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“Fantastic Experience with Andy McSweeney and Photo Tour Brugge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Photo Tour Brugge

Photo Tour Brugge
Burg Square | in front of the Basilica of the Holy Blood (#14), Bruges, Belgium
+32 486 17 52 75
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Ranked #2 of 39 activities in Bruges
Type: Tours
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Our mission is simple: Help you discover Brugge, inform & inspire your photography. Both our 'open' and private walking photo tours provide a guided view of medieval Brugge through a photographers' eye, with a priority to provide you with both essential and hidden sights in the right light. Choose to learn or simply focus on locations, a photo tour for -all- photographers.
Houston, Texas, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Fantastic Experience with Andy McSweeney and Photo Tour Brugge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

I love travel and I love photography, at which I am a very experienced amateur. I recently had a business trip in Europe and had the opportunity for a long weekend, and chose to spend it in Brugge.

I checked out the Trip Advisor ratings for tours and attractions and saw that Andy McSweeney's Photo Tour Brugge received exceedingly high marks. He offers 3 group tours, each 2 hours or a bit more, and after an email exchange, I signed up for all 3 on the same day. He also offers private tours. The group tours are strictly in English, though Andy speaks French and Dutch as well.

My day turned out to be absolutely beautiful, although it followed a bad patch of weather, which may have been the reason I benefited from being the entire group for 2 of the tours, and 1 of 2 for the other one.

This tour was all about walking around Brugge to the best spots for the best shots with as much technical advice as you need, and avoiding the worst of tourist crowds. Andy is a very relaxed and personable Canadian who married a local woman and has been in Brugge for more than 10 years if I remember correctly. Spending the better part of a day with him felt like getting to know a new friend who happened to know the local community well and was a professional photographer. Whether you are a pro who only needs a good guide, or the rankest amateur photographer, you will enjoy this day and come out of it with wonderful pictures and stories about Brugge.

There's quite a bit of walking involved, but almost exclusively on relatively flat and smooth surfaces. For me, that was a plus. One certainly sees more walking than any other way. The medieval center of Brugge is as lovely as pictures you can find online demonstrate, and is fairly compact.

Really a perfect day on all counts.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Ascot, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great few hours!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

We We only booked the tour that morning and despite it just being myself and my partner Andy showed up keen & eager to show us the sights of Bruges. We booked on to the 4pm tour and spent a thoroughly enjoyable few hours being shown sights that we otherwise would never have seen. We are already keen photographers and Andy met us at our level, this was really beneficial. Having his tablet present meant that we were able to take ideas and work on them. Andy was very patient and supportive. He was also great company! I have no reservations about recommending this tour to others - you really won't be disappointed. Thanks Andy!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Juliet, Tennessee, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Favorite activity in Belgium”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

On our two week long 25 wedding anniversary trip to Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium, my husband and I had experienced many cities and historic sites by the time we reached Bruges at the end of our trip. I found a flyer for the Photo Tour at the check-in at our hotel and asked at the hotel about the tour. The gentleman who checked us in said that several of their guests had enjoyed the tour, and that we should consider it if we were interested in that sort of thing.

Intrigued with the idea and looking for something different, we checked Trip Advisor and were pleased to find so many positive comments and reviews. My husband emailed Andy and asked about booking for later that same day.

We met Andy and found him friendly and personable. He asked questions about my level of experience and what I wanted to see and learn. We got started immediately. Andy was able to put me right at ease and to give very specific advice about both technical and creative photography techniques. He was encouraging and patient but willing to make corrections and suggestions to improve various shots. He has a tablet with him and is able to show the student a variety of shots in various locations and explain his process in getting each shot.

We took the 1:00 tour, which focuses on historic sites of the city. We enjoyed it so much that we stayed for the 4:00. I have taken photography courses in the states and found this course to be a great value for what we received. It is a good concept and I applaud Andy for his entrepreneurship and his hard work. In looking at my vacation photos before and after our time with Andy, I can see improvement which is to his credit. I found myself more comfortable with my equipment by the end of the day, which was one of my initial goals.

If you take this tour: wear comfortable clothing and good shoes because there is a lot of walking. Also, make sure you have extra batteries/charged batteries for your equipment and plenty of SD cards. My husband really enjoyed getting to know Andy, so don't worry if you are the Plus 1 without a camera, you'll have an entertaining time as well.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Andy's photo tour is excellent! Must do in Bruges!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

Andy's photo tour really worth it. Andy is a very nice man who will teach you photography at your level. Either you're a beginner or an expert, Andy always have something to teach you. It will greatly improve the rest of your trip pictures.

When I took the tour, we were 2 travelers and we walked for 2-3 hours around the city to discover buildings, places and parks. Andy explained us what he know about each place and showed us pictures he took of these places with explanations about the techniques and concepts behind those. He was always happy to answer our questions about our gear or techniques.

By the end of the tour, we were new friends and went sharing a beer.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaga, Spain
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“The best thing I did whilst in Brugge! :)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

First of all a note to Andy: SORRY this has taken me so long, but here it is, your review as promised!

I booked this tour after reading the glowing (all true!) reviews on Trip Advisor and also because although I am a complete novice when it comes to taking photos, I really enjoy it, and wanted to learn more about photography in general and hopefully get some good photos of Brugge too.

I contacted Andy by email a few months before our planned trip to Brugge (April 2013), and he couldn’t have been more helpful and attentive in answering my email queries and arranging the booking of the tour. When I mentioned that my husband wasn’t really interested even in tagging along for free with us (Andy allows one free no photo taking person to accompany each paid photographer on his tours, which I think is a really nice touch), Andy recommended a really good bar that my husband could sit and wait for us in. We would never have heard of or found this bar if not for Andy and it was a really nice one so that’s a bonus! But I digress already into talking about beers and bars, this is meant to be a photography tour review! So as I was saying, Andy was very helpful over email before we even got to Brugge, and then on our tour, it turned out that I was the only person booked so I got a one on one experience which was great as I probably needed all the time and attention Andy could spare seeing as I literally knew nothing about photography prior to this tour, just literally how to turn the camera on, point and shoot!

The first thing Andy did was explain to me about how other functions on my camera become available once you take the (courageous) step of turning off the “auto” function. He talked me through a few of these and set the camera up to begin shooting in beautiful spring daylight. In the end my husband decided to tag along with us after all and off we all went. Andy carries an iPad tablet thingy with him and as you start the tour, and reach each location where you are going to take photos, he shows you some (really great) photos that he has taken in the same location, and talks you through how to set up your own shots to re-create some of the ace photos he has taken, and I found as I got results I was pleased with, I got more confident, and tried to not just replicate Andy’s shots but come up with some new shots of my own.

The tour lasted just over 2 hours, I think we ran on a bit as we were all having a really good time, and during this time we had a really interesting walking tour of Brugge, showing us places we might not have found otherwise. Andy is really knowledgeable about Brugge in general and can give you very good tips also on things to do and see, and good but also cheap places to eat and drink – priceless information when visiting such an expensive tourist destination! I found the whole tour very informative and fun and my husband also enjoyed it although he wasn’t actively taking photos.

To sum up, Andy is a lovely, friendly guy full of useful photography tips as well as facts about Brugge. I found him to be a great teacher (since I am a novice), but I am sure he adapts his style to tailor the needs of far more experienced photographers also, providing tips and hints without being patronising to them, although I can’t really comment on this as being such a beginner, no information would have been patronising to me, as I need every photography tip I can get!

Since taking this tour I have invested in a better camera, and am trying to build on the skills Andy taught me and have some fun and get creative with my photography! If I am ever back in Bruges, I WILL DEFINITELY repeat this tour, as it was the best thing we did whilst we were there. Hands down! Keep up the good work Andy!!

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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