What photography skills do I need to join a tour?
We invite anyone with an interest in photography to join us – from new photographers to those with advanced skills. Our tours are designed for you to learn one-on-one from our instructors on a personal level. Everyone has different cameras, skills and knowledge, and we feel you will improve your photography more quickly by asking questions based on your specific needs. We find often that “classroom workshops” are too advanced for some or too basic for others. We spend less time in a classroom setting and more time out shooting in the field. Our staff and often a guest pro are by your side to guide and teach you as you need help. We are familiar with a variety of camera systems and keep up to date with the latest technologies.
How many guests are on a tour?
Group sizes range from 2 – 12 depending on location. We keep group sizes appropriate for what we are photographing. If transportation is needed, we often lease buses considerably larger than the group size both for comfort and to have extra room for camera bags and equipment. In Africa, for example, we only have 3 guests per safari vehicle. We make sure each guest has plenty of “personal space” on our tours. If the tour is primarily people photography, we will try to have smaller groups.
What is the average age of guests?
Average age of our guests is 40 to 75 years old. Typically we do not have children on our tours. However, on occasion we’ve had teenagers who were highly interested in photography. Teenagers must have the patience and maturity to join our groups and converse with adults. If you have any disabilities, we’ll let you know ahead of time if we can adjust the tour to accommodate for your needs. All depends on the activity level and location.
Are there any fitness or mobility requirements?
Yes. Most tours will involve at least some short hikes ranging from up to half a mile to two miles one way, and on occasion these may involve fairly steep sections. You’ll want to be comfortable carrying your photo gear on trail and working on rugged terrain. Some more advanced sessions may involve longer hikes, which will be addressed in the description for the tour/workshop in question. If you have any fitness or health concerns, please feel free to contact us to discuss whether you’ll be comfortable participating in a particular trip.
Are non-photographing spouses/significant others/friends welcome?
Of course, they are always welcome! The tour description will indicate if a particular trip is good for couples and non-photographing spouses. Our trips are great for couples whether or not they both participate in all the itinerary activities. We can arrange side outings or activities to make the trip a special one for non-photographing spouses.
Are meals included in the tours?
Most meals are included. Included meals will be noted on the itinerary. Meals that aren’t included will give you a chance to sneak in some personal time to explore on your own. On occasion, we’ll include complimentary welcome or farewell drinks, swag from sponsors, or “goodie bags” to help you prepare for the trip.
Do I need to bring a computer? What sort of software should it have?
Yes. Unless you will be using film cameras exclusively during the workshop (which is fine, by the way), you will need a laptop computer with software suitable to download, edit, and adjust images. We recommend Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom, but bring what you normally use and are comfortable with – that usually does the trick. Make sure you've updated whatever software you will use to convert RAW image files to ensure that it will work with your camera (especially if you are using a camera that you aren't yet familiar with). NIK Software plug-ins are excellent resources and fun to play with too. You may find that they become an essential solution for certain technical challenges and aesthetic preferences. Make sure you bring your charger with wall plug and a card reader appropriate for the type of memory cards used by your camera. A USB flash drive can be helpful in a workshop context as well. External portable hard drives (primary plus backup) are a really good idea. We supply a list of equipment recommendations but please feel free to contact us with any lingering questions.
What types of accommodations do you provide on the tours?
It depends on the tour location. We strive in general to offer mid-to-high end accommodations when they’re available. This is your vacation, and we like to have a “wow” factor with some of our hotels, usually in the beginning and end of a trip. Since our groups are small, we can often stay at boutique hotels. Some locations don’t have the quality of facilities we would prefer but make up for it with great photographic opportunities. We’re always upfront about what to expect and give details or links to the accommodations. We research hotels through recommendations, trip advisories and/or by scouting an area before a tour. Accommodations and expectations are important!
Can you plan a private, customized experience for me or a group of my friends?
Yes! We have a great deal of experience organizing special one-on-one training, custom workshops, and expeditions. Whether it’s private guiding to make the most of photographic opportunities at exciting locations around the world, working in the field to refine specialized techniques and vision, hands-on training in Photoshop and digital workflow skills, or a workshop for a select group of friends with personalized set of instructors, we can and will put together an excellent program for you. Please contact us to discuss details.
How do I book a tour?
Go to the page of the tour of your choice. Under the section "Select Options" you will need to select the options that best suit your needs and then hit the "Book Now" button. You are taken to your shopping cart where you can verify the information is correct then proceed to "Final Checkout" to make your payment. A 25% deposit of the total amount of the tour is due at time of booking to secure your spot on the tour. After this is done, M&M will connect with you to secure deposit and finalize your booking (as long as the space is still available). For your first tour booked, we’ll have you fill out a tour booking form which will help us to provide details to tour operators if needed or help us to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. Deposits can be paid via Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, wire transfer or check. We prefer checks. There is a 4% fee to use credit/debit cards. Additional and/or final installments must be paid with wire or check. It is also possible to pay the full amount with Visa or MasterCard if you prefer – with the 4% fee.
M&M Photo Tours, Inc.
M – F, 9:00am - 5:00pm MTN Time