Personal growth vacations are all the rage these days as people young and old increasingly use their free time to explore personal interests, such as photography. While traveling to exotic locales and capturing images has always been in vogue, electronics pioneer Sony has developed a vacation experience that combines adventure travel with mentorship from professional photographers. The company’s annual “Kando” trip hosts a colorful assortment of photography enthusiasts, storytellers and creators as they travel to beautiful destinations and practice their craft. Kando is a Japanese term that roughly translates as “the power of emotional connection” – a concept that Sony says is core to its philosophy.

The most recent Kando Trip took a group of photography enthusiasts to Sunriver, Oregon. The resort grounds were impeccable, horses roamed the land, small planes landed on a picturesque landing strip, and guests could see the snowy mountains in the distance. In this unspoiled landscape, they participated in workshops under the guidance of leading photographers, filmmakers, educators and social experts. Pulitzer Prize winner Brian Smith and acclaimed photographers Bob Krist and Katrin Eismann were among the legion of mentors who helped guide and engage participants in learning new ways to capture their experiences via photography.

Like other soul-inspiring adventures, Kando Trip eschews classroom learning to give participants a hands-on experience in a real-world environment. The lessons were not just technical, but also challenged Kando Trippers to see the world differently through creative photo composition. They learned clever lighting techniques, how to shoot aerial and underwater photographs, and tips for capturing the moonrise in a way that brings the landscape to life with unique color, soft light and deep shadows. They also learned how to send images from their Sony camera directly to a smartphone using Sony’s Imaging Edge app. These are skills and capabilities that enable participants to take better photos in their daily lives and share their important life moments with others.

By combining adventure travel with photography skills development, Sony has captured lightning in a bottle. This year’s Kando Trip 2019 was their biggest event yet. Where will next trip take place? Sony hasn’t revealed details, but wherever the location, the combination of beautiful surroundings and professional mentorship is certain to create some new photography enthusiasts.