More about your guide & instructor
Aaron Baggenstos is an internationally-acclaimed, award-winning professional wildlife photographer/videographer, and author in nature and wildlife. His images tell stories that help protect, preserve, and conserve biodiversity and habitats worldwide.
As a multimedia creative, Baggenstos adopts the latest technology in his field work, from drones and 4K video to time lapse, slow motion, still captures, and creative lighting techniques. Equipped with an abundance of passion and energized by nature, he desires nothing more than to inspire others to take better photos in nature.
Officially recognized by National Geographic in the 2016 Nature Photographer of the Year Contest, Baggenstos has also received critical acclaim from Nature’s Best, Outside, NANPA, and the Audubon Society. Recently, several of his images were chosen for the final rounds in the prestigious 2015 & 2016 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Aaron is a recent contributor for Outdoor Photographer Magazine.
Along with guiding tours and instructing photography workshops over 100 days a year, Aaron also enjoys public speaking and presenting slideshows. To date he has spoken at multiple Audubon chapters and birding groups, National Wildlife Refuges, book stores, and other local interest groups.
Through his work Aaron hopes to inspire others to photograph, enjoy, and take action to protect, local and worldwide ecosystems. You can follow Aaron’s travels through social media streams on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr.
Recent Photographic Merits
- 2018 NANPA’s Showcase Competition, Best in Show, Mammals, “Lions Quarl”
- 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year, Editors Favorite, “Lions Quarl”
- 2017 Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice, Video Category, Highly Honored “Kenya”
- 2017 National Audubon Photography Awards, Top 100 Image, “Clash of the Talons”
- 2017 Nikonians Photography Awards, Finalist, “Count Dracula”
- 2017 NANPA’s Showcase Competition, Top 250 Image, “Leopard Dinner Time”
- 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year, Editors Pick, “Bear Hug”
- 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year, Editors Pick, “Arctic Ghost”
- 2016 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 2 images made the final round of judging
- 2016 National Audubon Photography Awards, 4 images in the Top 100
- 2015 Nature’s Best Backyards, Winner, “Pacific Tree Frog”
- 2015 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 13 images made the final round of judging
- 2015 Audubon Photography Awards, Top 100 image, “Horned Puffin”
- 2015 National Geographic Top Shot, Awarded on September 23, “Bear Caution”
- 2014 National Geographic International Photo Contest, Editors Pick, “Catch of the Decade”
- 2014 NANPA Photo Contest, Finalist, “Catch of the Decade”
Watch Aaron’s Review of the New Nikon 600mm FL
In the last four years I’ve lead over one hundred photographic tours and workshops. This gives me more recent experience than any other photographic guide in the industry. I have dedicated almost every day for the past eight years to conducting countless hours of research while scouring North America and beyond, with my camera, to find the best nature and wildlife destinations so that you don’t have to. I’ve scouted hundreds of accommodations to ensure we are comfortable, and in the ideal locations. Allow our experience and fine attention to detail guide you to the trip of a lifetime.
A bachelors degree in business from Western Washington University has served as a backbone for profound success as a photography instructor, mentor, and guide. I understand that there are different learning styles and take special care to tailor my instruction for my audience. I work well with all demographics including seniors, beginners, and seasoned professionals alike.
I’ve been all over the world photographing birds but I’ve not had a better experience than the tour I took with Aaron… – Joe, M – San Francisco, California
At Aaron’s Photo Tours we believe in small group, intimate experiences with nature, and therefore maintain some of the smallest group sizes in the industry. This means more one-on-one time and personalized attention from your guide and closer more pronounced interactions with nature.
We utilize an extensive network built over the years with other nature photographers, friends, and companies, which enables me to get to the minute updates about the best shooting locations and times. I now spend around two hundred days a year in the field guiding tours and scouting locations to give you the best possible odds to find the subjects we are looking for. I have also been granted access to privately owned lands and obtained special use permits to areas in select locations that are otherwise inaccessible to the individual.
I am tenacious about staying on the cutting edge of the worlds fast moving photography industry. I am permanently enrolled in online courses to stay on top of software (like Photoshop & Lightroom CC) and new cameras and shooting techniques (like mirrorless & focus stacking).
It is a privilege to grow up in a time where extraordinary cameras are accessible for most people…and the world that is still wild. With today’s tools your possibilities are endless…you just need to unleash them, and that is exactly what Aaron’s Photo Tours™ are designed for. Unlock your creative talent, master your camera, and come home with some the best images you have ever shot. Let’s have a blast doing it!
If you are looking for a fast track to the photography skills and photographs you desire, you have come to the right place. The world needs more nature and wildlife enthusiasts.
I look forward to traveling with you.
What sets us apart?
- Trips custom designed for nature photography enthusiasts of all levels
- Smallest groups in the industry
- Personal One-on-One photography instruction from Aaron
- Senior friendly trips (minimal physical requirements on most tours)
- Fully licensed with the National Parks
- Access to private lands and preserves
- We like to eat well and accomodate all diets (ie vegetarian, gluten free)
- Allow our experience and fine attention to detail guide you to the trip of a lifetime
Easy Registration Process
1. Email or Call to Check Availability
Our tours can book up to one year in advance and our small group sizes fill up quickly, so be sure to call us to check availability or send us an email by clicking here.
2. Pay Deposit to Reserve a Spot
When you decide to book your exciting photography adventure with Aaron’s Photo Tours, you will receive a payment request for your deposit which when paid will officially reserve your spot on the tour. You will also receive a link to e-sign our Terms & Conditions.
3. Receive Detailed Trip Information
Once paid, you will receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of your payment. You will also receive preliminary trip information including important information to help you prepare for your adventure.
About 90 days before your departure you will receive additonal travel information including recommended camera gear and clothing, weather to expect, detailed lodging & transportation information and other helpful travel tips that pertain specifically to the tour you registered for. If you have any questions throughout the registration process call or send us an email. We are here to help!
Embark on Your Photography Adventure!
Frequently Asked Questions
How many guests are on a tour?
Aaron’s Photo Tours strives to provide the smallest group sizes in the industry, which allows us to focus on your individual needs and provide personalized photography instruction. Group sizes range from 5-8 participants max on most tours. We keep group size appropriate for what it is we will be photographing. Each tour/workshop page will note the maximum group size for that particular trip. Return to Top
What is the average age of your guests?
Average age of our guests is 40 to 75 years old. Typically we do not have children on our tours, however, on occasion we’ve had teenagers who were highly interested in photography and accompanied by a chaperone. Teenagers must have the patience and maturity to join our groups and converse with adults. If you have any disabilities, we’ll let you know ahead of time if we can adjust the tour to accommodate for your needs. All depends on the activity level and location. Return to Top
What photography skills do I need to join a tour?
Anyone with an interest in photography is welcome to join us – whether you just bought your first camera or are looking for more advanced photographic instruction. Each photographer has different equipment, knowledge, and skills, and we feel you will improve your photography faster with personal one-on-one attention from Aaron. We spend less time in boring classroom settings and more time in the field practicing and learning as we go. Aaron is by your side to guide and teach you as you need help. Aaron is familiar with a variety of camera systems (Nikon, Canon, Sony) and keeps up to date with the latest technologies. Return to Top
Are non-photographer spouses welcome?
Of course! We even offer a discount for non-photographer spouses on select tours, just ask! Return to Top
What types of accommodations do you offer on the tours?
Accommodations are important! We strive to offer mid-to-high end accommodations whenever they are possible. We want you to enjoy your experience both in the field and back at your hotel. Return to Top
What type of vehicles will we be in?
We like to ride in style usually in luxury SUVs. Occasionally for larger groups we will be in a tour van or Suburban. Return to Top
Can you accommodate my diet?
Yes. Please communicate dietary needs in advance on our booking form. Our custom is to stop at restaurants and grocery stores that offer rich, whole, and healthy foods. However, some small towns have limited options so dietary needs need to be planned for in advance. Return to Top
What if the weather is bad?
It is our planets diverse and constantly changing weather systems that give our photographs variety and keep our images unique and different. There are many products for sale that protect our equipment from the elements. We make every effort to photograph in all weather systems, rain or shine, sleet or snow. On multi day trips participation is always voluntary on bad weather days. In some cases this means shooting from our vehicle and in others under an umbrella. In unusual conditions, say in the arctic or in pouring down rain, we sometimes opt to focus on the processing side of photography from a coffee shop or the comfort of our hotels making use of every moment of the tour or workshop. Return to Top
What is your cancellation policy?
What is included in the price?
Each tour is a bit different but most tours are all inclusive which includes lodging, meals, transportation, and all photographic instruction. For details on what is included in each tour please refer to the individual tour page under Photo Tours . Return to Top
Do you offer equipment rentals?
Should I purchase travel insurance?
Aaron’s Photo Tours has partnered with Travelex Insurance to offer comprehensive travel protection plans for our guests. We HIGHLY recommend purchasing a travel protection plan (within 21 days of your booking) to provide you with peace of mind when traveling by covering Trip Cancellation, Interruption or Delay, Baggage Delay & Loss, Emergency Medical Expenses & Evacuation, 24hr AD&D and Travel Concierge & Assistance. The quote process is easy as entering your date of birth and the trip cost. Click Here to learn more and get a quote. Or you can contact the Customer Service Call Center at 800-228-9792. Return to Top
What is your smoking policy?
Smoking is not permitted when you are within the vicinity of the instructor or other participants, in the field or during indoor presentations. Smoking may be permitted in certain designated areas at hotels or restaurants. Return to Top
How can I contact you with other questions?
How quickly do your tours fill up?
Tours commonly fill up over a year in advance so try to plan ahead and book early. You can visit each tour page for availability. Return to Top