Yellowstone Winter Photo Workshop
Jan 29 - Feb 5, 2021
Join the ultimate winter wildlife photo safari in Yellowstone National Park. With 6 participants and 2 instructors on our own private snowcoach, everyone is guaranteed a window seat and quick access to their gear when animal sightings happen. We'll also focus on the breathtaking snowy landscapes and colorful hot springs. Lead instructor Juan Pons has over 16 years experience running Yellowstone photo workshops!
- Experience the Serengeti of North America with the largest concentration of free-roaming wildlife in the lower 48 states! Winter is one of the best times to capture the wildlife and landscapes in Yellowstone.
- Lead instructor Juan Pons has conducted photo workshops in Yellowstone for the past 16 years and knows the park extremely well. He understands animal behavior and how best to find the wildlife!
- Transportation is provided in private snowcoach and SUV's where every participant gets their own door and window. Workshop is capped at 6 participants and 2 instructors for plenty of individual attention.
- The workshop is all-inclusive with lodging, meals, and ground transportation included.
- You will learn lots of new photography skills while in the field along with post-processing and image critique sessions in the evening.
The exact itinerary will be kept flexible to account for the weather and current conditions in the park. We will optimize our time for the best possible photography.
Note: There is a small chance these dates may change slightly due to National Park Service Scheduling logistics. The dates will be finalized no later than June 2020 and we'll inform all participants accordingly.
- Day 1 (Jan 29): Arrive at Bozeman, MT (BZN) Airport no later than 2PM. We will pick up participants from the airport and transfer to hotel in Gardiner. We'll meet together for a mandatory orientation session, review the latest wildlife reports and discuss our final itinerary.
- Day 2-3 (Jan 30-31): We will focus on the Mammoth and Lamar Valley sides of the park on these days, photographing both landscapes and wildlife. This is also the best area of the park to find wolves! We will photograph the Mammoth thermal features both at sunset and at night. With 2 SUV's, we will be stopping all along the way for wildlife and landscape photos.
- Day 4 (Feb 1): Today we travel via private snow coach along the Madison River looking for wildlife and scenic photo ops. Most snowcoach tours will pack 14+ people into one vehicle, but we will be comfortable with only 6 workshop participants. This way we have plenty of room for gear, warm clothes, and quick exit/entry for our photo ops. Scenic viewpoints abound and we'll end the day with sunset at Old Faithful. We'll stay out after dark for some night photography too!
- Day 5 (Feb 2): We continue our journey via private snowcoach deep into the interior of Yellowstone, visiting West Thumb Geyser and Hayden Valley. Overnight at Old Faithful.
- Day 6 (Feb 3): Today we travel back to Mammoth via private snowcoach and visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone along the way. Expect lots of stops for wildlife and landscape photos! Overnight in Gardiner.
- Day 7 (Feb 4): Today we travel back through Lamar Valley stopping at different photo ops alongs the way. Lunch in Cook City and then return to Mammoth via Lamar. We'll end the day with an evening session and image presentations. Overnight in Gardiner.
- Day 8 (Feb 5): Travel to Bozeman airport for departures. All departures should be after 11AM.
What to Expect
Our workshops are pretty intense - you should not expect a leisurely vacation. Our goal is to capture the best images possible during our time together and this means starting well before dawn and ending after sunset. However, we will usually take a longer lunch break to rest and recuperate.
This workshop is unique with a very small group and 3:1 participant to instructor ratio! We want EVERY participant to have their own door and window out of the vehicle. This is essential when speed is of the essence for either shooting or exiting the vehicle to get the shot. We also want to ensure you have plenty of room for your gear and warm clothing. Compare that to your typical Yellowstone workshop where you have one instructor and up to 14 participants in a single van with no operable windows! Rest assured you will have the best vantage points at all times without being held back by a large group or overcrowded vehicle/snow-coach.
Expert wildlife and landscape photographer Juan Pons has led Yellowstone workshops for the past 16 years. He knows the park intimately and will ensure we get to the best spots and find the wildlife. Instructor David Swindler will be joining him and both pros will be on hand throughout the workshop to teach you new skills and ensure you get the best photos!
After you register, we'll be emailing you detailed information on how to book your flights along with checklists for clothing and gear to bring. We will continue to stay in touch as we get closer to ensure you are setup for success before you even arrive.
Temperatures will be very cold in Yellowstone in January but this is also what makes the photography so good this time of year with frost-lined trees, foggy meadows, and snowy landscapes! We will make sure you have the right gear to comfortably photograph in these frigid conditions.
$6995/person + Tax
Single rooms are available for an additional fee of $1200.
- 7 Nights Hotel Lodging in Gardiner and at Old Faithful Lodge (double occupancy). Single Occupancy Lodging is available for an additional $1200.
- All Meals and Snacks.
- All Ground Transportation to/from Bozeman Airport
- SUV and Private Snow-Coach Transportation
- All Permits and Park Fees.
- In-Field Photography Instruction
- Post-processing and Image Critique
Trip Does NOT Include:
- Transportation to/from your home to Bozeman, MT.
- Alcoholic Beverages.
When you complete the checkout process, you will be given the option to either pay the full amount or put down a 50% deposit. If you pay the deposit, the remaining amount will be charged Nov 1, 2020 to the credit card we have on file. See the full Terms and Conditions.
We are an authorized permittee of the National Park Service.
Instructor - Juan Pons
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Juan is a nature and wildlife photographer, whose passion is photographing our worlds magnificent wildlife and natural features. Juan is a strong supporter of wildlife and natural habitat conservation and is a member of several conservation organizations. Though private individuals purchase photos directly from him, Juan donates his images to non-profit organizations with nature and wildlife preservation missions. Juan never ceases to be amazed by the natural subjects he photographs and hopes that sharing his photographs will inspire others to appreciate and respect natural life.
With more than 30 years experience in photography, Juan has also become a recognized expert in Wildlife Photography, Lightroom and on maximizing the capabilities of DSLRs when shooting video.
Juan travels extensively capturing nature’s beauty, and has been teaching photography out in the field and the classroom for more than 18 years. Listen to an interview with Juan on The Candid Frame Podcast.
Juan’s work has been featured on numerous publications, including: Sierra Magazine, Nature Conservancy, Audubon Magazine, American Photo, Audubon North Carolina, Wildlife in North Carolina, The Independent, and many others.
Juan has been the founder of numerous popular photography podcasts and most recently started a new YouTube channel features all things photography.
Instructor - David Swindler
A carefree childhood amongst the rolling landscape of Iowa ignited David Swindler's passion for the wild and his unquenchable thirst for exploration. "I am the oldest of five kids so I was a bit of a ring-leader. We were always up to something." From crafting an improvised raft to sail down a local river to biking the vast countryside, young David realized that he is happiest when surrounded by nature. At age ten, he saw the Grand Canyon for the first time and that experience changed him forever. "My grandpa and I were camped at the edge of the North Rim. I got out of the tent at night and saw the Milky Way for the first time. I think all I managed to say for the next 30 minutes was WOAH...while my jaw was hanging open. It's impossible to describe how one feels when they see the Milky Way for the first time. Any words feel like an understatement."
Years later, while feeling restless as a chemical engineer, the memories of that starry night inspired David to start Action Photo Tours, a boutique photo-workshop operation. Trained as a classical pianist, David has always been artistic. But his engineering background in optics and photolithography give him an edge in understanding the technical aspects of photography. When on tour with David, you can expect in-depth discussions on composition, photographic techniques, and post-processing tricks. Yet the real gem is his boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm for exploring the great outdoors!