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“Great trip for photographers who want to see Morocco with an excellent teacher; and generous local hosts.”

Images in the Sun Tours
Ranked #18 of 61 Tours in Essaouira
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Day Tours from Essaouira every Wednesday & Sunday into the local countryside visiting a country market (souk). Both photography and cooking workshops available.
Reviewed 21 March 2015

We had a fantastic trip that started in Marrakesh and ended at Merzouga in the Sahara. Darren and his wife, Naima, are wonderful and knowledgeable hosts. My wife and I traveled with them and 1 other photographer, who happened to speak both Arabic and English. Niama was always great at smoothing the way with families and shopkeepers as we photographed along our way. Darren is a generous and patient teacher with years of artistic and photographic experience.

He has done a lot of leg working in finding some of the best places to shoot and he always seemed to be in those spots at the right time of the day. The tour has the advantage of being guided locals who have made the trip before. They took us to great small family run riads—inns with interior courtyards. The accommodations were very comfortable with lots of hot water and well heated—we were there in February. We often felt like family guests with hosts that were concerned about feeding us well and making us feel at home.

We were cold one night—the night we slept in tents on the desert. The next morning felt rather silly that we did not get other blankets; there were about 20 extra blankets readily available!

The desert and the dunes were the photographic high spot for me. These are photos I’ve never taken before. Along the way we had many opportunities to photograph landscapes and people: a weaver in her home and have lunch her family; a cobbler and his family, including their young children and a Berber woman in her home.

It was a great time. We felt safe at all times and traveling in a small group with locals—there were 5 of us in our vehicle—we did not attract attention. And being local, Darren does not have to add on his own travel expenses. It is a very, very well priced, super trip.

1  Thank BerlinSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 January 2015

One of the other reviews here put it really well and succinctly: "if you want to improve your photography in a fantastic location with a great teacher at a very reasonable cost, look no further". For me too, this says it all. Essaouira is an amazing and exotic location and one with so many images to feast the eye; Darren is a really excellent and generous teacher of photography, both on the technicalities of getting the best out of the camera and also on inspiring and stimulating creativity. Maison du Sud is a delightful choice for accommodation, full of colour and charming nooks and crannies, located right in the centre of the old Medina.

1  Thank msemdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2014

Darren,

Thank you for a wonderful trip. While I have been on various other photographic tours, I had no idea what to expect in Morocco. This was by far the most exotic and unique place I've been. Not only was the scenery exciting and different, but the people we photographed were amazing. The experience of photographing people in their homes, eating with them, meeting their children, going to market with them and watching them work as we visited with them made this trip very special. I think that I understand the culture as more than just a tourist.
And, of course, the photographs of these experiences are a treasure. As this was a photographic tour, I need to say that you were an amazing instructor. You were able to take each of us from where we are photographically and help us to reach a higher level. Since our group was only three, we each received far more individual guidance than I have ever received before. But your hiking over the dunes back to the vehicle to get me a fresh battery was definitely beyond anything I expected! In a very relaxed and laid back atmosphere, I learned to
handle the light that is characteristic of this part of the world and so different from at home. And we seemed to arrive at each location just when the light was at its best.

The hotels we stayed at were wonderful. While they were traditionally Moroccan, they were all beautiful, charming and very well run. (And in addition to the Moroccan hospitality, they had all the modern amenities we could want!) The hotels added to my feeling of being in a different
place and the architecture reminded me of the history of Morocco--from the traditional tile work of the Riad to the French Auberge.

The food was terrific and Naima was a big help in deciphering the menus. Her little "cooking lesson" the last evening and her guidance in selecting spices in the market were a real highlight. I have prepared Tagines twice now. The first time just for us and the second I invited
friends to share. I had hoped to be able to share our photos with them also, but I am not finished reviewing them. However, they have offered to come back for the photos and another Moroccan dinner.

Willa
Virginia, USA

P.S I have plenty of good shots--but had to share this one. Ahmed took it. I'm not sure but I think I traded his two camels for my camera. We did have fun with him.

2  Thank Willa5514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2014

I have just spent an excellent 10 days in Morocco on Darren's photo tour in southern Morocco which runs from Marrakech. In company with his delightful wife Naima, Darren organised a very full itinerary of magnificent photogenic venues combined with very comfortable accommodation in a variety of small hotels and auberges.

Darren's patient assistance and coaching helped me to capture some of the best photos that I have taken and really helped me get so much more out of my Canon 70D. Between Darren and Naima, they organised some superb face-to-face location shoots of delightful Moroccan folks which added a whole extra dimension to in-country photo shoots.

The entire tour covered some 2000 kms (?) which were easily eaten up in the comfort of Darren's Land Cruiser - now complete with some very chunky new tyres!

A totally great experience that I wholeheartedly recommend to any photographer (or spouse) seeking an unusual and spectacularly beautiful location for furthering their photographic skills.

Thank PeterMac29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 October 2014

If you want to improve your photography in a fantastic location with a great teacher at a very reasonable cost. look no further. You are located in a historic Riad in the heart of the Medina surrounded by photographic possibilities. Essaouira is much more laid back that usual tourist Morocco. Darren is an excellent teacher who provides pragmatic advice and useful non threatening feedback. The included nightly dinners include 3 courses of whatever you want from the menu. As well as taking better pictures from portraits throught to abstracts you also learn to make some sense of you work and develop themes. Optional cookery classes icluding shopping for ingredients in the market are another highlight.. 5* + Some images from the holiday are included below

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

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