The world is full of beautiful places, and at some point, you’ll probably want to take photos of them! If your love for travel is equaled by your love of taking pictures, then a photography tour might be perfect for you.
Travel with a professional photographer to some of the world’s most picturesque places, practice your photography technique on incredible subjects, and learn how to make your own photos pop! Whether you dream of photographing landscapes in Tuscany or tropical birds in Costa Rica, there's a photography tour somewhere in the world that will be perfect for you.
While you don’t need a graduate degree in art to take a photography trip, it is a good idea to have a good quality camera and a basic knowledge of how to use it before you depart. Once you know the basics, the world and all the beautiful things in it are yours to immortalize!
Where To Go
Beautiful countryside, palatial Renaissance architecture, Roman ruins, quaint cafes, fashionable people…Italy is full of wonderful things to photograph. The best time to visit for good weather and the all-important sunshine is April through July.
Costa Rica is a natural paradise of mountains, cloud forests, and tropical beaches, with friendly people and a laid-back culture that invites you to take your time. For wildlife and nature photography, Costa Rica is one of the best destinations on earth. The best time to visit is the dry season from December through April.
With its dramatic blend of ancient and modern architecture, its iconic Great Wall, and its bucolic countryside, China is an excellent place to put your camera through its paces. The best time to visit is late spring and early autumn when the weather is mild throughout most of the country.
These destinations are just the start -- the entire world is full of beautiful vistas, stunning architecture, and interesting people which you might photograph while traveling.
Planning Your Trip
What to Look for in a Photography Tour
A photography tour will ideally bring you to places full of interesting things to photograph, with the guidance of a professional photographer who can help you develop the skills to take a perfect shot. Look for a tour to a destination that captures your imagination, and that you feel excited about exploring with your camera. In addition, you should look for examples of the accompanying photographer’s work to make sure that their style of photography is one that you’d like to learn.
Average Photography Trip Length & Cost
Because photography tours are typically small group tours with famous photographers and include both travel and photography instruction, they tend to be fairly pricey. Typical one-week photography trips can cost anywhere between $4,000-$9,000.
Packing Tips & Gear Rental
The main thing to pack on your photography trip is your camera and any gear that goes with it -- tripods, lenses, memory cards, etc. Cameras and lenses should be packed in padded cases; many camera companies make shoulder bags specifically designed to hold your gear on the go.
While some photography tours will give you the opportunity to rent or borrow camera equipment, the vast majority assume that you will bring your own gear.
Observe basic etiquette on a photography tour, and make sure that everyone gets a turn to take photos of a given landscape, building, or other item. If you’re photographing people, it’s polite to ask their permission ahead of time, before you start snapping photos.
Qualification & Training
Because photography tours are frequently more expensive than other types of guided trips, it’s a good idea to have a general knowledge of photography that you’d like to develop further, rather than starting out as a complete beginner. In addition, if you’ve just bought a fancy camera, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of how to use it before you depart.
The risks involved in taking a photography tour are no different from the risks involved in any other type of travel. That said, you will want to use basic street sense – if you’re carrying several hundred dollars worth of camera equipment with you, you shouldn’t leave it unattended. In addition, you should make a point of saving your photos to a computer, to the cloud, or to an external storage device, so that if anything happens to your camera your photos will still be safe.
As with any other type of travel, you’ll want to check on the visa and immunization requirements for your destination country. You should also check on any travel advisories issued by the US Department of State or similar entities. Otherwise, follow your guide’s instructions and have fun!