What are Band of Light photography travel instructors’ qualifications?

We are professional photographers with a combined 30+ years of experience in the fine art, commercial, landscape, travel, lifestyle and wedding photography industries – and have 20+ years of combined experience teaching photography to all skill levels.

Our photography travel instructors are passionate world travelers with a deep interest in capturing the world’s countless cultures through photography and photography travel, as well as discovering and shooting some of our planet’s most captivating landscapes – especially in France.

Our photographs have been published in prestigious magazines like Smithsonian, Condé Nast Traveler, Paris-Marth, Elle and Time. We’ve also exhibited our work throughout the United States, France, Brazil and Japan.

But above all, we are all kind, encouraging, competent and highly skilled photography instructors and we would love to share our expertise with you on your photography travel trip.

What are Band of Light local tour guide qualifications?

We’ve thoroughly evaluated each guide’s professional experience, amiability and teaching methods to ensure they meet our high standards. In addition to requiring our guides to be local to the area they’re leading you through, we’ve chosen people we’d enjoy having as both traveling companions and full members of the team.

Our guides are passionate photographers who bring a wealth of information about local art, culture and history to each photography travel trip. Your experience will be greatly enriched by their comprehensive knowledge of French culture – and, of course, the French language.

So come spend your photography holiday in France with a fun traveling companion and knowledgeable local whose positive attitude will make each day a wonderful experience.

Who are your photography travel tours designed for?

Solo travelers, couples, families and small groups of friends are all welcome on our photography trips. Aspiring photographers will also find this intensive, international course can dramatically improve their portfolios and help jump-start their careers.

Does age matter?

In short, no! Our groups usually have a great mix of ages with most travelers being 25-55. It’s more important to be adventure minded and share a passion for photography than to fit an age bracket.

I’m a beginner. Is your photography travel program too advanced for me? What level should I be? I know a few things about photography. Is your program too basic for me?

The beauty of our small groups of 8 participants or less is that we’re able to provide everyone with a great deal of one-on-one mentoring. We’re very flexible and always adapt to each student’s needs.

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced photographer – or somewhere in between – we’ll guide you progressively through critical concepts that will appropriately challenge your skill level.

I’m a photographer but my companion is not. Are they still welcome to come along?

Absolutely. We’d love to have them. And who knows, they may even decide to try their hand at photography, too.

The only thing we require is that non-participating photographers pay the full cost of the workshop. We’re unable to free up spots for spectators at reduced prices.

Do I need to be athletic to participate in your photography travel tours?

France is a country of walkers and our photography travel tours are designed for active travelers. Each day includes extensive leisure walking, yet nothing too extreme. Travelers should have the capability to walk and stand for extended periods of time to listen to commentary during visits. Our photography travel tours are not suitable for travelers with serious back or knee problems.

What should I pack? How should I expect to dress during the photography travel tour?

Pack comfortable, lightweight and casual clothing for the day. As we’ll be doing a considerable amount of daily walking, it’s vital you have a good pair of walking shoes, along with a lightweight jacket or rain slicker. Although rain is unlikely, it’s always a good idea to come prepared.

In the evening we’ll be dining at a mix of Michelin-starred and bistro-style restaurants, where something closer to business casual is suggested. Europeans, and the French in particular, are known for their style, so sophisticated evening attire is always appreciated. Jackets and ties are not required but are always welcome if they’re your personal preference.

Is there any free time scheduled during the photography travel program?

Yes. We’ve scheduled an optional free day to ensure those hoping for some personal hours to explore independently have the time that they need.

For those who wish to explore with their guides, instructors and fellow participants, there will also be a tour available on this day.

I’m a “Solo Traveler”. Will I need to pay more for my room?

We have no compulsory single supplement. A supplement will only be charged if you specifically request a single room at the time of booking. Otherwise, we will try to match you with someone of the same gender and, whenever possible, of approximately the same age. If you have not requested a single room and we are not able to provide a suitable roommate, we will provide a single room at no extra cost.

Can I be sure that the accommodation mentioned on the website will be where I stay?

Generally, yes. We typically have no problems with our preferred accommodations, yet occasionally the unforeseen does happen and we must seek an alternative hotel.

Should this occur, we’ll stay in a similar or higher standard accommodation and it will not affect your enjoyment of the tour and workshop. Unfortunately we won’t be able to offer any refunds should this situation arise. But have no fear, this very rarely happens.

Can you help me plan my trip?

Absolutely! It would be our pleasure to assist you with any piece of planning you’re struggling with. Simply contact us at [email protected] or call us at 1-888-708-3585 for assistance.

Should I tip the photography travel guide(s)?

Although tips are not required, your guide and driver are happy to accept tips for their hard work and service. Tips for touring outside of the program – like at museums and chateaux – are also not included in the cost of the workshop.

How do I reserve my place on one of your French photography travel trips?

It’s easy! Just make a selection from our destinations and reserve your place using our reservation form. If you are interested in private or custom-tailored travel, please request a trip quote using our Private Travel form.  Our booking system is updated everyday, but should you encounter difficulties or require assistance, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] or call us at 1-855-270-9924.

What is the payment procedure?

You are welcome to pay via Credit Card, Direct Bank Transfer or PayPal through our booking system. We ask that you make a deposit of $500 to reserve your spot and pay the remaining balance 90-days prior to the tour start date. We will send an invoice for the final payment due

With your invoice, we will also send you a complete tour information package that includes trip and packing details, a complete itinerary and a photography field guide.

What travel documents will I need for my photography travel workshop and tour?

All travelers to France are required to have a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months after your entry date into Europe. It’s also important to make 2 copies of your passport and personal identification information before leaving home. Please keep one set of copies with you, but in a location separate from your other travel documents. Leave the second set of copies with a contact at home.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with your nation’s consulate general for entry requirements.

Is my deposit refundable if I need to cancel?

You may cancel your reservation without penalty within 48 hours of booking. After this period, our cancellation policy is as follows:

  • If given 60 days notice or more: $500 cancellation fee per person
  • If given 30-60 days notice: $750 cancellation fee per person
  • Less than 30 days notice: the full price of the workshop is forfeited.

Please note that our cancellation policy is strict since many of our workshops book well in advance and we have to turn people away; late cancellations represent foregone revenue for us. For this reason we strongly urge you to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

Does Band of Light offer photography travel protection?

Travel protection is NOT included in the price of our tours. We strongly recommend that all travelers purchase travel protection such as the CSA Travel Protection comprehensive plan, which includes the following coverage:

  • Basic Trip cancellation/interruption
  • Inclement Weather Evacuation Coverage
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
  • Up to $1000 per person for flight delays
  • Up to $200 per person for baggage delays
  • Up to $1000 for baggage & personal item Loss
  • Up to $500 per person for a missed connection
  • Up to $50,000 Life Insurance – Air Flight Accident

For more information on this plan, please visit CSA Travel Protection at: http://www.csatravelprotection.com/

What equipment should I bring?

Definitely bring your DSLR camera, your favorite lenses, a lot of memory cards, a transfer cable and editing software (recommended, but not required). You may also need an adapter and converter depending on the type of charger you own and their compatibility with European standards.

I only own a point-and-shoot camera. Can I still join your photography travel tour?

Absolutely. While it is true that maximum benefit will be had with a DSLR or similar camera that allows at least aperture and shutter mode selection, you can still learn an enormous amount using just a simple camera on our photo holidays*.

Because we’re passionate about teaching the art of photography at Band of Light, you’ll learn the vital components of good photography regardless of the equipment you own. Creative elements like finding voice and narrative as well as fundamentals like light and composition can all be practiced and understood with a point-and-shoot camera.

So if that is what you own, please don’t hesitate to join one of our photo trips in France!

*You may also rent a Nikon or Canon DSLR from us to get you started. Just let us know if this is something you’re interested in.

What about Photoshop and a laptop? Do I need them?If you have a laptop with Photoshop or different editing software, definitely bring it along. If you don’t have a laptop, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to share your photos during critique using our equipment and follow the photo editing lessons.

During our critique, we’ll view images together on an overhead projector. You’ll have a chance to analyze images with the group and learn how to make the necessary changes that’ll improve each photograph.

Naturally if you own Photoshop or similar editing software, you can edit your photos throughout the program, which is the optimal way to go. But if that’s not possible, have no fear; we’ll still workshop your photos with our equipment.

What You’ll Experience When You Journey with Band of Light

Discover how to stir the senses and evoke a powerful reaction when you begin to see the world through the eyes of an artist and handle your camera like a seasoned pro.

Technically accurate images mean little until you learn how to infuse them with emotion-evoking inspiration.

When you join us in Paris, Provence or Bordeaux, you’ll transform your photography skills from ordinary to extraordinary as you learn how to masterfully capture moments that birth a thousand words.

If you’re ready to take your photography to the next level,
then you’re ready for Band of Light to teach you how to…

  • Impart your story, inspire your audience and evoke your desired emotion
  • Handle your camera to produce flawless images that match your unique vision
  • Infuse your creative vision + voice (transform your images into inspiring stories)
  • Transform your images into fine art with Photoshop tutorials
  • Harness the gift of light—anytime, anywhere
  • Craft the perfect composition (by breaking a few rules)
  • Gain unstoppable confidence behind the lens
  • Season your artist abilities as you steep in authentic French culture
  • Create an exceptional photograph when you put together all of the critical elements

See How You’ll Learn to Think of Your
Photography as an Artistic Process,
Not a Mathematical Equation In Just 7 Days

You’ll Begin By Learning the Art of Photography – Discover, develop, and fully express your creative vision with progressive lessons that fuse artistic concepts and powerful techniques.

You’ll Learn How to Master Your Camera Operation – Eliminate uncertainty in record time when you understand the technical aspects of photography and camera use, how to set aperture, the optimal shutter speed for creating your vision, and how to choose the perfect lighting.

You’ll Learn to Harness the Gift of Light – Capture beautiful photographs in the light you are given, be it day or night, when you learn how to use any lighting to your advantage. Because until you master light, you cannot evoke that reaction you crave from your viewer.

You’ll Learn How to Craft Perfect Composition By Breaking a Few “Rules” – Discover how to create the mood you’re aiming for, and tell your unique story when you gain an in-depth understanding of when to leverage simple composition, and when to break the Rule of Thirds. By the time you say farewell you’ll possess a lifelong gift—the understanding of the connection between composition and emotion—a gift which you’ll use every time you shoot a picture from now and into the future.

You’ll Learn How to Impart Your Story, Inspire Your Audience and Evoke Emotion– As we’ve mentioned, this vital theme is the foundation of our course. We’ll address it directly through composition exercises and more generally during our group discussions. Our main goal is to help you develop into artist and storyteller who produces thought-provoking, inspiring work.

You’ll Gain Unstoppable Confidence Behind the Lens – Understand why it’s vital to trust your instinct, your mind’s-eye, and unleash your inner-creative. You’ll walk away with more confidence after learning to practice techniques that allow you to create without inhibition.

You’ll Transform Your Photos Into Works of Art with Photoshop – You’ll have a chance to analyze images with the group and learn which changes are necessary to improve the photograph. We’ll discuss questions like: What do you feel when you look at your photo? Is it saying what you want it to say? If not, can the image be salvaged? If so, how and what’s missing?

You’ll Season Your Artist Abilities as You Steep in Authentic French Culture – Discover what it’s like to live as a local artist as you shoot your way through the history streets of Paris, Provence, or Bordeaux—all renowned for their long record for inspiring the artistic movements. While we can all agree that it’s difficult to gain an authentic sense of a place when you’re there for a short stay, you’ll get an intimate sense of what it’s like to become one with France as our local guides lead you off-the-beaten path to explore an abundance of educational and cultural experiences. You’ll see the France that you can’t find in guide books, or on traditional tours. The France that can only be experienced as an artist behind the lens.

You’ll Learn How to Create an Exceptional Photograph When You Put Together the Critical Elements You’ll Uncover with Band of Light Because every group who journeys with Band of Light is made up of 8 or fewer people you’ll get the required one-on-one instruction time you need to ensure you surpass all of your personal goals, allowing you to learn exactly what you’re missing, practical ways to improve, and how to implement every piece you learn to express your unique voice. You’ll also enjoy learning new techniques and practices with your travel group, and gain vital perspective with regular critiques of your work.

Included With Every Luxury Photography Tour

If you were to look around you’d discover that we have included more in our programs than any other photography tour operator in France.  Because your life is simply easier when we handle every minute detail…

You’ll never face the stress of figuring out how to get from place to place on your own, or how to communicate your needs in French, or even which hidden gems provide the most mouth-watering cuisine. We’ve taken care of everything and see France from the beloved eyes of locals—not advertising in a tourism magazine.

When you embark on your photography holiday with Band of Light, you’re ensuring that you’ll experience the authentic France, the France you can’t find in guidebooks, immersing yourself as an artist in its subtle nuances and main attractions alike.

Because for many people, traveling on a photography holiday with Band of Light is the trip of a lifetime, so it’s only natural to want to focus your precious time on perfecting your art, relaxing, and indulging in France’s off-the-beaten path.

When You Book Your Photography Holiday with
Band of Light You’ll Get…

  • Our Team of Experts. You’ll have access to a team with 20 years unparalleled mentoring + 30 years of uncommon local expertise.
  • Private Local Guides. Traveling with Band of Light, you are a cultural explorer. Not a tourist.
  • Alcoholic Beverages. Esteemed French wines.
  • Charming, Deluxe Accommodations in the Heart of the City. One home base. No hotel hopping.
  • Chauffeured Transportation. Explore France in our Mercedes Benz on your custom-tailored dream holiday or when you book with your group of 3 or more. If you book for one, you will be escorted to your destinations by a Band of Light team member.
  • Fine Cuisine. Mouth-watering delights the locals love for all breakfasts, lunches, and 2 dinners.
  • Taxes and Tips. All gratuities are included for your inclusive meals and travel.
  • Small Group Sizes. Personalized attention. Exceptional customer service.

Expert Mentoring. 20 Years Unparalleled Training + 30 Years of Uncommon Local Expertise. You’ll learn how to create exceptional work from professional photographers who show you exactly what you need to learn to master your craft. Comprehensive workshop curriculum that focuses on both artistic and technical skills, plus over 40 hours of one-on-one training, allow you to experience improvement no matter how great your skills.

Local Guides. Be an Artistic Cultural Explorer. Not a Tourist. Discover the untouched, untrampled France off-the-beaten path when you’re personally led by our guides who physically live in in Paris, Provence or Bordeaux. You won’t feel like a tourist being paraded around to photograph the same scenes as millions of others; you’ll be an artist and cultural explorer led to the country’s most charming gems.

Alcoholic Beverages. Esteemed French Wines. French cuisine is so enjoyable that it would be a terrible shame not to pair it with the esteemed taste of French wine. Because we know what matters most, you’ll get unique wine pairings at every inclusive meal. Of course, non-alcoholic beverages are also included for every leg of your photographic journey.

Luxury Accommodations in the Heart of the City.  Unlike most tour companies, we refuse to waste your time or burn your energy on endless hotel hopping.  You’ll indulge in luxury at one 4-star or 5-star hotel that will become home base.  After daily exploration into new regions, you’ll find being delivered back to your same room a relaxing relief.  It makes unpacking and storing equipment simple and stress free.

Worry-Free, Chauffeured Transportation.  You’ll be chauffeured through town in comfort from the moment you step off the train until the moment you’re returned.

Fine Cuisine. Mouth-watering Delights the Locals Love. With Band of Light, you’ll get to enjoy the famed French fare. Every breakfast, every lunch, and two dinners are provided for. We’ll open the doors to a great mix of Michelin-starred restaurants and bistros, so you can sit back, relax and savor the tastes that make France unique.

Taxes and Tips. You’ll Only Pull Out Your Wallet to Pay for Souvenirs. To simplify things, all local taxes and gratuities at your hotel and group-dining restaurants are included in your price, so you’ll never need to worry about what to tip, whom to tip, or how much you’ll pay for tax.

Small Group Sizes. Personalized Attention. Exceptional Customer Service. Unlike most ‘small group’ tour companies, we believe that personal, one-on-one guidance, and exceptional customer care is what drives our success, so our group size is limited to 8 guests.

What You’ll Want to Pay for Outside of Your Package: Your only additional cost is booking your choice of airfare to and from France, and transportation from your French airport to your designated meeting destination at the Paris, Bordeaux or Aix-en-Provence train stations. If you’d like, we’re happy to provide our stress-free guidance to help your decision-making process.

20 Years Providing Unparalleled Mentoring
+ 30 Years of Uncommon Local Expertise Means
You’ll Experience the Journey of a Lifetime Perfecting Your
Craft in the Unrivaled First-Class Luxury of Authentic France

Immersive Experiences, Mouth-Watering Local Cuisine, Fine Wines,
Luxury Accommodations, Worry-Free Transportation

Book now