Everyone has heard some variation of the expression “seeing with new eyes,” but we still don’t often apply it to the things that are most familiar to us, for example, the city we live in. Whether you’ve lived in Seattle for months or years, at some point you think you’ve seen it all. Or most of it. It doesn’t often occur to residents that something like a photography tour would be useful or fun to anyone but tourists. That’s because they haven’t taken a Shuttertours Walking Tour of Seattle.
While a photography tour with Shuttertours is a great and unique activity for visitors to Seattle, residents of the city will be surprised to find that familiar landmarks look different behind the lens of a camera and with the expert guidance of the Shuttertours guides. The 3 hour tour includes “mini lessons in compsition and helping you “see” better, without all the technical jargon.” Talented and professional photographers lead a tour that “includes some out-of-the-way surprises that you might ordinarily miss,” which means that tourists get to explore the hidden side of Seattle and residents can find new aspects of things they thought utterly familiar. Not to mention that everyone walks away with unique, one-of-a-kind photographs of Seattle. It’s surprising all the ways there are to shoot the Hammering Man statue at the Seattle Art Museum.
Shuttertours owner Terry Divyak conceived the idea for the company while on a trip to New York City, where, like most other cities, the tours offered to visitors were predictable. A walking photography tour is out of the ordinary and it’s now the only one of its kind in Seattle. Divyak is proud of the photographer guides who work for him and the connections they all make with clients. The service is highly personal and that shows in the photographs and the testimonials. Everyone rides the Ducks – do something different.
Tour groups are limited to 8 people and although it’s a walking tour starting and ending at the Pike Place Market, with stops along the waterfront, out of the way alleys and other places, it’s not strenuous. Valentina Vitols, one of the photography guides, points out that there is flexibility with small groups, so the interests of clients are taken into account during the tour. They will work with what you want to do, and you wouldn’t believe all the ways there are to take pictures of the gum wall and the fascination it holds for people.
You don’t need to be a “good” photographer to take this tour and you don’t need special equipment. Divyak tells the story of a woman who accidentally left her camera at home and ended up taking the tour with a drugstore disposable camera. Everyone from absolute beginners and children to serious amateurs and professionals are welcome and the guides are skilled at working with people at all levels and helping them get the most out of their travel photography. Enjoy an “insider’s” tour of Seattle, learn to be a better photographer and go home with “your own iconic Seattle photographs.”
Tours start at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm in the Pike Place Market, but reservations and tickets are needed in advance, which you can get through Brown Paper Tickets online or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Cost is $39 plus tax and children under 10 are free. Check the Shuttertours website for more details.