Photography Trip Leader / Instructor Position

Positions Opening February 2021

Job Description

Imagine your skills as a photographer and leader taking you on adventures across the globe as a Photo Guide/Instructor for Backcountry Journeys Tours, Workshops & Safaris. In this role, you will work to provide outstanding customer care through tour schedule management and top-flight wildlife & landscape photography instruction, all while on location at some of the most beautiful natural locations anywhere.

If you are an experienced outdoor leader, accomplished photographer AND you love people, photography, wildlife and beautiful places please continue reading.

With Great Responsibility Comes Even Greater Reward

You’ll be paid to see the world and to increase your exposure and personal portfolio, all while experiencing some of natures’ greatest accomplishments as you lead, instruct, and provide care for our guests.

Backcountry Journeys offers a variety of Photography Tours, Workshops & Safaris at locations across the country such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, and Yosemite National Parks as well as in Hawaii and Alaska among others. We also offer select International departures to Africa, Costa Rica, Iceland, India, and Brazil.

Being a great photographer is simply not enough, though. We are in need of Leaders who possesses the “it” factor, and we have no qualms about searching every corner of the world to find the perfect person for this position: A natural leader who is never satisfied with “good enough” when it comes to the details.

Is this you? Sound like a dream? That’s because it is!

Job Requirements

  • Two years (minimum) experience leading multi-day trips/tours
  • Professional Photography & Videography experience
  • Strong Public Speaker, Teacher, Educator
  • Good with people & strong group management
  • Strong writing skills (professional experience writing is a huge bonus)
  • Strong critical thinking skills
  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification
  • Must be able to teach landscape & wildlife photography at all levels
  • Must be able to teach Lightroom & Photoshop at all levels
  • Strong Knowledge & Experience in all locations in which you would like to guide
  • Current driver’s license with clean driving record
  • Own Professional Photography Gear
  • Own Cell Phone with data plan

Duties and Responsibilities 

As the Trip Leader you are ultimately responsible for the success of each tour you lead. This includes itinerary and time management and taking care of all of the details that go into it. Managing guest enjoyment and satisfaction by balancing expectations is a significant part of your responsibilities. Having an understanding of “anticipatory service,” and being able to work well with a cross-section of personality types is essential.

The ability to tailor photography instruction, so that individuals feel they’ve had quality one-on-one time with their instructor.

All guides are required to know the ‘in’s’ and ‘out’s’ of each trip itinerary for which they lead. This means that you will have an expert’s understanding of each shot location on a tour itinerary, including knowledge about the lighting condition. That you have hiked each trail, driven each road, visited each hotel and restaurant that are part of the tour, etc. As the leader, you are the “expert” at all times.

Demonstrate professionalism and a high level of courtesy to our guests, National Park staff, restaurant and hotel staff, and any public figures you engage with while representing Backcountry Journeys.

It is critical to be on time in every single aspect of a trip. This includes being responsive and timely with every guest interaction and running a perfectly timed photography tour.

Safety and risk management: You are expected to take the lead in maintaining safety during a tour. This includes instructing guests on safety matters in advance, maintaining a safe environment throughout, and identifying and reporting any accidents, incidents or close calls that may occur.

You are responsible for carrying and understanding the correct use of emergency and safety equipment, including but not limited to First Aid Kit, Bear Spray, Satellite Phone and crampons, and to be up to date with all certifications as such.

“Shadow” trips are required for every new or incoming guide, regardless of experience level. The number of shadow trips required will be based on experience and performance.

Photo Guides must submit a “Trip Report,” as well as high-res photographs & video following the completion of each trip for use in BCJ web, print & social media advertising. Additional opportunities to contribute with educational video and written content are also available.

Photo Guides must be competent and capable of providing instruction in both Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop. Being/becoming Adobe certified is a bonus.

Backcountry Journeys Perks

We’ve mentioned already the most obvious perks of this position. Namely, travel and photography. But, there’s more. We’re fast-paced and rapidly growing. Our small, but mighty, team is composed of talented and motivated individuals who enjoy coming into work. We think you will, too!

Job Benefits

Pay & Gratuities
Pay depending on experience, performance, dedication & history with the company. Benefits/daily pay increases are available based on experience, commitment, and performance.

Flexible Schedule/Contract-Based
Part-Time and Full-Time opportunities. 

Paid Travel (air or mileage from major hub to destination) Hotels / Camping on travel, prep & refresher days before the clients travel day and all lodging / meals during the trip. Hotel or campground fees (depending on weather and availability) for refresher days.

Refresher Days
Meaning re-orienting yourself with the work area i.e. Yellowstone, Glacier, etc. scouting photography locations, trails, hotels and restaurants we use on the tour. Also gathering specific interpretation information for that area.

Portfolio Enhancement
As a guide, you will have the opportunity to enhance your photographic portfolio each time you lead a BCJ trip. You are absolutely encouraged to shoot alongside our guests during trips! You’ll also be asked to contribute to the company’s marketing and content through written and video projects, as assigned. 

Application Instructions 

If you’d like to be considered for this role please submit the following via the application below (no phone calls or emails please)

  • Cover letter and PDF of your resume
  • A 3-minute video introduction telling us about yourself (we will not review videos longer than 3 minutes)
  • A selection of your photography portfolio to summarize your experience
  • An example of your written work
  • WFR, CPR Card & Driver’s License copies

Suggestions of what to tell us about in your video: 

  1. Why are you the best fit for this position?
  2. Tell what you love about outdoor guiding/photography/etc
  3. What challenges do you anticipate with this position?
  4. Which of our trips excites you most, and why?
  5. Teach us something
  6. Be creative