Living the Dream
An Alaskan Photograher’s Tale (Updated)
Sometime around 2010, I had a daring idea. To be honest, it was there before that in an unformed state, shrouded in fear, so it stalled for a while. I was a Tourism Sales Manager at a destination marketing organization at the time. I’d gained more than a decade of valuable experience in the travel and tourism industry and found I enjoyed organizing and leading tours. I also rediscovered a passion for photography that had been latent since high school. Putting those two interests together seemed natural and formed a foundation for the original idea, which was to start a photography-centric tour company. Eventually though, the dream niggled until it became plan, and with the plan came courage to carry it out.
Phase one involved finding a like-minded individuals to bring complementary skill sets to the table. I am strong in sales and marketing, but my professional photography career was somewhat abbreviated at the time since I’d been working it as a side job. Individuals with a more extensive background in the field lent credibility to the enterprise. Initially, two other long-time professional photographers joined forces to launch Alaska Photo Treks in 2013. We each grew tremendously and learned much from each other during the partnership but by 2016, demands and other interests were pulling each of them in another direction. By the end of the year, I took over full ownership of the company.
An incredible ride on the learning curve best describes the first four years, with many more loopy the loops ahead. I’m currently developing partnerships with other highly talented Alaskan photographers and reputable local operators, but this is now a one woman show of which I’m chief guide and van washer. The thing I love most about running Alaska Photo Treks: meeting wonderful people from every walk of life and sharing the beauty of the Great Land. What I like least: bookkeeping.
Looking with hindsight perspective, it seems everything that’s happened, no matter how negative it appeared at the time, created an opening for something better to come. I’d be lying to say I didn’t feel overwhelmed at times and never experienced a sleepless night. I still do from time to time. But the most important thing I’ve learned thus far is to keep surging ahead. That first leap was scary but when I finally took it, I’ll be darned, a net appeared.
Alaska Photo Treks offers sunset tours year round. Sunset Photo Safari operates May- September. Twilight Photo Tour runs September-April. Departure times for both tours are dependent on sunset, which at this latitude changes dramatically throughout the year. The times for each week are posted on the respective pages for each tour. Winter months also include the northern lights viewing adventure, Anchorage Aurora Quest. Explore Alaska Photo Treks to learn more about these excellent, instructional day tours and multi-day tours and workshops.