Have you ever been to a country you’ve never been to and wanted to get great images? I’ve seen all the Instagram photos of Iceland and wanted to capture my own photos. My problem was I didn’t know where those locations were. Sure I could have researched and put together a map but I wanted to relax so I went on a guided photography tour. I’ll tell you all the benefits and why I decided to go this route.
Group or private guided photography tour
The only drawback of a guided photography tour is the cost. Some run upwards to $1000 USD and you’re probably thinking that’s expensive and not willing to pay that much. The good news is it isn’t $1000 per person; it’s for the whole car. You can take with you as many people as the car will take, which usually means the tour guide, you and up to 3 friends. A group of 4 means your share is only $250 which is more manageable. You can also ask the tour guide company if you can be placed in a group of random people if they have a slot open in their group. As long as you’re going with other people, the cost will go down.
Our guided photography tour was led by a professional photographer familiar with Iceland. Who better to show you around than someone who does it daily? They knew the best spots to take photos of each location and even offered me insight in how to approach capturing the best images. If you’re not a great photographer or still learning they can show you exactly what settings to use in a non-judgemental way.
Chauffeur for the day
I didn’t want to pay for a rental car or worry about driving in a place I never have. That means I didn’t have to worry about traffic, tickets or navigating the roads. To me, that was worth every penny. All I had to worry about was getting great photos.
The thing with Iceland is some of the photography hotspots you can drive right up to without needing to hike. Some of those places sometimes don’t have roads leading to them. Did you know most car rental insurance policies don’t cover off roading or crossing rivers in your rental? I didn’t have to worry about that because my guide drove us in his own vehicle.
I’m not sure if it was because I was jetlagged or the 8 hours of driving and taking photos but I was tired. The nice thing about having a guided photography tour and someone driving you around is you can nap in the car. It’s usually shotgun rules to stay awake so I chose to sit in the back so I could pass out between locations.
Someone in the know
The thing with looking up images on social media is you only see the most popular tourist spots. What about the great little known about places? To find out about those places you have to be a local. My guided photography tour took me to places I never would have found out about on social media.
Another thing that is often overlooked is at some point you’re going to get hungry. If you’re like me then you like to try the local cuisine. With someone in the know, they can tell you what’s good and what might not be so good. Maybe you want to eat something more familiar and want to know where the closest McDonald’s or Starbucks is. You’re out of luck because there’s not a single one of those in all of Iceland. A fact you can learn from your guide.
Sure a guided photography tour can seem expensive at first, that’s the only con. The benefits are worth the price, at least for the first time so if you ever return you can just go by yourself after learning where the sites are. plus my guide gave me a copy of his photography book and even signed it for me. Share your favorite spots in Iceland to take photos in the comments below, let’s get a list going.