Before photography, the only way people could preserve their most treasured memories was by forcing everyone around them to stand completely still for days at a time. Pay homage to more mobile photography with today’s deal: for $39, you get a half-day, four-hour photography tour from PhotoTour Excursions (a $79 value). This Groupon is valid for any signature excursion, scheduled on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, or any specialty excursion priced at $79 or lower. Tourgoers must bring their own camera.
PhotoTour Excursions challenges its tourtakers to camera-capture the Washington, D.C. area, despite its overall lack of historical buildings, monuments, and other photo-worthy elements. Amble through the landscapes and landmarks on the tour of your choosing, espying sights such as the Lincoln Memorial, the melting-pot majesty of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, or the seaport-sanctuary sights of bayside Annapolis. Tours are led by a professional photographer, who will dispense both historical facts and helpful photography tips at each stop. For amateur aperture-wranglers, each PhotoTour Excursions tour begins with a comprehensive breakdown of “10 Steps to Great Pictures,” offering technical and aesthetic aspects of photography that will inspire travelers to snap memorable stills with their thinking caps on and their lens caps off.
After the last shutter has shuttered, tours regroup to review their aesthetic achievements with their hawk-eyed host. To fortify photographic futures, everyone also takes home complimentary cheat sheets and a FocalPoint DC newsletter, both of which are canvassed with area info, camera tricks, and photography tips, such as how to properly stand in front of the Washington Monument in a photo so that it appears you are balancing it on your finger.
Lynford Morton doesn't like to be called an instructor. Instead, he prefers photo coach. To Lynford, coaching more accurately describes his process of giving advice and support and boosting confidence in photographers as they actively snap shots of their subjects. His teaching method sticks to this sports analogy, as he first forms a foundation of photography principles—a playbook of sort. Then during hands-on sessions, photographers practice using techniques and calling audibles to get clouds into the right position. Since Lynford keeps most classes at a ratio of 1 to 12 or fewer, he can guide students with tips or illustrate a point with a teaching app on his iPad.
Lynford has always loved to tell stories with pictures. His father, a self-taught photographer from a village on St. Kitts, fueled Lynford's passion at an early age—which he later bridged with a photojournalism college major and a career in public relations. Now, he walks the historic streets of DC each weekend with troops of eager photographers anxious to tell their own visual stories.