I am always intrigued by unique approaches to conducting tours. Truth be told, a big part of what peaks my interest is that we offer mobile audio devices for tours for both the tour guide and the tour participants. I firmly believe that tour participants deserve to fully experience not only what they are seeing but also what they are hearing. And, the tour guide just needs to be able to move around and focus on giving the participants an interesting experience and not be concerned about wrangling everyone and whether or not they can hear what it is being said.
But I digress, back to unique approaches to conducting tours. A recent approach that I found to be quite clever is an outfit in Seattle called Shutter Tours. The tour guides double as photo instructors – so not only does one learn about Seattle but participants pick up some practical tips on photography.
Shutter Tours offers walking tours of Seattle’s Pike Place Market area. The guides provide history and commentary along the way, along with their photography tips. The tips include advice to avoid random picture taking and focus on three things: observation, composition and purpose. Tour participants are encouraged to use photography to tell a story.
Toward the end of the tour, groups are taken back to the market where they put their newfound photography skills to work. Many of the tour participants download their best photos on the Shutter Tours Flickr website.
In May Shutter Tours and founder/photographer Terry Divyak were featured in Seattle Evening Magazine’s series “Ways To Rediscover the City of Seattle.” The 3:45 minute piece gives a nice overview of their offering. Note, that there is a short intro about Microsoft just before the segment.