Why Off Beat Tours?
Off Beat Photography Workshops & Tours
All Off Beat tours are intimate and handcrafted for photographers, taking you into the heart of a culture’s diverse landscape and customs. The photography tours are authentic journeys where you, the photographer, will explore and intimately experience ethnographic traditions that have survived for thousands of years. Our goal is to combine life-changing adventures with spectacular photographic opportunities, resulting in a cultural travel experience that you will never forget.
Off Beat Photography Workshops & Tours is totally committed to providing a professional photographic education and a culturally enriching tour that benefits both the traveller and the local people of the host country. The tourism we promote is designed to lessen the ecological impact on an environment and maximize sustainable human development and social equality within it.
Since all tour arrangements are made through Mick’s personal contacts, there are no intermediary brokerage charges added to the tour cost. Every tour fee is for direct costs, without a tour broker’s fee. The service provider in the host country receives the full remuneration for the services they provide. Your cost for a tour service is exactly the cost for the provided services; the local people receive exactly the cost you are charged. It is this type of tourism model that we adhere to; not only does it reduce the overall costs of the tour, but it also enhances the welfare of the local people and helps to protect their natural and cultural heritage.
Small-group Tours — only 7
We specialize in small-group tours (a maximum of 7 photographers) so we can build into every tour a plethora of meaningful encounters and interactions with the culture we are experiencing. The destinations we explore are in spectacular locations where we meet people and their unique traditions that have survived for centuries.
There is a distinct difference between visiting a culture and experiencing it. The small group size makes it possible to integrate into sensitive situations and emerge with images that are emotionally charged and imbued with the authentic spirit of the place.
In addition to having a unique cultural experience, you will learn photography techniques (basic to advanced, depending on individual needs) that will develop your photographic abilities and personal vision, taking your photography to the next level.
The small group size ensures that there is plenty of time to give equal attention to each participant. Since the group has an odd number of participants, one photographer will always be paired with the host photographer (Mick Stetson) while working in the field. By alternating this selection on a daily cycle over a 14-day tour, each participant is guaranteed several hours of individual attention and instruction from the host photographer.
Developing a Personal Vision
The aim of Off Beat Photography Workshops & Tours is to develop photographic abilities and to open doors to new ways of seeing so that you, the photographer, can develop a personal vision or voice.
The educational component of the tour is not fixed, but is adapted to the collective needs and interests of the group as well as individual needs. Before the tour begins, Mick requests some basic information from each participant — information about their photographic skills and interests as well as their expectations for the tour. This information is imperative in order to shape the various aspects of the tour into a unique, coherent, educational adventure for everyone, regardless of their individual photographic skills, limitations or expectations.
The small-group configuration allows many one-on-one opportunities for discussing technical issues, photographic aesthetics, the logistics of fieldwork and how to personalize and incorporate these aspects into your own work. This is especially true when the group is divided into pairs, and one participant is paired with the host photographer (Mick Stetson).
Gaining Access, Getting Closer
Gaining access to special sites and events that are off the beaten path of the regular tourist routes is a trademark of Mick Stetson’s photography. By joining Off Beat Photography Workshops & Tours, you have immediate access to the best of Mick’s twenty years of research, personal contacts and experience as a photojournalist.
There are two very important aspects that make Off Beat Photography Workshops & Tours unique. The first is that all Off Beat tours always include a professional cultural guide (from the host country) who provides essential background information about the culture, their traditions and the environment they reside in. This is absolutely imperative for making authentic photographs that truly capture the spirit of an event or place. The second aspect is that the photographic instruction you receive is from a professional photographer and educator who has been working and living in Asia for more than twenty years. By combining these two aspects (both insider perspectives), Off Beat Tours affords you, the photographer, remarkable opportunities to learn about, see, experience and photograph some of the hidden treasures of authentic Asian culture that most tour companies do not even know exist, including the most renown photographic tour operators.