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22 November 2023 - Photography Travel Tips

What to Expect from a Photography Tour

With the different options of photo tours, photography safaris, photography workshops, and everything else, it can be hard to know exactly what photography trips involve.

In short, it’s a trip that’s specifically designed to give you the best possible photographic opportunities your chosen destination has to offer. Your itinerary is built entirely around getting you to the right place at the right time, for as long as you need to get the perfect shot. Plus, the trip is directed by a professional photographer who will give you lessons as you travel. So you can expect to come back with improved photography skills, a packed portfolio, and incredible travel memories.

Still, you’d probably like to know more before taking the leap to book your own. In this blog, we’ll unpack exactly what to expect from a photography tour for those who are still on the fence about whether or not it’s for them. We’ll answer questions about what photography trips involve, give you some top tips, and recommend some of our best photography tours in the world.

Why choose a Photography Tour?

Here are some of the key benefits of choosing to do a photography tour:

  • Create incredible images. Of course, great photography is a key part of what to expect from a photography tour. That’s what they’re designed for. A photo tour or safari is planned by photographers, for photographers, and every facet of the trip is there to guarantee you have the finest possible shooting opportunity.
  • Improve your photography skills with expert guidance. If you join a photography tour or safari, you’ll be accompanied by a professional photographer who will share their tips and tricks and offer personalized tutoring to each photographer in the group. (Whether you’re a semi-pro or an absolute beginner.)
  • Travel with other photography enthusiasts. On a photography tour, you’ll find yourself traveling with a small group of fellow photographers—people who share your passion for photography and have similar motivations for embarking on this journey.
a photographer on top of a mountain taking a photo of the Blyde River Canyon

5 Things You Should Know Before Joining A Photography Tour

1. You’ll spend a lot of time researching and planning

There is a lot of choice when it comes to photography tours, and of course, you want to find the best photography tours in the world for your needs. With a globe of possible destinations and countless types of trips to pick from, the planning stage can take time.

To help you navigate your search, we’ll introduce the main kinds of photo tours you should consider:

  • Wildlife photography safari: A wildlife photography safari is designed for you to photograph animals in their natural habitats. Wildlife photography trips can be divided into two kinds: wildlife photography safaris, which usually take place in one location, and wildlife photography tours, which tend to tour a region.
  • Landscape photography tours: Landscape photography tours are designed to help you capture breathtaking vistas, whether they’re majestic mountains, serene seascapes, or picturesque valleys.
  • Cultural photo tours: These photo tours focus on capturing the essence of foreign cultures. While strictly keeping ethical practices in mind, you might be photographing street scenes in Cuba, cultural festivals in India, or tribal traditions in Namibia.
  • Mixed photo tours: These are tours that, as the name suggests, contain a mix of the above kinds of photography opportunities. General photo tours are a great way to explore a country if your photographic interest goes beyond just one focus area. You might be equally interested in photographing landscapes, wildlife, and communities.
  • Photography Volunteering:These trips offer the same great photo opportunities and expert guidance; only your photos help raise awareness for important causes.
  • Photography Internships: Photography internships are longer trips designed to provide hands-on experience in the field as a photographer. They enable aspiring photographers to work with professionals, gain practical skills, and build a portfolio.

Alternatively, you could get in touch with us, and we’ll help speed this part up.

landscape photo of a road and mountains in Iceland

2. Your photography guide makes a world of difference

First of all, not all photography tours are created equal. A skilled photography guide who can help you hone your craft is the bare minimum of what to expect from a photography tour. Yet, some tours don’t deliver. Be sure you don’t miss one of the key benefits of guided photo tours and find one with a great guide.

Moreover, different photography guides have different specialties. This is another reason why picking the right photography guide is crucial. The best wildlife photographer in the world might not be a great person to ask about landscape photography.

3. Practicing beforehand will help you learn during the tour

As the bare minimum, make sure you are comfortable with your camera and all your gear. On-site at the photo op is no place to realize your camera doesn’t fit your tripod. More crucially, knowing your camera and understanding how different settings work is the best thing you can do to maximize your learning on a photo tour.

If you want to go a step further, try practicing techniques you might need during your trip. If there’s going to be good bird-spotting opportunities, practice your high-speed photography. If you’ll have the chance for astrophotography, experiment with long exposures.

photographers taking photos of mountains in Iceland

4. Group size matters

The guide-to-guest ratio is a pivotal part of guided photo tours. Having a small group allows photography guides to not just offer tuition but tailor the tuition to each individual. It’s the difference between photography talks given to a crowd and advice given over the shoulder as you line up a shot. Tailored tuition is a fundamental part of what to expect from a photography tour.

5. Manage Your Expectations

This is a funny tip to give in a blog post about what to expect from a photography tour, but it’s one of the most important. Maintaining a positive learner’s attitude throughout your trip will vastly improve the experience and what you take from it.

Remember, good photography takes patience in more than one way. Firstly, it takes a lot of practice before you see improvements. Secondly, what do photography safaris involve? There is a lot of waiting for the perfect shot!

It might be the last day of your wildlife photography safari before the animal you want to see and the perfect photo opportunity arise. It may not happen at all. Don’t get disparaged, and make the most of the opportunities you have.

Some of the Best Photography Tours In The World

1. Cuba Photo Tour

Highlights: With the iconic style of Cuba’s colorful architecture, the lively fashion and music scenes, and its fascinating recent history, Cuba is a remarkable location for a guided photo tour. What’s more, on this trip, you’ll benefit from two expert photography guides in a group of six, hitting that golden ratio for the best photography tours in the world.

2. Madagascar Photography Tour

Highlights: From the chaos of the jungle to the calm of the white-sand beaches to the majesty of the mountain ranges, Madagascar has a lot to offer a photographer. It’s also populated by all kinds of endemic species of wildlife and birdlife. This tour offers a great mix of landscape and wildlife photography opportunities.

3. Namibia Photo Tour

Highlights: This mixed photography tour lets you enjoy the highlights of Namibia and a mix of landscape, cultural, and wildlife photo opportunities. You’ll visit Namibia’s largest waterfalls, Ruacana, one of Africa’s largest game reserves, Etosha, and the iconic red dunes of the Skelton Coast.

landscape photo of Seljalandsfoss watefalls

4. Tanzania Photo Safari

Highlights: Explore the hidden gems of southern Tanzania’s wildlife reserves, where you’ll find all the bounties of nature that you might find in the Serengeti but none of the crowds. One of our favorite wildlife photography tours, this trip takes you to a selection of remote park reserves where you can enjoy intimate encounters with the best of Africa’s wildlife kingdom and create incredible images.

5. Botswana Photo Safari

Highlights: This exclusive wildlife photo safari takes you to one of the top safari destinations in Africa and gives you a week to explore it. With expert, over-the-shoulder guidance, you’ll try to capture all the beauty of Botswana’s Tuli Block, an emporium of visual delights for a wildlife photographer.

6. Bolivia and Chile Photography Tour

Highlights: Visit some of the best landscape photography destinations South America has to offer on this rough-and-ready adventure through Bolivia and Chile. You’ll find flamingoes speckling turquoise lagoons in the Atacama desert and the world’s largest salt flats, the Uyuni.

Get Ready to Experience the Photo Tour of a Lifetime

Ultimately, if you want to improve your photographic skills, a photo trip is a fantastic option. These tours offer education and adventure. You’ll improve your skills and build a rich portfolio, all while creating unforgettable travel memories. Now that you know a bit more, you’re ready to start finding your own dream photography tour.

It can be hard to know exactly what to expect from a photography tour. There are always a few surprises along the way. That’s why it’s a good idea to get some professional advice when booking your own. If you’d like our help booking your photography trip, get in touch with us and benefit from our years of experience planning high-quality guided photo tours.


This blog was written by Tom Rusbridge

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