Travel and cultural documentary photographer Jacob James has a passion for immersing himself in new cultures and experiences. His work revolves around capturing the human side of life for people right across the globe, whether that’s the nuances in different cultures that make us all unique, or the simple, instinctual emotions that deep down we all have in common.
We'll be spending the majority of our time in Mongolia camped with nomadic families. This is designed to give you the best opportunity to document authentically the lives of both herding families and the families of the eagle hunters. March time in Western Mongolia is still very cold, with night time temperatures regularly approaching -20C. Most of the areas we are visiting are also void of any roads and so travel may at points be uncomfortable. A reasonable level of fitness is also required to hike to viewpoints. However, what this tour may lack in comfort, it will easily make up for in photographic opportunity.
We will be providing suitable equipment such as gers, camping beds (to keep you off the floor) and generators (to charge camera batteries) but tour participants will be required to provide their own winter sleeping bag and cold weather clothing. A full kit list will be provided in advance of the trip and we will of course help with sourcing any clothing or kit you may need to purchase pre-trip. Note: The itinerary is subject to change slightly due to changeable internal flight schedules.
It's not the journey it's the destination. Our expedition trips are for those intrepid photographers who are willing to go the extra mile to photograph something unique and special. If you relish travel when the going gets tough and are willing to sacrifice a little comfort for a host of unique experiences, the Expeditioner tours are for you.
Experience life in Mongolia during the winter hunting period and capture images of the lives of the people living there.
Spend time documenting the hunting practices of the famed eagle hunters.
Camp alongside the nomadic families and explore some of the most remote areas of one of the least populated countries on earth.
Learn how to create compelling photo stories from Asher Svidensky, famed for images of the female eagle hunter Ashol-pan.
Day 1 - Arrival
Сайн уу and welcome to Mongolia! We will arrive into Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, in time for an evening meal and drinks. During this ‘meet and greet’ dinner we can get to know each other and discuss the next twelve days. Depending on your arrival time into Ulaanbaatar there may be an opportunity for you to explore the city during the afternoon and see the famous sites such as The Chinggis Khan Square or Gandan Monastery.
Days 2 & 3 - Altai Tavan Bogd and Herding Family 1
On day two we take an early morning flight to the capital of Western Mongolia, Ulgii where we meet our vehicle and guides. After breakfast we will start the drive to find our first herding family within the beautiful Altai Tavan Bogd national park. This first stop will give you the chance to get accustomed to Mongolian culture, and to get into the rythmn of shooting. There will be plenty of opportunities over the two days to photograph daily life with the nomads as well as photographing them using orga to catch horses at sunset.
During this time, Asher will also start to take you through the steps involved in creating a photo story. This will give you the essential grounding to create a cohesive body of work over the rest of the trip.
Days 4 & 5 - Herding Family 2
On our fourth day we will venture further into the national park for our second stay of the expedition. We will look to immerse ourselves with a local nomad family once again here. On the evening of the fifth day we will travel back to to Ulgii in the evening to get some of that precious WIFI and FB time as well as a comfortable bed for the night.
Days 6 & 7 - Introduction to the Eagle Hunters
On day 6 we will wake early in the morning to make the long drive into the remote northern part of Western Mongolia. Here we will find our first eagle hunting family, who both Asher and the local guides will have worked with before. We will stay with the first family for two days, documenting their daily life and acting as our first chance to go and watch the hunters train in the nearby mountains. This will be your ideal introduction to the hunts before we photograph one live.
Days 8 & 9 - Eagle Hunters 2
After two days with our first family, we will push on even further north to a second hunting family. This time we will have the opportunity to both photograph a live hunt and also learn how to capture the 'hero' shot of an eagle hunter at sunset. There will also be the opportunity to learn from Asher the techniques involved in creating stunning portraits using natural light.
Days 10 & 11 - Eagle Hunters 3
Our final stop on the tour is with a third eagle hunting family back closer to Ulgii. We hope to again shoot a live eagle hunt and have the opportunity to shoot some more epic hero shots. This final stop will be the perfect chance for you to put your experience of the last ten days into practice. Once we leave our final family, we will make our way back through some small villages, photograph in a few homes, before arriving back in Ulgii late at night.
Days 12 - Ulgi
On our last full day will take the return flight back to UB. Once in UB there will be the opportunity for Asher to walk you through the important steps in post processing your images, allowing you to get the most out of the images from this trip. We will also have a final meal and drinks before everyone parts ways.
Day 13 - Departure
Bon voyage! After our amazing adventure it will be time to head to the airport for your return home, hopefully with a hard drive full of images and some amazing memories.
Of course! If your partner in crime wants to join our adventure they’re more than welcome. All our tours are designed to immerse you fully into the culture of the destinations that we visit. We think even non-photographers would find this pretty fascinating. The only caveat we have is that this is first and foremost a photography adventure and any accompanying non-photographers would be required to stay with us at all times throughout the tour.
Yes. It is a mandatory requirement on all of our tours that each participant has their own travel insurance policy. We highly recommend a travel insurance policy that not only covers medical expenses and repatriation but also covers your personal belongings and liability. For more information on travel insurance and our suggested providers please visit our travel services section.
Also, as a traveller with Intrepid Exposures, it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visas and travel documents. Despite the fact we can’t sell you visas directly, we work with a number of partners who can find you the best solution to match your needs. If you need help arranging visas for any of our tours, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
We will try our very best to cater to any dietary needs, that being said we cannot always guarantee it due to the remoteness of some of the places we stay. We will notify you if this is the case and work with you to come up with a fair solution. As long as you notify us of any requirements or allergies when booking your trip we will do our best to accommodate any needs you have.
Yes, of course! Unfortunately our website doesn't offer this functionality yet. If you wish to pay the deposit and then the remainder in one instalment you can do so using the website. If you would instead like to pay for the trip in its entirety in one payment, please contact us directly and we can advise you on the best way to do this.
We do, but on a trip by trip basis. Some tours naturally lend themselves to extensions, others not so much. Please consult the individual tour pages for more details on the extensions offered. If you would like to create your own personal tour extension, please contact us directly for assistance in doing so.
We do everything in our power to make sure out tours run smoothly, that being said there’s certain things we can’t control. Natural disaster or conflicts in the areas we travel may mean that we have to rearrange our plans and itineraries. However, we will keep a close eye on developments in the areas we travel and notify you if there are any issues or doubts.
In a word, Yes. All our tours are covered by Protected Travel Insurance (PTS). This means that your money goes into a protected bank account and can’t be accessed by us until you get back from your trip, so should anything happen your money is 100% protected. Find out more