Brown bear photography workshop, Alaska

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Check dates

2018: 15 Jun, 20 Jun
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Brown bear photography workshop, Alaska

Environment

We believe in the power of photography; the power to create incredible experiences, and the power to make a positive impact. That’s why we founded our own Trust, a non-profit organisation that uses photography to make a positive impact on both a social and conservation level. We finance the running costs of the Trust, so by just by joining one of our workshops, you're indirectly contributing. (So all you have to do to make a difference is have the photo adventure of a lifetime!) Through this Trust, we provide free professional photography to charities doing environmental and conservation work; images they can use for fundraising and communication purposes.

Ethical Practices during Game Drives:
Our guide is highly experienced and we keep conservation of the area and well-being of the wildlife a priority throughout the trip. The last thing we want to do is stress out an animal or cause it to behave unnaturally. When our group is photographing bears, we never push the animals; we set up at a distance from them and let them move around us. We don't try and push them to a spot I want them in, I want to let them move naturally where they want and we change our position based on what the animal is doing.  

Waste Management:
During this trip, we use as little plastic as possible. We encourage our guests to bring only items that are reusable and recyclable. Our guide, Barrett Hedges, actively avoids anything plastic, and we only use reusable water bottles on this trip. We provide hardly any waste, because we take reusable containers, and what we do have for waste we gather all recyclables carefully.

At our office in Cape Town, we recycle, compost, and minimise the use of paper by predominantly working with digital files.

Carbon Footprint Compensation:
To compensate for our carbon footprint, we sponsor a tree for each participant, which is planted by Greenpop in their reforestation or urban greening programs in Southern Africa. We'll give you a ‘tree ring,’ a key ring that has the coordinates of their tree, so that you know exactly where it’s growing.

Community

Apart from supporting conservation initiatives through our photography, we also support social nonprofits. We provide free professional photography to charities that do valuable work and can use the images for fundraising purposes.

Through our Trust, we also run PhotoVoice workshops for youth in underprivileged South African communities. We identify talented young individuals with an interest in and talent for photography, and provide workshops where we encourage them to tell their stories, and the stories of their communities, through photography. We teach them creative self-expression, and the power visual images can have. Participants are encouraged to raise awareness about issues that matter most to them, which stimulates positive activism. We are currently running these workshops at Muizenberg High School in Cape Town; a program we aim to roll out at several schools in underprivileged communities around the city.

Supporting Local Economy:
We use locally-run accommodation and work with well-trained and well-paid local guides.

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