December 18, 2017 by Dasha U

How to maximize your UTadventure
(or any photography tour)

Are you fantasizing about attending UTadventure some time in the future?

Are you a devoted photography tour junkie?

Do you want to get the most out of your UTadventure (or any other photography tour) experience?

Then this post is for you!

Hard to believe, but UTadventure is on its fourth year of rocking our unique, all inclusive, photography vacations.

By now, we have UTadventured all over Utah and now Yucatan, Mexico, sometimes under some pretty crazy weather conditions (hello wind, rain and snow!) and unique circumstances, while successfully facilitating our group in making some truly unique, amazing art (some of which ended up in books, galleries and online publications!) and have a blast in the process.

Dmitriy and I have created unforgettable experiences for over 50 participants from all over the world, including Europe, Australia, Canada, Central America, Asia, Mexico, and, of course, from each and every corner of the US.

We’ve hosted and taken good care of over a dozen international models, providing an inspiring environment to encourage their creativity.

UTadventure has an impeccable reputation and many raving reviews. 30% of our participants keep coming back for more adventure, genuine human connection and images that blow your socks off!

From the very first tour, we asked for feedback, opinions, advice, and were always open for suggestions and criticism. We have been applying everything we learned to make our tours smoother, more exciting and more magical.

Now that we've learned a thing or two about how to get the best out of a photography tour, and I am itching to share a few tips with you!

How to maximize your UTadventure experience

(or any other photography tour, really!)

1. Pick the right tour!

Do you get blissed out by the pristine nature and solitude?
That’s on every Utah tour.
Do you prefer to be immersed in a foreign culture experience?
Consider exploring Yucatan with us!

Are you itching to get dusty, sweaty and outdoorsy?
Come play on Utah tours.
Would you rather have a more relaxing, vacation like experience without any hiking envolved?
Totally Mexico UTadventure!

Are you into the total freedom of self expression?
Then the standard Utah tour is for you.
Do you thrive when someone is guiding you through the creative process in more of a workshop athmosphere?
Come to our June tour that features instruction by fine art photographer Craig Colvin.

2. Do your homework.

Browse through our website, read blog posts, check out FAQs, look through the terms and conditions of your attendance and know what’s included. Ask us questions! Contact some of the people who have done our tours in the past to help you establish realistic expectations. Once you sign up, be sure not to miss our emails - we send out all the important info such as a Suggested Packing List, Tour Schedule and Updates to help you be fully prepared.

3. Come prepared!

Get your gear in prime condition, bring extra batteries (BRING EXTRA BATTERIES!) and memory cards. And an extra camera body wouldn’t hurt either: one of our guys dropped his Nikon a couple of hundred feet down the front of an arch in Moab on his second day on tour. (Thankfully, his story has a happy ending - he duct taped it back together and continued using it for the duration of the tour, but not everyone can be that lucky!) Make sure you know the average conditions for your destination in the season you’ll be visiting, as well as the extremes, check the weather right before you leave, and dress accordingly! Pack an extra change of casual clothes (You’ll want to look nice while sipping a cocktail at our Farewell dinner.)

4. Prepare your body.

On our tours, we like to play hard. If you have any dietary, physical or personal limitations, make sure to notify us in advance. We will be more than happy to offer alternatives without impacting the rest of the group.

If you don’t get outdoors much, especially if you live at low elevation, try walking a mile or two for a few weeks before the trip to get conditioned (and break in those new hiking boots as a bonus!) Consider advanced preparation for the new time zone or at least pack some extra caffeine pills.

5. Be open for constructive criticism.

We focus on creating an environment where everyone can learn and grow as artists. You’ll get some earnest feedback from our models as well as other photographers who, with their unique skills and style, will be eager to share their photo wisdom. I know, I know: art is personal and putting it out there can be scary, but it is also necessary to help propel yourself towards greather hights.

6. Expect lots of variety.

Theresa Manchester, who joined us in september of 2017 put it best

" There's a lot going on around you - and rightfully so - you're in the most spectacular places with incredible models. But the pictures practically take themselves, so be sure to set aside moments of quiet to enjoy, be still, relax, and calmly soak in your experience. There is plenty of time. Otherwise you might wind up overwhelmed, overworked, and too sleepy to create at your next location! " - Theresa Manchester

7. Have the right attitude.

I can’t stress it enough. The whole point of going on tour is to push your limits, get out of your comfort zone and to try something new which requires an open mind and the right attitude. Only then your art will thrive.

8. Enjoy the social aspect.

Half of the time the most memorable moments happen after the shoot. When we make photos together, it is an amazing opportunity to connect deeper to someone who shares the same passion as you, be it one of the models or a fellow photographer. Even our introverted participants enjoy meeting new like minded creatives, socializing with models and talking about life.

9. Take your time.

Here is Robert Farnham, who joined us in the Yucatan for the November 2017 tour.

" I would tell people to take their time with the photos. There’s a lot of time to shoot and the best photos come when the brain is engaged and there’s no rush. 20 well composed photos are better than 200 taken hastily. " - Robert Farnham

To summarize, in order to have a blast on UTadventure, pick the right tour, do your homework, have all of your gear ready, take a good care of your body, keep an open mind for those new friendships and experiences, and be open for suggestions and feedback.

We’ll take care of all the rest! We promise.

Upcoming Tours

March: 03/13 - 03/18


Meghan Claire