There is something about traveling–everyone does it for more than one reason. One, it is the ultimate learning experience. You learn about history, culture, language, sociology, everything on the ground moving through borders and nations. You don’t forget where the Battle of Salamis happened and how the “300” gave their lives if you actually see, hear and smell the place. There is nothing like being there to understand and learn about history and culture.
In parallel, travel is not only about an external journey, it is also about an internal one. As I got older, I realized traveling is not just about getting to know the “other” but also about learning about yourself. Away from the demands of “the real world” I fell into the pattern of relying on myself, of hearing my own voice. I get in touch with myself as much as I touch other people and cultures. Travel becomes the ultimate act of self discovery as a result.
Two, travel serves as escape. A needed change. I used travel as a way to escape the monotony of my present life. Now it provides a differing perspective for looking at my life and my problems. Travel forces me to see in a new way. To get out of the worn out conventional ways of thinking and seeing. It serves as a “time out” from the real world.
Three, travel is empowerment. Especially for a woman who comes from a tradition that tells her what she should do, where to go, what she can’t, etc. the feeling of being free away from the constraints of your society, your parents, even the internalized voices of them all, is lusciously liberating. All that melts away when a woman travels by herself. No one can tell her what to do, where to go. She is the mistress of her own destiny and destination. (You notice how those words, “destiny” and “destination” are related?) By relying on her own wits and knowledge, she gains confidence that she can accomplish even the most difficult.
I have made photography a daily basis. It gives me a record of the day, a snapshot of my discovery of an image, the surprise and spontaneity of encounter with unexpected beauty and with the “other.” When I travel, I photograph to take in the essence of a place. My inspiration is my native country of Greece. The sun and the resulting intensity are a photographer’s dream. I am a native of the Cycladic islands of IOS (yes, after Mykonos THE party island), Paros and Tinos. As a result, I have a native’s knowledge of this sacred ground. I give walking photography tours in my native Cyclades and greater mainland. I lead private groups through the wild places of Greece talking about history, culture, and fascinating inside lore, but with an eye for a good photo. You literally see the place from an insider’s perspective. And the great thing is you will have a lasting photo to capture your journey.
Photography Tour 1: The Cyclades
Starting from July 1 to September 30th, I am leading groups through an intimate tour of the Cyclades with an eye for photography. Each group is comprised of no more than 10 people. The tours take place for 2 1/2 – 3 hours on each of the major islands of the Cyclades: Mykonos, Delos, Tinos, Paros, Amorgos, Ios, Santorini. Days and islands are determined based on interest and individual availability.
A typical tour includes:
- pick up from port or ferry terminal, travel arrangements to major points of interest on the island
- historical, cultural, and geographic/natural explanation of each point of interest by a native (my family dates back to this region for centuries)
- principles of landscape photography and review of photographic shots, and technical know-how for wide-angle shots from a professional photographer
- accompanied walking tour to scenic and strategic points for taking superb panoramic shots, breathtaking sunsets, ancient ruins at just the right time for the best light and atmospheric conditions
- equipment that can be borrowed (lenses, tripod, etc) to take enhanced shots of the journey
- food and drink, souvenir
- camera, memory cards, and other personal equipment
When: This tour is currently running as a private tour only. Start time depends on the island (for example, Delos is entirely an open-air museum open from 9 am to 3 pm) and the needs and preferences of the group (ie, Santorini is known for its superb sunsets so tour normally starts at 5 pm.)
Price: $300 for 1-2 people; Price includes photography instruction, cultural/historical/natural tour, transfers and pick ups from the central port.
Requirements: Guests must be physically fit to walk sometimes strenuous inclines in the hot summer sun; not recommended for children under 12; each guest must bring his or her own camera, DSL or manual, with enough battery charge for the journey and extra memory card; non-refundable deposit must be paid up to two weeks before tour date to guarantee your space.
Bookings: Please email us using the form below with your desired date(s), islands and times to book this tour.
If interested, please fill up this preference form.
Photography Tour 2: Panoramic Athens
Are you in love with panoramic shots like me? Where else can you get a better vantage point of the ancient world than from the top of the Acropolis? Join me on this Panoramic Photo Tour of Athens and environs to bring back shots that will be worthy of a gallery wall.
Our tour will include not just ferreting out the best points to take breath-taking shots of this magnificent structure, The Acropolis, but will come along with a guide, professor of mythology and Greek drama, who will elucidate the history, mythology, and culture of both ancient and modern Greece as we walk up the hill. Our tour will include not just The Acropolis but the opposing Lycabetus Hill, the perfect spot to take shots of the sunset over Athens. If time permits, we will visit the new Acropolis Museum.
Time: 3 hours.
When: This tour is currently running as a private tour only, pre-booked Stateside. Tour is scheduled for each day in the month of July and August from 4 pm to 7 pm.
Price: $100 per person; Price includes photography instruction, cultural/historical/natural tour
Requirements: Guests must be physically fit to walk sometimes strenuous inclines in the hot summer sun; not recommended for children under 12; each guest must bring his or her own camera, DSL or manual, with enough battery charged for several hours.
If you are planning to be in Greece this summer, why not register for a photographic Panoramic tour of Athens with a Greek-American educator, blogger, and photographer, yours truly, the Greek American Girl.
Sign up with your interest by filling in this form:
My photographs have been exhibited in various galleries around Long Island City. Individual shots are available for purchase at https://www.yourartgallery.com/iarchos
Photography and travel go together. Ideally it would be wonderful if you could travel and take professional quality shots to prove you were THERE. That’s why Photography Walking Tours by a professional photographer who is native to the area would be the ultimate learning experience.
Come with me and let us see Greece from a photographer’s eye! You will take back professional quality shots of your vacation that will make friends and family jealous they did not have the same experience.
Follow me on Instagram to keep up with my mind’s eye.