During 2020, as I do during summer every year, I start to think about my Autumn Leaves Photo Tours and my Hokkaido Photo Tour that include some of my favorite wildlife encounters, specifically with snow monkeys, and I start planning my photo adventures locally to picturesque locations like Mt. Fuji or Yahiko in Niigata where the autumn leaves are breathtaking and bring people from all over Japan, and even some international visitors to witness the majestic Japanese maples in red, gold, and orange that arrive each autumn in the Japanese zen gardens with the concierge of the zen forest as your guide.
However, what’s been exceptional this year is that I’m off the grid supporting our worldwide frontline healthcare workers, and I’m taking every precaution to keep me, my family, and my team safe during this trying period. I will not be hosting any group Japan Photo Tours this year until the end of 2021’s winter season, and I hope that global health circumstances allow me to conduct my annual Cherry Blossom Photo Tour in 2021 because if I have any safety concerns, that tour will have to be postponed as well.Part of staying safe is being mentally healthy, too, and my team’s adventurous spirit propelled us to take a team photo expedition, but not just anywhere, it had to be wild to slake our thirst for adventure while remaining as safe as possible.
I have visited snow monkeys hundreds of times with over 50 troops across Japan with camera in hand, and every time I visit with these beautiful sentient beings I am happy, eager with enthusiasm and prepared to say ‘hello’, pay my respects to the Alpha and the elders in the group, and meet the youngsters. This can be difficult to achieve and takes experience and an open heart to build up trust, so the monkeys don’t run away. And I am overjoyed at experiencing the individuality that each monkey holds. Whenever I’m leading a photography tour in Japan or elsewhere on our planet with clients, friends, or family, I also use the beginner’s mindset even when I’m photographing alone.
If you’d like to find some adventure with me once the pandemic subsides, I have experiences and Japan Photo Tours and Workshops for every type of adventure seeker.
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