jim nilsen

Catherine Bell-1

Catherine Bell



Are you interested in participating in one of the many guided photography vacations offered today? Are you wondering why you should spend your dollars with us?

At Photography Travel Tours we have done all the research and have spent countless hours at the locations we introduce our clients to. We take the work out of the research and scouting process for you. You will be guided to the most photogenic scenes on the planet and we will help you get your best images. It is our goal to help you experience the most fun, positive, memorable, enjoyable, and productive photography vacation possible.

I am Jim of Jim Nilsen’s Photography Travel Tours. My wife Magrit and I are passionate about photography and the locations we have chosen for conducting our guided photography vacations. At Photography Travel Tours we will never offer locations that do not top the passion meter for us. We hope that this is contagious and that you will benefit not only from our excitement but also from that of the other members of your photo tour group. We also will not take you to hotels or restaurants that we have not experienced ourselves. Over the past few years of researching and scouting for our tours, we have developed lasting relationships with local hotels and restaurants. We know the best places to stay and eat and the cafes that make the most delicious cappuccinos and the ones that have the freshest and lightest croissants.

On all of the guided photography vacations with Photography Travel Tours you can expect to feel that you are in good hands with two photography guides who have nothing more in mind than for you to get the best photographs as well as to have the best possible cultural experience. It is no accident that we have chosen to conduct our photo tours in foreign locations. For us, photographing in a foreign location is heavenly and makes for an unbeatable experience. It is so much fun to explore a new location with a camera. We would imagine that you share the same passion. Photography Travel Tours has embraced the slow travel movement. We are a member of Slow Travel Tours, which is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips to Europe.

We believe that embracing the slow travel concept makes for better photographs. You will not be rushing from destination to destination and waste time packing and unpacking as we base out of one location for most of our photo tours. We select our locations based on the amazing and iconic subjects available in their vicinity. If we fail to get the right conditions on the first attempt we can spontaneously return when the conditions are just right. We do follow a schedule but we prefer to not be too rigid which allows us the flexibility to accomplish your most important goal . . . getting stellar photographs while on our photography vacations!

Our Tuscany Tour is a good example. It begins and ends in Pisa, but we spend the seven nights in between in the lovely medieval town of Pienza, which is located in the heart of the breathtaking Val d’ Orcia. From Pienza, we can get to most of the important photographic sites within two hours. Many of the iconic scenes that keep us coming back are very close to Pienza, 10 or 20 minutes away. This allows us the opportunity to visit locations more than once for the perfect conditions.

On the Cinque Terre Photo Tour we spend five nights in Monterosso del Mare, the largest of the five villages. Monterosso is one of the great photo destinations and the gateway to the other four smaller villages of this wonderful region on the Ligurian Coast.

On our five-day Venice Photo Tour you will spend four nights in the heart of Venice in a small boutique hotel only five minutes from San Marco Square. Most of the sights can be reached on foot but for some, we will rely on Venice’s public water buses, the “Vaporettos.” You will have the opportunity to photograph in Burano, perhaps the most colorful town per square inch in the world, which is a 45-minutes Vaporetto ride from Venice through the northern reaches of the Venetian lagoon.

So what else is needed to get great photographs on your photography vacations besides visiting amazing photogenic locations? For some participants that is all they need. They understand the workings of their cameras, how to pleasantly compose a photograph, and how to get the best out of their images using photo-editing software. Many others may not feel completely comfortable and confident with their photographic skills.

That is where Magrit and I come in. We are both skilled and trained artists. In my case, I have a degree in commercial photography and have been working as a professional photographer for over 20 years. Magrit has degrees in architecture and graphic design and knows a thing or two about composition. We love to share our knowledge and thoroughly enjoy seeing the transformation that takes place in our clients after five or seven days on one or more of our photography vacations in Europe.

If needed, we will assist in getting you up to speed in the months before the photo tour begins. I have coached many clients via Skype and Skype Screen Share where you can watch me demonstrate photo editing software. I can advise on camera equipment—bodies, lenses, tripods, tripod heads, photo editing software, camera bags, travel luggage, and many other photography and travel topics. I can also point you in the right direction for online learning opportunities which you can explore before the photo tour begins. Our goal is for you to be able to maximize your time getting great photographs and having a wonderful time while in the field on our photography vacations.

Check out our testimonial pages. We have been fortunate to have hosted many gracious clients and we would love for you to become one of them.

If one of these photography vacations from Jim Nilsen’s Photography Travel Tours intrigues you, contact us to sign up or to ask any questions that you may have. With warm regards,

Jim and Magrit