Leading a Hokkaido Winter Photography Wildlife Workshop represents a huge amount of responsibility, and Priority No. 1 is keeping the client safe and happy. For over 20 years, I have created life-changing photography expeditions in the winter wonderland snowy Hokkaido, Japan. The untold stories of photography adventures you never hear of. I can tell you, in my 20 plus years leading photography adventures; all my photography workshop clients have returned home without incident. Precautions such as torches, radios, a well-stocked first-aid kit are necessary. Reading weather maps every few hours is paramount so as not to get stranded. On one occasion in Rausu, just as we were about to board our vessel to photograph the Steller’s Sea Eagles, the ship’s captain and I discussed the weather conditions as we read the weather charts, and we saw the dangers, we called off the photographing the Steller’s Sea Eagles from the deck of the Rausu Pack-Ice Boat. If I had pressured the captain, as other photography leaders clearly did because other ships left the harbor as we were disembarking, we would have joined the ones that went out on that fateful day. As we drove away from the dock in our SUV's and until dinner, I had clients yelling in anger at me because all they could see was clear blue sky and calm ocean waters, yet we called it off. However, on the news that evening during dinner, the first story broadcast was ‘8 Boats Stuck In Pack-Ice’. Suddenly, my clients’ complaints stopped with puzzled looks on their faces. A few of them actually pinched themselves to make sure they were not in a dream. The apologies were huge, but I don’t care about my pride. My priority was their safety, No. 1. It took two days for the Japanese Coast Guard to get everyone out of the pack ice. The majority of my colleagues do not carry the most essentials, not even a band-aid! Blizzards with thundersnow occurrences are common in Hokkaido during Winter. As mentioned above, I’m always checking weather charts, and I know when to call off a day. Last winter, while I was leading a winter in Hokkaido photography workshop for the Luminous Landscape, we were in Akanko when a weather system blew in, and I had no choice but to call the day. My co-leader was checking Google Weather on his iPhone, which is completely inaccurate for our locale, and sure enough, when we looked outside, there were about two meters of snow that had fallen by breakfast, and visibility was white out, but Google Weather had the report as cloudy with possible light flurries. (Consider yourself warned about having a non-local photography workshop guide planning your adventure. For this reason, it is why the Luminous Landscape for years affiliates with locals such as myself.) The second half of the responsibility is being respectful of the natural environment and reducing the impact that humans make by being a climate activist, while bringing sustainability to Hokkaido’s winter wonderland, offering the photography expedition of a lifetime. Several of the species that make up a Hokkaido Birding Photography Workshop are on the IUCN Endangered List. At present, The Steller’s Sea Eagle is fighting against changes in climate and impact on its preferred prey, which is referred to as habitat alteration. The Blakiston’s Owl is another endangered species fighting a battle of preservation against persistent human development. My staff and I know have seen with our own eyes these struggles and witnessed other tour leaders make careless mistakes while guiding clients and creating unacceptable risks by being too familiar with the wild animals. With my team and I leading your adventure of a lifetime in Japan, you will seamlessly mesh with nature, take amazing photos, and return home with memories that will last forever.