If planning an Alaskan vacation trip then you are doubtless planning on taking a lot of photographs. But if you are a serious amateur or even a professional, then consider a photography tour - trip where photography is not merely a recording of a trip but the focus of the adventure.
Guided Alaska Photography Tours
There are many advantages to joining prepackaged Alaska photography tours. Many prepackaged tours will encourage photography and consider the photographic possibilities when planning a trip. But anyone who is serious about photography knows that one isn't going to get great images during a ten minute stop at a scenic overlook. Join a group that is guided by a professional outdoor photographer on a trip where everyone is interested in one thing - getting some great Alaskan photographic images.
Be careful when selecting a photo tour. Many guides and outfitters might advertise trips as photo tours that turn out to be more marketing than photography substance. Look for providers who specialize in Alaska photography trips as a major part of their business. An outdoor guide can lead you to some great spots with terrific photographic potential but if input about lighting conditions and where to position for the best photo opportunities is desired then you will want a professional photographer for a guide.
But there are different types of Alaska Photography tours available depending on what is needed. Some photo tours are organized as educational workshops where the photo tour leader is offering instruction as well as feedback on your pictures. If instruction isn;t needd but just access to some incredible Alaskan scenery and wildlife photography opportunities then a different sort of tour would work better.
Inquire with the tour promoter about how much instruction will be included if that is important.
Self-guided Photography Tours
Just want to get out their on a personal photo tour? Then arm yourself with as much photographic know-how as possible and load up on film. But if you want to come back with more than just snapshots of an Alaska vacation, then develop some photographic skills before leaving home. There are a lot of great photography technique books out there. Chances are good that there is a photo club in your area where you could hone skills and get valuable feedback. There are some basic skills that are easily learned that can greatly improve the quality of travel photos.
The biggest problem may be figuring out where to go for a personal Alaska photography tour. One great way to get ideas for locations is to look at where the pros get their images. Look at lots of Alaska photography books and see where they were taken. And a limited budget is not an obstacle - one doesn't need to spend an hour flying into the backcountry to get great photographs. Having the skills and a practiced eye are more important than an exotic location. Art Wolfe doesn't hump his gear in a backpack for days in order to bring back his jaw dropping images.