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“Really glad I chose this holiday!!!”

Images in the Sun Tours
Ranked #21 of 67 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 11 May 2015

Top class week of tuition specifically tailored to your skill level (in my case complete beginner). Darren took us to places that normal tours don't reach, the riad and restaurants were all good, and the balance betweeen theory and practice meant that I came out of the week feeling much more adventurous and in control of my camera, with some pretty damn good photos as well!
Have a look - http://essaouiraimages.viewbook.com/april-2015

Thank ambermaiden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"photo tour"
in 9 reviews
"darren lewey"
in 6 reviews
"atlas mountains"
in 7 reviews
"photo opportunities"
in 6 reviews
"high atlas"
in 4 reviews
"landscape photography"
in 2 reviews
"enjoyable week"
in 2 reviews
"day tour"
in 3 reviews
"great company"
in 2 reviews
"portraits"
in 13 reviews
"knowledge"
in 6 reviews
"photographed"
in 5 reviews
"culture"
in 12 reviews
"cookery"
in 4 reviews
"morocco"
in 26 reviews
"countryside"
in 5 reviews
"exposure"
in 2 reviews
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22 - 26 of 62 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2015

What kind of photo tour does one want? Many photo tours cater to people who want to copy the style or images of a famous photographer, or have an abundance of setups where you can get good, but not unique, images, or be taken to famous tourist spots that are already well photographed - the end results are photographs that may be good but hardly original. On some tours the famous photographer shoots for stock and neglects the clients. On the other hand, if you are looking for a photo tour that takes you off the beaten track, but has been researched for photographic opportunities, allows you to develop your own interpretation of a place, and with photographic help available if you need it, then Darren Lewey's ImagesInTheSun tours are for you. Personally, I seldom take organized photo tours unless the logistics, safety or other reasons prevail. Morocco is a place where logistics and safety were difficult issues and Darren's tour handled these issues very well.

As mentioned earlier Darren's tours take you off the beaten track so that you can capture unique, interpretative images that you can call your own. Superb photo opportunities were provided by visits to nomad camp sites, and villages that are not frequented by most tourists. Darren's spouse, Naima, is Moroccan and speaks the language and knows the culture of the country. She is a great asset to Darren and his tours because she can break the ice in photographing places and people. For example, we made an unscheduled stop to a nomad camp. We approached the camp by vehicle but stayed in the vehicle and kept our cameras stowed while Naima went to talk to the nomads. Naima was able to convince the nomads that were friendly and wanted to photograph life in the camp as a friendly means of communication with the outside world and not for some bad purpose. So we spent a hour at the camp photographing life in the camp and developing a better understanding of their lifestyle and things that are important to them.

Another unscheduled stop was near the highway when we saw a herd of camels. Darren and Naima established good communications with the camel herders and we were able to get good images of both the herders and the camels.

It is these kinds of events that made the tour exceptional. Darren keeps his group sizes small, so there is little issue with getting in each other's way

An added bonus is that the tour cost is reasonable because Darren and Naima live in Morocco and you are not paying to transport some famous photographer to Morocco and also to pay the commission for the famous photographer.

6  Thank iPhototraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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

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