When you’re new to a city or only visiting for a couple days, it can be quite difficult finding the right spots to take those stunning photographs you’ve seen on Instagram or Flickr. Or even the opposite – you want to create some amazing photos but with a twist, so your images DON’T look like everyone else’s. That was exactly what I was looking for – shots of the iconic Tower Bridge at night, but a little different than just the view from London Bridge.
Luckily for me, Aperture Tours was generous enough to sponsor a private night photography tour. Because my Mom and my brother were visiting me in London at that time, they were able to join as well – super uncomplicated. As always, despite this being a sponsored tour, all opinions are my own. I think you will be able to tell even from the pictures alone that this was a great tour – I don’t need to make things up here 😉
Aperture Tours is set up in a very professional way – you can book directly online and get an automatic as well as an individual confirmation right after, confirming the meeting point, who your guide is etc. The best thing is, there are suggested routes but it’s up to you what exactly you want to focus on and spend more time, so you don’t have to follow the same route other photography tours do e.g. While I chose a night photography tour in London, there are many other options in many cities worldwide – daytime tours, portrait sessions, extended tours.
My guide was Andrei, a very talented and perfectionistic photographer. He worked for TripAdvisor and booking.com before and travels a lot himself, so he definitely knows what makes a great travel photo! We met on London Bridge at sunset and took some photos while it was still “Blue Hour” – the time until it gets dark, when everything looks blue-ish (as opposed to the “Golden Hour” before sunset).
Andrei explained my Mom and brother the basics of night photography and was very patient. After we took our shots from London bridge, we made our way down to Tower Bridge and stopped a few times on the way. Andrei has a great eye for composition, I definitely learned to pay more attention to details and try more locations and different angles to find the perfect shot. While I know that night photography takes a lot of patience, I think I realized how much time a perfectly composed image actually takes. The photos you see in magazines took hours, if not days to capture. That’s the difference between me as a hobby photographer and a professional – and you can tell it from the pictures.
Andrei was an amazing guide – he was very patient and explained a lot, borrowed me his tripod and even offered to edit some of my photos. After our tour he actually spent quite some time (which he wasn’t paid for) editing my photos and finding out what the maximum ISO is that I should use with my particular camera (a Sony Alpha 77), which he really didn’t have to do. There are so many little things I learned – e.g. the smaller the aperture, the more the city lights will look like stars like in the picture below:
That’s what’s so great about private photography tours with Aperture Tours – it’s super individual and they really make sure you go home with the shots you wanted – and most likely even more and better ones! It’s just you and a professional photographer who’s there to help you and only you. You’re going to learn a whole lot, no matter what your current photography level is. It’ really worth the $195 for 3 hours, in my opinion. You will learn first-hand from a professional and come home with the most amazing vacation shots ever – that’s knowledge and images you will keep forever!
If you’d like to check out one of Aperture’s tours, just click here and you’ll find all the options for different tour types and cities worldwide. You won’t regret it, I’m sure!
If you’re heading to London (or living in London), also check out my list of 101 Free Things To Do In London!