So You Want to be a Professional Photographer/Tour Leader…. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

So You Want to be a Professional Photographer/Tour Leader....

My Sunday

4:50am: Awoke in the Best Western in Ketchikan, AK. Took my blood sugar and injected for the dawn effect. Checked e-mails.

6:10am: Injected my slow-acting insulin for most of the day and the fast acting to cover my breakfast.

6:20am: Enjoyed corned beef hash with two eggs over easy.

6:50am: Finished re-packing for my 5-legs worth of flights to Kodiak.

7:29am: Made it to the lobby for the 7:30 shuttle to the ferry.

7:32am: Arrived at the ferry. Van driver Kayla helped me by rolling one of my two checked bags down the very long ramp.

7:35am: Boarded ferry to KTN.

7:45am: Exited the ferry with my two checked bags, my Think Tank roll aboard, and my Think Tank Urban Disguise laptop bag. I was wearing my Xtrahand vest with not much in it besides my insulin and frozen gel ice packs.

7:47am: No baggage carts. It took two trips to lug my bags up the very long and very steep ramp. That took two trips. Lugged them up two sets of about 8 steps. Three trips for that. I had hardly begun and I was exhausted.

8:10am: Checked in for my flights. Nailed the weights: 49 and 47.5. Good thing that they don’t weigh the carry-ons ☺

9:58am: On the plane. Met a guy knew from Anchorage about 12 years ago. First flight is to Wrangel. 26 minutes. Very bumpy. Totally in the clouds.

10:25am: They lied about the 26 minutes. We were delayed in flight. The plane in front of us missed its approach and had to go around again. That’s what we did for quite a while. In very white clouds and fog.

10:51am. Finally on the ground in Wrangel way late after a bumpy, foggy, delayed flight…. Now on to Petersburg.

10:57am. At the gate. Good news: the book (Strategic Moves by Stuart Wood) that I had had trouble getting interested in suddenly got interesting. was glad that I had not tossed it….

11:33am. Still on the ground in Wrangel. It is looking as if I might miss my flight to Kodiak…..

11:54am: Wheels up into the rain and fog. Only 14 minutes flying time to Petersburg. Yikes!

12:08pm. Everyone enjoyed a really exciting landing in high winds and fog with a big bump. It was a bit scary to say the least. I am sure that others besides me thought about our mortality…. I was thinking that some really good folks were flying the plane….

1:12pm: In the air again and headed for Juneau. Finished a Sudoku puzzle and started another.

1:38pm: On the ground at Juneau after another short flight. Next stop, Anchorage. Maybe I will make my flight to Kodiak….. I was very tired but could not sleep.

Now I have lost track of time and flights. IAC, I made it to Anchorage with an hour to spare. My flight to Kodiak was on a seemingly toy plane, a Dash 8-100. After some discussion they insisted that I check my roll aboard as regular baggage. “Sorry, we no longer gate check. And by the way, you have 4 ½ minutes to get back to the Ravn counter to check the bag.” The two agents there had sent me to the gate ☺.

So, I grabbed the 500 II and put it on my shoulder via the lens strap. My 1D X went into on of the large pockets of my Xtrahand vest. A set of stacked teleconverters went into the other large vest pocket. The 100-400 II went into my spacious Think Tank Urban Disguise laptop bag. Someone asked a while back “Which one?” but I have not had time to respond. I use the largest top-of-the line model. For times like these. I shoved the sweatshirt that I had been wearing into the roll aboard for a bit more padding.

Coming into Kodiak we were again severely buffeted by high winds, and again the pilots got us on the ground safely. I learned later that many ANC to ADQ had been cancelled earlier in the day due to the high winds. I picked up my rental SUV for a photo outing tomorrow and peeked back in the terminal to pick up my two checked bags. Not so fast. My two bags and the three bags of the other gentleman who got on the flight out of Ketchikan were MIA. The word on the street was that the five missing bags were in Anchorage. Mine are supposed to be at the hotel before 11pm….

Best to denise who is slowly recovering from the flu at the Best Western in Ketchikan. I am hoping to dodge the flu bug….

ps: thanks to Leo the van driver my two checked bags did make it into my room at about 11pm last night while I slept peacefully.

19 comments to So You Want to be a Professional Photographer/Tour Leader….

  • avatar Henry Robison

    Unbelievable! Your adventures are second to none. Glad I missed that trip. Hope the rest of your IPT goes great after all the hassle of the first hours! Good luck! Rob

  • avatar Jon

    Artie – Hey it sure as heck beats being in UK hoping for the rain to stop and for some light to arrive!!

  • avatar David Peake

    Yikes Artie ,
    Now that is quite an adventure. Next year you gotta get me to come help with you bags.

  • Glad you made it. Thanks for all your help in Ketchikan. Have a great IPT!

  • I could be wrong, but in the 9 years I’ve been following you, I can’t recall a time where you’ve had to cancel a whole IPT due to health or injury.

    Remarkable and dedication second to none.


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Did cancel one trip to Africa at the last second due to concerns over my health…. I did have a co-leader and all went smoothly. a

  • avatar Muriel McClellan

    What a tale. Interesting what you will go through to get some beautiful photography. Passion must lead you on. Thanks for sharing, just in case anyone thought it was easy.

  • avatar Loren Charif

    Yikes. I’m achy just reading about it…you and Denise have dueling war stories! Glad you made it safely.

    Stuart Woods books are great for airplane reading. I might be one or two behind, but I’ve read almost every one of them.

  • avatar Anil Sud

    Just another day at the “office” I suppose…

  • avatar Jim Amato

    Dedication and professionalism beyond all and every level. Hope the image making is a top notch experience.

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    I honestly do not know how you do it!! Stokes and I have talked about this many times — you are working harder now than you did 20 years ago!

  • avatar Gary Axten

    Good job you had the Xtrahand vest. I guess the alternative would be something like a peli case to protect your gear.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Pelican cases invite theft and in addition, you would not want to watch your Pelican case being tossed from the cargo hold to the Tarmac…. artie