Wilderness Photography Expedition Tours

Wilderness Photography Expeditions arranges custom trips for individuals or small groups. Tom has led tours and taught workshops in and around Yellowstone National Park since he formed his company in 1986. In addition to Yellowstone, Tom has taught photography across the world from Costa Rica to Alaska, the desert Southwest, the prairie of South Dakota, Antarctica and Africa. He prefers wild places, but is considering a bicycle trip between the chocolate shops in Belgium. He will be happy to create a custom trip.

An adventurous traveler himself, Tom likes to work one-on-one with students to explore some particular area of photographic study. Tom’s trips are arranged to find and take advantage of the best photographic opportunities. His groups are up for the best light at sunrise and they stay out for sunsets. Wildlife migrations, seasonal color and vegetation, birth cycles, weather patterns, and a sensitive approach to animals determines the itinerary for his custom trips. Tom’s primary photographic interest is to search for exceptionally good photographs which drives his own personal work and the location and timing of his tours.

Itineraries are planned to concentrate on either wildlife or landscapes. There is always an important element of serendipity in natural history photography because there is little control over the light, setting, or subject. Nature photographers need an open, creative mind to see the infinite array of beauty that is revealed on the land every day. The reward for paying attention and being patient is to witness the source of all beauty in the world, a clean, free and wild earth.

Tom is a skilled and patient teacher. He believes that people learn best by doing, so most of the instruction is in the field. His goal is to help you improve your photography skills and get you to the best locations at the right time to make exceptional photographs.

Yellowstone Custom Trips

The Yellowstone ecosystem has been a destination for serious photographers since 1871, when W.H. Jackson first visited the area with the Hayden survey party. This unique and beautiful land was preserved in part as Yellowstone National Park by Congress in 1872. It was the first National Park in the world. Yellowstone is still mostly a wild place. One has only to go a few hundred yards from the roads to experience land that is at once alive and changing. On this nearly two and a quarter million acres there is abundant wildlife. You will likely see bison, elk, wolves, big horn sheep, and many of the species of animals that were here when Columbus discovered himself in America over 500 years ago. The big predators thrive in the park; grizzly and black bear, wolves, coyotes, eagles, and hawks are all here in balance.

The spirit of the mountains which attracted the first visitors to the park, and the rare geologic features such as geysers, hot springs, fumeroles, and boiling mud, offer to the photographer a vast backdrop for the study of photography. The silence of a snowy field in winter, or the thunder of a waterfall, encourage the photographer to look into the beauty of this place in a new way. No one leaves the Yellowstone region without feeling that they have touched the original character of the earth, and they are richer for it.

Yellowstone is Tom’s backyard, and he knows it very well. If you want to work with and learn from Tom one-on-one or with a group of like minded friends, please consider a trip with him.

Tom’s rates are $1500.00 per day. You are responsible for the transportation and your own lodging and meals.

What is Required on Wilderness Trips

Physical Conditioning

Our trips are possible for any reasonably fit person. However, we do recommend some pre-conditioning in the form of walking, hiking, or bicycling. Vigorous daily walking is one of the best preparations you can make, but in order to condition your body well, you will need to do this over a period of time. Pre-conditioning of this sort will enhance your enjoyment and well-being during your wilderness expedition. Though, no trip will be beyond the normal abilities of an average healthy person.

Proper Clothing

In Yellowstone, early mornings and evenings can be chilly any time of the year. Please bring warm, comfortable clothing, including hooded, windproof and waterproof jackets, well broken-in footwear, a hat and gloves and ample dry clothing. Layers work best in our climate in all seasons. The temperature can vary significantly in any single day. We will advise you about appropriate gear for trips to wet or warm locations too.

Photographic Equipment

We recommend that you bring a spare camera body. You will want lenses ranging from 17mm to 200mm for landscape and a lens for macro work if you are interested in that. Bring long telephotos (from 300mm-600mm) if your primary goal is wildlife and birds. You will need a sturdy tripod. If you are considering purchasing photographic equipment, we would be happy to advise you. Please bring plenty of batteries and chargers and a laptop computer, or storage device of some kind. Multiple memory cards with enough space to hold about 250 photographs each are recommended when shooting in raw format.

Photographic Feedback

We encourage members of these expeditions to bring their own photography to share if they wish. There will be some opportunities for feedback from peers and the professional input of an internationally respected wildlife photographer.


Students are asked to refrain from smoking in or near vehicles, on the trails, and other times when we are in close proximity to each other.


Please email or call to arrange a trip. Reservations are made by completing the trip reservation form. Please return it to us along with your deposit. Confirmation will be forwarded to you immediately. Final payment is due upon invoice 45 days prior to departure. We reserve the right to regard your reservations as cancelled if we do not receive payment as scheduled, and we must have a deposit to confirm a reservation.

Cancellations & Refunds

If it becomes necessary to cancel your trip, we must be notified in writing. All monies will be refunded less the following cancellation fees:

More than 45 days before departure: $100
Less than 45 days before departure: $300
Less than 30 days before departure: No Refund

Trip cancellation insurance is available through the internet. No refunds will be given for unused hotel rooms, transport, meals, expedition arrangements or other services once the trip has commenced operation.