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“For what you get, the price is far too high”

Hairy Goat Photography Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Hairy Goat is a London photography walking tour company providing tours such as the non-instructional London Photography Mystery Tour, the instructional London Photography Tour, photography workshops and personal photography tuition. Each tour contains an element of the Mystery Tour as we go to unplanned locations. We discover the often un-noticed and unexpected treasures of London and the tours are aimed at people who like to take photographs and those who like to explore a city, while learning something about it. Group sizes are small, the tours are very interactive and lots of fun. For more details of Hairy Goat photography tours, plus photography workshops and personal tuition, please go to the website.
Reviewed 1 September 2013

I did the night tour about a month ago which lasted for three hours and cost £80 but walked away from it with only two decent shots and not much by the way of new insight or knowledge which is really what I was looking for. We started on the South Bank and there was only one other person on the tour which I thought would lead to a useful opportunity for some more personalised tuition.

Without having done any beginner courses before, a lot of the rapid fire information about ISO, aperture, shutter speed and exposure was a lot to take in. I don't think it was very well communicated that a beginner workshop class is recommended before taking the night time tour.

My main gripe with the evening was that when setting up the camera to take a picture, it often refused to take a shot. Our tour guide kept fiddling with the settings by putting it on manual to override the camera but in the end couldn't come out with any suitable solutions as to why the camera would refuse to release the shutter resulting in a frustrating evening with out many images to show for it. My tour guide suggested that the camera's exposure metre was calibrated incorrectly and that I should get in touch with Nikon about this. When I got home and did some straightforward research, it transpired that I needed to switch the focus to manual in order to release the shutter because with the lack of light, in auto-focus, the camera kept getting confused. I feel that this is a pretty simple solution that should have been suggested by the tour guide at the beginning of the night which would have resulted in a much better experience. I've had the camera checked since and the exposure metre calibration is fine.

I had watched some YouTube clips before doing the course about long exposure shots to catch light trials and on the night, one of the good shots I got was setting the camera up in front of Big Ben catching the light from a bus going past. I felt that having watched the clips I could have done this successfully on my own without the cost of the tour. The only other good shot I got was in Trafalgar Square where the tour guide recommended a shot with a reflection from the water as the fountains were turned off. This wouldn't have occurred to me unless it was pointed out to me and I feel like this was the only real productive lesson I took from the night meaning that £80 was extremely steep for one recommendation leading to one good shot.

Following the course, I've come out to do some night time photography on my own and found that the shots I took on my own were better than the ones I took on the course. For example, I have experimented with long exposure shots and taken some really impressive shots of the London Eye using shutter speeds of 30 seconds or more. This wasn't suggested during the tour and when I look at the shots I took that night of the London Eye, they are terrible compared to the ones I took on my own.

The tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable which is why I feel bad about writing this review and why I have been putting it off for some time, but I can't disguise the fact that I felt the night was unproductive, frustrating and very expensive for what it was and I booked with this tour company purely based on the glowing reviews left by others. I wish I could say that I shared their positive experiences but I didn't.

Another thing I found quite annoying was that when a Spanish family asked for a quick snap to be taken in front of the Houses of Parliament, our tour guide kept trying to take pictures of them but wasn't happy with the results and ending up spending 20 minutes explaining some very technical things to them about settings and equipment they could invest in and it seemed clear to me that they just wanted to move on. It was particularly annoying because at the time I was trying to get my camera to take a picture, which it wouldn't and could have done with some assistance.

Honestly, I don't like giving negative reviews but at the same time I feel that I have to be honest.

2  Thank The-Rapture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hairygoat, Owner at Hairy Goat Photography Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2013

I appreciate the time and effort that goes into writing and hope that all clients will write an honest review. In responding I will do the same.

It is very clearly stated on the Hairy Goat Night Photography Tour website page that it is a non-instructional tour and that you must be past beginner level with a knowledge of Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed etc. Clients wishing to learn night photography should book into a workshop or personal tuition session instead.

On this particular night tour, we had 2 clients. One repeat client and a new client, who wrote this review. The new client stated very early on that they were learning and expected to be taught on the tour. They were advised it was a non-instructional tour, but that I would help them. On the tour I spent substantial time teaching and trying to rectify problems with the camera, to the point the second client didn’t receive equal attention. Luckily, the second client was understanding of the situation and familiar with their camera. However, this is not a situation I want other clients to ever experience again.

I’m pleased that the new client has since been able to resolve their camera issues and take the photos they want on their own. I do however, find it unfair that after coming onto a non-instructional tour with much higher tuition expectations than the website very clearly states it provides, and after receiving far more attention and assistance than the other client to resolve his issues, that the tour was given a 2 star review and considered over-priced. I would highly recommend the client attends a cut price special offer tour with a large group to see the difference.

At Hairy Goat, we pride ourselves on the quality of our tours and the fact that we have so much repeat custom and referred business from satisfied clients. We endeavour to fulfil the expectations of our clients based on the promises made on our website. Based on every other review that has been written on here by satisfied clients, we think we usually manage to live up to expectations and are just sorry to read that we were not able to do so on this occasion. However, we do feel that we make the content of our tours pretty clear on the website, so hope this will avoid any future disappointment occurring. We love what we do at Hairy Goat and part of that passion is the enjoyment the vast majority of our clients experience with us.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (777)
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All reviews
"mystery tour"
in 128 reviews
"night tour"
in 51 reviews
"great shots"
in 39 reviews
"photo tour"
in 37 reviews
"shutter speed"
in 25 reviews
"photography tips"
in 21 reviews
"camera settings"
in 15 reviews
"photography experience"
in 13 reviews
"interesting photos"
in 8 reviews
"street photography"
in 9 reviews
"hidden gems"
in 21 reviews
"great tour"
in 44 reviews
"three hours"
in 26 reviews
"learning how"
in 8 reviews
"taking photos"
in 19 reviews
"photo opportunities"
in 17 reviews
"learn how"
in 10 reviews

408 - 412 of 777 reviews

Reviewed 31 August 2013

I had an absolutely wonderful tour night before last. My wife said I came back with the biggest smile on my face. I really enjoyed myself and learned a lot. Hairy Goat provides great ideas, expertise and fun. Corinna really tried to gear the tour to subject matter that interested me.

1  Thank foresterc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

Booked a mystery tour , arrived to find the tour party was me , result ! Corinna is a very knowledgeable person in both camera skills , which were put forward in a very enthusiastic and easy to understand format , and the history of the various locations we visited.
Even as a relative newbee to the world of proper cameras I was introduced to the P mode and not auto of which I normally relied. Corinna helped me to see the parts of London that I have walked past many a time without even noticing , having worked in London for 10 years thats a tad embarrassing.
Summary is had a marvellous day, learnt how to use my camera and saw / photographed some spectacular sights, although I did miss one ! Finally Corinna is a top sheila ! , very easy to get on with and made the day what it was.
Highly recommended and will be booking another tour.

Thank 1050john
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2013

I only had a small kodak compact camera but somehow I felt it was far superior by the end of our tour! I’ve never done a tour before but not only learnt tips about photography but also gained more insight into the great city itself. Recommend to anyone of any photographic ability, worth every penny. Thanks Corinna.

1  Thank Catriona H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 August 2013

We were lucky enough to spend 5 hours with Corinna..first in a coffee shop going over basics, then on to the streets. She is super enthusiastic and has a great way of explaining photography in terms you can grasp. I booked this for my husband & myself after reading the reviews...as the day approached I was wondering if I had made a mistake. DEFINITELY NOT. Well worth every cent and a lot of fun (although your brain does get a bit overloaded by the end!)

1  Thank RebeccaVancouver_BC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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