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My Guiding Promise

Southern Africa-39

Hi there!  If you have landed on this page, then you are probably considering joining me on one of my photographic workshops or expeditions.  Great!

Before you travel with me, I pledge the following Dos and Don’ts to you, which I hope will enhance your experience.

I pledge that I will NEVER:

  • Make myself a priority over your needs.
  • Treat you as my next meal ticket only and give you the hard sell on my photographic products, future trips, prints etc.
  • Treat you as a “portfolio padder”.  I am there to help you get the best shots possible from our trip, NOT add to my body of work as a priority.
  • Forget you.
  • Be rude to you or treat you as just another client.
  • Put you in a situation that I deem dangerous.
  • Put you in a huge group of people where I cannot give you the personal attention you deserve.
  • Put you behind me in a scene so I can get the better shots.

I pledge that I will ALWAYS (where possible):

  • Share the knowledge I have of a destination and how to photograph it as often as I can.
  • Remember you.  Before, during or after our travel, I will endeavour to help you  with any queries you might have about travelling with me and doing photography.  Although I travel a lot, I will always endeavour to reply to your emails as soon as I can and give you the care you deserve.
  • Keep you safe.
  • Treat you, my co-leaders (if I have them) and the team of people working with me with the utmost respect.  I work very hard to find the right people to work with in the field.  Often these people come from stunningly diverse backgrounds and they, like me, are there to help you with very little expectation of anything in return.
  • Keep my cool in times of stress.
  • Keep my group sizes small so I can look after you.
  • Put you in front of me when photographing a scene.  I am here to ensure YOU get the best shots on our trip, not me.
  • Make you my first priority.

Ethics Statement

Wildlife – When joining my trip to photograph wildlife, I vow that I will do my utmost to avoid our group interfering with the natural processes of the animals you will encounter. This includes minimal or no interference when an animal is nesting, hunting, feeding young, mating, or any other activity that will jeopardise the welfare of that animal and its offspring.  I would rather lead my guests away than harm wildlife in order to get “the shot”.  Respect for that animal will underpin all of my decision making in the field when you travel with me.

People – In a similar vein when I, or anyone in my group, approaches a person to ask if they can be photographed, “No” means NO.  No person needs to get a shot that badly if they make a person feel uncomfortable in the process.  I would prefer my guests to ask people if they mind being photographed first but if this is impossible, then discreet photography from a distance is OK, providing that person is not aware of you taking the photograph.  If they see you taking the shot, then I ask you to approach them and be kind.  Kindness and respect for the people we meet on our travels, plus an inherent sense of what it would be like to walk a mile in that person’s shoes, again, will underpin all of my decision making in the field when you travel with me.

Gifts for Children – Before you travel with me, if you wish to bring gifts from home to give to children, I will do my best to suggest what would be suitable gifts to pack.  These gifts may take the form of school supplies like paper, pens etc or small toys, pins from home, clip on Koala toys etc.  If you are not sure what to bring and you would like to take gifts for children you will meet on my trips, please ask me before the trip departs.

Architecture – I will always do my best to brief my guests about any sensitivities that surround photographing military installations, bridges, police and military check posts etc.  In some destinations like Tibet, doing photography inside places where photography is forbidden, like the Potala for example, can not only jeopardise the experiences of the photographer but also the entire group.  I will always try to provide you with up to date, correct information about locations where I can to avoid making mistakes myself and also so that we don’t inadvertently make mistakes as a group during our trip.

I hope that my pledge to you and the way I work makes you feel more comfortable with selecting one of my trips.  My work is very rarely all about me.  It is about you and the experiences we will share in the field.

I look forward to travelling with you!