What to Expect

© David Hobby / X-Peditions

X-Peditions’ trips tend to fill quickly after being announced. Our group sizes are small—12 people—and thus we have a very limited number of spaces available per year.

Shortly after your trip fills, we’ll reach out to you for information. We gather this info to begin the visa applications for our destination country. Just as important, we also will find out more about you and your level of experience (both with photography and travel) so we can tailor our approach and education to best fit the needs of the group.

Next, we begin the process of preparing you for your journey. During the months leading up to your trip, you’ll receive all of the information needed to prepare you for all of the important aspects your time in Vietnam.

Subjects include:

  • region-specific risks and how to mitigate them
  • a daily planner for our time in-country
  • details on how our classes and editing sessions will work
  • suggested gear and general packing tips
  • tips on securing in-country web access (local SIMs, portable WiFi hotspot, etc.)
  • suggested apps and maps to pre-load onto your phone
  • info on the local culture and any related things you should know
  • a working photojournalist’s approach pre-trip research and idea generation

We’ll have a set in-country arrival date for our workshop. If you want to get there a day earlier to acclimate, that’s fine.

You will arrive far better researched and prepared than the typical traveler. This approach is designed to help minimize your concerns, maximize safety and to allow you to spend more of your time and energy making photos and experiencing the culture in our host country.

We stay in comfortable, single occupancy lodging, except where noted on our side excursions. Breakfasts are typically included. We’ll also do several group meals together, also included.

There will be plenty of opportunities to explore the local food scene on your own. You’ll quickly discover that food is a strong contributing factor in our city selection process.

Our local producer works with us to expand your perception and understanding of our destination city. She or he will act as local logistics manager and be our cultural intersection point with the host country.

Throughout our visit we’ll have an assortment of classes and group outings chosen with photography and culture in mind. Our classes are designed to help you learn to think more like a working photojournalist, both in terms of classic photo skills and the more important human engineering skills that open up the possibilities for better photos. Your trip will also include both group and individual editing sessions.

© David Hobby / X-Peditions

We try to reserve large portions of each day for individual/small-group exploration and shooting. This is especially true at the edges of the day when the light is best. We want you out shooting, meeting people, gaining access, finding stories and, just as important, having sufficient time and space to absorb the experience.

Throughout the week, scheduled and ad-hoc editing sessions (“edits”) will help you to add clarity to the way you are seeing and shooting. Then you’ll head out to shoot some more. Fortune favors the prepared, and even more so those who are willing to put in the hours and the steps.

This is neither a group tour nor a cushy junket. You should be prepared to explore as an individual in a far-away city; to think, to walk, to see—and to find the courage to approach people who may not even speak your language. (We’ll help you with that part, too.)

Our mission is to prepare you for your trip, to teach you some new photographic approaches, and to help you find the grit and perseverance it often takes to make the photos that will bring you enjoyment for the rest of your life.

Finally, we’ll leave you with both the experience and increased confidence to venture further out into the world and repeat this process on your own—or with one or more of your new X-Peditions friends—in the future.