New Mexico Private Photography Tours in Bosque del Apache

Sandhill Crane in flight with golden grasses in background

Bosque del Apache Winter Photo Tours

Located in southern New Mexico, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most diverse areas for bird species. Thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese winter in the refuge starting in late November. Peak bird numbers typically occur in December and January. In addition to the cranes and snow geese, visitors can see birds of prey, waterfowl, and shorebirds along with occasional sightings of javelinas.

Bosque del Apache is must do for bird photographers!


Turn dreams to reality with a custom guided photo tour in New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

How do I start? The hardest part is just checking our availability. Start here! (Inquire now)

Once you’ve verified available dates and make a non-refundable deposit, we get to work to make your tour the best it can be.

The Active Photo Tour Advantage

Sharing over 25 years of professional knowledge and expertise at Bosque del Apache with you.

Full service tour with a team, not just a guide. Michael and Lauri have worked together for 30 years. We combine our logistics experience with commercial photo productions as well as for our many self-supported wilderness trips, to create a one of a kind photo tour for you and will suggest itineraries that maximize the photo experience – all with your approval – based on your ideas and preferences. We arrange accommodations and provide all ground transportation, as well as book photo-driven excursions during the tour. Prior to the trip we will provide comprehensive equipment and clothing suggestions to optimize your experience in New Mexico.

Michael is a natural lighting master, a former meteorologist and patient teacher who knows how and where to find the best light. Known for being a patient teacher, sharing weather and light expertise, and having extensive knowledge and experience in wilderness travel, Michael can help you capture the best of the birds in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. We work with all skill levels and outdoor photography interests from globe trotting seasoned shooters to “just took my first camera out of the box” and everything in between.

Solo sandhill crane prepares to take off from Bosque del Apache pond

A Sandhill crane prepares to take off

Sandhill Crane amongst Canada geese - Bosque del Apache NWR New Mexico

Sandhill Crane stands among Canada Geese

Sandhill Cranes mating dance ritual at Bosque del Apache

Sandhill Cranes dance ritual

Photo of snow geese mass take-off at Bosque del Apache

Snow geese mass take-off

Sandhill Cranes in flight at sunset - Bosque del Apache NWR New Mexico

Sandhill Cranes in flight at sunset

Snow goose stretching its wings at pond in Bosque del Apache

Snow goose stretching its wings


Exclusive to you or your small group with more individual attention

Expert logistics, location knowledge, technical and creative guidance

Led by photography guides based in Taos and with over 25 years experience photographing sandhill cranes and snow geese at Bosque.

DAILY RATE: $700/day 1-4 people


Michael & Lauri as your guides and drivers.

Ground transportation from and return to Albuquerque. (Rental vehicle fees may apply for more than 2 participants.)

Pre-tour logistics including developing the itinerary and making reservations for lodging and other guided excursions.

Michael & Lauri’s meals.


Your Meals

Lodging for your group


Rental vehicle for more than 2 participants

Entrance and locations fees

Tips & gratuities


Tell us your interests and dates on the BOOKING REQUEST FORM located at the bottom of this page. (Inquire now)

We verify our availability. If we are available, we’ll send you a link where you make your non-refundable $250 reservation deposit. (Deposit is applied to the final cost of the trip.) If we’re not available, we’ll provide alternative dates to see if they work with your schedule.

With the information you provide on the booking request form and a separate questionnaire we send you, we will propose an itinerary of subjects and locations based on your preferences. Upon your approval of the itinerary, we ask for 50% (less the $250 deposit) of the estimate so we can start reserving lodging, third-party vendors, and other expenses related to your trip.


PAYMENT TERMS: A $250 non-refundable deposit (applied towards the total trip cost) is due upon confirmation of trip dates to begin the itinerary planning process. Upon itinerary approval, a deposit of 50% of the quoted trip costs is due to secure your trip dates and other reservations. Final payments are due 60 day prior to private tour start date.


Cancellations made prior to 60 days of tour's start date will receive a refund of all amounts paid to date except for the initial $250 non-refundable deposit and possibly some non-refundable deposits made to secure additional venues (such as lodging facilities or charter companies). Most venues have a refundable 60 day or more cancellation policy.

Cancellations made within 60 days of the tour's start date will receive a refund of all amounts paid to date minus the initial $250 non-refundable deposit, 25% of the quoted guide fee, and any non-refundable deposits made to secure additional venues (such as lodging facilities or charter companies).

In the event you are unable to make your initial date, we will work with you to reschedule without forfeiture of your non-refundable deposit although we understand rescheduling is not always possible due to both parties schedules. Please note that 5% of the non-refundable deposit will not be applied towards a future booking to cover administrative costs.

Active Photo Tours and DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC are not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets or lodging arrangements you made in the event of you or anyone in your group had to cancel. You may want to invest in trip insurance to cover these circumstances. We highly suggest TravelGuard® or similar travel insurance policies to assist you in case of last minute plan changes and emergencies.

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DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC