Why do we take photographs? It’s a question we asked when we were deciding on the Chris Weston mission. Of course, there is more than one answer but when we looked towards our clients there was a common thread.
Whether or not we’re immediately or consciously aware of it, for many people photography is not the end in itself. Instead it is a means to an end. The true end is what Abraham Maslow called self-actualization – the fulfillment of our personal potential, away from work and the office, through creative expression.
In our own experience it’s about opening yourself up to the world and saying, “This is me, this is who I am.” It’s about making deep connections with wildlife and the world around you and finding your place in it all. As Chris says, “It’s realizing that the ability to make the photographs we want, the photographs that reveal a world unique to us, comes from within.”
Photography is the art of discovering who we are and then telling the world. If that’s your dream – your mission – you’ll find it’s ours too.
What makes us different?
Let’s be honest, there are lots of companies that will take you pretty much anywhere in the world these days. There are also lots of photographers offering safaris and workshops. So what is it that makes a Chris Weston photo tour special?
Any keen photographer will tell you that just being able to see wildlife is not enough. You need to be in exactly the right place at the right time – close enough that you don’t need a 1000mm lens and long enough that you have time to build your visual story to make that magical shot.
Finding those locations and being sure of those timings takes know-how and familiarity. And that’s what we give you – access to all the professional support teams, knowledge and experience that Chris Weston uses, built over his 15-year career, when he’s planning a professional wildlife assignment for the BBC, National Geographic or any of his many worldwide clients.
But just being in the right place doesn’t always end up in a great photograph. That needs the extra 2% – that tiny but essential bit extra that separates the great from the good. In our eyes, that 2% is awareness – awareness of your wants and desires, awareness of each and every situation, and awareness of how dealing with the little things in the right moment makes all the difference to your experience with us and the animals you have come to photograph.
Training the Photographer®
We often hear or read the quote, “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer”, meaning that the creation of great photographs is not dependent on having the latest or most expensive gear but on having a keen eye, an open and inquisitive mind and the artistic skills to turn vision into a reality that is a photograph.
This is a key part of what we teach – something we call Training the Photographer™. It’s about developing and applying your creative mind, learning to see the visual potential in ordinary everyday objects, and being aware of how nature affects not just the photographer you are but also the photographer you might be.
It all goes towards building confidence and learning the skills that make us creative photographers and, of course, help us to make original photographs.
Building your confidence as well as your skills
Practical skills and technical ability are also important, which is why we are enthusiastic about sharing our knowledge with you, either hands-on in the field or during more structured lectures and seminar type sessions.
A key part of any Chris Weston photo experience is the Image Review, where we look to build on the compositional elements of your images, looking at what works and why, and what is distracting and how an image might be shot differently to attain a clearer more impacting result. The sessions are photo-led, open and interactive, so everybody can learn from each other and are a real insight into how we each interpret the world in a unique way.
Our commitment to you
Places to go, people to see. There’s never enough time in the day. And then you have the packing to do! We know – we’ve been there. Which is why we make preparing for your Chris Weston holiday as simple as possible. From providing a detailed and informative information pack, keeping forms to a minimum, giving completely free access to our unique Concierge Service, discounted equipment rental and continuous personal support leading up to your departure, we’re with you all the way. Although, the packing you’ll have to do yourself – sorry!
A part of the family
83% of our bookings are clients returning for another Chris Weston experience. That’s very important to us. We know that for committed proponents of the art form, photography is far more than an end in itself. As well, it is a personal and intimate journey into your own potential – a creative outlet through which you may strive for fulfilment.
Uniquely, we believe, we recognize this fact and continue to support your photographic and creative endeavours with a regular but unobtrusive flow of communication. You’re not just our friend for the few days you’re with us. We hope to be a part of your photographic adventure whenever and wherever you are with a camera, offering insight and inspiration along the way.
To us, responsible travel means a responsibility to the environment, a responsibility to local people and a responsibility to you. That’s why, whenever possible, all of our itineraries are put together using local operators and businesses, with minimum impact on wildlife and the environment, with the aim of delivering to you an experience that exceeds your expectations.
All of the money you pay to us for your photographic tour is held in a secure Barclays Bank Client Trust Account – a bank account designated to ring-fence your money, making it absolutely secure. The money is released on commencement of the tour, giving you complete financial protection and peace of mind.