What is a holiday tour? But what is a photo tour? How are they different? Are you a passionate traveler with an interest in photography, but you are not sure if a photo tour is quite right for you or should you go for the safer classical choice? Keep reading because this article will help answer your questions and hopefully help you make the right decision.
A typical tour is designed for you by a tour operator and it should include transportation, accommodation and guiding services, as well as some meals, in order to make a great holiday for you. You are likely to visit famous tourist attractions, discover some off-the-beaten-path places and interact with locals. The focus should be on learning about the history and culture of the places you’ll be visiting.
Photo tours are designed in order to create the best possible photographic opportunities while exploring the country. That means that even though you will still get an insight into the local culture – which we believe is one of the requisites of a good photographer, especially if we are talking about people photography – the focus will be on making sure you get the shots you dreamt about.
Another benefit is that attending a photo tour is a great way to develop your photography skills by learning from a professional photographer in a destination from your bucket list.
In short, the main difference between a photo tour and a classic tour is how much time we dedicate to maximizing the photo opportunities we encounter along the way. Other differences between a normal holiday tour and a photography tour are:
1. The size of the group
In order to have a good experience on a photo tour, the size of the group is kept small, usually between 4-8 participants, depending on the trip, to ensure the one-to-one tutoring.
On the other hand, the size of a typical tour can vary between 2 to 30 people, based on the type of tour you signed up for – private or group tour.
2. The itinerary is flexible
Compared to a usual tour, where you have a fixed itinerary, in a photo tour you can play with your itinerary as photo opportunities are unpredictable. You might make an unplanned stop along the way if you see something of interest or you might spend more time in a location if the weather is favorable. What you should keep in mind, though, is that even if you can express your preference regarding this, the photo tour leader is the one who makes the final decision.
Another thing to keep in mind is that from the beginning the organizers have allocated a larger amount of time to vising an attraction compared to the time you would usually spend there if you were taking part in a normal holiday. This allows you to take your time and make use of any opportunity that arises in order to get that perfect shot.
3. You get professional photography tutoring
In a photo tour, you will be guided by a professional photographer so you can take the opportunity to sharpen your skills. The tutoring is customized to everyone’s photography level, so you don’t have to be a pro. Usually, the photo tours are suitable for beginners and semi-professional photographers, as well as amateurs.
4. The itinerary is focused on photography
Same as a in regular holiday tour, you will still visit those travel highlights you always dreamed of, but photo tours are designed around photography. Photographers will make sure you get to capture the best possible angles of your favorite tourist sites at the best time of the day. That means that if you would usually visit a famous castle in the middle of the day and enjoy a very insightful interior tour, in a photo tour you are more likely the photograph the same castle from a distance during sunrise or sunset.
Also, the itinerary usually includes some stops at locations that have a strong photographic appeal, but are not as interesting from a cultural point of view. You’ll get to see more of the hidden spots of a country!
5. The group is formed of like-minded people
In a photo tour, everyone is after the same thing and you will be traveling with like-minded people. It’s a great opportunity to connect with others and maybe you’ll make some friends for life!
6. Higher value comes at a higher cost
Due to the fact that a photo tour is a specialized experience, expect to pay a little bit more than you would normally pay for a typical holiday. You’re not only getting the knowledge of a local guide, but also the expertise of a professional photographer who can help you take your photography skills to the next level.
Don’t forget that a photo tour benefits of all the advantages a usual tour provides. Transportation during the itinerary, nice accommodation, a local guide who will make sure to bring you to the right place at the right moment in order to get those stunning shots!
We hope we managed to explain to you how a photo tour is different from a typical tour. If you’re more keen on finding out the history and culture of a place, a normal holiday might be a better fit. However, if you want to improve your photography skills while traveling the world’s most spectacular places, you should participate in a photo tour!
Author bio: Madalina Birsan is a travel consultant and travel writer for Romania Photo Tours, a tour operator specialized in planning photography tours of Romania with a focus on people, culture and landscapes. She loves exploring the world and sharing with others her adventures.