Frequently Asked Questions

How much photography experience do I need?

Our Tours are designed for beginners to advanced photographers alike. Due to our small group sizes, we can provide individual and personalised attention for each person and help you improve your photography at whatever level you are at. Our commitment to you is to improve your photography no matter your experience level.

More advanced photographers (even professionals) might consider joining us for one of our Expeditions for an even more intensive photography experience. We run these Expeditions to research a new destination or revisit familiar ones for alternative photo opportunities, and you will get to shoot alongside Julius and see how he works to craft new work.

What will I learn on your tours?

The aim with our tours is to improve your photographic skills and creativity so that you will go home with images that you are proud of.

Our tours have been designed to guide you to the most photogenic locations and experiences in the best light where possible. Together with our teaching and feedback, you will learn how create great travel images. You will learn how to visualise a scene better before capturing the moment, explore the environment you are capturing, understand cultural considerations, and develop your own personal style.

We also teach image workflow and editing, and show you how you can use image editing software to enhance your photos and give it that perfect finishing touch.

Can a non-photographer attend your tours?

Yes, absolutely. We have a range of General Tours designed with non-photographers in mind.

In addition, although the majority of our tours (our Photography Tours) are specifically designed for photographers, pretty much everyone brings a camera with them on holidays nowadays and will take photos for their memories. So even if you don’t have a great interest in photography, you are still free to join us but just be aware the focus of our Tours (no pun intended) is on photography first and foremost, so you will have to give consideration to the photographers’ needs first.

One great benefit of our Photography Tours is we spend a lot longer at famous landmarks and festivals, and at the best times for photography where possible. This means you will get to see destinations and sights when they are visually more appealing and you won’t have a rushed sightseeing experience that is so common among typical group tours.

Where feasible, we will also suggest a range of activities for the non-photographers on a tour should they prefer to have free time in lieu of visiting a location together with the photographers.

What camera equipment should I bring?

We recommend DSLR or Mirrorless cameras, but a digital compact camera with manual control is also adequate. You can also choose to bring a variety of lenses depending on the tour; the full tour itinerary and preparation information will provide recommendations, or just contact us for further information.

If you have yet to get a camera or are looking to purchase a camera or other photography equipment before taking a tour, please feel free to contact us for any purchasing advice.

What are the differences between your various tour types?

Our Photography Tours are best described as all-in-one travel experiences that feature an in-field teaching programme and personalised feedback designed to help you improve your photography skills. Photography Tours are designed so that you don’t have to worry about logistics once you arrive on tour and can concentrate on photography as we take you to the best locations to shoot, and more important teach you how to best shoot the location or attraction. Tours provide a great mix of photography tuition, multiple opportunities to create great images, and general travel fun among a group of like-minded people.

Our Photography Expeditions are designed as exploratory and research trips to learn about new destinations we would like to run Tours to in future, to visit specific events and festivals, and to look for unique photo opportunities. Expeditions are suitable for intermediate to advanced photographers as you will be provided customised feedback in-field to improve your areas of weakness or to learn new advanced techniques. You will shoot alongside Julius to create new and compelling imagery in an Expedition. In addition, our Expedition have a more flexible itinerary than Tours as we assess each location/attraction and spend as much or as little time as required to achieve our photographic aims.

Our General Tours are best described as classic sightseeing experiences. General Tours are designed so that you don’t have to worry about logistics once you arrive on tour and can enjoy the attractions at your leisure. General Tours are less strenuous than Photography Tours as we don’t “chase the light” for best photos. The emphasis is on a rich sightseeing and cultural experience with plenty of time provided for participants to explore as part of the group as well as several free time periods.

Do you run private tours? Can you customise tours?

Yes, we are able to create custom tours for 1-8+ people. Please note that our regular Tours have a max group size of 8 as this allows the Tour leader to provide individual attention to everyone. If you want us to bring a larger group, please take this into account and if needed, we will recommend a second instructor join the group. For custom tour pricing, please contact us.

We are also able to create a custom tour to a destination of your choosing. If you like one of our standard Tours or Expeditions but want to adjust the itinerary, we can certainly do that. If you’d like to do a custom tour to a destination that we have visited but that isn’t currently on our schedule, please contact us to discuss things in more detail.

Are there additional costs?

Tours
For our Tours, the price covers all accommodation, some meals, most entrance fees, and the domestic travel costs in the Tour country . You will still need to pay for your own international flights, visas, and insurance. Also, souvenirs, tips, personal snacks, and optional activity fees are additional costs. For further information, please visit our Tours section and read the Inclusions and Itinerary sections for the Tour you are interested in.

Expeditions
For our Expeditions, the price covers all accommodation and domestic travel costs in the Tour country. You will still need to pay for your own international flights, visas, and insurance. Also, entrance fees, meals, souvenirs, tips, and personal snacks are additional costs. For further information, please visit our Tours section and read the Inclusions and Itinerary sections for the Expedition you are interested in.

Can you organise my flights, insurance, visa and other travel planning?

No, but our tour booking partners will be able to help you with flight arrangements and travel insurance. We are also happy to provide recommendations on flight and insurance providers.

You will need to arrange your own visas, and we strongly recommend contacting the Tour country’s local embassy or consulate for further information.

You will also need to arrange your own vaccination and any travel medication that you may need (e.g. motion sickness, Immodium).

Can you accommodate special dietary requirements on your tours?

We assess special dietary requirements on a case-by-case basis. If you have a special diet (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten free etc.), you will need to contact us before booking to find out if we can accommodate you.

For our Japan tours, we are able to accommodate vegetarians. Contact us regarding other special diets.

What about refunds?

We provide refunds according to the following conditions:

All cancellations must be received in writing. No refunds will be made for unused services, regardless of the reason. Cancellations are subject to the following cancellation fees applied per person, per confirmed booking from the date the written cancellation is received:

(a) For cancellations made more than 30 days before the scheduled tour departure date, the deposit will be forfeited to us.
(b) For cancellations made between 21-29 days before the scheduled tour departure date, a cancellation fee of 50% of the tour costs will be payable.
(c) For cancellations made within 20 days of the scheduled tour departure date, 100% of the tour costs will be payable.

Cancellation of any third party suppliers’ arrangements will be subject to fees charged in accordance with that supplier. Refunds will not be given for unused or cancelled services after your arrangements have commenced.

Our cancellation policy reflects the fact that we have to pay our suppliers and satisfy their booking conditions. It is a condition of attending our tours to have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place. For full details of our refund and cancellation policies, please refer to our Booking Terms and Conditions.

How about bad weather or seasonal variation?

As much as we’d like to, we can’t control weather and light conditions but some of the best travel photos have been taken in less than ideal shooting conditions. We won’t venture out in dangerous weather but we also won’t let poor weather affect our shooting. Indeed, part of what you will learn on a Tour is how to deal with poor shooting conditions and still come away with good travel images.

There is also the effect of seasonal variations which may effect Tours such as our Japan Cherry Blossoms or Autumn Colours Tours. It’s impossible to predict with accuracy months in advance when both the cherry blossoms and autumn colours hit their peak bloom periods but our tours are timed to hit the typical average opening to peak times for these phenomenon.

Do I need to bring a tripod & laptop? And any other equipment?

For our Photography Tours and Expeditions, we highly recommend you bring a lightweight travel tripod, small laptop, extra memory cards, extra batteries, and portable hard drive (or other external backup device). We conduct night photography and editing sessions so you will only be able to participate in these activities if you have a tripod and laptop.

For our General Tours, you can bring a tripod and laptop. Both will be handy if you decide in your free time to do some night photography or organise/backup your photos.

What clothing and other non-photography equipment should I bring?

Our tours run in different locations during different seasons or weather conditions. Once you’ve booked a Tour we provide recommendations on what to pack, both photographic and non-photographic.

In general, we recommend packing as light as possible for the weather conditions and duration of a Tour. For example, you can expect to pack a bit more on a Japan winter tour compared to a spring tour.

Does the tour leader take photos on tour?

Our priority when we are out on a Photo Tour is to help our tour participants improve their photography skills so that they can get the best possible images. We will do our own photography once the tour participants have achieved their learning outcomes, and also for demonstration purposes.

During the tour we will also take photos and videos of the group for future promotional purposes and also attend to any “selfie” shot requests. :)

A Photo Expedition is a bit different because you will be shoot alongside Julius as he researches new locations and shoots them to assess the suitability for new Photo Tours. As such, you will get to see how a professional travel photographer goes about his work. You’ll experience the intensity and effort needed to create compelling and even award-winning imagery. A Photo Expedition is an ideal tour experience for more advanced amateur photographers looking to take their photography skills to the next level or to work on a focused body of work during the Expedition.

Do you follow a strict tour schedule?

Our tour schedules are generally strict but the timings are such that there is room for flexibility depending on the shooting conditions and how quickly a shooting session finishes.

Our tours also have free time scheduled in to do your own thing or to simply rest and relax, or catch up with family and friends back home.

How large are your groups?

For our Photography Tours and Expeditions, the group size is limited to 8 participants. On some tours, we even limit this to 4 participants.

We pride ourselves on having such small group sizes in comparison to other photo tour companies.

Smaller groups allow you to get much more individual time and critical feedback from the instructor so your photography skills will improve much quicker as a result.

Our General Tours have a max of 12 participants. This is again one of the lowest group sizes among tour companies.

Where do you teach your courses?

We run our courses from either our city-based studio on Murray St, or a training room in the State Library of WA.

Courses are run from each venue depending on equipment needs, for example a training room is better suited for courses where we need to use a projector to demonstrate course material. The studio, on the other hand has all the lighting equipment and space needed for practical shooting exercises.

Some of our courses also require us to go outside of the classroom and studio setting so that students can learn how to apply techniques in a real world setting.

Do you have any Intermediate or Advanced level courses?

Yes we do. Our Studio Photography Intro Course is for Intermediate level photographers and is a great introduction to the world of studio photography. We will also be adding additional courses in the coming months that build upon the Beginner DSLR Course.

We also have the option of Private Photo Courses and Custom Online Photo Courses, both of which give you the ability to tailor your the course or training content to your needs. For example, if you’ve bought a new speedlight recently and want to learn how to use it, we can tailor a Private Photo Course purely around beginner flash photography.

Finally, our Tours provide a great opportunity in which to advance your photography and challenge yourself creatively. You’ll get personalised attention, receive critical feedback on your photography, and get to see how an award winning photographer takes photos.

What about the fitness requirements on your Tours?

Our Photo Tours are suitable for people 18 years and older with a moderate level of fitness. What does this mean?:

  • As a rough guide, if you find you are able to walk around sightseeing in your own home city/town for several hours without much problem then you have a moderate level of fitness. Our tours involve plenty of walking each day and you will need to be able to carry all your own camera equipment by yourself too.
  • Going from train stations to our hotel, exploring cities and gardens, and visiting temples are just a few examples of where there is a good deal of walking, not just on even ground but also hilly and uneven ground.
  • You need to let us know if you have any special needs due to physical limitations or allergies. We’ll assess people with special needs on a case-by-case basis and reserve the right to decline a booking if we feel that they will not be physically able to cope with the tour, and suggest alternative tours that are a better fit.
  • Please keep your luggage as light as possible as you will need to be able to handle this completely on your own as we move between our accommodation. Please also consider the amount of luggage space you will need if you decide to purchase souvenirs or other things to bring home.

Our Photo Expeditions are more physically intensive than our Photo Tours and you will need a moderate to high level of fitness. What does this mean?:

  • The same requirements as for Photo Tours, but with longer duration and higher intensity. For example, on a Photo Tour you may be required to walk for around 2-3 hours a day. On an Expedition you will be required to walk 4-6 hours per day on several days. Some days would also involve hiking for 1-2 hours.

Can you accommodate people with special diets and/or food allergies?

For our Japan tours, we are able to cater for those who have minimally restrictive diets and you are willing to do the work in researching and sourcing your own meals to suit your diet. For example, a vegetarian diet is manageable, as are  certain food exclusions, e.g. raw fish.

If you have a dietary restriction and are interested in booking a tour with us, please contact us first so we can discuss your needs.

Unfortunately, for those with more restrictive diets (e.g. vegan, halal) and severe food allergies (e.g. peanut), we are unable to cater for your needs on our Japan tours and you will not be able to book onto our regular tours. We may be able to help you if you choose to book a custom tour, so please contact us.

Didn’t answer your question?

Please call us on +61 401 644 210 or fill in our contact form for further enquiries.