but the reality is that 99.9% of your sightings will be through a spotting scope. Also, this is such an easy trip to do yourself, we’d gladly tell you exactly how. If you want to see wolves up close, then come with me to Manitoba in the Autumn….and then you really will get some on-foot encounters!
- We are not NUMBERS driven. We don’t have to put through hundreds – maybe thousands – of people a year. Indeed, to keep things compact, we have set a LIMIT on the total volume of wildlife safari spaces that we will reserve each year to 99. This includes the guided trips that I will lead myself. Why do we do this? Simply so that it doesn’t become too onerous and interfering with the photography I need to do, and secondly to ensure we don’t end up having to get administratively heavy.
- WILDLIFE CHARITIES ARE THE BIG WINNER. Further to the points above, we donate a substantial proportion of profits from talks and trips to some of the most deserving, direct-action wildlife charities that exist. Conservation has been at the heart of my photography all my life, and the wild world has given me a fantastic career so giving back is a natural step. On that basis, you could book the same trip with us as anyone else if you wanted to, and be safe in the knowledge that your funds are going into direct action overseas. Check out the “who we support” page on the website.
- We know that this your holiday, and should be MEMORABLE. For me, I want you to see the natural world in all its glory, and inspire you in all you do. It’s that simple really.