Starting a Photography Business: Part 24 – Photography Tours

As the site gets closer and closer to being ready for business – hopefully I will be giving you a guided tour around it this time next week – I’m starting to think and plan for alternative sources of income.

Photography courses seem like a good option they require little outlay in terms of finances; it’s more a question of time and planning to make sure the guests get value for money. The difference between the research for setting up a photography website is that I was pretty much able to do from sitting in front of a computer, this time for some parts of it any way, it’s about getting out and doing a dummy run.

I’m really enjoying the process of starting to put it all together. In the main they are going to based in Europe, I’ve lived in a few areas of mainland Europe, so my tours will draw on that local experience. Hidden gems of the towns and countryside that I spent hours exploring, restaurants used by locals that serve good tasty food with great service, and a knowledge of locations for sunrise and sunsets, alluring alleyways and hidden coves.

An exciting tour with a twist I’m looking at, working in partnership with a friend who owns a travel agency is, a photography cruise holiday. This all sounds exciting doesn’t it? And it is, yet to make sure a worthwhile course is delivered there are some important structures that need to be in place, not least that the content I give is useful and moves people forward in their photography.

A few technical things need to be taken into consideration regardless of whether it is land based or on a ship, what facilities/rooms are available for coming together as a group to review our days photos? Will computers be provided or shall we all bring our own laptops? Do we include lunchtime meals in the overall cost or let people pay for their own?

We have pretty much made a decision on lunches and evening meals, though I’m still going to do a bit of market research amongst friends. As I’m an independent traveller I can only go on my own preferences, however we would like to offer a service which appeals to all guests so it would be good to have some feedback before anything is set in stone. In fact, do please feel welcome to post your thoughts either at the bottom of this article or on my Facebook page as to the type of traveller you are. Would you prefer your evenings to yourself to explore the local town or would you like to have the evening meals organised for you?

Recce’s are going to be an important research tool, although I lived in many of the areas we’ll visit, I wasn’t assessing the places in the same way as I would for a working trip. It’s been a few years too, so restaurants need to be re-visited to check that the standard of the food is still as I remember it and to see if I can do a deal for a set lunch menu. Ah yes, it’s a tough life I know! On these recce’s I’ll be taking photos to help promote the tour and also for adding to my collections on the site.

There are many other exciting areas I’m planning to diversify into as I start to launch the business and get my name well known which I’ll cover in future articles. For now though please do remember, if you have time, to share your travelling preferences with me. Your comments will be greatly appreciated.

Notes

  • Keep a note pad with you so whenever you have a business idea you can note it down. As the ideas start to flow so will all the things you’ll need to research into it.
  • Remember, if you’ve had the idea, it’s possible to bring into fruition.  Good luck!
Living in the beautiful rural county of Yorkshire it was perhaps natural for Ruth to have an affinity with the countryside and its wildlife. Creativity is Ruth’s driving force finding an outlet in television & radio she worked for many years as producer for BBC & ITV.

However a love of photography and for being surrounded by nature called her to go back to her photography training and bring pleasure and joy to people through her connection with our planet.

Staying in the moment when taking her images allows her to experience the natural magnificence unfolding before her eyes. It is this moment of mediation, of gratitude, that she evocatively conveys through her images.

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Comments

  1. Hi Ruth.
    I love the sound of you photo tours. Your statement “Hidden gems of the towns and countryside that I spent hours exploring, restaurants used by locals that serve good tasty food with great service, and a knowledge of locations for sunrise and sunsets, alluring alleyways and hidden coves” is very enrolling/appealing.

    Insofar as equipment, who brings laptops, etc., I’ve done a couple of “walks” where we’ve come back to a central location. All that was needed was one laptop, mine, and an LCD projector which the locations to which we’ve returned had. I would think ships would have the latter. Once back, participants turned in their memory disks, in an envelopes with their names and the numbers of the .jpgs which they’d like to discuss. I then inserted them in a memory card reader on my laptop and shared them from there.

    Much success to you.

  2. Hi Shelia,

    Thank you so much for your thoughts; I’m just about to change the page on my site, promoting the courses, to the paragraph you’ve picked out of the article.

    I love the sound of people handing their SD cards in inside envelopes and selecting the images they wish others to see, I bet people feel much more comfortable with doing it that way.

  3. Ruth,

    I just stumbled on your page as I am also planning my own photography tour company down in Colombia South America. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. There is a lot of work that need to be done to launch a successful tour company.

    You highlight many of the things that I have to consider. I am putting together a document that compares the offerings of top photo tour companies and it seems like most offer 3 standard meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

    I never really though about the laptop issue. I am assuming that most people who go on a photo tour will want to post photos just about everyday to their social networks. There is also the issue of editing. One question is whether you will be giving any editing workshops on your tour. I am thinking that showing others my editing flow can be very valuable. I guess it comes down to the size of the group.

    I will check back to see how things are progressing with you since we are on the same path.

  4. Hi Joel,

    Thanks for getting in touch. You know it has been so long since I wrote this article that I had to re-read it to remind myself what I said. It’s been great to look back over it.

    Your trips to Columbia sound great, I hope they are a wonderful success!

    Since I wrote this article, tablets have been invented – technology moves so quickly these last few years doesn’t it. I would presume, if people are confident enough, they might use a tablet for editing now and save some weight in their luggage.

    I did decide that I wouldn’t do an editing session as it is individual to each person, however, I did also contemplate bringing a friend on board, also a photographer who does tours, who uses digital editing about as much as she does actual physical photography to create her finished image. This way she would have done a session on post shooting editing and covered the bases for me.

    I am speaking past tense as I as yet, haven’t run a tour. I discovered that insurance wise I would have to have travel agent liability to cover me for any accidents that might arise, and it was too huge an amount to consider. However, that said, I have a friend in southern Italy who is an agent and we are talking about working together and she will on paper, employ me and the guests will book the accommodation and trip through her, this then negates the insurance issues that I would have been liable.

    I hope it’s given you a bit more help, and probably a few more things to think about! Please do keep in touch and let me know how your tours go.

    Best wishes
    Ruth

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