Are you a travel enthusiast and a photography lover? Then why not consider the experience of a photo tour or workshop? These trips are normally organized by photographers for photographers, but beware of the pitfalls so as not to be disappointed.
The Concept of a Photo Workshop
A photo tour or workshop is a trip created by a photographer for photographers. It differs from a classic trip because the ultimate goal is to take beautiful photos and confront your perspective with the experience of the training photographer and possibly other travelers.
The itinerary is created to allow you to be in the right place at the right time. The photographer must know the destination perfectly to help you avoid the pitfalls of the terrain. One of the main goals of these trips is to optimize your shooting time from a qualitative point of view.
Learning is done in the field through practice. All the rules of composition, photography technique, and approach to your subjects will be explained based on the realities of the terrain, your expectations, and your basic level.
A Tour for Whom?
Enthusiasm is the key to a successful trip. Any photographer can join as long as the motivation is there.
Beginners will learn the basics of photography, gain confidence, and improve as the trip progresses. More experienced photographers will be encouraged to step out of their comfort zone to learn new techniques and benefit from the experience of the leading photographer in terms of photography and local knowledge.
So, if you’re ready to capture stunning photos while exploring new destinations and learning from an experienced photographer, a photo tour might just be the perfect adventure for you! Just remember to pack your camera, bring your enthusiasm, and get ready to snap some incredible shots but here are some tips for you to not avoid these pitfalls.
The Key Steps to Choosing Your Perfect Photography Tour
So, you’re ready to embark on a photography trip but don’t know where to start? Fear not, we’ve got you covered! Here are the key steps you need to take before booking your adventure.
First impressions matter:
This is especially true when it comes to choosing a photography workshop:
- Take a good look at the website and the information provided. Is it clear and informative? Is the website well-designed? If the answer is no, then it’s probably best to move on to the next option.
- Quality of listening will also build your confidence. It’s a necessary quality from your tour leader and for you to progress during the trip, so if it’s already good through email and over the phone, don’t hesitate.
- Take a closer look at the itinerary. Be careful not to fall for the classic “Cambodian photo workshop” trap. Make sure the itinerary gives you a good idea of what to except and doesn’t contain any glaring errors. Speaking of errors, I have to tell you about this hilarious situation we found ourselves in not too long ago.
We stumbled upon our competitor’s website and discovered that they were planning a photography workshop in Cambodia. Now, that’s all well and good because we don’t have a monopoly on the place, but here’s the kicker – they had approached us months earlier for a collaboration. We were all excited to work with them and put together a fantastic and unique itinerary for their clients, only to find out that they basically stole our best options! I mean, who in their right mind puts a lagoon in Siem Reap when it’s nowhere near the sea? And don’t even get me started on the ethnic market in a place with no minority! Oh, and apparently, they think rice terraces can thrive in a country as flat as a pancake. And coffee at 10 meters above sea level? That’s in Laos at 1000 meters high, not Cambodia!
But you know what? At least we know our Cambodia Photography Workshop is the real deal!
- Make sure you’re looking at their personal portfolio, not someone else’s. Ask for references and check out their professional experience. The photos presented should please you because they represent what you can hope to achieve during your photo trip. Beware, a good photographer is not necessarily a good trainer, but a good trainer must be a good photographer!
- Read reviews from previous clients. This will give you a good idea of what to expect. You don’t want to end up with a guide who thinks “photo tour” means taking pictures from one spot and calling it a day. I mean, we’re not robots. We need variety! So, do your research and avoid the snooze-fest tour. Your creativity (and sanity) will thank you.
- The number of participants on the trip is also important. For a people-focused trip, we recommend a maximum of six participants to avoid disturbing your subjects. And for a landscape-focused trip, a maximum of eight participants is ideal to ensure plenty of time for one-on-one instruction.
- And remember: Respect is key when it comes to photography tours. Put away your favorite 70-20mm f2.8. Don’t be sneaky. Instead, get up close and personal, interact with your subjects, and treat them with kindness and consideration. Not only will you come away with some better and unique shots, but you’ll also make some great memories. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting chased down by angry subjects! So, put away that zoom lens and get ready to get in the mix with your camera.
So please double check the style of the photos of your tour leader… you will feel the approach.
Get to Know Your Photographer
So, you are now convinced to embark on a photography journey and you want to make sure to find the perfect tour leader to guide you. Well, look no further because we are here to give you the lowdown on what to look for in a leading photographer. And trust us, we know what we are talking about because we have been around the block a few times (with our cameras, of course).
- Make sure your leader has the experience to back up their teachings. You don’t want to end up with a “fixer” who just knows the best spots for photos or even worst with a “photographer” who only stage idealistic scenes for you and has no idea how to actually help you improve your skills. It’s like having a tour guide who can show you around but can’t tell you anything interesting about the places you’re visiting.
- Make sure your tour leader is someone you actually want to spend time with. If they’re all high and mighty, chances are they won’t be too keen on sharing their secrets with you. And let’s be real, who wants to learn from a snooty know-it-all? Not me, that’s for sure.
Now, here’s a secret – price doesn’t always equal quality. There are still some good deals out there, just like us living in Cambodia. We can offer some unbeatable prices for photography trips in Asia, and even better deals for exploring Cambodia. I mean, we practically work from home, so we can afford to give you a steal of a deal!
So, there you have it. When it comes to finding the perfect photography workshop, just remember to look for experience, a friendly attitude, and maybe even a good bargain. Now go out there, have fun, and remember to travel and photograph responsibly!