This tour is organised and led by Steve Davey | The land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, but the tours don't appear on the Intrepid Travel website | The only way to book is through this site!
Highlights of this trip
• Historic Luang Prabang
• Haunting Plain of Jars
• Vang Vieng scenary
• Champasak ruins
• Si Phan Don waterfalls
• Mekong river boat
• Photography tuition
Is my booking with Steve Davey?
Your booking involves two contracts of supply. All of the travel portions contracted with Intrepid Travel, and are covered by their standard booking conditions. All of the photography and tuition aspects of the trip, and the presence of Steve Davey or a suitable alternative photographer on the trip is covered by the Better Travel Photography terms and conditions. More information on this link.
Do I have to pay a deposit?
There is a non-returnable £400 deposit that is payable when you make your booking. The balance of the trip cost is payable within 60 days of the departure date.
Are the departures guaranteed?
We will need a minimum number of people for the tour to go ahead. This will be stated on the tour page. The tour will be confirmed no later than 56 days before departure, and you are advised not to book flights before this. If the tour subsequently doesn't go ahead then your deposit will be refunded in full.
Should I contact Intrepid Travel to discuss these tours?
No, in the initial stages contact Steve Davey, who has designed, and will be leading the tours. He will be able to answer your questions about the tours, what they include, and discuss whether they will be suitable for you. Intrepid Travel are sub-contracted to provide the land arrangements, and any bookings will need to be made through their Special Groups department in the United Kingdom, and not through any other store or office.
How do I contact Steve Davey?
Steve is based in the UK, but is a working professional photographer and often overseas. The easiest way to get hold of him in the initial stages is to use the contact form here. This will allow Steve to agree a time to speak personally, depending on your time zone!
Should I pay Steve Davey for the tour?
All payments will be handled by Intrepid Travel, giving you the peace of mind of booking with a large international business. Intrepid are a member of various industry bonding schemes, including ABTA and ATOL. If you choose to get Intrepid to book your flight, then your entire trip may be covered by ATOL, and you will then receive a full ATOL certificate for the trip.
How do I make a booking with Intrepid Travel?
Once you have discussed the tour details with Steve Davey, fill in the online booking form, which he will then send to the Intrepid Travel Special Groups to make the booking. They will then contact you for the deposit and subsequent payment.
What do I need to join the tour?
You are responsible for organising your own flights and any visas necessary. You have the responsibility to join the tour at the time and place stated. If you are late, for any reason, it is your responsibility to catch up the tour at your own expense. When you join the tour you will have to show proof of insurance.
What if I am a single traveller?
Prices for our this trip is based on a compulsory twin share basis: that is on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling with a partner, or a friend, then this doesn't affect you, but if you are travelling on your own, you will be paired up with another same-sex member of the group to share with.
On this trip, sharing a room, or paying the single supplement is compulsory. To keep the price as low as possible for everyone, we simply can't let anyone have a single room without paying for it.
This means that we will have to manage the rooming lists carefully, so that this situation doesn't crop up. Unfortunately this means that the availability of places or the availability of the optional single supplement cannot be guaranteed. When making a booking, the more flexible that you can be over rooming and dates, the more likely you will be to get a place!
What sort of people go on your tours?
As these are a new range of tours. it is hard to say for sure, but based upon the photo tours which Steve has led for Intrepid, the ages range from 18 to 60+! Generally the vast majority have been solo travellers and a fairly even split of men and women. Predictably the more adventurous tours tend to have a lower average age, but what tends to characterise Intrepid travellers of any age is their vitality, spirit and willingness to get involved in all of the group activities.
Has Steve Davey run tours before?
Steve has been organising and leading his own exclusive range of photography tours since 2009, and in the process has visited destinations as far afield as diverse as Jordan, Burma and the Arctic! During this time, he has learned a lot about both organising and running tours, and also about teaching people with a range of different skills. You can see some of the testimonials from Steve's previous tours here.
Is Steve Davey a working professional travel photographer?
Steve Davey is a working travel photographer and writer. He regularly travels around the world, shooting for various publishers and magazines. He is the author and photographer of Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die, and Unforgettable Islands to Escape To Before You Die. Between them these books have been translated into almost 40 language editions.
Why does this matter?
Anyone who travels with a camera will come away with a few good shots. Shove these on a website and they might look good. A professional travel photographer will be used to short shoots and unpredictable conditions. They will be able to give you tips on coming back with great pictures when you have a couple of days in a location, the weather is bad and there is scaffolding everywhere! If they aren't a working travel photographer then do you really want a studio or wedding photographer, or even a journalist with a camera to be teaching you about travel photography?
Do I need an expensive camera to come on one of your tours?
You don't need to have an expensive camera, and dozens of lenses, but you will get more out of the tour if you have a camera that allows you more control over the exposure, shutter-speed and aperture, and also a range of lenses, or a zoom lens.
Do I need to be an expert photographer to come on one of your tours?
Decidedly not, but these are not tours for absolute beginners either. The ideal person will have some knowledge of photography, and an idea of their weaknesses in photography, and areas where they want to learn and develop. In short, if you are convinced that all of your pictures are fantastic, then there is probably little that Steve can do for you. Steve always starts off the tours by finding out what people want to learn and then tailors the tours to fit that. Typically areas that are covered include shooting RAW, exposure and composition, as well as more general picture taking techniques and scenarios that you will encounter on the tour.
Are these tours hard work?
These tours are designed for photography, which means that there will be some optional and non-optional early morning starts. We will also try to fit a lot into the average day! However, Steve is mindful that this is also a holiday for you and so he tries to balance these with personal time, where you have the option to take pictures or just relax. You will get more out of the tour if you put more effort in.
Are there lots of early starts?
Any keen photographer will know that the light is better in the early morning and Steve has arranged these tours to take in as many sunrises as possible. Sometimes these will be integral to the trip, other times they will be optional.
Will I be able to photograph everything in good light?
Any tour like this is a balance between how much you see, and the light that you see it in. A tour that shows you everything in the golden sunrise and sunset hours would have to last for weeks! There will be somethings that we see in the middle of the day, and some things that we have to stop and see as part of a longer journey. The tours have been arranged though so that all of the most important places will be visited in the early morning or late afternoon.
Will I get my own room?
These prices are based upon two people sharing in a twin room. If you are travelling on your own, then you will be paired up with someone else in the group to share with. Rest assured, that you won't be asked to share with anyone of the opposite sex!
Will I get much free time?
There will be the potential for free time throughout the tour, which you can use for relaxing, exploring, shopping or even photographing! However, Steve is virtually always up to something, and you will be welcome to join him. If you want time out for relaxing and shopping, then you must be prepared to take it! You have to make the judgement between free time and joining in any unscheduled activities yourself, and not expect everyone to take time off when you want it just so that you don't miss anything!!
What is an Intrepid trip like?
Intrepid run small group adventures. This means that you have less of an impact on the places that you travel through. It also means that we get to stay in smaller, more intimate accommodation. Intrepid have a policy to stay in locally owned accommodation wherever possible, so that local communities benefit. For more information about Intrepid Travel and their style of travel click here.
How are your tours different from standard Intrepid trips?
As they are a completely separate product, Steve is able to take all of the best bits from different Intrepid styles and add to them to create a product which is totally unique. This gives you a range of accommodation, where appropriate, as well as our own transport for much of the tour, to allow us the freedom and flexibility to stop when we need to take pictures.
Some of the main differences with Intrepid trips are:
a). Tour specifically designed for photo opportunities and to be in the right place at the right time as much as possible
b). Presence of Steve Davey on the tour.
c). We tend to include more options and use more private transport than the standard Intrepid trip, as this allows us more access to photo-opportunities.
d). Ability to speak to Steve about equipment and other matters before the start of the tour.
e). Opportunity to join an (optional) discussion forum with Steve and other members of the tour before (and after) departure to discuss equipment, and also arrange to meet up with any of the members of the group before the tour starts if you arrive early!
Will my photography improve on one of your tours?
If you come on the tour with an open mind, take part actively, listen to Steve and work at what he suggests then he is confident that your photography will greatly improve!
Can I shoot film?
Most people now seem to shoot digital, and these tours are predominantly set up for the digital photographer. Shooting digital will allow you to instantly review your work, and develop your skills as you go. However, there is no reason why you can't shoot film, and most of the techniques are the same as with digital photography. With his many years of experience of shooting film, Steve can help you to get the best results.
What equipment should I bring?
In part this depends on whether you are travelling just for one of my photo tours, or whether it is a part of a larger trip. I always take a lot of equipment to make sure that I have spare gear in case of loss, theft or damage. A tripod and a flash will certainly be useful. If you have a small laptop then it will be of use for post and RAW processing s well as archiving – if you can be bothered to carry it! You will probably get better results from the trip and learn more if you are familiar with the basic controls on the camera, rather than trying to use a new camera that you have just picked up at Duty Free! Probably the best bet is to contact Steve to discuss if you have any queries!
I want to be a professional photographer. Will your tours help?
There are a number of things that you will need to be a successful professional photographer. Originality, professionalism, an eye for a picture, ideas, dedication, luck and of course, photographic skills. Steve will definitely help you to improve your photographic skills and will happily advise on all of the others (often over a long cold beer). So I guess that the answer is yes!
Please note: whilst you will learn countless techniques that will stand you in good stead for a future professional career, these tours are intended for the amateur photographer, and we ask you not to actually carry out any professional work on the tours without our express permission. Specifically, as Steve provides a large input in both the location, and on individual set-ups, angles, and also in approaching people for group members to photograph, by coming on the tour, you warrant that you will not to submit any images from these tours to any photolibrary, agency or client.
I am a professional writer and want to get more work. Will improving my photography with one of your tours help?
If you are a professional or aspiring professional writer - of any discipline - then improving your photographic skills will make you far more marketable. In these difficult times publications are looking to spend less money, and are less likely to send a writer and a photographer to cover a story. If you can do both then you are more likely to get more work! Having a good selection of pictures can make an obscure story more saleable, and selling the odd picture to accompany your words can also be a useful revenue stream. These tours will definitely improve your photography, and if you are interested, Steve can make a lot of suggestions about how you can take pictures specifically to support features, and the best ways to caption and submit them to publications.
Please note: whilst you will learn countless techniques that will stand you in good stead as a writer, these tours are intended for the amateur photographer, and we ask you not to actually carry out any professional work on the tours without our express permission. This includes stories about the tour, or about any of the places we encounter.
What about tipping?
As a point of principle, Steve does not accept any tips for leading tours. However, we will have a local Intrepid tour leader and possibly a driver for some of the time. Steve recommends that these people should be tipped if you are happy with the services that you have received. I am happy to advise a modest amount for any tips. This is optional based upon the level of service that you receive.
Do you have any testimonials?
There are some testimonials from some of the photo tours that Steve has led previously here.
I have a question that isn't answered here, how can I contact Steve?
Click here and fill out the contact form, and Steve will get back to you as soon as possible.
better travel photography•COM
photo tours with steve davey
Website, Images and text © Steve Davey/stevedavey.com 1990 - 2019
This tour is led by Steve Davey - a professional photographer, whose work appears in publications all over the world. He is the author of the bestselling Unforgettable Places To See Before You Die (BBC Books). Steve recently published Footprint Travel Photography (Footprint Books), which covers everything that you would ever want to know about travelling with a camera. Click for more.
Land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have many years experience in running small group adventures.
Bookings are made through the Intrepid Special Groups Dept. in the UK not the Intrepid website or Stores. Use this link for more information
Start: 27 Nov. 2019
End: 10 Dec. 2019
Price: From £1995 pp
excl. flights, based on
Min 8, max 12 people
Places left: 3
Trip is confirmed.
Single supplement: £400
flight cost £750
This itinerary includes a domestic flight - from Vientiane to Pakse. The above trip price includes the prevailing domestic flight cost of £110. If this price changes a supplement may be payable, and will be notified at the time of booking.
Impressions of Laos Itinerary
Day 1: Luang Prabang
Day 2: Luang Prabang
Day 3: Luang Prabang
Day 4: Phonsavan
Day 5: Phonsavan
Day 6: Vang Vieng
Day 7: Vang Vieng
Day 8: Vientiane
Day 9: Vientiane
Day 10: Pakse
Day 11: Don Khong
Day 12: Don Khong
Day 13: Pakse
Day 14: Tour ends
Included in the trip price
• 13 nights Hotel accommodation
• 13 breakfasts; 1 lunch
• All transport as per itinerary
• Vientiane to Pakse flight
• Kuang Si Waterfall entrance
• Wat Xieng Thong Temple
• Luang Prabang King's Palace
• Boat trip to Pak Ou Cave
• Plain of Jars excursion
• Vientiane temple visits
• Wat Phu Temple Champasak
• Bolaven Plateau plantation
• Ban Khone Village boat trip
• Si Phan Don waterfalls
• Mekong dolphin excursion
• Entrance fees as per itinerary
• Pre-trip Facebook group to meet other group members
• Experienced Local leader
• Expert photographic tuition