Workshop Testimonials

What people are saying about the Workshops

“The Martin Bailey Hokkaido experience is a cornucopia of great photography locations, people, learning and fellowship. It was as much a cultural experience as it was a photographic one. Martin’s command of the language and familiarity with the locations ensured a hassle free trip. It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by encouraging colleagues in a non competitive environment with unrestricted access to such a competent and approachable teacher.”

2011 Update:

This was my third time on the tour and definitely not my last. That should speak bundles.

Graham Morgan, Australia


The Snow Monkey and Hokkaido Photography Tour exceeded all expectations. Martin is very generous with his photographic knowledge and technical assistance – but never obtrusive. I was already shooting in manual mode, but returned home with far greater camera skills and the ability to manually control the shots that I wanted. For the first time I had images of a high enough quality to enter in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The tour was also excellent culturally with many memorable traditional Japanese meals….and baths!

Judith Holford, Australia


Attending MBP Workshop 2011 was a unique experience and great introduction to Japanese culture and wildlife. The workshop was well organised and gives the photographer great freedom. Highly recommended!!!

Pieter Venter, South Africa


Unbelievable photographic opportunities, outstanding food and superb company made for a truly memorable experience. I shot some of my best images ever! Thank you Martin!

Carlos Martinez, USA


Martin’s Hokkaido Tour and Workshop was a delightfully rich, rewarding and enjoyable experience both photographically and culturally. Martin’s fluency in Japanese, in-depth knowledge of the locations, friendly nature and extensive photographic knowledge and skills (which he willingly shared) make him a great guide, teacher and companion. Thanks to Martin’s expert assistance and advice together with spectacular locations and vantage points, I came home with some of the best photos I’ve ever taken. And I’m now shooting confidently in manual – which, I discovered, is important with wildlife than can move rapidly!

Gayle Knight, Australia.


Martin’s passion for photography is infectious. Whether you’re standing in the dark, at minus 15 degrees, wearing nearly every item of clothing you brought, waiting for a sunrise, or sitting on the floor in traditional Japanese attire over dinner (with beer), you are inspired by his enthusiasm, knowledge and desire to help you master your craft. This trip was a magical blend of opportunity and expertise. If you’re looking for a unique insight into the photographic opportunities of Japan wildlife and landscape, this is the perfect trip! Martin’s trips will book quickly as word spreads – don’t miss out.

Pam Mills, Australia.


Excellent tour which I would recommend for anyone interested in improving their photographic skills and the opportunity to see some wonderful wildlife. A real privilege. The flexibility of the tour enabled us to see cranes performing beautiful dancing whilst it was snowing which I shall never forget. Being at the various locations for a few days was great as not only did it give the opportunity to improve on taking photos but gave a small appreciation and understanding of the animals behaviour and hence look out for more specific shots to take. The tour was well organised, ran smoothly to Martin and the Tour Operator’s credit. The hotels were very good and it was great experiencing a bit of Japanese culture and food again. Thanks for a memorable tour.

Geraldine Malthouse, Ireland


Great Tour from the first until the last moment. A great group with a high understanding of photography, and great organisation. Martin gave us great teaching in Manual Mode, Lightroom and Color Managment etc. Even the experiencend Photographer can learn something.

Grossartige Tour, die man nur weiterempfehlen kann, Sie ist für jeden etwas vom Anfänger bis zum Profi.Sehr gute Workshopleiter und gute Organisation. Herrausragende Plätze mit vielen Optionen fürs fotografieren.

Wolfgang Dreher, Switzerland


I participated in the MBP Tour and Workshop in Nagano and Hokkaido in Feb 2011. I had little Wildlife photography experience prior to the Tour. However, my understanding and appreciation of this facet has grown considerably because of my participation. The itinerary, the organisation, the photography mentoring, the wildlife, the scenery, the accommodation, the food, the cameraderie within the group, all added to the fun of involvement. Martin’s friendliness, approachability, knowledge of photography and Japan and the language, ensured a memorable and rewarding experience, that I would recommend to anyone interested.

Richard Strange, Australia


The helpful tour oiperator, Yukiko, is definitely the best guide one can have on this planet “fullstop”. I am very happy to meet Martin in person, who gave me back my motivation about photography, even with being on the field again. Taking great shots of White-tailed eagles , Steller’s Seaeagels and Blakiston’s Fishowl is good enough for making this trip a very successful one, however all the workshops and Martin’s on the field instructions about photography in general, made this trip an unbeatable one , I’ll go anywhere with you Martin. After 8 years of photographing wildlife, I just started to shoot “manual” and started to get wonderful results thanks to Martin’s excellent lectures and tips. CU again Martin!

Alptekin Kutlu, Turkey


I have been on many photographic tours and workshops in recent years and would rank MBP Snow Monkeys and Hokkaido Tour and Workshop as one of the very best. The trip organization was excellent with very good pre-trip information and help throughout the trip. Martin knows exactly where to be and when to be there to get the best shots. He was always available to answer photographic as well as cultural questions. I think photographers of all levels would benefit from this tour/workshop. I particularly enjoyed the introduction to Japanese culture and cuisine, a wonderful bonus to an exceptional photographic experience. In comparing trips to photograph Japanese wildlife in winter I also found the Martin Bailey trip to be an excellent value for what was provided.

Bill Pohley, USA


“I want to thank you for a wonderful trip to Japan. You developed a terrific itinerary that included traditional lodging and food, fantastic opportunities to take pictures of snow monkeys, Japanese Red-crowned cranes, Sea Eagles and much more. I would also like to commend you on what I consider your natural ability to teach. I learned so much on this trip.”

Steven Schwartzberg, USA


“My time at your snow monkey workshop in Jigokudani was so much fun! Thank you for all you taught me – exposure, composition, color management, Lightroom processing, workflow and more. The teacher we know from the podcasts is even better in person!”

Colin Stewart, Japan


“I highly recommend Martin Bailey’s Hokkaido tour, in particular because Martin is not only a responsible, knowledgeable, forthcoming and nice guy, but also a superb photographer himself, who knows all the right places.

Martin’s organization was meticulous and his Japanese language skills were key, from getting us from Tokyo to Hokkaido (and back) as well as to the different photo shoots and hotels (via bus), everything went smoothly and without a hitch. The hotels were very nice and the food plentiful and good to excellent.

Martin answers questions regarding choice and use of equipment, photography in general, and provides advice on the challenges of photographing the different locations etc.

At the moment I can’t think of anything else – besides the 2010 tour and the challenge of selecting my favorites from 2009. :)”

Joerg Rockenberger, USA


“Spending 5 days in the company of other photographers, doing nothing but taking pictures made me a much better photographer. I can see a real difference in my pictures before and after the trip. This was an experience I wouldn’t be without.”

Even Solberg, Norway


“There are lots of amazing and faraway places one may want to visit on our small blue marble. Places we have to experience at least once in a lifetime. I have a long list of those, and thought this trip would have been another one to cross off the list. I was wrong. I will now be obligated to travel there again, as I know I have just glimpsed the wonders of this incredible island. The amazing energy of spending a whole week with a group of photography ‘nuts’ really has to be experienced to be understood, and Martin Bailey really has a wonderful workshop organised that allows just that, in an unforgettable setting; Hokkaido.”

Serge Cloutier, Canada


“I had a fantastic week. I arrived not really knowing how to expose properly in the snow and I left a manual shooter. I loved the cranes and the people were great. I made a lot of friends, and learned a lot of new stuff that I have to buy! I left with lots of new skills and I’m really pleased that I followed through on the impulse to join the trip.”

Aaron C. Smith, USA


“Martin’s style is really easy to get used to. We all know that from the Podcasts, but in person he’s the same. The owl shoot was great, and we survived ‘The Bridge’ [in Tsurui Village]. It was great to get to know the guys and see a part of Japan that really the vast majority of people will never see.”

Andrew Hatfield, USA


“From the moment we all met at Haneda Airport, the trip was ‘flawless”. The organization and execution of the entire trip was meticulous and well thought out, the hotel accommodation plush, and the local cuisine exquisite.

Martin’s eloquent skill in the Japanese language, and having excellent mastery of the local environment meant he was able to deliver the very best of Hokkaido for both wildlife and landscape photo opportunities.

I had always struggled with the intricacy of exposure and I never shot in full manual mode, Martin’s insight on these topics is ingenious, suffice to say, after the trip, I now only ever shoot in full manual mode. Martin’s tutoring meant I came away from the Hokkaido tour with many 1st class photos of Japanese Red-Crowned Cranes, Eagles, Ezo Deer and a sound understanding of photography.

This tour truly delivers a Hokkaido Winter Wonderland Workshop.”

Ade, Japan.