BlueHour Photo Ventures - Travel Photography Workshop Business
We are Lauren Chagaris and Paul Nguyen, two photographers who started a business ten months ago called BlueHour Photo Ventures with the mission of creating affordable hands-on learning opportunities for beginner to intermediate photographers in the most pristine natural environments around the world. These on-location workshops offer an immersive multi-day experience in very personal group settings. We hope to offer our students an array of photo destinations to choose from, but this cannot be done simply overnight.
Research and development of workshops starts at least one year prior, as we always scout a location at the same time of year that we would offer the workshop, to ensure consistency in climate, lighting angles, and floral and faunal composition.
Planning and scouting is hard work. We arrive at a location prepared, having virtually “pre-scouted” the terrain, moon/sun cycles, and angles of sunlight through mapping and surveying programs. Then, on location, we visually determine the best compositions, and confirm the ideal shooting times for creating the most impactful images of a certain landmark, which we can then incorporate into the curriculum for the workshop we create for the following year.
With your help, our next scouting trip will take place in the Northern Rocky Mountains of Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana immediately following our Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park workshop this August 2015. Your pledge will not only make it possible for us to conduct our scouting with the level of professionalism that we insist on, but could even give you the opportunity to participate in the workshop we create in the Northern Rockies for 2016, or any of our others being offered. At the very least, you’ll have a beautiful photo to decorate your home with.
Though our first teaching experience as a business was just last September, we’ve since already fully booked several workshops to Maine, South Carolina and Oregon. Guiding our students in gaining confidence in photography has proven to us that we have the formula for success, and now all we need is the financial means to make our dreams for this business a reality.
The Future of BlueHour Photo Ventures
There are many other locations that we would like our clients to experience and photograph. Workshop locations must always be scouted beforehand in order to know when and where to take the best shots, creating a fabulous learning experience for our clients. However, we are limited by time, as we both have full-time careers that we cannot simply neglect if we want to eat and pay rent. Research and development of the workshops is absolutely key, and we would be able to do more of this if funded.
What would your donation mean to us? It would essentially buy us the time we need, as well as make it possible financially, to research and scout locations that have been beyond our reach. In particular, the northern rockies is a stunningly beautiful area and is a must for anyone interested in nature photography. With your help, we plan to scout Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and Glacier National Park in Montana. Through this, we will design a thorough and cohesive educational experiences in this location for potential future workshops. Let us help you photograph the most amazing nature location and create your most beautiful and unique shots. Overall, your funding would give us a headstart in making BlueHour Photo Ventures the focus of our careers.
August 13: Fly from Seattle, WA to Calgary, AB
August 14-17: Scouting Banff National Park
- Moraine Lake
- Lake Minnewanka
- Lake Louise
- Vermillion Lakes
- Johnston Canyon
- Mistaya Canyon
August 18-21: Scouting Yoho National Park, BC
- Emerald Lake
- Takakkaw Falls
- Lake OHara
- Burgess Shale Formation - Fossil Field
- Wapta Falls Natural Bridge
August 22: Fly from Calgary, AB to Kalispell, MT (near Glacier National Park)
August 23-27: Scouting Glacier National Park
- St. Mary Lake
- Swiftcurrent Lake
- Lake McDonald
- Grinnell Glacier
- Two Medicine Lake
- Hidden Lake
- Iceberg Lake Trail
- Cracker Lake
- Virginia Falls
- Garden Wall
- Logan Pass
Reasons for Funding - Breakdown of Expenses
- Airfare Seattle to Calgary: $80-100 x 2 = $160-200
- Airfare Calgary to Kalispell, MT: $110-125 x 2 = $220-250
- Airfare Kalispell to Boston: $260 x 2 = $520
Total Airfare: $900-$970
- Rental Car Banff & Yoho (from Calgary): $60 x 8= $480
- Rental Car Glacier (from Kalispell): $60/day x 5 = $300
Total Rental Car: $780
- Miles/(Miles/Gallon)x(Cost/Gallon) - using 20 miles/gallon
- Gas Calgary airport to Banff & Yoho and back: $2.87 x 120 Miles = $17.22
- Gas Banff & Yoho: $2.87/Gallon x 600 Miles = $86.10
- Gas Kalispell airport to Glacier and back: $2.30/Gallon x 86 Miles = $9.89
- Gas Glacier: $2.30/Gallon x 500 = $57.50
Total Gas: Approx. $170
- Canada National Park Pass (entry to Canada parks for all days for both of us): $108
- Banff Campsite: $25/night x 5 = $125
- Yoho Campsite: $20/night x 4 = $80
- Glacier Campsite: $20/night x 5 = $100
*We will already have a US National Park Pass to cover Glacier.
Total Passes & Campsites: $413
Total Food: $15 x 14 days x 2 people= $420
Total known Expenses: $2733 - 2803
Living expenses, in which we are swallowing the cost for rent, etc. while away
Kickstarter Fee: 5% of earnings
Taxes: Depends on our accounting details
Credit Card Fee: 3-5% of earnings
Rewards, but we won't know exactly how much that will be until the end.
*Any funding beyond our goal will go towards better rewards, backup and upgraded equipment, and the scouting of new photography destinations.
Current Workshop Locations (some of your potential prints by Paul Nguyen)
Photos of our Workshops
Our awesome video was filmed and edited by Amlan Bhattacharyya. Thanks for your hard work!
Risks and challenges
Paul is very experienced with scouting and knows realistically what it takes to scout a location. With that being said, we don’t foresee any major risks that could deter us from this plan. We plan to camp everyday, and if it rains we will sleep in the car. We have thought out our expenses very carefully down to how much gas and food we will be consuming per day. Perhaps one of the main risks will be avoiding getting our food stolen by the black bears of the rockies, but we will be very careful to observe our surroundings and follow proper food-handling guidelines in bear country.
Minor challenges include flight delays, road closings, slipping and falling, being attacked by the black bears when we tell them there ain’t no food for them, acts of stupidity (such as Paul jumping off a cliff in search of the perfect shot of a mountain goat), and unpredictable natural disasters such as forest fires and rock slides that lead to general mayhem.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)