About Our Photography Instructors
Active Photo Tours is team DeYoung – award winning adventure and outdoor photography guides, and we empower photographers to get better at what they love to do. We specialize in custom tours with tailored itineraries that maximize the wilderness photo experience and promote creative growth. We believe all photographers can grow creatively regardless of their experience and find their own personal style and vision. Mentors made a big difference in Michael’s early success as a photographer and he has never forgotten. Today, we strive to make a difference for others. We want to help photographers fulfill their sense of adventure and creative power.
We were born to explore, driven to create. Adventure, lifestyle and landscape photography productions for stock libraries and commercial clients was our life for 30 years. So were numerous self supported wilderness trips throughout Alaska, Western Canada and the Southwest U.S. Now, using our combined experience, we guide photographers to places that have inspired us for years and craft photo tours that we ourselves want to go on as participants. We learned through experience that adventure, fitness, humor, a deep connection to wild places, and learning to see nature’s best light all incorporated into photography adds great value to our lives and well being.
When not exploring more of Alaska, the Southwest and new places, Michael and Lauri make their home near Taos, New Mexico.
Guiding photo trips in Alaska, New Mexico, Zion National Park and Southwest Utah
Photo: © Makayla Crist
Michael loves to show enthusiastic photographers some of his favorite places and help them get the best possible images. He is an award-winning professional adventure and landscape photographer, weather guru, workshop leader, dog lover and dark chocolate addict. He transformed his Air Force meteorological and weather forecasting training into mastery of outdoor lighting, with the presence of weather elements being a nearly constant thread throughout his wide-ranging library of work.
A prolific shooter, Michael also teaches and leads landscape, adventure and business-related workshops focusing on creativity, vision and mastery of light. He taught a business related course for Rocky Mountain School of Photography for 7 years and now leads several workshops a year for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes. He has been a featured breakout speaker at North American Nature Photography Summits, for National Parks at Night, and for several camera clubs, ranging from Florida to Alaska.
Being an Eagle Scout forged a lifelong love of wild places, wilderness exploration and muscle powered adventure sports. He has always been drawn to mountains and the mountain lifestyle. His style embraces colorful light and clean graphic design. Michael is an ambassador for Breakthrough Photography & Colorado Tripod Company. (Read more about Michael at Team Breakthrough).
He is also a featured photographer, weather guru, and contributor to Hyperlite Mountain Gear, an ultra-light high adventure gear company. He wrote a series of weather blogs. Links to the whole series are below:
Lauri is a former software engineer (a COBOL programmer), Lauri is the “1-800-Help-Desk” behind the team, and is, as Michael’s photo assistant on his commercial assignment and stock photo shoots, a valuable asset to the photography guide team. Her enthusiasm, organization skills, and “go get ’em” attitude provide participants the best user experience possible.
Like Michael, Lauri has a lifelong love of wild places and wilderness exploration especially when it involves being near mountains and rivers. Being outdoors is second nature for her. When not in the office coordinating logistics for a private photo tour or group trip or updating the web site, you’ll find her hiking some trail or in her canoe, pack raft, or inflatable kayak on some stretch of the river.
She is a certified Wilderness First Responder by Utah Wilderness Medicine.
DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC