Photo Tours Abroad LLC
We have all travelled pretty widely and have a good idea of the destinations that work for various types of photography. We also use different online resources to ensure that we keep tabs on exciting new opportunities. However, we know our limits and, therefore, continue to develop relationships with local agents in the destinations offered to ensure that our programs are workable and optimised for the photography.
Any concept that we come up with can be improved by having local operators look at it and suggest improvements:
- ways to reduce time spent travelling;
- unusual options for travel that add to the experience;
- accomodation options closer to photography venues;
- additional lesser-known venues; and
- sometimes special access to sites or people.
Local operators also help put us in touch with local people where appropriate to ensure that you get certain classic images. Many of the best travel photographs you will see are actually staged like this - and we believe it is important that you gain the same opportunities.
Attention to detail
There are many factors to consider when putting a workshop together but, if you notice one common theme, it is that we focus in on what you'll be doing and when you'll be doing it almost to the exclusion of all else. We have found that this no-compromise approach really works in practice with our photographers managing to capture thousands of images each and every trip.
Quantity isn't everything though. We realise that participants are always keen to develop the quality of the images they are capturing. On workshops with a guest artist this is most obvious but even on our other trips we see a good deal of advancement through discussion and sharing.
Being with a group-of like-minded individuals adds to the total experience, the photographic and all aspects of the travel, especially where groups are kept small and everyone is able to share together.
Standards and styles
Credit Nick Rains
With or without a teaching component
We offer two styles of standard packages: Discovery Series workshops with a guest artist; and Explorer Series photo tours without.
We also offer custom trips through our Designer Series. The Sponsored Series is for Camera Clubs and similar organisations who would like to make use of our expertise when putting together a special trip for their members/customers.
In comfort, with convenience, all-inclusive
We mean to provide a total service and therefore include everything that we figure is reasonable. As a standard we look for the 4-star level but are happy to drop this wherever the photography dictates.
What our photographers say
I feel I have gained an enormous jump in knowledge from all involved, and believe it is visible in the quality of the photographs taken. Before the tour I estimated that 5-10% of my photos were of good quality, this has changed to 10-20%. Noting that I took over 3500 photos I have over 400 photos I’m proud of (enough to show others)
Creating great products starts with people. Our primary team for planning each of our workshops consists of Mark and Ian, with input Trish.
Mark first studied Mandarin while in college, and received his degree in East Asian Studies. He then spent three years in Taiwan teaching English at a private girls’ school, and further refining his language studies. Mark bought his first serious camera – a Pentax Spotmatic SLR – while in Taiwan, and many cameras since, is still an avid amateur photographer.
When Mark came up with the idea of offering photo tours, it combined the two great interests of his life: photography and a fascination with China and its people.
Ian has lived in China for more than a decade, and worked in the international tourist industry even before that. First as a tour leader then as regional manager for a major UK-based tour operator. Ian and his team of agents make sure that Mark’s ideas are actually manageable, and that we can in fact deliver a great product in each selected destination.
Ian is married to Zhang Wei Fei (Faye), has two boys, and lives in Yangshuo near Guilin.
Trish originally hails from Australia, where she received a degree in Media Studies before being bitten by the travel bug. Working as a tour leader for a UK tour company took her to the shores of China, where it was love at first sight; and after leaving the travel industry she decided to stay and turn her hand to teaching English.
Trish is now responsible for marketing and promotion, and her knowledge of the great diversity China has to offer means that she is well placed to inspire others with her enthusiasm for this fascinating country. Trish also led tours in Russia, Mongolia, East Africa & Japan.