Master Your Digital Camera on the Award Winning
St Lucia Photo Tour – Then Go Shoot Your
Best Vacation Photos Ever…
If you own a Digital SLR, Mirrorless or Even a Bridge Camera and You Mostly Shoot in Auto Mode
Then The St Lucia Photo Tour is an Absolute MUST DO Tour For You…
Award Winning St Lucia Photographer
And Photo Educator
Dear Photo Enthusiast,
Have you ever wondered, as I have, what makes the difference between photographers who capture images that make you go “Holy Wow!” and others whose pictures you simply can’t remember even immediately after seeing them? It isn’t always the type of camera or the lens that you use, or even being lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
The difference lies in what each person knows about their camera and about photography and how he or she utilizes this knowledge. But sadly camera manuals all seem to be written in Greek or even Swahili and they are just down right impossible to understand.
And that is why I am writing to you and to people just like you about the St Lucia Photo Tour. For that is the whole purpose of the St Lucia Photo Tour: To give photographers and photo enthusiasts vacationing in St Lucia some priceless photography knowledge that you will find valuable long after your vacation is over. Knowledge of how your camera works; knowledge of how and when to use all those buttons on your camera; and ultimately knowledge that will allow you to finally master your digital camera and create your best travel photos ever…
- Learn How Your Camera Works & What The Buttons Can Do
- Learn The Correct Way To Work in Shutter Speed & Aperture Priority
- Learn When To Switch To Manual For Total Control & The Hidden Function That Can Derail You
- Available Mondays & Thursdays Only…
- 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM…
- Maximum 10 Participants To Guarantee Lots Of One On One Attention
- Lunch, Piton Beer, Water & Ferry Transfers Included
- Resort Pick Up & Drop Off From Castries & North
- Taxi or Rental Car Required From South of Castries (we can assist with this)
- Ideal for Photo Enthusiasts & Photographers of All Skill Levels
- Non-Photographers are encouraged and join for 1/2 Price
- Private Photo Tours Available
- Early Booking Encouraged As Spaces Fill Up Quickly
- Rated #1 excursion in Castries, St Lucia on TripAdvisor
- TripAdvisor also rates it one of The Top 5 Caribbean Photo Tour
St Lucia Photo Tour In Detail
The St Lucia Photo Tour is one of the truly bespoke St Lucia tours and while we work to give you all the information you need to decide that this is the perfect St Lucia excursion for you, we also encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have as we are all about delivering your most memorable vacation experience ever. So at the end of this write up you will find an email link should you still have any questions.
What You Will Learn On The St Lucia Photo Tour
How The Camera Works:
You will learn how Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO inter-lock like perfectly matching jig saw pieces, allowing you to create amazingly different versions of any scene simply by manipulating these 3 functions instead of letting your camera select them in Auto. This important first lesson introduces you to Depth of Field and how to use this powerful concept to control the mood of your pictures…
Composition and The Rule of Thirds:
In this lesson you will learn why the centre of your image is often the weakest point in a picture and why you should hardly ever place your important picture elements in this position. You will also learn how to use diagonals to lead your viewer on a pleasing visual journey round your pictures as well as a little known technique for giving your pictures a sense of depth for a more 3D feel…
Capturing Images of Locals Abroad without Pissing Them Off:
This has fast become one of the most popular training sections and if you feel uncomfortable taking pictures of locals abroad the techniques you will learn will introduce you to an amazing approach that not only eliminates your discomfort, but also empowers you in your interactions, leading to authentic travel photos of real natives abroad…
Understanding and Controlling Light For Better Pictures:
Here we will explore a simple yet profound technique that will have you shooting better pictures by finding your shadow and facing it. By the end of this lesson you will see the light, both literally and creatively…
Circular Polarizer Power:
You will come away understanding what a circular polarizer does, how it works, why this is the one filter I absolutely MUST have and why you should have one too…
Scene Analysis & The Michael Angelo Theory:
And to wrap up your learning session we will explore how you should approach and analyze a scene before even taking your camera to your eye. And finally we will bring it all together with the deeply profound, yet simple to grasp Michael Angelo Theory – and it will blow you away with the elegance of its simplicity…
– and here’s what you will learn:
Practical Photo Lessons For You
After this introduction to photography it is time for you to really put your camera through its paces and this will be a really enlightening session that will have you working in your camera’s Aperture Priority Mode.
We will start with an exercise in depth of field and focus control with a measure of composition testing thrown in for good measure. This shooting session comes with an unexpected surprise that you will discover as you start to shoot and this surprise will pave the pathway for your improved photography going forward.
Your aim will be to produce a picture similar to the one below in which the Rule of Thirds is honored and selective focusing with a shallow Depth of Field is employed to deliver the bottom left flower in focus and the top right one out of focus.
Slow Down Your Photography For Better Pictures
This exercise will teach you to slow things down and really concentrate on nailing your shot. With memory cards today allowing you to record well over 1000 RAW images it is oh so easy to treat your camera like an automatic weapon and go crazy hoping that somewhere in there the perfect gem will magically appear. Trouble though with this approach is that you then have a ton of pictures to weed through; and very often you never even find the gem you had hoped for.
Well this exercise will teach you how to slow down, operate like a snipper where one shot means one kill and in the process you will learn to nail your perfect shot in far fewer attempts.
Exploring The World Around You
After reviewing, critiquing and even re-working your images with Kirk’s expert guidance you will be ready to explore the world around you with a critical eye for composition, depth of field consideration and overall story telling through your photography. Empowered with your newly found knowledge we will walk right across the street where a myriad of photo opportunities await you – from fishing boats in the bay, to docked up cruise ships – in season, to fishermen at work and whatever else is happening that day.
You will get to consider where is the light coming from, by finding your shadow then figuring out how best to make the light do your bidding, or even if you must abandon certain shots because the light simply isn’t right. And through all of this I am always near; ready to review your pictures and forever asking – “So what is your story?” as I encourage you to find ways to make your pictures tell your story.
I Won’t Shoot Much With My Camera
Throughout our day together you will find that I hardly ever shoot with my camera as the St Lucia Photo Tour is all about you and helping you to sharpen your photography skills. So after reviewing your pictures I will quite often shoot a reference picture – like maybe the ground. This shot will let you know where your pictures end and where mine begin. I will then shoot my version of the shots we reviewed, or maybe I’ll shoot some different ones as a way to share an alternate idea. This simple technique allows you to review the pictures at your leisure when you are back at home so you can compare and contrast the differences between our images. However it is important to remember that there are no rights nor wrongs, but rather just different interpretations of a given scene and my mission is to help you see those variations as a way to enhance your photographic vision.
Exploring The Castries City Center & Roman Catholic Cathedral
Once we leave the fishing docks we will head off to downtown Castries for an exercise in low light photography inside the largest Roman Catholic church on the island – The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Here you will have the opportunity to experiment with low light photography with and without flash. You will also learn how to determine the ideal ISO to shoot at in these limited light conditions to produce the best balance between the horrors of digital noise and the blurriness caused by a shutter speed that is too slow. And not to worry if any of this sounds like Greek or Swahili right now as it will all make sense when we are together inside the cathedral.
More Than Just Photography
Now while so far I have been sharing insights into the photography aspect of the Photo Tour, your day out with us will be about so much more than just photography as we will explore some of Saint Lucia’s colorful history which saw the island changing hands between the British and the French a total of 14 times! We may touch on how we’ve come to be British rather than French like Martinique which is the island directly north of us, as you get to experience and enjoy an authentic St Lucian cultural immersion.
SUV Or A Bus For Your Total Comfort
With groups of up to 4 persons we will ride in my SUV and with groups of from 5 to 10 persons we will travel in a bus configured for 15 passengers so you always enjoy maximum comfort.
A Wonderful Treat For Non-Photographers Too
When I first started the Photo Tours I knew I wanted to have non-photographer spouses come along since a memorable vacation is about spending quality time with the one you love. However I always wondered if they would really enjoy the day out would they be bored stiff, having no interest in photography. So even though I offered a 50% discount to non-photographers I would always ask about their experience and was quite surprised at the answers I got.
What I heard the most was that they thoroughly enjoyed the day as it was quite relaxing, plus they learnt a lot about St Lucia, its culture and its people. Well that didn’t surprise me, but here’s what really did – It was the number of spouses who told me that they really enjoyed spending the day with their loved one, watching them have a grand old time immersed in their photography.
Truth is I would never have thought of this. However once I learnt about it I was really happy that I had included spouses from the inception.
An Authentic St Lucian Lunch Awaits You
Once we are through with downtown Castries you will be just about ready for a cool drink and some lunch – Real Lucian Style…
We travel with water and ice cold Piton beer – our local brew, for those who are into water conservation and a cool and refreshing drink is in order as we head off to lunch.
Lunch is a 10 minute drive away at a restraint that is so “rootsy” local that if you were driving on your own you would most likely drive straight pass it and not even realize. However this restaurant is such a melting pot of local life, from Joe Average St Lucian, to local corporate executives, high ranking government officials and even St Lucia’s Prime Minister on occasion.
Here you will meet real salt of the earth St Lucians and experience authentic local cuisine that just might be the culinary highlight of your St Lucia stay.
After Lunch It’s Off To Picturesque Marigot Bay
Marigot Bay is one of the most beautiful anchorages in the Caribbean and just about the safest when it comes to riding out a hurricane. And speaking of hurricanes, with the recent devastation the northern Caribbean experienced many of the mega yachts have repositioned to St Lucia and the sight of some of these gazillion dollar beauties is simply jaw dropping – but just wait till you see them up close and personal to see what I mean.
So Marigot Bay is a whole different level of photography from what you will experience before lunch.
Ride The Little Ginger Bread Ferry In Marigot Bay
Down in Marigot Bay you will get to jump on the little ginger bread ferry to cross over the bay for more pictures on the other side. Though the two sides are separated by less than 100m of waters they offer such differing shooting experiences and photo ops as you will come to discover. As always, I will be on hand to answer all of your questions and to offer more insights and guidance as you continue to hone your photography skills.
It is not unusual that by the time you get down to photographing Marigot Bay for your shooting to have metamorphosed into a tighter more studied interpretation of the scenes surrounding you as the ideas we would have explored earlier in the day start sinking in.
And by the time we are done with Marigot Bay you will be ready for a celebratory Piton Beer as we head back to your resort!
What If It Rains
Unless it’s a hurricane we hardly ever stop for rain as rainy weather lends itself to beautiful photography once you shift your mind away from the idea of sun shinny pictures. In fact mastering and overcoming the challenge of shooting in the rain simply adds another arrow of photographic technique to your photography quiver – which isn’t a bad thing after all.
But should it rain we have umbrellas for everyone, oversized garbage bags for your camera bag and smaller ones for your cameras too. So as you can see – We have you covered!!
Will We Visit The Pitons
This is a question I get asked quite often and from a logistical standpoint the answer is no. You see the Pitons are a 2 hour drive from Castries so why spend 4 hours round trip out of a 6 hour tour jus driving? Instead we prefer to spend less time driving and more time photographing, teaching and critiquing.
We then encourage you to schedule a follow up day to explore the island for more photography after you’ve done the Photo Tour and on this day you can venture down to Soufriere and even beyond.
So Who Is Kirk Elliott And Why Should I Do His St Lucia Photo Tour???
With a double major science degree in Geology and Chemistry and a passion for the arts I stumbled into professional and Commercial photography back in 1991 purely by accident. You see I had won a scholarship to study for a career in Geothermal Engineering back when St Lucia first delved into geothermal exploration. But after completing my first degree over in Jamaica I returned home to the shocking discovery that the government had abandoned the project because it was not economically viable!
But back up a few years before this, when as a kid an uncle gave me a Kodak Instant Camera one Christmas and I was completely hooked. So while at uni in Jamaica I joined the camera club and had so much fun exploring Jamaica on photo expeditions that I got good enough for students to seek me out for passport pictures as word quickly got round that I made people look good in passport pictures. And what a confidence booster that was…
So fast forward to coming back home to no job, when one day my big sis who worked at a hotel asked would I like to come shoot a wedding. Well of course I said YES, even though I had never shot a wedding before – and the thought of failure never crossed my mind… Well the bride loved her pictures and some 30+ years later here you are finding out about me!
But seriously though – because of my science background and also because all sorts of fancy photo gear was not available down here in St Lucia I had no choice but to figure out how to create stunning photography with the little that I had by paying close attention to everything that impacted my pictures. It was this limitation that forced me to learn to create far more with far less and this has been my secret sauce ever since.
Shooting 50 Weddings A Month Really Honed My Skills
Then one day I got invited to be the resident photographer at a popular resort where together with a small team of photographers I trained we shot 50 or so weddings per month, as well as corporate and marketing photography for the resort, both in St Lucia and at other Caribbean properties they own.During a 10 year stint there I had the opportunity to train with and learn from some of the world’s best photographers from Hawaii to Miami and across the Caribbean too which helped me get to a whole new level of photographic creativity.
The St Lucia Photo Tour Is Born
Then it all came to an end when the resort terminated resident photography and took the service in house. After struggling for quite sometime to find a new purpose and outlet for my photography I decided on a whim to share my unique and sometimes contrarian approach to photography with visitors with fancy digital cameras who were shooting in Auto and missing all of the magic that comes from understanding and mastering these really powerful machines that camera manufacturers have created for us today…
Well something struck a chord with photographers just like you and suddenly my TripAdvisor listing started blowing up with rave reviews and Certificates of Excellence. Then more accolades came in from the ultra exclusive luxury travel market and suddenly the word was out.
St Lucia Photo Tour Awards & Reviews
Named one of the Top 5 Caribbean Photo Tours by Trip Advisor, the St Lucia Photo Tour has won TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence 4 years in a row now.
Luxury Travel Awards voted the St Lucia Photo Tour St Lucia’s Best in Class for Uniqueness and in 2017 voted it Best in Class for a Cultural Experience.
And just in case you haven’t found the Photo Tour on TripAdvisor as yet here’s what happy photographers just like you are saying:
Great Viking Cruise Tour
We were in St Lucia on our Viking Sea cruise. This was the first time Viking offered this photo excursion and it was excellent. Kirk was very knowledgeable and shared his knowledge in an easy to understand format. I’ve been on another similar excursion but his far exceeded the other.
Great day out for me and baby whilst hubby focused on learning to take the perfect picture
I booked a private tour with Kirk as a surprise birthday present for my husband who dreams of taking the perfect picture. I went along with our 7 month old baby to enjoy the day out and see more of the island and I’m so glad that I did! My husband had a wonderful day indulging in his hobby whilst baby and I relaxed, explored new sights and enjoyed chatting with Kirk about the Island and his adventures. We were very well taken care of and I would highly recommend spending time with Kirk. The photo lessons have already paid off as hubby’s pics are wonderful!
London, United Kingdom
I learned more, than I expected
The time with Kirk was spent as a combination of basic instruction on the technical fundamentals (aperture, shutter speed, etc) that helped me get comfortable with my new camera, and some very insightful advanced composition tips. He explained how to approach strangers in the street in a friendly way and get a photo of them. That was very valuable for me! Kirk’s personality is perfect for a photo walk. He’s interesting, smart, and a good teacher. By the end of the photo tour I felt like I had just spent a delightful day with a friend! After the tour, Kirk sent me a summary PDF-file, which is very helpful. He also lent me one of his lenses to try out, and I purchased the same one back home, because it is convenient and will be my only lense from now on (18-300mm).
Thank you Kirk!
An amazing day spent in great company with a knowledgeable and passionate photographer
I had the most amazing day on my own with Kirk. He picked me up first thing in the morning and on the way to Castries we talked about my experience using a DSLR camera and what skills I would like to develop during the day. At the park in Castries he helped to understand much more about my camera, how to use light more effectively and how to frame a composition. Kirk has a great personality and a wonderful sense of humour. He made it all very interesting and after only an hour I felt I had learned a lot. Then we went off on location to various places that I might not otherwise have visited given that I was staying in a resort hotel. Firstly the harbour then the Cathedral and the streets of Castries. This was followed by lunch in an authentic roadside cafe where the welcome was warm and friendly. Everywhere you go Kirk knows somebody! After that Marigo Bay and the little ferry across to the Island which has featured in a number of movies including Dr Doolittle. Along the way we drink a beer or two, met a number of local folks and took many interesting photographs. I have been to St Lucia before and had thought about doing this trip. I am so glad I did it this time. Fantastic day. Afterwards Kirk sent me a summary of the things we had discussed and some helpful notes. He also enrolled me in his Photo Alumni Group which enables Kirk to stay in touch with people who have undertaken the tour. Whether you are a beginning photographer or more experienced a day with Kirk is the business and I would thoroughly recommend it!
Jersey, United Kingdom
My Secret Photography Teaching Sauce
- …that I’m ABSOLUTELY passionate about photography…
- …that I break photography teaching down into it’s most fundamental principles that everyone can understand, and I use analogies that will make you go – “Wow – Now that really makes sense”
- …that I hold nothing back – You see, my approach to teaching is one that says: Hey if tomorrow I could no longer share all of this photography knowledge that I have discovered and figured out through countless trials, mistakes and failures along the way, I would hate to know that it was all locked up inside of me. As a result I am committed to giving you no less than 500% of value on the St Lucia Photo Tour … or as much as you can absorb, and I hold nothing back… Hey it’s gonna be like sipping water from a fire hose – but with the sting!
- By the end of your day on the Photo Tour you can expect your head to be swimming with amazing new photography insights and knowledge, and unlike other St Lucia tours this is knowledge that you will carry forward for the rest of your life that you will find yourself using every time you pick up your camera to shoot pictures…
And my greatest joy out of all of this is watching photo tour participants get an AHA moment when suddenly something just clicks and makes perfect sense. I live for those moments and I see them time and time again on the Photo Tour, and look forward to seeing your AHA moments too…
Who Is The St Lucia Photo Tour Best Suited For – From Beginner To Advance
Whether you are a newbie photographer, intermediate or even a seasoned pro the St Lucia Photo Tour caters for photo enthusiasts and photographers of all levels as long as you are passionate about photography.
For the beginner photographer the fundamentals we teach will set you securely on a path for success and at the other extreme the seasoned professional is guaranteed to find nuggets of gold within my contrarian approach to seeing the world and to sharing this vision through photography. Plus the insights I share on travel photography and connecting with locals abroad has received rave reviews and has become a highlight of the training that photographers of all levels have really enjoyed – and I am certain you will enjoy too.
Very Small Groups Just Twice Weekly Guarantees Maximum Learning & Quality Personal Time with Kirk
The Photo Tour goes out on a Monday and Thursday only and with never more than 10 persons. This guarantees that you will have a great learning experience as well as lots of one on one time with Kirk to really help you hone your skills. We also encourage non-photographer spouses or travel partners to join us as the Photo Tour is also a great day of cultural immersion too and not just all about photography. Best of all accompanying non-photographers get to join at half the regular price!
An Investment In Your Passion For Photography
By now I’m sure you have come to realize that the St Lucia Photo Tour is unlike those other vacation excursions where your experience lasts for the day and then it’s over and done. Instead this Photo Tour is an investment in your passion for photography that will bring you a lifetime of value and pleasure every time you use your camera to create another great picture. And this I believe makes the Photo Tour your Ultimate vacation experience.
So What About Pricing?
Having said this I can now hear you asking – “So what does all of this cost?” … which is a fair enough question to ask at this time. And while the price of the Photo Tour won’t break the bank I’ll come back to it a little later as there’s just a bit more valuable information I wish to share with you…
Optional Private Photo Tours
- Some tell me that they are simply at a stage of their life where they enjoy exclusivity and would rather just have me to themselves for the day … and I must confess that this is both humbling and inspiring…
- Others tell me that they wish to create their own personalized itinerary that goes way beyond the scope of the fixed locations we visit on the regular Photo Tours. With these persons we work together to create their ideal itinerary then go out and execute…
- Still others are blessed with a level of wealth and disposable income that they wouldn’t have their Photo Tour any other way and for these persons the sky is truly the limit. Whether it’s A Photo Tour with Kirk for a day, Kirk for a week or even Kirk with them on a different island it is all about their ultimate photo experience – and those are on a whole different level…
Which ever of these it might be for you I aim to please to announce that your wish is my command and I’m only an email, a phone cll or a WhatsApp away so please reach out:
Contact Kirk Now
However I hasten to add that when I am with clients I do not answer my phone out of the utmost respect for their time, so should you call and not get me simply leave a message, shoot me a WhatsApp or an email and I will return your call at my soonest.
Once You Have Booked Your Photo Tour
Once you have booked your Photo Tour you will receive a Pre-Photo Tour questionnaire which you will complete and return via email.
We Check In With You About A Week Before You Travel To St Lucia
In this questionnaire you will share with us your cell phone number so we can add you on Whatsapp. This will allow us to remain seamlessly in contact and we will check in with you about a week before you depart for St Lucia, then again once you arrive. Once you arrive we will re-confirm your pick up time and you will be all systems set to go.
What Are Your # Most Burning Photography Questions?
In the questionnaire you will also share with us your photography skill level, your areas of photographic interest as well as the 3 Most Important things you wish to learn on the Photo Tour.
These questions, along with the others you will answer really set the stage for a personalized level of learning that many Photo Tour Alumni claim is their best photo workshop ever and we pride ourselves on this level of customization and personalization.
Photo Tour Summarization PDF
After your Photo Tour we will email you a summary of the salient points we covered in the morning Introduction To Photography learning session. As a result you can skip taking notes, though I must tell you that quite a number of persons have said that they still enjoy taking their own notes as those notes tend to jog their memories in a very unique way.
We generally mail your PDF out to you about a week or so after you get back home and at that time we invite you to post a review over on TripAdvisor and sometimes a few other places like on our official google page and on google plus.
Photo Tour Alumni Mailing List
After your Photo Tour we will add you to our Photo Tour Alumni Mailing List as we tend to reach out to alumni from time to time with interesting photography news and insights.
Follow Us On Instagram
We invite you to follow us on Instagram and will send you a special invitation to share some of your photos with us for posting to our instagram page with attribution to you and details for viewers to check out your instagram feed.
This is a great way to boost your following as you will reach an audience that may not have otherwise discovered you. And if you promote commercial work through your instagram feed this exposure could also lead to additional business!
Cancellation & Refund Policy
- 100% No Questions Asked Refund for cancellations within 48 hours of booking
- 90% No Questions Asked Refund up to 30 days before your booking date
- 50% No Questions Asked Refund 15 – 29 days before your booking date
- No Refund less than 15 days before your booking date
Still Got A Question For Me?
So there you have it – All of the pertinent details about the St Lucia Photo Tour for your easy reference. However should you still have a question, or should you require clarification on anything at all you can reach my via the links below:
But remember that I do not answer my phone when I am with clients out of the utmost respect for their time, so just shoot me an email, or a WhatsApp or leave a message on my phone and I will get back to you at my soonest.
U$250 – Photographer
U$125 – Accompanying non-Photographer
Children less than 12 years old – 1/2 Price
See You Soon…
P.S. Way more than just another vacation excursion, the St Lucia Photo Tour is an investment in your passion for photography that will reward you with great photography time and time again long after you have left St Lucia
P.P.S. Many Photo Tour Alumni write to tell me that long after they are gone they still hear my voice ringing in their ears asking “So what is your story?” whenever they pick up their camera to shoot a picture … and they tell me that they love it!