On Thursday we set out at 4:30am to visit Valley of Fire State Park to try and photograph the sunrise, followed by photographing various sites within the park. James knows the park so well, not only where the best sites are, but when the lighting is best. Had I gone to VOF by myself, it would have taken me at least four or five visits to cover all of the excellent formations and vistas we covered in our 5+ hours. And, by myself, I would have caught many of them at less-than-optimal times for lighting.
James is a knowledgeable and accomplished photographer, and was both generous and thoughtful in offering suggestions, instruction, and critique whenever I requested some. This included camera settings, lighting angles, subject matter, and composition (including explanations of the principles of composition.) Most important, he quickly tuned into my needs and knew when suggestions were welcome and when I preferred to shoot without input. That is a special gift he possesses. He also encouraged me to trust my inner vision, even when it went against conventional photographic advice.
An unexpected bonus was James' extensive knowledge of the geology, the fauna, and flora of the region, as well as the social history of Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. He was a pleasure to talk with and to get to know, so that the short drives within the park and travel to and from the park were quite enjoyable.
I was extremely satisfied at the end of the 5-hour tour/shoot. And I look forward to post-processing and sharing my photos. I highly recommend James as a gifted photographer and tour guide to anywhere in the scenic southwest.