Meeting planners often struggle with the effort to come up with something different or out of the ordinary for their next big corporate get together. Sitting around the same old table in the same old stuffy conference room just doesn't lend itself to creativity and enthusiasm.

In situations where the goal of the corporate meeting is to boost morale or establish new levels of team bonding, leaving the office behind and taking a group trip or engaging in a group activity can be exactly what is needed to forge bonds and improved working relationships among employees.

Corporate trips, activities or events that stimulate creativity while simultaneously building the interpersonal relationships between work colleagues can bring a company to a new level. One trip-related activity that has proven to work for this purpose is corporate or group photography trips to exotic locales.

While the activities performed on such trips are not directly related to the every day tasks of the employees, creativity is sparked, team members learn to work with one another in new ways and the experience leaves all involved with a tremendous boost in morale (not to mention, some wonderful photos to share with one another.

The Santa Fe Photo Safari Company is a unique organization that offers group photo workshop tours to Santa Fe, New Mexico and other exotic locations. These five day, four night "safaris" are for all levels, including beginning photographers. Tours are led by renowned Santa Fe artist, teacher and photographer Marcia Reifman and Philip Friedman, the company's Los Angeles based tour director. "Sacred sites," including churches, Indian ruins, and petroglyphs are explored and photographed by groups with guidance and direction from Reifman.

An afternoon at the famous Ojo Caliente Hot Springs caps off the magical tour of the enchanted lands of New Mexico and gives the group an opportunity to, if necessary, discuss work-related topics in a luxurious environment and while at the height of creative inspiration.

Reifman describes the Santa Fe Photo Safari Company's mission as an effort to provide rich visual and creative adventures for groups and individuals to unusual and enchanting places that inspire and exhilarate. The workshops bring amateur and professional photographers together to enrich their experience and expand their creativity while being guided through magnificent sites. As well as providing ideal photographic locations, the company offers luxurious accommodations and opportunities for exploring different cultures, food, and even some unique shopping experiences.

Despite its name, the Santa Fe Photo Safari Company offers unique photo workshop tours to many other magnificent lands outside Santa Fe, reaching as far off as Alaska. One of the company's most popular excursions for corporate groups is their photo tour of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona, home of the unique saguaro cactus, Indian missions, and extraordinary (and photogenic) sunsets. This five day, four night "safari," as with all of the company's photo safaris, is for all levels, including individuals who have never even snapped a photo.

For the Sonoran Desert safaris, Reifman and Friedman guide participants through the unsurpassed beauty of exquisite human shaped saguaro cacti bathed in the breathtaking light of the desert. These unique cacti inspire the imagination and vision and offer endless photographic possibilities.

"Sacred sights," including Indian and Spanish missions are explored and dramatically photographed with guidance and direction from Ms. Reifman. A highlight of this tour is the San Xavier Mission, known as the "Sistine Chapel of North America."

Participants will also explore one of the oldest artisan communities in the country, with an opportunity for unique pictures, delicious food, and an afternoon of shopping and general company bonding.Lodging is provided at a recently renovated 50 acre ranch/resort in the heart of the magnificent high chaparral desert. Adobe casitas provide southwestern warmth and charm and a soak in the hot tub brings relaxation and tranquility. Delicious, hearty breakfasts are included, and horseback riding and a full spa is available. As with all of the company's safaris, any camera will do, even disposables!

So with the next meeting and the prospect of sitting in that stuffy conference room while trying to boost company morale and get employees to "think creatively," looming in the distance, perhaps it is time to explore some new options and provide your employees with the ability to participate in a team-building function they will never forget!

For more information about The Santa Fe Photo Safari Company, it's schedule of photo safaris, and its group rates, contact Los Angeles area tour director, Philip Friedman, at 310/442-0015.

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