Photography Tour vs Photography Workshop

Photography workshops and photography tours are increasingly becoming more popular. They are advertised by individual photographers and photography tour companies. But how does one distinguish between the two and know which is the best fit?

This question was certainly a priority for me at Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures when laying out the products for our website and marketing initiatives.

In this post, I will describe the differences between the two primarily regarding how Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures distinguishes the two, but hopefully this will also help as a guide when doing your own research with other companies that offer photography related experiences!

Photography Tour

Photography Guide

All of our photography tours are lead by at least one photography expert and up to two guides with groups of 6 or more. Our guides have an understanding of the photography opportunities of the area where the tour will be conducted as well as a good sense of timing, light, and schedule.

Our guides are competent photographers producing professional level images. They are proactive with offering advice to assist you in getting the best images possible. Our photography guides differ than instructors in the way that they focus more on the groups' experience than how much they are learning.

Suitable for all skill levels

We offer the best opportunities to access photography locations that are visually stunning and appropriate for any level of photographer. The locations we visit during our photography tours should impress the novice and any seasoned landscape photographer.

Specific destination and locations included

Generally speaking, all of our photography tours have a specific destination. Along the way, there are stops included as part of the itinerary as well as any impromptu stops. If we or our guests notice something that they want to photograph because of the light or particular landscape, all of our tours have the flexibility to make stops en route to accommodate the dynamic nature of outdoor photography!

For example, our Abraham Lake and Banff Winter Photography Tour made an unexpected stop at this lookout at Hector Lake because the light and clouds were very unique and visually striking although this was not a planned stop on the tour.

All of our photography tours are fully licensed and insured for maximum protection and comfort of our guests.

Abraham Lake Workshop guests photographing-full

No formal instruction

Although our photography experts are recognized in their field of photography and have the skills to offer advice for photographers of any skill level, there is no formal instruction offered. Our photography tours are designed to give the guest maximum freedom of exploring photo opportunities with the skill levels they are comfortable with. Our photography tours are aimed at maximizing time in the field taking pictures.

David Thompson Highway

Photography Workshop

Photography Instructor

our photography workshops are lead by National Geographic Traveler award-winning photographer, Mark Unrau with the use of assistant instructors to deliver the content and help our participants in the field.

Mark with a client Two Jack

Mark Unrau teaching landscape photography skills during Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures private guiding session.

Focused on a particular technique, theme or skill level

Our photography workshops are focused on a particular theme such as landscape photography or Canon DSLR for beginners. All of our workshops will be tagged with a skill level that the workshop is appropriate for.

Private Guided Landscape Photography Workshops in Banff and Canadian Rockies

Prepared Lectures 

A wealth of content will be prepared and delivered to the guests in a formal instructive manner with the aim to improve the technical and compositional skills of the participants.

Practical component

Our photography workshops may have specific exercises or other practical components in the field to help understand certain photography concepts. There could be in-class components and processing labs. Often our photography workshops will have specific requirements that the guest will need to be prepared with. For example, Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop installed.

The goal of our workshops is to improve your photography skills

There may be more than one location during a workshop, however, there is no particular route or destination like a photography tour. Our workshops are focused on you learning and practicing new techniques with an opportunity to get out on location. Our workshops may or may not include transportation depending on the locations visited.

Moraine Lake Canoes Landscape Filters rocky Mountain Photo Adventures

Photography Tour vs Workshop quick comparison

Photography Tour

-Photography Guide

-Transportation is integral part of tour and the driver is properly insured to carry passengers

-Suitable for any skill level of photographer

-No formal instruction delivered

Photography Tours

Banff landscape photography workshops and tours

Photography Workshop

-Photography Instructor

-Transportation may not be included and may not be insured for passenger transportation.

-Generally aimed at a specific skill level and technique

-The main goal is to deliver formal instruction

Private Guiding

Mark with a client Two Jack

Three Peaks Workshop

Bow Lake Sunrise Banff Long Exposure
banff and canadian rockies landscape photography tours and workshops


About the author

Mark Unrau is an award-winning professional photographer and owner of Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures based in the small mountain town of Banff, Canada. Mark's extensive travel photography has earned him international acclaim with accolades such as the Grand Prize from National Geographic Traveler's "World in Focus" competition and awards from the Prix de Paris. While he appreciates the recognition, it’s his desire to interact with the people and landscapes of our diverse world that motivates him to create images. When he’s not busy teaching landscape photography in the Canadian Rockies, he can be found wandering a mountainside or drinking chai with the locals somewhere he hasn’t been before.