Judith K., California
This was my second trip with Tripod Travelers, and there were so many wonderful photo opportunities. Tom and Laura are dedicated to one’s photography and comfort. But what impressed me most was Tom and Laura’s tenacity and effort when we had some unpredicted flight and reservation issues. They just didn’t give up on getting us the trip we had planned.
Cathy J. Illinois
Trips to Africa can be complicated enough without unexpected setbacks. We had some unfortunate setbacks on this trip, and NONE of them were the fault of Tripod Travelers. A flight delay caused us to miss our connecting flight which in turn caused us to lose a day. The "dry" season was anything but dry. There was an abundance of rain that turned dusty dirt roads into mud bogs. Consequently our safari vehicles got stuck several times. We still saw amazing things. We witnessed a mother cheetah run down and kill a gazelle for her two cubs. The wonderful thing about Tripod Travelers is that we were able to sit on this cheetah family as long as we wanted. It was all photographers in our group and that is what was desired by all. Tom and the guides knew this cheetah was going to hunt. They know how to predict animal behavior on these safaris.
I was most impressed by the calmness and composure shown by both Tom and Laura during all the setbacks that befell us. If they were wringing their hands, none of us saw it. Tom personally got us some perks from Delta for the mess-up of the flight. I'm pretty sure other passengers not in our group never got those perks. Tom was immediately on the phone with Delta demanding restitution and he got it!
I'm not one to ask many photography questions on these trips, but if you have any questions or need help, Tom will go overboard to help you. To him there are no stupid questions, ask anything. He will help any level of photographer. He also has a policy of continuous help forever after a trip. If you need help with gear, editing, or whatever, just call him. I have another Tripod Travelers trip planned for September this year. I thoroughly enjoy traveling with them.
Don D., Nevada
Janice and I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much we enjoyed the time spent with you in and around Knoxville last week and the very productive Bear Shoot you lead. Many exciting moments, as well as great photographic opportunities. The food and hotel accommodations were great.
Dick B., Pennsylvania
Last year Carole and I visited Yellowstone and soon discovered that our trusty pocket cameras were not sufficient for shooting photos of bears or other roaming wild animals with any satisfying detail. We re-equipped with mirrorless cameras and lenses and realized that we needed to get good advice and hands-on experience to get the best out of our new equipment. We certainly found it with Tom and Laura Mace at Tripod Travelers at the Grand Tetons Photo Workshop. Tom is a very skilled photographer and an excellent teacher. Working with our group where the individuals had varying experience levels he knew how to suggest the adjustments that allowed each of us to improve our shots. The photographers in our group had at least four brands of camera systems and Tom easily diagnosed the problems that cropped up with all of them. All of this needs a support system. They say that an army moves on its stomach, and a group of photographers is no different. Laura expertly planned and provided sustenance for the entire group throughout the day so that we could focus on the job of getting the photos we all wanted. She got into the details of each of our personal preferences so we could enjoy the snacks, drinks, and lunches that we really liked. Because all meals, transportation and lodging were included with the workshop we could focus on our photography, not logistics. Having dinners together at the end of each day of shooting was a great way for all of us to share our knowledge and get to know each other better. It was a great trip!
Carole B., Pennsylvania
We’ve just returned from a rich week of photography experience with Tripod Travelers. Being the novice in the group and typically having used the “auto” setting on my typically hand-held camera, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The group included people with all levels of camera expertise. Tom divided his instruction time evenly among the group. He was very attentive to us all. I never felt lost, left out or neglected. Every day was full of new learning experiences for me, resulting in some beautiful photographs I never dreamed I could take at this point. Tom’s patience, his passion to find and photograph wildlife and his knowledge about photography surpassed my expectations. Laura kept us comfortable, positive and engaged. Both Tom and Laura displayed an endless amount of energy. Their genuineness and endless sense of humor promoted immediate comradery among all of us in the group. Dick and I will definitely take another trip with Tripod Travelers in the future!
Michelle N., Missouri
Grand Tetons: I traveled with my husband, the photographer, I am not and still had an incredible time. Laura and Tom make sure that you have a great place to stay and great food - we met super people on the trip. The group is small and you really get to know people. If you are married to a photographer who wants to go on a trip with Tripod Travelers and you like the destination - GO - you will love it!
Jeff R., Missouri
Fall Grand Tetons, If you want to grow as a photographer, I would highly recommend going on workshop with Tom and Laura. No matter the skill level when you start, you'll be a better photographer after using the skills Tom explains during your time in the field.
Gloria H., Florida
The Spring Photography workshop in Grand Teton National Park was my second trip with Tom and Laura. Again, everything was outstanding; from the initial pick up at the airport to the final drop off at the airport. Tom knows the park well and where to find the wildlife. Laura is excellent in planning all the other logistics of your vacation. The lodging was excellent, food and other needs are taken care of, all you have to do is get your camera gear ready and be in the lobby at a specified time. You will learn a lot from Tom in the field, get some awesome shots and really have a good time, I did. If you are looking for a photography workshop for wildlife, book with Tripod Travelers. You will not regret it.
Cathy J., Illinois
Are you wanting a photography trip in which you have any and all opportunities to aim your camera and click? Do you want a photography trip in which you won't be rushed, and you won't have bored and impatient non-photographers in your way? Do you want a photography trip in which you don't have to make many decisions and most of the details are taken care of for you? Then choose Tripod Travelers. Tom has a passion for photography like no other. His enthusiasm and persistence will get you where you need to be. The South Africa safari trip was a bucket list item for me and it exceeded my expectations, it was an overload of the senses. The added bonus was that Tom and Laura are a fun-loving, witty, and engaging couple. The trip was bathed in continuous laughter throughout. Although it was like herding kittens, they kept track of us and went above and beyond their duties to help in big and even the smallest ways. Highly recommended.
Lucy W., Illinois
I went on the photo safari to South Africa in May 2019 and absolutely loved it. I immediately stated that I wanted to see and photograph everything. Now let’s complicate that by the fact that I took a brand new DSLR camera and zoom lens that I had only shot on automatic. I’d been using point and shoot cameras for the last 10 years, since I went digital. It’s not the best situation, but it worked for me, and I now feel very comfortable with using the camera on my own. For starters, Tom advised me on what camera and lens to buy, as well as a monopod and tripod, even talking to me for an hour on the phone before I made a decision. This meant that I got a better camera than I would have otherwise, and I am very pleased with it. Once on site, Tom made time to help me set up the camera before our first shoot. Then he gradually introduced more advanced features and techniques, answering all my questions. We each got a set of small, helpful tip sheets too. The result was that I got wonderful photos (as well as videos to catch the action). Tom and Laura took care of all arrangements and needs, making this a worry-free trip while presenting incredible opportunities to photograph amazing animals. Tom is an excellent photographer and teacher, providing many tips on settings and how to adapt to the changing environment. And Laura added to the fun, helping everything to run smoothly. If there was anything I change, it would be to make the trip longer, going to more places. What can I say? I always want more... And yes, I did photograph everything! I highly recommend a photo trip with Tripod Travelers, no matter what your skill level.
Judy K., California
(South Africa Safari) Most photography workshops get you to the right place at the right time. Tripod Travelers' commitment to excellence exceeds that goal and permeates every aspect of their workshops: excellence in photography, taking you where you are and moving you forward; excellence in travel, making sure you are comfortable and well-fed; and excellence in relationships, checking in, paying attention, and sharing generously. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Sue E-B., Illinois
My recent trip to South Africa with Tripod Travelers could not have been any better. 5 minutes in and you feel like you have known Tom and Laura forever. They took extremely good care of our group and not only our needs but, our wants too. I always felt safe. A friend commented to me that she never saw as many animals on a tour she went on , as we did. I would not hesitate to go on another trip with them and hope I can someday. Also, Tom is a very knowledgeable photographer.
Teena B., Illinois
(South Africa Safari) I'm the exception to the thought that you must love photography to go on a photography trip. I went with the knowledge that I didn't know the first thing about taking pictures. But I went with the expectation that I'd see what I had always wanted to see on a safari trip. The trip was so well planned that there was something going on at all times of the day. I loved every minute of it. Laura and Tom were terrific. They took care of all our needs and wants. I did learn enough about taking pictures that I have memories to look back at. And I can share all the wonderful pictures the rest of the group took. I highly recommend Tripod Travelers for anyone regardless of their photographic abilities.
Jenn G., Florida
I had very high expectations for the workshop, and you and Tom somehow managed to exceed my expectations. Calling it a photography workshop just doesn’t do it justice. It was more of an all-inclusive photography adventure! The photography information provided by Tom was amazing. Learning about exposure compensation and how to adjust it for different lighting situations was so helpful. Looking at my black bear pictures before and after adjusting exposure compensation are very different. I have tried to learn Lightroom for years and always just gave up in frustration. Somehow, Tom simplified it all in about an hour, and I have been using it to edit since I returned from the trip. It was so nice to have the entire vacation planned by you and Tom. I also loved the flexibility. I truly appreciated that you were willing to cancel a dinner reservation when we wanted to stay and photograph a bear for a longer period of time. All of the meals, including appetizers and desserts, were amazing! I definitely had the best steak of my life and the goat cheese cheesecake was splendid.
Melanie B., Australia
Tom and Laura have a winning combination - great personalities, expert instruction, well planned logistics and 'above and beyond' service. I knew no-one before the trip and knew even less about how to use my camera, but came away with good friends and a heap of new skills! I don't recommend trips very often but if you are serious about improving your camera techniques and want to have a fun experience in awesome surroundings then I can highly recommend signing up to a trip with Tripod Travelers!
Robin B., Pennsylvania
I had an amazing experience with Tom and Laura in Utah, photographing in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. They made sure that we were in the “right place at the right time” for stunning sunrise photography and we also had wonderful opportunities to capture the Milky Way in both parks. Tom was extremely helpful in explaining the various camera settings for the different conditions and in helping us improve our skills. Laura made hot chocolate at 4am and handled all the logistics including lodging and meals, so that we could concentrate on taking pictures. I recommend Tripod Travelers as a great way to see beautiful areas, improve your photography skills and work with a husband and wife team dedicated to providing a terrific workshop and vacation.
Mary R., South Carolina
Tripod Travelers was my first photography vacation and I hope to join Tom and Laura on another in the future. The information and instruction that I received from Tom was excellent and understandable without being too technical. It was an amazing time from start to finish with every aspect well planned and geared for the maximum exposure to landscape and star photograpy as well as our comfort (thanks Laura!) and safety in the field. I have come away with knowledge about my camera settings and features that I never really understood before. I highly recommend Tripod Travelers for a photography vacation and hope to join them again in the future!
Diane D., Wisconsin
I found Tripod Travelers when searching for a photography workshop online, and their dates for the Arches/Canyonland trip worked well for me. I contacted two of my photography friends to see if they’d be interrested in going, and after they both checked out the trip, we all decided to go, & what a great decision that was! Tom and Laura are just the best; fast response to email questions as well as clear details on what to bring and what to expect. They are friendly, fun, solicitous, and had everything covered—from transportation to snacks, hot & cold beverages while out shooting pictures, meals, and a fantastic variety of stunning sites to photograph. I loved the small size of the group (6 people) because not only did we get to know everyone else very quickly, but Tom was able to be right there throughout the day (& night, when out shooting stars) to offer advice or answer questions whenever we needed him. I highly recommend Tripod Travelers, and hope to go on another trip with them in the future!
M-J A., New York
Let me count the ways! First, the warmth and caring received from Tom and Laura begins at first meeting and continues throughout the workshop. Second, the knowledge imparted by Tom in the area of spotting animals, camera settings to get the best photo, where and how to position yourself to get THAT capture and how to process images to advantage. Third, Laura is truly a "momma bear" and takes care of her photog cubs with food, drinks, advice and hugs! I could go on, but sufficient to say I am a world traveler and am so taken with Tripod Travelers I have booked two more trips with them in the fall of this year! Thanks to the Mace team - they are awesome!
Marie R.S., Pennsylvania
(Spring Smoky Mountains) When you meet Tom and Laura, you feel as if you've known them forever. They both have great personalities and are fun to be around. Their photography vacation and workshop prices are very competitive.
"Tripod Tom" (inside joke) is amazing. He was able to deliver, and we all got the bear pictures we set out to get, of course, the cooperation of the bears may have had a little to do with this (LOL). Tom knew where to take us and where the hot spots were. Tom (and Laura) go the extra mile for the team. Tom is very knowledgeable and more than willing to share his knowledge. He was always there for the team to assist with camera settings, post-editing tips, lighting tips, carrying equipment, and the list goes on.
Laura, as Penny would say, "Mama Bear," was also amazing. She ensured that we were fed well, and she always carried plenty of snacks and drinks, tailored for all. Just sayin'... I think she had the hardest job, and if you don't believe me, you try feeding seven different people from all over. My favorite meal was the picnic lunch by the water at Cades Cove.
In closing, I recommend traveling with "Tripod Travelers!" I can't wait until my next trip with them in September to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
If you are contemplating a trip, just do it, Tom and Laura will make it an experience to remember. You will come as strangers and leave as friends!
Bert S., Virginia
The Tripod Traveler photo workshop in the Great Smoky Mountains this Spring was my first . . . but it will not be my last! When Tom and Laura Mace take you under their wings, you can rest assured that they will do everything within their power to let you take the best possible photos. Laura ensures that your everyday needs are met including lodging, snacks, and meals. Tom has an uncanny way of finding bears and other wildlife and is a photography guru that not only teaches the best ways set up your camera to get your “money” shots, but also ensures that you also understand the best ways to post process your digital photos too. Listen and you will learn. I did.
Penny D.S., Georgia
(Spring Smoky Mountains) Most amazing trip!!! If you’ve never been on a trip with these guys, do it! Tom was so informative. He helped us with settings and processing. I learned more from Tom in one afternoon then I’ve learned in years of workshops and studying!! He also seemed to know exactly where the bears would be hiding! His wife Laura is absolutely amazing!! She saw that all of our needs were met. She was our mother bear, and took excellent care of us! We arrived as total strangers, but all left with new friendships. I was skeptical at first, but no, Tripod Travelers are an excellent group! If you’re on the fence about a trip, jump in! You’ll be delighted! I know I was!!!
Chuck Cagle, Texas
I have been wanting to go on a bear photo shoot for a long time. A couple of Alaska adventures did not come to fruition so I checked in with Mr. Google and found Tripod Travelers, checked out their website and upon seeing they had one space left for the Spring workshop in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park I called in and signed up for it. Little did I know that I was in for the best photo shoot of my life. Tom and Laura met me at the airport, assisted me with my luggage and set off to a local FedEx office to pick up some rented gear on the way to our hotel. Upon arriving, I found that some of the gear was not given to me. After dinner, Tom drove me back to FedEx that afternoon so I would be ready for shooting. Both he and Laura gave us this kind of attention throughout the trip. Tom turned out to be the best at locating bears and giving advice that I have ever seen. Laura is a Princess at taking care of all our needs and whims. If it is possible for me to take another photo safari, I can guarantee that it will be with TRIPOD TRAVELERS!
Rachel H., Florida
(Fall Smoky Mountains) This was an amazing trip. I felt like one of Laura and Tom’s family members. The travel planning was excellent, and the meals were fantastic. I loved enjoying the local restaurants and our final dinner venue was an amazing dining experience. Laura had all our favorite snacks available and went above and beyond making sure we had everything we needed. Tom took us to amazing locations to track down the wildlife and capture the perfect landscape or waterfall scene. His instruction on how to use my equipment was so helpful. I was so grateful he let us use some of his own equipment, so we could get the best pictures we could. They went above and beyond to try and fit as many experiences and photography opportunities within the short amount of time we had for everyone to get what they wanted out of the workshop. This trip has made we want to learn more about photography and participate in more workshops with the Mace team.
Lisa C., North Carolina
(Fall Smoky Mountains) Thank You for a wonderful week of photography and fun. I learned so much and you both made the experience perfect by working your magic together. Can't wait to see you again on another adventure!
Heather G., Wisconsin
(Fall Smoky Mountains) Totally satisfied! It’s the first solo vacation I have ever done and I had such a great time. Having all the meals and accommodations taken care of for me made it so much easier to focus on the photography part of the trip. Tom is so enthusiastic about photography and clearly enjoys teaching and seeing others succeed which is what makes for a great teacher and a good learning experience. Aside from all the great things I learned, I simply had a great time, it felt like taking a vacation with friends!
Gloria H., Florida
(Fall Smoky Mountains) I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this trip. I learned a lot about photography, meals were great, everything was taken care of, all I had to do was prepare to go out and take photographs. It was great. I absolutely love the way Tom and Laura put the well being of the wildlife, the environment and the safety of the participants first. Long great days, I was exhausted, but it was all worth it.
Anneli D., California
I was able to be completely immersed in photography and the Great Smokey mountains with all the details taken care off to perfection! What a treat! No time or energy wasted on any logistics, location hunting or meal planning. All was spent on photography and enjoying the beauty of the area! Appreciated the patience and help with setups on new camera and tripod, wide variety of shots and knowledge of the area. Knowledge of photography and the area, personal attention and accommodation of every one’s needs and preferences were top notch! All done with professionalism, humor and great patience! What a memorable and valuable trip! I learnt so much and can’t wait to join you on another trip! Big shout out to Laura for planning out every detail, having everyone’s personal favorite snacks handy and being super flexible with flight and meal accommodations!
Steve M, Arizona
My wife and I joined Tom and Laura for a workshop in the Great Smoky Mountains this last spring. We along with the other 4 photographers were all in agreement, this was an incredible experience. What we enjoyed most, the trip was taken care of from the time we were picked up from the airport until we were dropped off. Tom's knowledge of the Smoky Mountains was incredible. He had us on Bears from sunrise to sunset, even hiking us into secluded spots to get the shots we were looking for. The Photography knowledge I and others gained was extremely helpful, simplified and practical. I was capturing shots I was unaware my camera and equipment were capable of. Laura had the trip planned perfectly. Food was amazing, including the snacks we asked for in the pre-trip survey. Our dinners were at nice restaurants, you will not go hungry on this trip. This was our 3rd wildlife photography vacation/workshop. We learned more from Tom and Laura on day 1 then all 2 previous trips combined. We will be joining them on a future vacation, possibly Africa in May. Thanks for your amazing hospitality, warm and fun personalities, we feel like we made lifetime friends.
Don L, New York
(Spring Smoky Mountains) This was my first workshop so I didn't know what to expect. I consider myself an advanced hobby photographer. Tom taught me many new techniques, ways to improve my composition and let me use equipment that I had never used before. We had lots of opportunities to photograph, so bring plenty of memory cards and extra batteries. When they say all inclusive, they mean it. I was pampered from the minute I claimed my baggage at the airport until the minute I was dropped off at my departure gate. Bring a hearty appetite too. Most importantly I got lots of great shots and had a lot of fun doing it. Thank you Tom for a wonderful vacation!
Siyu and Wei L, Pennsylvania
My husband and I recently took a photography vacation (The Wilder Side of Savannah, GA March 23rd-27th) with Tom and Laura. This was our first photography trip and we truly enjoyed it. We learned that we were the only customers for this trip and they did not cancel the trip simply because of the small group size. Tom was a good teacher and mentor; he was very patient and I learned a lot from him; He also showed me many features that my camera has to offer yet I did not know it before the trip. When I took a good shot Tom was just as exciting as I was. Tom took us to some of the most amazing sites to photograph. Mean while, Laura is taking care everything else; she made lunch and dinner reservations in different restaurants each day so we had chance to enjoy local culture and food; she prepared a wide variety of snacks to make sure no one will go hungry. She also had eagle eyes and pointed out birds far away before any of us could spot it. We cannot thank Tom and Laura enough for this wonderful short vacation and look forward to our next vacation with them soon.
Jenn G, Florida
We were absolutely satisfied with the workshop! I attended with my 12 year old son. We were so impressed that when we arrived at the meeting point, Tom and Laura knew our names. They had also obviously read the pre workshop questionnaire we completed because Tom mentioned right away that he was going to find a Kingfisher for my son to photograph. Laura started the day by explaining to us that they felt very strongly about respecting wildlife as well as keeping us safe. Throughout the day, we would be down on the ground taking photos in areas where alligators can freely wander. We knew that whole time we were safe because Laura was keeping watch at all times.
We spent the morning learning more about our cameras, correct exposure, and important settings for different aspects of wildlife photography . We came into the workshop with a basic understanding of our cameras and the exposure triangle. While we were each at a different level of understanding, Tom was able to provide each of us with information that began at each of our current levels and grew as the day progressed. Tom was able to provide numerous lessons and tips throughout the day that allowed us to improve our photography greatly over the course of the single day. One of my favorite parts of the day was learning about using the position of the sun and taking the best photos for each part of the day. A few times throughout the day, we would be clicking away and Tom would ask us to stop and tell us we weren’t going to be happy with the photos we were taking. This was great lesson that helped me think more while shooting and be more patient to get more shots that I would actually love. He would also point out perfect lighting moments to make sure we got amazing shots.
When we returned to the picnic area after our morning of shooting, Laura had an awesome lunch prepared for us. I felt a little sorry for the people who had to walk past our amazing lunch set up! After lunch, Tom took time with each of us to look at photos, discuss and teach some edits in Lightroom. What he taught me in 15 minutes is more than I have learned in numerous hours on YouTube and trying to learn on my own. The afternoon was spent talking more photos with Tom checking our screens and providing feedback as we continued to learn late into the day.
Before this workshop, we would be very disappointed while reviewing a bunch of photos from a day of shooting. We were so thrilled with so many of our photos from the workshop. Many times we said, “I can’t believe I took this photo!” Since the workshop our photos have improved drastically. We look back on photos from a few months ago and can’t believe how greatly our skills have improved since spending a single day with Tom. We can’t wait for another workshop in Florida!
Lorena C, Florida
I was lucky enough to attend the workshop last weekend at Circle B in Lakeland, Fl I had the best day. I am not sure who enjoyed it more..Tom, the instructor for his love of teaching and sharing his knowledge or myself. I learned so much from Tom. He was so patient and was just as excited when I was when things would click. He would teach our group and as we took our shots would look at our pictures and review our settings always providing praise and explaining how the settings helped us to create the desired artistic shot we were looking for. This husband and wife team will make sure that you get everything possible out of your trip. They truly think of everything to make your sure you get more comfortable with your equipment and enjoy yourself as well. Laura kept us safe by keeping a watchful eye out for gators while we were focusing on our subjects as well as watching for great shots for us. And her lunch spread was delicious! If you can get an opportunity to take a trip with them you won’t want to pass it up!