A letter from Russ….

So what are the benefits of joining a BCJ a trip anyway?

This is a question I get quite a bit – and it always takes me a minute to ponder that question. There are so many benefits and yet it’s different for everyone.

My answer is usually something along the lines of – “you mean other than our world-class destinations, award-winning photogrpahy itineraries and exceptional trip leaders? Other than the fact that you’ll come away from your trip with an incredible portfolio of new images and memories that last a lifetime.”

Ok – well then let’s get started!

Our trips aren’t just about photography. In fact that’s just a small part of it.

Our trips are about getting out there and feeling alive – leaving the shackles of civilization behind you for awhile. Our trips are about connecting with nature in a meaningful way and sharing new experiences with and meeting like-minded new friends who share a strong passion for nature photography.

Backcountry Journeys trips are a vacation – an escape from the ordinary and yet they have a purpose. In fact sometimes it can be hard work photographing wildlife or waiting for that perfect light to break through the clouds. But you see – that’s when those “ahah” moments happen and (for me personally) as a guide that’s where the magic happens – to see the smiles on people’s faces as they nail that perfect composition or witness something truly remarkable – like a Polar Bear mother playing with her cubs on a remote snowbank in Alaska – or a pride of lions chasing down their prey – or lighting striking over the Grand Canyon in Arizona during an incredible monsoon light show.

It’s an exciting time here at BCJ as we have photo trips running simultaneously around the world. As I’m writing this letter we have groups out photographing Brown Bears in a remote part of Alaska, my wife Crystal is showing people the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, I’ve been messaging with Matt Meisenheimer who has a group touring Iceland and we’ve got trips starting in Glacier, Yellowstone & Rocky Mountain National Park this week. In a few weeks I will be up in the Arctic photographing wild Polar Bears with two different groups of eager photographers!

Being able to share the natural world with fellow travelers and enjoying their comradery is priceless. It is absolutely gratifying to share some laughs over a great meal at the end of a long day of outdoor photography. We certainly hope you will join us someday – after all the food is great!

Our goal is to create experiences. Memories that will last a lifetime and you won’t soon forget. But if you do happen to forget –  you’ll probably end up with some good photos to prove you were there! 😉

I hope to see you out in the field soon. If you are already signed up for your next trip – fantastic! If you haven’t yet – do yourself a favor and join us. There really isn’t anything like it.

Russ Nordstrand








Russ Nordstrand is an award winning Landscape & Wildlife Photographer based in Flagstaff, Arizona. His Fine Art Prints are hanging in private collections throughout the world and he runs Photography Tours & Workshops in the most beautiful and inspirtational locations in the Western United States and beyond.

Russ has been hiking, backpacking, photographing and guiding people in the wilderness areas, deserts, canyons and mountains of the world since 1997. He has logged thousands of miles on the trail and for many years in the past decade over half of his nights were spent in a tent in some far flung outdoor destination.

His Photography reflects an awe and admiration of the great, wide and still wild world we live in. Often his subjects include towering canyon walls, mist shrouded mountain lakes or wildlife in their natural habitat. It also reflects a commitment to preserving these places for the health of our world and for those who come after.

It would be a lie to say he does it completely from an altruistic standpoint. Like any great outdoor photographer he loves the thrill of wild, remote places and the accomplishment of nailing that shot after waking up three hours before dawn and hiking in the dark!