I’m Zack Arias - an editorial and commercial photographer and this is DEDPXL TOUR.
I’m putting mystery into photography travel.
Apply today to join me on a DEDPXL Tour.
Application deadline is July 1, 2018.
Produce a new body of work while on the adventure of a lifetime.
Applications are now being accepting for the first ever DEDPXL Tour, a top secret traveling adventure for 10 photographers who give a shit.
They give a shit about their integrity as an artist.
They give a shit about their photography as a craft.
They give a shit about the world around them.
If you give a shit about having the experience of a lifetime-and creating photographs you’re so proud of that you will never shut up talking about it for years to come, then you need to apply right now.
It all starts this Fall when we’ll meet at the bar of the Hotel Intercontinental in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 1st, 2018 for a 10-day adventure you’d only ever dreamed of.
(First of many disclaimers: That does not necessarily mean we will stay in South Africa. Please read our FAQs very carefully.)
This isn’t the only adventure on the books. Over the next five years I’m travelling to five destinations on five continents and successful applicants will join me without knowing the itinerary before hand.
WTF? A mystery destination?
That’s right We won’t tell you a thing. If you apply and come with us the only thing you’re going to know is which airport we’re departing from and what to pack. That’s it.
Application deadline is July 1, 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions
Instead of a detailing a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo we decided to address your concerns as directly as possible by giving answers (as best as we can) to the questions we know you have. This way we're saving you from having to read a bunch of bullshit.
Five continents in five years?
Yes. that’s the plan. JNB, DXB, AMS, HKG, and EZE. Not necessarily in that order but JNB is first.
When will the first adventure happen?
JNB - November 1st, 2018 to November 10th, 2018.
How much does it cost (and can I get a refund)?
Prices may differ from adventure to adventure. For the 2018 tour, successful applicants will have 15 calendar days upon acceptance to make a non-refundable deposit of US$1,000, then by July 30th a payment of $3,475 is due. The final payment of US$2,475 is due September 15. The total amount is US$6,950 and can be paid by credit card/PayPal.
After you’ve made the 2nd or 3rd payment but need to cancel, a partial refund (50%) will be issued ONLY if an acceptable replacement participant is confirmed. Trust us, we'll try to find a substitute but as this is an exclusive adventure, we make no guarantees that we’re able to fill a cancelled spot.
What about other costs, like food, beverages, and the luxuries and amenities I’ve come to love while traveling?
This workshop fee includes group meals (breakfast/dinner) and 10-nights accommodation. The fee does not include travel to/from the initial destination airport, alcohol, or extras/personal expenses not provided by the organizer.
Do I need cash on the trip? If yes, how much and what currency?
US$500 for incidentals and alcohol. Anything else is overkill. If you need more to survive on a trip like this please don’t apply. We will find moonshine if you run out of money for alcohol.
Who is organizing this adventure and why should I trust them?
Zack and Andre are producing the trip and will be your hosts throughout the adventure. Both of these guys are experienced travelers and they’ve contracted expert guides and logistics personnel to assist the group as needed. Andre has traveled to over 60 countries and will be your zen master of travel. He has organized trips to the most remote areas of the world and looses his cool only if there is no beer in sight at the end of the day. Zack and Andre recently traveled on assignment to Morocco so they’re totally in the groove.
Where are the workshops taking place?
We won’t tell you. The only thing we can tell you is where the group will meet. The 2018 tour starts at the bar of the Hotel Intercontinental in Johannesburg, South Africa; it will end there as well. That does not mean, however, that we will necessarily stay within South Africa. Or it might. All airports are chosen as strategic and easily accessible hubs for each of our adventures. It is very possible that we will meet in Dubai next year only to fly to Afghanistan. We won’t, by the way. Or we will. Probably not. But maybe.
I can’t be going on a trip half way around the world without knowing where I am traveling. What gives?
Well, we understand. This is not for everybody. Zack and Andre envision an adventure that appeals to the explorer in you. A lost art form so to speak. The suspense is part of the adventure and we will not budge. Too many people lost their soul to smart phones and the Internet already. We will not stand for this. If you feel overly anxious about this approach then please do not apply to join our tribe.
My husband needs to know where I am going, is there a way to get that information beforehand?
Third time asking, slightly different answer. Zack and Andre are family-first-people. We understand the need for your family to know where you are. Here is the deal: The moment we take “possession” of you one person in your family will get a link where they can track your whereabouts at any time if they wish to do so. We will send a text message personally when you arrive at the bar and keep them abreast with daily updates. We will tell them when we drop you at that bar at the end of the trip, in person. But about that whole “beforehand” thing - nope. We don’t want to ruin the suspense. You would not watch the next iteration of the “Murder in the Orient Express” if we’d tell you the ending. Right?
Isn’t that all a spiel to not plan anything ahead?
Nope, Andre is diagnosed with OCD. No jokes here. You’ll be in good hands.
Will you take care of all Travel Visas?
No, because you won’t need any. If you hold a U.S. Passport you will be directed through countries you will not need a Visa or can get a Visa upon arrival. No prep work required.
Uh, I don’t hold an U.S. Passport. Quo Vadis?
No worries. Let us know on your application form. We will make sure that you can get all the Visas required before we leave. This will take some trust from your side since we will need your passport information in advance and some signatures on pesky forms. You might hold a passport which will make it difficult for you to travel in areas we’ll go. In that case we will gently steer you toward the next adventure with us. And are sorry. Very sorry. Even angry. The world is fucked up.
Am I too old or too young for this trip?
If you ask this question, you are. Except when you are under 21 or 18 depending on your passport. In this case legal issues prevent us from taking you.
How does the application process work?
Participants are selected at the sole discretion of the organizers. You’ll fill out a lot of virtual paper. Then Zack and Andre will look through it and be in touch with you either way.
Do I have to hurry to sign up?
Up to you. We have a maximum of ten spaces available on each trip. No exceptions. If they’re gone they’re gone. For 2018 we’ll close registration on June 30th.
What kind of transportation will we use?
All of it. Be prepared for planes, balloons, cars, feet, boats, trains, and donkeys. In no particular order. No promises are made but prepare for all of it. And always bring sugar cubes; donkeys love sugar cubes. And whiskey for the drivers of the cars. Same reason.
Are you guys fans of Top Gear/Grand Tour and/or Jeremy Clarkson?
Yes. Unapologeticly. Sorry. Don't worry though. We won't punch you.
How long and often will I sit in planes, cars, trains, boats, and on donkeys?
Be prepared to travel. This is what this adventure is all about. We believe we will make this worth your while. Seriously, the tour is the destination in this case (don’t throw up, yet) but we can make the following promise after you have arrived at our meeting point: Not more than five hours on a plane, not more than four hours in a public bus, not more than two hours on the back of a donkey. Trains? Well. There might or might not be long train rides. But seriously, Zack will not take more than two hours on a donkey. If you are not in, you are out.
What kind of accommodation can we expect?
Anything. Within reason. We will not make you sleep on the floor without protection from the elements and we will not make you cry at night. But we may camp, we may sleep in villages. We may stay in a hostel, we may visit a five star resort. Be ready.
Will there be people on this trip? Will I have to share a room?
You may share accommodations with a same-gender roommate or a group of same-gender folks in a room. You may have your own tent. Or not. You’ll want to hold the notion of a single sleeping arrangement very loosely. Like in non-existing. Don’t ask for it. We don’t have it. And you’ll love every minute of it.
What will a regular day look like?
Bright. If you need a curriculum inquire for a Photography Course at a community college of your choice. Having said that we pledge to make sure that you’ll improve your photography skills and your storytelling craft.
Will this trip be dangerous?
Risky actives are not being planned for (like skydiving, bull fighting) but there are always dangers associated with transportation and just being in locations and environments off-the-beat track.
It’s important for you to know that you are voluntarily applying to participate in this adventure with the knowledge of the risks and dangers involved with photographing and traveling in locations and environments that are not controlled by the organizer. You freely and voluntarily assume all risks of injuries and damages and notwithstanding such risks you agree to participate in the adventure.
What happens if the political situation in the areas we travel changes before or during the trip?
We will take ANY possible precaution to avoid ANY uncomfortable situation beforehand. If we see that local unrest may hamper our experience we will change the itinerary. If the U.S. Department of State puts out a travel warning we will take that into consideration. We’ll get daily updates on safety and weather by one of the world-leading travel security companies based in the U.K. and will act on them. Having said that not everything can be planned and we will move in countries perceived less stable than the United States. Perceived. If you are uncomfortable with that please don’t apply. Otherwise apply to join and if accepted you will be in very good hands. We are professionals and won’t take unnecessary risks. Ever.
Whom can I blame if something goes wrong?
Nobody. You are aware that by submitting your application you are waiving certain legal rights, including the right to sue or otherwise make any claim against Zack or Andre, or their employees, agents, companies, and contractors, for any loss, injury or damage resulting from participation in this workshop. You must agree to these terms before you travel. And it will be watertight.
Should I arrive the day or a week before?
It’s your call. Getting yourself to the predetermined airport/country a day in advance will give you a bit of breathing room and give you time to rest up before starting the adventure. However, you’ll have to cover those expenses. All we care is that you’re at the correct departure point at the agreed upon time. In an exceptional good mood.
What happens when my flights to the meeting point are delayed?
We will leave without you. Our schedule is tight and it would not be fair to have your tribe wait for you. We need to move. Like sharks. That was too much, huh? However, at that point you will have means of contacting us before or after your delay and we will work with you to get you where we are as soon as possible at your or your airline’s cost.
If I’ve forgotten something will I be able to purchase anything when I get there?
No, not really. You should bring everything you need for semi-adventurous travel sans sleeping gear, we’ll make sure you’re tucked into a somewhat clean bed every night.
What will the bathroom facilities be like?
Adequate. Or not. But don’t worry too much. We have needs too. However, sometimes the amenities will be a bit rough around the edges—don’t expect fresh flowers and a jet tub. Usually we will try to offer western style toilets and running water. But we can’t guarantee it. Moreover, you might experience a day or two without a shower.
Can I bring my spouse/partner?
Yes. If she or he is interested in improving their skills. The DEDPXL Tour is not intended for traveling spouses or partners without any interest in photography.
I have food allergies; can those be accommodated?
Yes. Within and for medical reasons only. We’ll work with all approved applicants to make sure contingencies are in place should a plan B be required. You’ll need to provide all necessary information after you have been admitted to the tour.
Can I bring MRE’s?
By all means! Andre never travels without them. And he does not share.
Will we have access to medical care in case of an emergency?
We will have access to hospitals and/or medical clinics throughout the trip. But some of them are hundreds of miles away and might be located in developing countries. We will require that you purchase medical evacuation insurance and strongly recommend international medical and trip cancellation insurance. MedJet Assist is an excellent option for the evacuation insurance but there are other players around. You must provide proof of purchase of your medical evacuation policy to us.
Will I need extra vaccinations?
Very likely. Approved applicants should be prepared to discuss the details of their medical readiness for international travel (and pay for any of the required vaccines). We will lead you through the process but you will need to talk to your physician about it to make a final decision.
Will there be wifi/Internet/cell phone access?
From time to time, yes… but don’t rely on it. You may be off-the-cell-phone-grid for up to three consecutive days. We cannot and will not guarantee any functioning access to the Internet. If you’ll have access consider it a treat. If you can’t live without the Internet you might not be adventure-ready! The organizers will have a fully charged satellite phone for emergency purposes at any time.
Will I have power to charge my camera and phone batteries?
Not always. Plan for two days of shooting or cell-phoning without power.
How much luggage can I bring? Will I get a packing list?
Pack light. No more than one small suitcase and one camera bag (but take note, there won’t be porters… you’ll have to carry your own shit). You should come prepared for anything and be willing to layer-up should the weather get wet or cold. You’ll want to have just one small carry-on and one small/medium sized suitcase, ideally a backpack or duffel bag, roller bags/cases are fine, too but they should have a sturdy handle. They will get dusty and dirty and if they’re hard-shelled they might get dented. Just saying. You will receive a recommended packing list from the organizers. Pack light. We may send you a video how to pack light.
Will it rain? What will the temperature be like?
Yes. No. And who knows. Again, you will be provided with an extensive packing list and weather forecast. Everything else is up to whichever authority you wanna blame.
What lenses shall I bring?
All of them. Be bold. Or just pack a mirrorless camera with a fixed 28mm. Or a Polaroid. Your choice. Any way you will have the time of your life. Zack is most likely just bringing an X100 and a flash.
Can I be voted off the island?
Yes, twice. But seriously, be a nice person. If you are not you don’t want to be on this tour. Zack and Andre are mean to nasty people.
This all sounds to good to be true. What’s the catch?
The only catch is that we reserve the right to cancel the trip if we don’t have the ten participants we need to make this happen by June 30st. In which case you’ll get ALL of your money back and priority for our 2019 adventure.
What are your ten favorite albums of all time?
- Disintegration by The Cure
- Damn. by Kendrick Lamar
- Trouble Will Find Me by The National
- Floodland by The Sisters of Mercy
- Apologies by David Ramirez
- 1979 - 1983 Volume 1 by Bauhaus
- A Deeper Understanding by The War On Drugs
- The Cost by The Frames
- Jane’s Addiction Live by Jane’s Addiction
- Malibu by Anderson .Paak
- Revenge by Charles Mingus
- Bitches Brew by Miles Davis
- Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads
- Despite the Snow by Emily Baker
- Lift by Chris Potter
- Perpetuum Mobile by Einstürzende Neubauten
- Live in London by Leonard Cohen
- Live from Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash
- Murder Ballads by Nick Cave
- Back in Black by AC/DC
What are you listening to when you travel?
Love Feat Zacari by Kendrick Lamar featuring Zacari
Johnny Cash & Kraftwerk. Sometimes only Cash.
Any more questions?
Please contact us, we’ll answer.
Application deadline is July 1, 2018.