There are almost twenty years since I organized my first tour around Romania. In these years, I've learned many new things, and this learning process is one of the best parts of my job as a tour guide and travel planner. It's also the case with the photo tours I organized these years, and I'm sure that the very small photo tours, no more than three photographers, are way better than those organized in larger groups. There are several reasons why it may be better to take part in smaller photo tours rather than larger ones:
More than anything else, it's about the experience. A good photo is not just about good light, a great subject, or perfect colors. It's about emotions. As part of a larger group, it's less likely to get emotions that transcend the screen or paper.
By booking a very small photo tour, you'll get better services. The tour will be less disruptive and more focused on photography, therefore much more enjoyable.
"imagine eight photographers in a church taking pictures during the service; not the best situation.
In a larger group, you'll take the same picture already taken by eight-nine photographers. This might be alright if it is a landscape photo, but imagine yourself in a queue of eight people waiting to take a picture of the same older person. Not to mention that the group will make that person very uncomfortable. And this takes us to ethics. As visitors, especially foreign photographers, we must respect the people we meet. Imagine a larger group invading a small house where an old lady lives. It's not the best experience, not to mention the respect toward that person who waits for each photographer to take a good picture. But as part of a smaller group, it's much better and definitely doesn't look like an invasion that storms a small house. The experience is more intimate. You can create a more intimate and collaborative atmosphere as part of a very small group. You'll have time to discover that person and talk about yourself in front of that person. It's a two-way experience.
Flexibility and accessibility are other advantages of a very small tour. Based on your preferences, it's much easier to change the tour's itinerary or schedule, which is much more complex as part of a larger photo tour. Also, getting to remote areas is much easier, something impossible in a van or minibus. You'll undoubtedly have some of the best pictures and experiences in these remote areas.
I organized several large groups to photograph parts of Romania and its people. Unfortunately, it was impossible for me to know more about every person. This is something totally different from the very small photo tours I organize. In a smaller group, I can give more personalized attention to each participant. I can provide more individualized guidance on photography techniques, answer questions, and provide feedback on your work. But the most important part is that we ended up as good friends exchanging emails and messages regularly, even many years after the photo tour took place. The experience was so good that these photographers came back again four-five times.
Last but not least, book a photo tour of Romania directly. You won't have anybody between you and the local tour leader. It's the perfect way to avoid misunderstandings, send your requests, and get the best itinerary based on your interests. Also, booking a photo tour directly can get a much better price.
"focus on your photography while creating meaningful connections with the locals and other photographers.
Overall, smaller photo tours can provide a more personalized and enjoyable experience, allowing participants to focus on their photography while creating meaningful connections with other photographers.