'I haven’t been everywhere,
but it’s on my list'
Susan Sontag

Photo tours with Travel Images Photography Tours
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Question and Answer

 



It's natural that you should have questions, and accordingly we have answered as many as possible, and in as much detail as we can below. If you can't find your answer here please email us and we'll answer your question promptly.

     CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Why should I consider Travel Images for a photography tour?

What sets Travel Images apart?

Before you choose a photo tour, ask some questions Page opens in new window

     THE BUSINESS SIDE

What payment options are available?

Are discounts available?

What is included in the trip cost?

Are there any hidden extras in the trip cost?

Cancellation Policy Page opens in new window

Terms and Conditions Page opens in new window

     DISCOUNTS

Do you have a client loyalty program?

Are there discounts for room sharing?

Do you have early enrollment discounts?

Do you have referral rewards?

Can 'non-photo' travelers claim a discount?

Is there a discount for taking two trips within a twelve month period?

Are there discounts for 'private groups' such as camera clubs?

Is there a discount for paying by check?

     THE PHOTOGRAPHY SIDE OF THINGS

What kind of photography help can I expect to receive?

Do you accommodate film-shooting clients?

Do you make multiple photography stops each day?

Photography tours versus workshops . . . is there a difference?

Meal times and early or late photography. How do you handle this?

What is a typical day like on a Travel Images photography tour?

Do your photo groups shoot early and late?

Do you make more photography stops than are listed in the online brochure?

Can I get a critique of my images?

Photography tour locations . . . where do you run your tours to?

We're a Group. Can we have our own customized photo tour?

Is time reserved for astrophotography?

What are your guidelines concerning the use of a drone?

What skill levels are your photography tours designed for?

     THE PHOTOGRAPHER/GUIDES

Who will be the Photographer-Leader?

Do you stay with the group during the entire photo tour?

     MEALS

Which meals are included?

Meal times and early or late photography. How do you handle this?

Are vegetarian or gluten-free meals available?

 

     TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT

What type of transport does Travel Images use?

What items are kept on the vehicles?

Will you get me to and from the airport?

Can we eat snacks on the vehicle?

After enrolling, where can I find the best air fares?

How important is arrival a day early at the gateway city?

Will I need a visa or passport when joining an international photo tour?

     ENROLLING FOR A TRAVEL IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

How do I enroll for one of your photography tours?

The tour commences in a few days time . . . have I left it too late to enroll?

What are the benefits of early enrollment?

 

     ACCOMMODATIONS

Can I have my own single accommodations?

What standard of accommodations I can expect?

How do you determine the length of stay at each overnight location?

Can I have the hotel list prior to enrolling for a tour?

Can you pair me up with a room-mate?

     MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Can you customize the dates of a scheduled photo tour?

What about two trips with the same or overlapping dates in your calendar?

At what point might you cancel a trip?

Can I expect some memorable cultural experiences?

How do I compare the number of nights, days, and tour pricing?

Can I purchase a Travel Images photo tour gift certificate?

Are your photography tours open to any nationality?

Are Travel Images photography tours strenuous?

What are Travel Images typical group sizes?

Social media and Travel Images . . . where can I find you?

Do you still mail out brochures?

Will I need a visa or passport when joining an international photo tour?

Are Travel Images photo tours for folk of any age?

Is free transport available between two tours if I enroll for both?

 

 

   CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Q: Why should I consider Travel Images for a photography tour?

Well, you know how it goes. You spend your time booking hotels, rental car, reading books and all that other stuff, and when you get out there you're not really sure of where all the best photography spots are, and what time you should be there. Then ya' gotta find places to eat, and do all the driving yourself. Then you get tired, and decide to pass on some dawn shooting, and . . . as we say, you know how it goes! [some of this was based on what clients had personally experienced before taking one of our trips]

With the group dynamic it's apparent that our clients not only benefit from the interactions with like-minded fellow travelers, but they also make the effort to join the group for all the early and late shooting, plus everything in-between. Nothing is missed, so there is no need to repeat the trip a few years on. Just a few thoughts points to consider.

Besides, we're sure you would prefer to travel with a full time photographer-leader who . . .

Knows where the best photo opportunities lie - a sure sign that I've been at this a long time!
Is aware of the best time to be at any given spot - well, that's what you pay us for, right?
Has a website loaded with instantly accessible information about each trip - I don't keep anything back because you need to know everything there is to know
Has scouted the itinerary and has led photo-groups over it on multiple occasions - and it never gets boring. I try to find 'fresh eyes' and will pass what I see onto clients
Knows how to communicate with locals who are willing to be 'models' - . . . and who also permit access onto their private land for example
Understands wildlife behavior, and knows where to find and photograph each species - some will take off, but will pause momentarily to look back for instance
Is a photographer that gives practical instruction in a friendly manner - what's the point of advice that goes over your head? I really do care about what you shoot
Will help you with your camera settings, i.e. shutter, aperture, exposure compensation etc. - please don't forget to bring along your instruction manual
Averages just 2 to 8 photo travelers per trip aided by Laurie - nice and cozy, and a great learning/teaching environment
Chooses the accommodations carefully, and often in photogenic locations - 'cheap' is avoided, as is the five star glitz. Practical and comfortable with private facilities
Arranges the transport, and can drive comfortably on the 'wrong' side of the road - well, that comes easy being British, but I also drive our UK minibus across Europe!
Understands cultural differences, and how to create photo opportunities - sometimes it's OK to go through that gate, but in some places it isn't
Includes accommodation, transport, breakfasts, a lunch and a dinner, plus water and snacks - and we're 'green' in that we recycle water bottles etcetera
Owns minibuses in the USA and Europe that are customized for comfort and photo ops - with head clearance, storage space, and individual seats. No bench seats!
Will take care of your larger bags throughout the trip - leave them to me. I need the exercise
Meets you at the airport if you arrive on day 1, and returns you there at the end of the trip - assuming you're not arriving early or staying over after the trip
Is very friendly with a 'can do' attitude at all times - tell me, how can being negative help anything or anyone?!
Treats everyone equally, be they a beginner or advanced - Finding the right balance is one of the things we strive to excel at
Has 38 years professional photo experience, with 28 of those as a photo tour Leader - oh dear, nobody can say I was 'born yesterday' any longer!
Has vast experience with digital, 35mm, medium and large format cameras - been there, done that, and have fixer stains on the carpet to prove it
Carries your equipment on trails if the going gets a bit tough for you - no really, I mean it
Answers all your questions, and gives photo instruction throughout - I can't think of any reason why I shouldn't . . . and I'm not looking for one!
Presents a digital orientation at the beginning of each workshop - the photo galleries tell part of the story, but the trip preview is more detailed
Does one-on-one and/or group image critiques - as you want to be out shooting, this is always balanced by available free time
Conducts Photoshop sessions, though most stuff applies to any photo processing software - have a pen and paper handy for notes
Has many stops planned but will also stop whenever you ask - don't be shy. I don't miss much, but if I do, shout "Stop please!"
Will show you how to clean your digital sensor on request - the old Brillo pad comes in very handy . . . just kidding
Can loan out spare equipment for those that run into problems or forget an item - it can happen, and has
Recovers lost image data from any media while out in the field, yada, yada, yada! - the technology gremlins don't always have their own way
Can assist you with computer issues should they arise why on our trips - I've been trouble-shooting computers for many years, and can often resolve issues for you
Provides detailed field notes for a useful memento of your trip - the times and places are recorded for a comprehensive backup in regard to location
Provides a DVD containing images of yourself and the group taken on the trip - one of my favorite things is to shoot yourself in action during the trip. Great mementos
Has a long list of satisfied clients who have become close friends - the best reviews are by our clients who have been there, done that with Travel Images
Has a loyal client reward program - the rewards go both ways and we thank you!
Has discounts for early enrollment - but that's only part of it . . . there are quite a number of discounts

Add to the above the fact that you'll be traveling with like-minded photo travelers who will most likely become life-long friends. For more reasons just keeping on reading below . . .

Also, please take a moment to read, Before you choose a photo tour, ask these questions

Q: What sets Travel Images Photography Tours apart?
We believe it is the ability to meet people's needs on every level, not just photographically, but seeing to needs that may be emotional and physical etcetera.
It's about attention to detail and the influx of new and repeat customers convey to us that we must be doing something right.
We're also different in that we can often do camera repairs in the field, do battery checks, clean digital sensors, carry your tripod, answer many, many questions and generally be a trusted friend.
The one consistent theme is that we constantly stop for pictures. You will never hear us say "We don't have the time" or "There's no place to stop" and so on. We can only say that we run photo tours if we make every effort to see that our clients get every picture they seek and more. That's all there is to it really.
We also believe in offering clients a healthy variety of subjects too, and we have to be the type of photographers/people that not only 'sees' images, but has the technical know-how to transpose the subject into pixels, or film, just how we saw the picture in our mind's eye . . we then have to have the ability of conveying this with clarity to you, our client.
For samples of the variety of which we speak and to see our [John's] work go to photo galleries.
Also see Before you choose a photo tour, ask these questions

   THE BUSINESS SIDE

Q: What payment options are available?
You can pay by check, credit card, via wire transfer, or an online payment. Please read the enrollment page for detailed steps on how to enroll along with your available payment options.
By paying by check you get a 2% discount off your final payment which is in addition to any other discounts you qualify for.

Q: What is included in the trip cost?
Personalized photography instruction throughout the trip by John; all accommodations with private facilities [ensuite]; all breakfasts; lunch on day one of the trip; dinner on the last night of the trip; on-vehicle snacks and bottled water; all ground transportation; airport transfers on day one and the last day of the trip; entrance fees for sites and activities listed under ‘Admissions Included’ on the trip brochure page; then following the trip, field notes describing the time, place and subject of each photo stop, and a disc containing images of clients 'in action' on the trip.
Inclusions and exclusions are also listed in each of our tour brochures.

Q: Are discounts available?
Yes. We reward loyalty, and provide several other ways for you to save money. See our discount section here.

Q: Are there any hidden extras in the trip cost?
 None whatsoever. Just add your air fare, lunches and dinners cost plus personal spending money. All costs and fees are detailed in each trip brochure and in the Terms and Conditions.

   DISCOUNTS

All discounts quoted are in US dollars [USD]

Please note that there are absolutely no 'catches' with any of the available discounts as you may qualify for any or all of the following: client loyalty, early enrollments, 'non-photo' travelers, room sharing, referral rewards, 2 in 12 months, and paying by check. Each discount is deducted from the base price of the trip giving you the best available rate.

Q: Do you have a client loyalty program?
Yes.
Who qualifies?: Anyone who has traveled with Travel Images since 1988.
What is the discount?: $100 USD per person for trips of 6 nights or less, and $200 USD per person for trips of 7 nights or more.
In a nutshell, all previous clients qualify.
For 'exploratory trips' that are already discounted, the loyalty discount is $50 and $100 respectively.

New Clients: Are you a new client wanting to book two trips and receive client loyalty discounts for both? You can, and here's how . . . Just place deposits against any two trips within a twelve month period and you'll qualify for the client loyalty discount for both trips. The discount will be credited to the second of your two trips.

Q: Do you have early enrollment discounts?
Yes.
When you send in your deposit and enrollment form at least 12 calendar months before the trip starts, you will receive a $200 discount off the price of your trip.
When you send in your deposit and enrollment form at least 9 calendar months before the trip starts, you will receive a $150 discount off the price of your trip.
When you send in your deposit and enrollment form at least 6 calendar months before the trip starts, you will receive a $100 discount off the price of your trip.
When you send in your deposit and enrollment form at least 4 calendar months before the trip starts, you will receive a $50 discount off the price of your trip.
Places on hold: We are sometimes asked or offer to hold a place on a trip for a client. We've no problem with that but do please note that all early enrollment discounts only apply from the date your deposit was mailed, or paid online.

Q: Can 'non-photo' travelers claim a discount?
Yes.
Over the years we have had several non-photography folk on our photo tours, and they have enjoyed the slow pace and opportunity to interact with the locals. Such spouses and friends are able to join any of our photography tours at 10% off base price of the trip.
The 10% discount does not apply to single room supplements or small group supplements if applicable.
To clarify though, the 10% discount is for those that won't be doing any photography, be it still or video.
However a 5% discount can be taken by those doing a 'minimal' amount of photography or video, as you will still receive plenty of photography assistance and suggestions.

Q: Are there discounts for room sharing?
Yes.
A 5% discount off the base price of the trip will be given to each person sharing a room, i.e. couples, two family members, and solo travelers paired with a travel mate to save the single supplement and so on.

Q: Do you have referral rewards?
Yes!
The following rewards are applicable when paying the final balance of any given tour.
The rewards can be taken as a payment or as a deduction from your trip cost. It's your choice.
Refer a new client and you'll receive the rewards listed below, plus any other applicable discounts.
If you are gathering a group together for one of our tours, the rewards apply to previous clients too.
The person you have referred also receives a $100 reward, as does every additional person you refer to us.
Refer 1 person and take $200 off the base cost of your trip.
Refer 2 people and take $400 off the base cost of your tour.
Refer 3 people and take $700 off the base cost of your tour.
Refer 4 people and take $1,000 off the base cost of your tour.
Refer 5 people and take $1,300 off the base cost of your tour.
Refer 6 people and take $1,600 off the base cost of your tour.
Refer 7 people and take $1,900 off the base cost of your tour.
Refer 8 people and take $2,200 off the base cost of your tour.
Refer 9 people and take $2,500 off the base cost of your tour.
Refer 10 people and take $2,800 off the base cost of your tour.

Q: Is there a discount for taking two trips within a twelve month period?
Yes, we named it '2 in 12' !
Take any two trips within a twelve month period and receive a $100 USD discount per trip, per person.
Free transport is often available between locations in the same geographical region if you're taking back-to-back-photo tours. A plus is that we schedule photography along the way.

Q: Is there a discount for paying by check?
Yes.
The discount is 2% off your final balance. This is in addition to any discounts you qualify for.

Q: Are there discounts for 'private groups' such as camera clubs?
Yes. Please visit our 'By Request' page here.

Regarding all discounts, please note that there are absolutely no 'catches' with any of the available discounts as you may qualify for any or all of the following: client loyalty, early enrollments, 'non-photo' travelers, room sharing, referral rewards, 2 in 12 months, and paying by check. Each discount is deducted from the base price of the trip giving you the best available rate.

Want to know what your total discounts/cost will be for the trip your interested in? Send details such as whether you will be traveling solo, the name and dates of the trip and so on, to Laurie in our accounts. Go here.

   THE PHOTOGRAPHY SIDE OF THINGS

Q: What kind of photography help can I expect to receive?
At the start of every photography tour I present a digital slide show to give you ideas on how to approach many of the photography subjects you'll encounter. This can range from a flower to a castle, or from action to wildlife.
Early in the trip I'll also open my laptop and give impromptu 'lessons' with images as examples. Typical subjects covered are exposure, perspective, composition, long exposures, deliberate blur and background distractions etcetera.
Whenever we make a photo stop I make 'collective suggestions' to the group in regard to composition, lens, shutter speed, aperture and so on, then 'let you loose' to step out and make your own interpretations. I'll always be on hand should you need further inspiration or have a question.
You’ll benefit a lot more on one of our photography tours than in a ‘static’ classroom workshop situation because it is a hands-on experience that is repeated many times each day, and every day. There is no better, or faster, way to learn, remember, and have specific techniques become second nature to you.
If you don’t return home a better photographer then I will have failed, and is why I pull out all the stops to see to it that you improve . . . and have fun too.
Subjects and techniques discussed and demonstrated are composition strength, shutter speeds, exposure compensation, how aperture choice influences depth of field, lens choice, filter use, long exposure effects, deliberate blur, macro and so on. Better than that, you will be learning in some of the best places to photograph our world has to offer.
During the course of each day my groups naturally enter into conversations in regard to equipment and/or photography techniques at meals or when traveling, and those are good times to ask some additional questions.
Throughout each trip I go one-on-one with each client individually to make sure that all their needs are being met, and offer further help. You can also request assistance at any time, so please don't be shy.
All assistance is given in a casual, friendly, practical, 'non-classroom' manner.
I invite clients to bring along images for review be they one-on-one critiques with myself, or discussions involving other members of the group. A laptop is ideal for this, or I suggest you place your images on a disk or USB drive for review on my own laptop. These initial critiquing sessions should take place early during any given trip so that you can glean the most benefit.
I also encourage you to 'see' an image when the opportunity presents itself, i.e. to be on the lookout for those less obvious shots that are no less stunning.
Lastly, image critiques are conducted where it matters most, i.e. out there in the real world on location, never in a classroom environment. Camera LCD screens are ideal for this, and so is the use of a laptop for critiques and digital photo processing tips during free time or during meals. If you have Photoshop questions, just ask and we'll create a session.

For the photographically adept
If you just want to be taken to the best spots at the right time to 'do your own thing' without being 'mothered' by me, that's not a problem either as I will never be far away. Basically though, I'll still offer up suggestions and be available whenever you need me.

If you don't have it already, this is something I'd like all my clients to acquire
Literally 'seeing' an image in your minds-eye is the first step to a great image. So, when guiding, nurturing, encouraging and hopefully inspiring you, I start by making verbal suggestions which I hope will lead to your own ideas that manifest as great images.
After you've 'seen' the image, I'll guide you with the technical side so that you can accomplish all of your photographic goals. In a nutshell your skill level will improve no matter where it was when you started the trip.

'Try to see it my way' versus 'We can work it out' . . . with thanks to Lennon and McCartney!
You'll find that I photographically guide and teach in a very practical manner and won't ever insist that you do things my way.
For each technique [camera setting] or photography situation, I'll let you know what your options are, but give you the freedom to make a final decision. For instance, the following topics pop up for discussion now and again, i.e. RAW v JPEG, aperture/shutter control v manual control, spot metering v evaluative metering and so on. Please know that there is no right or wrong way, as the goal is to find a method that is best suited to your abilities and situation. This is when I willingly share my opinion based upon personal experience, and suggest a solution based upon your own particular situation.
In a nutshell, everyone on our photography tours is considered an equal, be they a beginner, intermediate or 'mature' photographically speaking, and regardless of whatever equipment they use.
Finally, I absolutely love nothing more than passing on what I have learnt over the years and guiding clients to better images throughout each day.

John Baker, Photographer/Guide, Travel Images Photography Tours

Q: Do you make multiple photography stops each day?
Yes, as many that will yield as close to 'A' shots as possible. Sometimes a shot isn't an 'A' but it has some other interest for clients, and that's important.
We always have stops loosely mapped out, but are flexible if anyone requests a stop that appeals to them personally.
Unless the terrain dictates it, we never bypass one good photo opportunity while in pursuit of another. From wildlife to landscape, natural history to still life, or people to cityscapes, we'll offer them all to you with quality and a varied assortment of images the ultimate goal.
Our photography stops are neither too short or too long, as we allow our groups sufficient time, and a little more, to record the image opportunities at hand.
In a nutshell, yes, we make many stops throughout each day.

Q: Meal times and early or late photography. How do you handle this?
To have meal times get in the way of photo opportunities would defeat the whole purpose of photography tour. So, breakfast is always taken after an early run, except in the winter months when it is timed so that our groups are at the right spot as the first light hits.
We'll always try and avoid feeding the group late, so if the sunset/twilight is at say, 8 p.m., we'll eat at around 6 p.m. and be ready to shoot after that. If sunset/twilight is around 7 p.m. we'll shoot until the photography is done and then eat.
It's all a question of balance, and no, you won't go hungry as there are always snacks and bottled water on the vehicle. It's appalling we know, but since 1988 we don't think anyone lost weight on a Travel Images photo tour until someone said they had done so in the summer of 2007. Oops!

Q: Do your photo groups shoot early and late?
 Yes, for sure. Weather and other conditions permitting we'll be out most mornings at dawn, and late too. We say most, as sometimes when we have a multiple night stay at one spot we get in our dawn photography on the first couple of mornings, then on the third morning for instance, we give you the option of shooting around the accommodations. This only happens when the classic shots are in the bag first
To compensate for the inevitable tiredness this brings we schedule 1 to 4 hours of free time somewhere between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you don't personally feel up to making an early run with the group we'll just suggest an 8 a.m. breakfast rendezvous, and you'll still have the option of shooting near our accommodations if you want to.
Meal times can vary due to early or late shooting and other photo opportunities that may arise, but, fear not as we always have a selection of quality snacks and bottled water on the vehicle to see you through.
The group eats in the main at the same establishments so that we are all on the same photography schedule, and photo opportunities are not missed, but a rainy evening may see clients opt for restaurants of their own choice.
* Dawn shooting priorities are dictated by the subject matter. For example, mountain terrain and iconic locations/subject matter 'demand' our dawn attention, whereas less spectacular locations are shot an hour or two before breakfast. The latter applies mostly to our European photo tours in the spring and summer, or Iceland in the late summer when the sun rises as early as 4:30 am!

Q: Can I get a critique of my images?
 Yes, because we believe it carries multiple benefits for our clients.
You are encouraged to bring along images for critiquing that were taken pre-tour, which we suggest be reviewed early on in the trip for maximum benefit to you. This also applies to images taken early on in the trip so that 'issues' can be addressed and rectified with friendly instruction. From thereon we have multiple ways to 'keep an eye' on your progress which include reviewing your images while actually shooting, the on-vehicle LCD screen, and at meals or during free time throughout the trip.

Q: Do you accommodate film-shooting clients?
Yes. The digital world has come full circle, and now it is film that is rarely seen these days. However, should you prefer film, yes, you are welcome on Travel Images' photography tours as the photography basics still apply.
We do however recommend that you purchase a small digital 'point and shoot' as it enables us to give your images instant feedback. You'll also enjoy the many benefits of those digital images once you're back home too.
Should you run out of film we'll fire up the DeLorean and go back in time to get you some more rolls!

Q: Photography tours versus workshops . . . is there a difference?
The answer is really down to an individual’s perspective. A lot of our own website terminology states 'Photo Tours and Workshops'. This is because folk come to the website having used these and additional search terms such as 'photo field trips' and 'photo travel' and so on. To many, the terms can all mean the same thing, whereas others see photo tours and workshops as totally different scenarios.
For instance a 'workshop' to some construes a more formal 'classroom' environment which could be either indoors or outdoors. Conversely a 'photo tour' is construed as being a ‘mobile’ experience in a series of locations. On the other hand there are folk that envision workshops as being ‘mobile’ experiences too, so like we say, it all depends one’s perspective.
At Travel Images we set out to merge the perspectives and experiences and provide our clients with photography excursions during which they will learn at least as much - actually always a lot more - than a formal photo workshop. You learn more ‘in the field’ because it is a hands-on hourly and daily experience, which is repeated many times over via the many photographic situations that arise each day. We will never schedule formal ‘classroom’ teaching for just these reasons, as ‘hands-on’ is more practical in so very many ways . . . plus we know that you really don't want to be indoors when the light is great.
Of most value is helping our clients ‘see’ pictures perhaps not normally envisioned, and it is all delivered in relaxed and 'real' situations. It would be apt therefore to describe Travel Images trips as 'workshops in the field', as a static indoor workshop can be limiting in terms of information retention. Been there, forgotten that!
We’ve heard it said that leaders on 'photo tours' don't teach, and are there purely to get you to the right spots at the right time. Well, that may be true of other tours but that is not what Travel Images is about. We teach clients everything that is photography, both individually and 'collectively', throughout each trip. By 'collectively' we're referring to the giving of lens, composition and exposure advice at each photo stop to the entire group before they step out of the vehicle.
In the evenings you're out shooting and not sitting in a room reviewing your days work, as we work in other times for critiques and processing advice.
Group or one-on-one critiquing takes place at any given location as needed, i.e., during free time, during meals, after dark or during periods of inclement weather.
Lastly, as you, our client, have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to photograph a particular location or country, we won't 'waste' the early hours or an evening indoors while the light outside is what you've traveled a long distance for. Meals for instance, are scheduled so that the best light isn't missed. Our bottom line is, 'It's all about the light.'

Q: What is a typical day like on a Travel Images photography tour?
This will vary from trip to trip with considerations for the length of daylight hours, weather and so on. Typically we leave before dawn to be in position for the rising sun, return for breakfast, and then shoot throughout the day.
If it's not a 'travel day', meaning we're not moving to a new home base, we schedule anything from one to four hours of free time when the sun is high, though there are days when this is not possible because large amount of quality images that need shooting.
On travel days, i.e., moving from one hotel/location to the next, we have stops laid out throughout the day and aim to be at the next hotel by late afternoon. Please note however that photography opportunities may deem that late afternoon hotel arrival is not possible on every 'moving day'.
We eat around 6 to 7 p.m. during the summer months, and that allows us plenty of time for late light photography. On autumn, winter and spring trips when the sun has set by around 7 p.m., we eat dinner after the sun is down.
Lastly, we make many, many stops for images, including those that we've planned, plus the wonderful serendipitous subjects one sees going from location to location. These subjects are quite diverse, and each day includes most if not all of the following: Landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, wildflowers, macro subjects, birds, insects and an abundance of natural history images from dew on a spider's web, to a back-lit stand of Aspen trees. Clients, by the way, can request stops at any time. Photo processing sessions are included at some point on every photography tour, but on a few very rare occasions this may not possible because of the short length of a trip, or the abundance of great subjects in good light . . . it's why you travel with your camera, right?!

Q: Do you make more photography stops than are listed in the online brochure?
Certainly! The brochure is only an overview of places and events, and more is included than can be possibly listed in the online brochures. Our full list of online brochures is here.

Q: Photography tour locations . . . where do you run your tours to?

In summary we run photography tours to . . .

England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and London in the British Isles
Normandy, Brittany, the Loire, Burgundy, the Alsace, Provence and Paris in France
Cinque Terre, Venice, and Tuscany in Italy
Iceland
Myanmar [Burma]
Tokyo in Japan
Bruges in Belgium
the European alpine regions of Germany, Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland
the Galapagos Islands and Cloud Forest in Ecuador
Machu Picchu in Peru
Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas
the Patagonian regions of Argentina and Chile
Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian and Argentinean border
Polar Bears of Manitoba, Nova Scotia and the Canadian Rockies in Canada
Tasmania and Sydney in Australia
South Island, New Zealand
America's best photography locations in the United States of Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Florida and Vermont.

Go here for our complete photography tour calendar.

Q: We're a Group. Can we have our own customized photo tour?
Yes.
You can take over a scheduled trip, especially if no-one has enrolled yet.
We can customize any of itineraries to your own specifications. Just tell us what you want.
For more details go to 'By Request' here.

Q: Is time reserved for astrophotography?
Yes.
Astrophotography is either scheduled or included on request.
Our days are filled with photography, and not everyone is up to additional photography a couple of hours following sunset. In other words it's not compulsory, but definitely available for those up to it . . . and the effects/impact can be quite stunning.

Q: What are your guidelines concerning the use of a drone?
You may use a drone, but you must abide by local laws concerning their use, and make yourself familiar with such laws prior to taking one of our photography tours.
Fellow travelers must not be inconvenienced by the use of a drone in any manner.
Our itinerary must not be interrupted with delays in setting up, retrieving or packing away drone equipment.
You are required to 'show off' your work with the group as time permits!

Q: What skill levels are your photography tours designed for?
All skill levels. It matters not if you are beginner or professional, or have equipment that's simple or sophisticated as we treat everyone with the same respect and patience whether you be a beginner or advanced.
Of course, if you're a beginner you're going to need, and will receive, as much help as you need and want as one more question sent our way is never one too many. 
We've heard of trips where you're required to use the exact equipment as the Leader, and others where you have to be an 'advanced amateur' to participate. That probably makes it easier for the leader, but we make no such demands on our clients. We're fortunate to have many clients who think that way too, so our trips will always be fun, enjoyable, relaxing and learning experiences.

   THE PHOTOGRAPHER/GUIDES

Q: Who will be the Photographer-Leader?
Exclusively this is going to John with help from his significant other, Laurie.
John instructs, drives the vehicles, and keeps the group on its toes with a positive nature.
For more information regarding John go here.
For our larger groups in South America, Asia and our Polar Bear trip, we have assistance from locals guides and drivers.

Q: Do you stay with the group during the entire photo tour?
An emphatic 'Yes' to that question. When you join one of our photo tours the, ahem, 'focus' is entirely on you, and we are your 'employees' as it were. This means a total 100% commitment to being available at all times, and never be off doing our own thing.
It adds up to something like an average of 16 hours of commitment per day, but we see it as an absolute privilege to serve our clients this way as they have put an awful lot of trust in our ability to give them the very best photography vacation possible.

   MEALS

Q: Which meals are included?
All breakfasts, lunch on day one, dinner on the last night of the trip, plus snacks and liquid refreshments on the vehicle are included. Other lunches, dinners and alcohol are not included.
In regard to the Galápagos Islands and The Faces of Myanmar photo tours only, all meals and non-alcoholic drinks are included.
Note: Many US hotels provide a continental breakfast which is not what we consider appropriate or good value in terms of your tour cost. Some hotels are exceptions, but when the standard is 'insufficient' we take you for a 'proper' breakfast after early shooting rather than have you eat cold sugary snacks.

Q: Are vegetarian or gluten-free meals available?
Yes, if only because meals are your own personal choice at each restaurant or hotel, plus many food establishments will produce vegan or gluten free meals when asked even if something you fancy isn't on the menu.
You may of course choose a different place to eat than the remainder of the group if it doesn't delay getting back on the road for specifically timed photographic opportunities.

Q: Meal times and early or late photography. How do you handle this?
To have meal times get in the way of photo opportunities would defeat the whole purpose of photography tour. So, breakfast is always taken after an early run, except in the winter months when it is timed so that our groups are at the right spot as the first light hits.
We'll always try and avoid feeding the group late, so if the sunset/twilight is at say, 8 p.m., we'll eat at around 6 p.m. and be ready to shoot after that. If sunset/twilight is around 7 p.m. we'll shoot until the photography is done and then eat.
It's all a question of balance, and no, you won't go hungry as there are always snacks and bottled water on the vehicle. It's appalling we know, but since 1988 we don't think anyone lost weight on a Travel Images photo tour until someone said they had done so in the summer of 2007. Oops!

   TRAVEL and TRANSPORT

Q: What type of transport does Travel Images use?
First off, you do not have to follow us in your own vehicle as all of our clients share the same minibus on each of our photo tours. There are many advantages to this as nobody gets lost, there are no parking issues, nobody misses a shot, and everyone gets to hear all of the photography suggestions and discussions including tips on what to shoot, and the settings that that might produce the best results.

So, to the vehicles . . .

In the western United States and Canada
We own a minibus with a high roof, air conditioning and individual reclining seats, so no bench seats or the need for ducking down to get in and out of the vehicle.
The minibus is configured to best suit our group sizes of up to 8 photo travelers, and if need be a luggage trailer is attached. This minibus has an HD LCD screen for critiquing client images.

In the UK and Ireland
We rent 9 to 17 passenger vehicles, which is dependent upon the group size.

In mainland Europe
We rent 9 to 17 passenger vehicles, which is dependent upon the group size.

In the eastern US and Canada
We rent 9 to 15 passenger vehicles.

In South America
Our local agents in Ecuador, Peru and Patagonia provide clean, safe and comfortable transportation.

In Australia and New Zealand
We rent 12 passenger vehicles, and add a trailer for luggage.

In Asia
Our local agents in Myanmar [Burma] provide clean, safe and comfortable transportation.

Please note that we endeavor to secure air-conditioned vehicles at all locations, but this cannot be guaranteed. We will however guarantee an air-conditioned vehicle in warmer locations!

Smoking is not permitted on any of our vehicles, though you may smoke a short distance away, and preferable downwind of the group. Thank you!

Q: What items are kept on the vehicles?
For general photography needs
Knee pads, light-fill reflectors, 110 volt power supply for recharging batteries with your own charger, AA/AAA battery charger, battery tester, basic camera repair equipment, film changing bag, spare digital camera body and lens for clients, 'throws' to 'hide' equipment, OPTech Rainsleeves, and the use of my tripod by clients if needed.
For digital photography needs
A 10 ", 15" or 17" monitor for previewing digital images. Front and rear LCD monitor connections. Rescue software for those clients who may have corrupted memory cards or accidentally deleted files. The ability to burn back-up CDs and DVDs for clients if needed.
For personal needs
Tissues, hand sanitizer, lotion, hand wipes, bug repellant, sunscreen, first-aid kit, bottled water, fruit and other snacks, spare fleece tops and light gloves, blankets, cushions, electric powered cooler for summer trips in the western US, and spare clothing items and insulated mugs on winter trips.
Other items
Binoculars, natural history reference books, rubbish box, photo magazines and books.

Q: Can we eat snacks on the vehicle?
Yes, of course. Why wouldn't you?! One has to be practical, and if the vehicle needs cleaning out we'll take care of it. We provide snacks and bottled water because we want you to be comfortable in every respect, and that outweighs having crumbs off the floor now and again.
Oh yeh, we have no problem with cell/mobile phones if used discreetly. Thank you.

Q: Will you get me to and from the airport?
Only if you arrive on day one of the trip, but in reality 'cutting it that fine' is just not a good idea! Close to 100% of our clients arrive the day prior, which is the best 'insurance' of all.
In a majority of cases we are able to choose hotels with a shuttle service.
On the 'departure day' we either take you to the airport ourselves, or cover the cost of a taxi/shuttle.
For trips where we use a local agent such as in South America or Asia, they take care of all transfers to the hotel for us, and will meet your flight.

Q: After enrolling, where can I find the best air fares?
Well, assuming we have our minimum group number and we have declared the trip a go, then make tracks to a site such as Vayama, Orbitz, Kayak, Skyscanner or your favorite airline's website to price out a round-trip air-fare from your city.
We also recommend that you print off 'Strategies for Lower Airfares'.
A comprehensive list of websites and toll free numbers for every airline can be found here.
We also suggest that you register for weekly newsletters issued by the airlines as there are often 'web only' specials to be pursued. Specifically for our New Zealand trips, Air New Zealand specials are tucked away here.

Q: How important is arrival a day early at the gateway city?
It's very important these days given the multitude of reasons that flights can be delayed, diverted and so on.
Bear in mind that some 50% of flights on average are delayed or canceled every day, so early arrival is strongly encouraged . . . and is a form of trip 'insurance'.

   ENROLLING FOR A TRAVEL IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Q: How do I enroll for one of your photography tours?
Choose your photo tour from the photo tour/workshop schedule which will take you to the trip brochure. There are 'Enrollment' links at top and bottom of the that page.
Clicking the link will take you to the enrollment page. Follow the steps there to join us on the photography tour of your choice.
Our Enrollment Form is here, and can be filled-out online, by scanning and emailing, or by postal mail.
Please note that places are reserved on a first come-first served basis with a deposit. New clients can reserve a space for up to 7 days if you want to consider your decision for a while longer, and not risk losing a spot. Just ask. Our previous clients can name a date that suits them.
Practical reasons for early enrollment: Go here

Q: What are the benefits of early enrollment?
A trip that fills early benefits everyone as clients are able to get lower air fares in comparison to the weeks before a trip, and so on. On top of that you can also get a discount of up to $200 for early enrollment. Additional details regarding early enrollment can be found here.
In a nutshell, enroll early and save.
If the trip is important to you we suggest you hold your place with a refundable deposit as early as possible. We have 'watchers' who monitor the number of participants signing up, but sometimes they react too late and their place can be lost. By placing a deposit on your trip of choice, your place will be available should you decide to take the last step.
See terms and conditions in regard to deposits.
All photo tour and workshop spaces are filled on a first come, first served basis.

Q: The tour commences in a few days time . . . have I left it too late to enroll?
Maybe not! The record so far for someone enrolling late is three days from trip commencement. Our policy is, if we have space available we'll make it happen for you.
The reality is though, if you're thinking about joining a trip months from commencement, it's more likely to fill once we have one or two deposits, because there comes a time when we have to withdraw a trip and move it into the following years' calendar.
Practical reasons for early enrollment: Go here

   ACCOMMODATIONS

There is no need to arrange your own accommodations as they are included in your trip fees. If you are arriving a day early we suggest that you reserve the hotel in which the trip will start the following day. We will send you a link to that hotel when you enroll.

Q: Can I have my own single accommodations?
Yes. Trip rates are per person for double occupancy in US dollars [USD], but should you want to travel singly you just add the single room supplement to your total cost.
Single room supplements can be found at the bottom of each online brochure for the trip that interests you as they vary trip to trip.
The only trip where single room accommodation may not be available is the boat portion of the Galápagos Islands photo tour.

Q: Can you pair me up with a room-mate?
There cannot be concrete promises, but often times yes we can.
Make your request known to us, and we'll place a "Requested: A female/male room-mate" notice on the brochure page of the photography trip you want to take.
When a potential room-mate follows 'Click here for details' they'll see the following message . . . "We have received a request for a female/male room-mate from a female/male client. The benefits of room sharing are that the single supplement is no longer applicable, plus you receive a 5% off the base cost of the trip. The 5% discount also applies to couples. See the 'discounts' link above or go to our Questions + Answers page for these and additional discounts."

Q: What standard of accommodations I can expect?
First of all, we don't do cheap.
All accommodations are included in the tour fees. We rarely use 5 star hotels as they would raise costs, but use what could probably be termed as 2 through 4 star accommodations depending on the location, and the country we happen to be in. All rooms have private facilities/are ensuite, and in the USA are at least of a 'Best Western Plus' or 'Choice Hotels/Comfort Inn' standard.
In some important photography situations whereby we want to be as close to the subject matter as possible, i.e. Mt St. Helens for the early and light late, we have to use what is available in regard to locally owned motels, and these might be termed as 'rustic'.
In Europe and such, we use guest house/gasthof/gasthaus/manor/chateau type of places which combine wonderful olde worlde character with private, modern facilities. Such establishments have 6 to 15 rooms, and owners who like to meet people and be generally helpful. The Accor chain is also a source of accommodations when we are staying in cities.
It's the same story in the British Isles where we use a mix of converted manor houses, large guest houses and the UK's best hotel chain, Premier Inn. Again, all have private facilities.
Internet access is pretty much essential these days, so we choose accommodations that promise wi-fi access.

Q: Can I have the hotel list prior to enrolling for a tour?
The answer is yes if you have shown a genuine interest in taking the trip, have paid a deposit, or are a previous client. Not a problem.
For anyone we don't know and are using us as their 'hotel finding service', we humbly request that you please don't ask. Thank you!

Q: How do you determine the length of stay at each overnight location?
This is a dilemma as it's a compromise of 'must-do's' and length of the trip balanced with cost. Weather is a factor too, and allowances have to be made for that. For instance, one night in Page, Arizona, for an Antelope Canyon trip the following morning is sufficient in any weather, plus the prior evening is spent on the shores of Lake Powell. On the other hand Cannon Beach, Oregon, is plagued by coastal fog yet the sunsets there are among the best. This is why two nights are scheduled to increase the chances of success, though even that is no guarantee.
Ideally we choose to spend as many nights as possible in one central location depending upon photo opportunities, but in the case of Nova Scotia for instance, the trip consists of some one-nighters as the photography tends to be scattered around the coastal areas.

   ADDITIONAL MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: Can you customize the dates of a scheduled photo tour?
Yes. If it's a case of right photo trip, wrong dates, for you or your group just let us know your preferences, and we'll do what we can to run the trip on your preferred dates.
Being the first to place a deposit on a trip makes date changes easier, so it helps if you are able put forward your preferences as early as possible.
For more on trip and calendar customization requests go here.

Q: At what point might you cancel a trip?
Once we have enrollments for any given photography tour we do our utmost to make that trip happen, and rarely cancel those trips.
Even a trip with 'insufficient enrollments' can be declared a go immediately if each participant agrees to a small group supplement. The fee determined on a case by case basis, and only applies to groups of 4 or less, as 4 is our minimum on all but our South American, Asian and Canadian Polar Bear trips.
To go back to the original question, we don't cancel a trip unless we absolutely have to, and urge clients to purchase both trip insurance and fully refundable air tickets. Airlines will permit you to use non-refundable tickets for another flight within 12 months.

Q: How do I compare the number of nights, days, and tour pricing?
If one of our trips is scheduled for 11 nights/12 inclusive days as per the online brochure, then it is just that. Regarding international trips it would be remiss of us to include your travel days to the gateway city in the day total. Note that some of our contemporaries indulge in this deceiving practice. [!]
To compare prices with photo tour companies similar to Travel Images, make a note of how many nights and days both Travel Images and the other company run the same trip. If included, remember to remove your travel days from the other tours' length of trip. Then divide the total trip cost by the number of tour days to arrive at a cost per day comparison.
Also note which meals, accommodations and if ground transport is included, and how many photographers will be along. We stop at 7, 8 or 10 depending on the trip, and this is to your advantage unless you like crowded vehicles.

Q: Are your photography tours open to any nationality?
Yes. A majority of our clients do happen to hail from the United States, but our trips are open to anyone regardless of nationality.
Since 1988 Travel Images has also entertained clients from Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Israel, Poland, England, Wales, Mexico, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Peru, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Japan, Holland, India, and South Africa. Add on most if not all of the States and Provinces in the USA and Canada respectively, and it adds up to quite an international collection of clients that stuns even ourselves.
Would you like to see our family of clients in action over the years? Are you featured on our pages?! Go here

Q: What are Travel Images typical group sizes?
A glance at the photo tour calendar link will reveal that most of our photo trips are for a maximum of 7 or 8 people, which is ideal for photography of course.
We will also run trips with groups with less than the maximum as nobody wants to see their trip cancelled. We have a 'can do' attitude about such matters.
The only groups larger than 8 are our photo tours to South America, Asia and the Polar Bears of Manitoba trip.
However, we do reserve the right to increase a group size by just one should there be only one place available, and a couple want to enroll.

Q: Are Travel Images photo tours for folk of any age?
Yes, any age. Our oldest client thus far was around 90, and the youngest 18. The average age on any given trip is in the 35 to 75 years old range.
Mobility: Please note that it is important that each participant has at least sufficient mobility. This ensures that the photography opportunities for both yourself and the other participants are not affected.

Q: What about two trips with the same or overlapping dates in your calendar?
For example' alternatively' that you may see in the photography tour calendar here.
Two or more trips above may be marked as 'alternatively' as they share overlapping dates, but we can only run one of those trips.
So which photo tour will go ahead?
   That decision is made by the folk that enroll and pay a deposit.
   Once a trip has deposits, that is the trip that will take place.
   The other trip/s are moved to new dates or into the following year's calendar.
   Previous clients can hold a place by sending an email stating their intent to join a trip.
So, the moral of the story, to help both yourself and us, is to please enroll early.
See 'Practical reasons for early enrollment' here

Q: Can I expect some memorable cultural experiences?
Yes. We firmly believe in 'Travel not Tourism’ as a commandment, and this means that we'll avoid whenever possible those ‘gaudy’ tourist traps, though a handful of them are tolerated out of picture necessity.
We’d much rather give you the true flavor of a nation or region, which means travel along quiet back lanes, visits to homes, ranches and ‘quiet icons’ that make a culture what it is.
We pass on snippets of cultural and historical information as the trip progresses, and much of it appears in the field notes which are compiled during each trip. These are e-mailed to each participant after the trip, and are also included in the photo tour cost.

Q: Can I purchase a Travel Images photo tour gift certificate?
Yes, and for any amount you choose. We can provide a gift certificate with the recipient's name at no charge, or customize one for a flat fee of $25 including images of your choice and so on.
Go here for more information.

Q: Are Travel Images photography tours strenuous?
All of our photography tours are rated as 'mildly strenuous' unless otherwise stated in the online brochure. In other words, if the trip is strenuous we'll tell you right there on the brochure page.
For example, there a few longer 'must do' walks such as the one up to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park at sunset on the Icons of the American Southwest photo tour. That particular walk is classed as 'strenuous' and is a mile and a half each way. On the same trip the almost a mile walk to Landscape Arch is classed as 'moderately strenuous'.
Each trip is different in that respect with a majority of images being very simple ambles or short walks from the vehicle. There are some trails that the group will get on for vistas, flora and wildlife, and how far you want to go is up to you.
To simplify things though, only Icons of the American Southwest, Myanmar, the Galápagos Islands and Machu Picchu can be considered strenuous, but then only in sporadic situations.
Mobility: Please note that it is important that each participant has at least sufficient mobility. This ensures that the photography opportunities for both yourself and the other participants are not affected.

Q: Do you still mail out brochures?
Sorry, but no longer, but to receive our occasional newsletters via email please send a request.
Times have changed, and this is the electronic age whereby most folk want instant information. That's where our website comes in as there is more information on the site than we could ever pack into an envelope.
All of our photography tour brochures are listed online here, two years worth, and any other information you might ever need is just a link away.

Q: Social media and Travel Images . . . where can I find you?
We're on Facebook here, YouTube here, and Google Plus here.
As we're on the road a lot we don't have the time to post all that frequently, so if you want to get in touch just send us an email or post a question on our Facebook page.

Q: Will I need a visa or passport when joining an international photo tour?
Visas
Travelers from all countries can do a quick check of visa requirements here or here
Our international clients may need to contact the embassy of their intended destination in their own country for a visa. Go here or here
If you're visiting the United States for a Travel Images photography tour, go here

Passports
All international travel with Travel Images requires a passport
It should be current, and not expire until at least 6 months following our tour
United States citizens can renew their passport or acquire a new one here

Q: Is free transport available between two tours if I enroll for both?
Yes.
Free transport applies if they are in close proximity, for example between our tours in mainland Europe, the British Isles, the United States, and between the United States and Canada.
If you were to enroll for two tours back to back which are on different continents, then no, free transport is not available!

If you have another photo travel or photography question you'd like to ask us please send an Email.

You can find more snippets of information on the Home page



 

Do You Still have a Question?

 


Find more information about Travel Images on the Home page
Conduct a site search
Call 1-208-559-8248 . . . please bear in mind that we may be on a photography tour
Get in touch via email for your answers in writing

We want you to know as much as possible about Travel Images, such as how we run the trips and so on. This is why the information above is such a long read . . . no apologies! However, should you still have a question please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help you in any way we can.

John and Laurie, Travel Images photography tours

 


 
 
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Travel Images Photography Tours: Guided Landscape, Natural History, Macro and Wildlife Photography Tours
Phone: 208-559-8248  |  Postal: Travel Images, P. O. Box 2434, Eagle, Idaho 83616