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Frequently Asked Questions About Our Kauai Photo Tours:
1- What Time Do Your Photo Tours Start & End, And Where Are You Located?
Our Photo Tours usually begin at either 9:30, 10:00 or 10:30 am in the morning, and return around 5.5 hours later. Private Tours usually start anytime between 9:00 am until 11:30 am depending on when the one booking the Private Tour prefers. Occasionally we will start a group tour at a slightly different time than listed but will let others know this when making their reservation. Checking-in is suggested between 15-30 minutes before your tour begins. For those wanting to rent a camera or lens, or those wanting to purchase accessories (polarizers, ND filters, memory cards, camera straps etc), we recommend coming in 30 minutes before your tour starts.
Our Tour Shop and Gallery is Located on the East Side of Kauai at: 4520 Kukui St., in Kapaa, 96746. We're located 7.5 miles north of the Lihue airport, in Kapaa. You'll travel north from the airport 7.5 miles, make a LEFT at the traffic light (in between First Hawaiian Bank on the right side and The ABC Store on the left). We're the large two story blue building immediately on the right (look for the purple doors). You'll see our Kauai Photo Tours sign. You can park in the front or back of the building.You can also call us at 808-823-1263.
While mid-day shooting is usually not the best times for most landscape photography, it is the best time for photographing Hawaii! Our scheduled tour times offer the absolute best lighting for photographing Hawaii's beautiful scenery and rich turquoise ocean colors! The higher up in the sky the sun is, the more spectacular and intense those ocean colors will be. And because of Kauai's Island topography and numerous overlooks and beach locations with tall, thin coconut trees, mid-day shadows are very rarely an issue.
Here are several examples of professional photos taken at mid-day during our Photo Tour times: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2- Do You Offer Pick-Up And Drop-Off Services?
Yes! And and we do this very often especially for Cruise Ship Passengers arriving to port in Lihue. (Please Go HERE to see more information for Cruise Ship Passenger Customers).
For notably less than the cost of a taxi, we will pick up and drop off to most areas of Kauai. (From as far north as Princeville to as far south as Poipu). Prices below include both picking you up and then dropping you back off after the tour and are the same for 1 or 2 people. (Add $5 for each person over two).
Princeville: $85, Kilauea: $60, Anahola: $35, Kapaa: $10, Wailua: $15, The Hilton: $25, Lihue (and all Cruise Ships): $30, Koloa: $75 and Poipu: $85.
If you only need a ride one way, the price is simply half.
3- Is This A Photo Workshop Or Training Seminar -- and -- do I need a DSLR camera?
While our guides are all experienced Kauai photographers, that are willing share whatever they know on all tours we provide, we consciously decided not to make this into a formal training, camera-instructional type of 'workshop'. Throughout the entire tour we take you to beautiful Kauai locations, one right after another, and many places you would never even find on your own. We happily share with you beautiful angles and compositions to shoot from. Gladly discuss things like long exposures, ISO, apertures, shutter speeds, composition rules, polarizers, filters along with too many other things to list here for those that are interested. In fact many tours have been filled with, 'camera-talk', in detail for much of the tour. So while we don't spend any time in a formal classroom teaching seminar/workshop, many people do learn quite a bit while seeing and photographing Kauai's most spectacular locations while on our Photo Tours and with our photographer guides.
That said, while having a nice camera and gear is great to have and can help capture beautiful images, today's camera phones or point and shoot cameras allow people to take amazing, quality photos with no gear to carry around at all. Many of our thousands of happy customers each year have enjoyed taking our photo tours with only their cell phones!
And because our tours are not workshops (we only spend a few minutes at each location we visit), and because we visit one beautiful location right after another the entire time with very little time spent in the van, even customers with NO CAMERAS AT ALL have immensely enjoyed going on our photo tours (whether to go along with and support their 'photographer' partner or to just see the island up close through sightseeing with a Kauai local photographer guide).
4- Which Photo Tour Should I Take?
Our Tour #1 (Drive and Walk Photo Tour) is our best selling tour for those new to Kauai or who've been here just once (or perhaps a long time ago) and highly recommended. Though we've also had numerous people who've been to Kauai several times already take Tour # 1 and tell us that they'd never seen most of the locations we had just taken them to. You absolutely DO get out to walk around, explore and photograph on each stop that we make. This is definitely not just a Van tour. You will get out to enjoy every single location (including a couple of shorter and easier hikes as well!) But because of less time hiking, you will get to see a few more locations overall in the same amount of time. Also a great tour for just sightseeing.
Our Tour # 2 (Drive and Hike Photo Tour) has become extremely popular with repeat Kauai visitors and adventure seekers because we go to even more secluded places that they likely have never seen before. And the Hiking-Adventure-Experience is a great way to get out there and enjoy Kauai's scenery and tropical beauty. Most hikes are relatively short and not all that steep. Usually between 5-10 minutes each way. Though a few locations do have uneven terrain, can be a little muddy and the hikes back up can feel like a good workout. (Please CLICK HERE to see Photos and more specific Information about our Hiking Tours.)
Our Tour # 3 (Private, Customized Photo Tour) has been very popular with people who've been to Kauai several times and who wish to visit only new locations and new parts of the island, as well as those preferring to enjoy their Tour alone. Nobody else goes but you and your own group! You can also start at a different time and get an Experienced Photographer Guide all to yourself for the entire Photo Tour. You go at your own pace (fast or slow) and can also include as much swimming as you want for families that have kids looking for a variety of things to do. You can also stay out longer if wanted for an additional per hour fee.
Our Photo Tour #4 (Portrait Tours) are great if you want some special photos of you and your spouse, partner, friends or family. Our Professional Portrait Photographer Guides take professional photos of you and your family or group (throughout the entire tour) amongst numerous, beautiful Kauai settings. By taking the Portrait and Scenic Photo Tour combination, you can get the best of both. You will see and photograph Kauai's best along with getting professional photos of you and your partner or group along the way. (Please CLICK HERE to see sample Photos from our Kauai Portrait Tours.)
Hopefully this additional above information can help you choose the best tour available for you and/or your group. By taking more than one tour within 30 days (as many have done) you can take 10 percent off on the lesser expensive tour. And, if you are still not sure which tour to take, you can always call Michele or Kris to discuss over the phone which specific tour would be the best fit for you. (808) 823-1263.
5- Where Do Your Photo Tours Go?
Most of our Photo Tours cover the Spectacular East and North sides of Kauai, starting in Kapahi and Kealia, and go all the way up the coast to the north of the island, just past Hanalei near Haena. With so many beautiful locations on this part of the island, very little time is actually spent driving! Kauai's roads are not very well marked so the places you will see are often very difficult to find on your own and are Truly Gorgeous. Once you find where these places are located, and see and photograph them, you can then return to the ones you enjoyed the most for as much time as you want another time.
We also have a South side tour that goes as far south as Poipu, which also takes you to many off the beaten path beautiful settings. Numerous stunning cliffs, sand dunes, rock formations and mountains along with beautiful turquoise/blue ocean colors. Many people have taken and loved this tour as well! (Plus we will give you 10 percent off for taking a second tour).
We do not normally go to places on the west side like Waimea Canyon, Kalalau lookout, Polihale etc (unless by special Private Photo Tour request) because they take too much driving time to get there as well as the fact that these locations are usually fairly easy to find on your own.
6- What Do We Need To Bring And Wear?
We suggest you wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing, and shoes that are comfortable, sturdy and safe for walking or hiking around the island. Tennis shoes or sandals with a back-strap work great. Flip-flops are not really recommended. While we do provide snacks and drinks throughout the entire tour at no additional costs, but also suggest you bring a little cash for a no-host lunch-break at a local north shore Kauai location. Meals usually cost between just $6-$8. Most of these places do not take credit cards but do offer fast, inexpensive and excellent quality, local-style food and fruit smoothies. Which we've been told by so many visitors now that our lunch stops enhance the Tour Experience altogether!
7- Do You Sell Any Photography Equipment Or Offer Other Services?
We do sell a variety of Circular Polarizers in all kinds of sizes for most DSLR camera lenses as well as many point and shoot models. Very highly recommended for Hawaiian Photography. We also sell memory cards, lens caps, camera straps, camera bags, affordable tripods and other photographic items. We do provide Digital SLR camera rentals (with wide-angle zoom lenses and a polarizer) for just $39 for the entire tour. You can use your own SD or SDHC memory card and just take it with you when done, or use ours and we can burn a CD or DVD with all of your photos for $10, or just buy a new memory card and keep it when finished. We also rent 12-24 f/4 Tokina wide-angle zoom lenses for Nikon or Canon DSLR cameras for $29 for the tour. If you've accidentally deleted the images on your memory card, we do have software than can sometimes recover them.
All Photo Tour customers can also take 20 percent off all gift merchandise in our Gallery and retail store. We sell Fine-Art Prints and Giclee, Calendars, Postcards, Photographic Bookmarks, Gallery and Panoramic Magnets, Keychain-Viewers and 18x24 Kauai Posters all available. You can also check out our Extreme Discount bin of fine art prints for just a couple of dollars each.
8- What Is Your Cancellation Policy?
We have a 48 hour cancellation notice for all Private Tours scheduled and for Group Tours of three or more people in the party. And a 24 hour cancellation notice for group tours of 1-2 people on a group tour. So far we have not charged anyone that has not been able to take our photo tour for whatever the reason. :)
9- What Do We Do If It Rains?
In conditions of severe weather or large, heavy rain-making systems we will usually cancel the tour and then offer to reschedule your tour (if possible), and you will not be charged anything. Cancellations have been a very rare occurrence, however, due to an abundance of mostly beautiful weather year-round. In cases where people are here on a cruise ship, or just for the day itself (unless weather is extremely bad) we will often be happy to take you out anyway for a sightseeing tour because sometimes the alternative is to just stay on your boat or hotel room.
In cases where there are some scattered showers (which is a very normal part of the Hawaii weather patterns), we usually do go out and our guides are well trained to work around them and even with them. Many tours have been enhanced by having an assortment of conditions and different weather to work with. It's not that uncommon to have a quick band of clouds and showers cross over us and then five minutes later see beautiful blue, sunny skies once again and maybe even a rainbow. Occasionally (maybe once every couple of months) we will delay a tour by up to one hour to allow morning showers to pass by, so please try to allow allow an extra hour of leeway for your after-tour plans if possible.
We've come to embrace the variety of weather with a smile and hope that you will too. The weather here in Hawaii is unlike anywhere else, and though not always predictable, is almost always great for photography and can make for Spectacular Photo opportunities and Special Kauai Memories!
10- Why Should We Take One Of Your Kauai Photo Tours?
All of our tours are smaller and more intimate and personal by design. People truly do appreciate this. The most we ever take out is just seven people and not too often that many. And by choosing one of our Private Tours you can be sure nobody else goes but your own group or family, if preferred.
Most of the places on our tours are off the beaten path and not easy to find on your own. And some are simply impossible to find without help. You will see spectacular location after location (as well as the best and most dramatic parts of each location for photography) with an experienced, local Kauai photographer as your guide showing you around. And with so many gorgeous locations to see on the east and north sides, very little time is actually spent driving.
One of the nicer things about these tours is that you don't spend the whole tour in just one small area of Kauai. But throughout the entire Photo Tour itself, you will be seeing one beautiful Location right after another after another, all different and unique, the entire time covering large parts of the Garden Island.
You not only see with your eyes the stunning beauty of Kauai, but by 'getting out there', to each new setting, walking around, hiking and Photographing each spot we go to, you will truly be able to ABSORB -- with all of your physical senses -- the gorgeous island of Kauai like nothing else. And now that you will know where many of these places are located, you can then return to the ones that moved you the most to completely explore and spend the day on your own. So many visitors have shared with us how much they have valued doing this as well.
One of the most satisfying things for me as the owner and designer of our Kauai Photo Tours is to hear about the responses after returning from so many people telling us what a great tour and experience they just had. You can just tell that they really meant it. Countless people have said how happy and satisfying the tour was and many have said they did not expect to enjoy it so much. Several have told us it was the best day they ever had in Hawaii. It can seem surreal to visit and experience so many spectacular locations in just one short span of time as we do. There is a true sense of satisfaction and happiness at the end of the tour, shared with us by so many others, that makes us feel good too. You return tired, but it's a really good kind of tired and a great happy feeling altogether. And then you have all of those beautiful photographs to remind you about your Kauai visit when you finally do get back home.
As a Professional Landscape Photographer myself, who's traveled and photographed some of the most spectacular places on earth, I know all about that incredibly satisfying, good-tired feeling after a full day of shooting and absorbing/experiencing the amazing natural beauty that surrounds us all too. There really is nothing like it. And all of us here hope and believe as well, that after a day of being taken to many beautiful places; walking, hiking, experiencing and photographing Kauai's very best yourself, that you too will have that same good-tired feeling and satisfaction (along with some great photos and memories) as well!
A hui hou from The Garden Isle,
Vincent K. Tylor
For other questions not provided on this page please contact us by clicking HERE
Mahalo for your time and interest in our Photo Tours. Aloha from beautiful Kauai!
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