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Expert 1:1 Instruction on DSLR Camera

Kevin was very nice; we meet just before sunset and went to pre-scouted areas in which to capture... read more

Reviewed June 21, 2018
Natasha M
,
Orlando, Florida
Blue hour in Chicago

This is a must do tour for photo enthusiasts who want to capture Chicago Skyline. Thanks Kevin. I... read more

Reviewed April 14, 2018
SrikanthMadduri
,
Bengaluru, India
via mobile
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Reviewed October 1, 2015

Unfortunately I was disappointed with this 'Sunrise Photography Tour'. From Kevins website it is obvious that he is great photographer and takes beautiful pictures, and as Kevin was out of town for the Sunday that I wanted to do the Sunrise Tour, he kindly did it on a Tues for me. He also was able to lend me a tripod as I was travelling and didnt have one with me. But unfortunately from my experience thats about as good as it got, as this was not a great 'photography tour'.

Unfortunately it was evident that Kevin was unprepared, as he had no predetermined places already scouted for our tour, so we spent 50% of the 2hr tour aimlessly walking looking for a place to shoot. This was confirmed when he said I was only the second person to have done a sunrise tour. We didnt have much of a sunrise that morning - as weather can be unpredictable, but there was no plan b of locations that would still allow for some great Chicago shots. Chicago is a beautiful city and so much opportunity for great photos. One of the reasons you pay for a tour is for the expertise of a professional photgrapher and for their experience in knowing and researching great locations for some great shots, that are your 'souveniers' of the tour.

I would not recommend this if you are looking for a 'photography tour', as you will be disappointed, as this is not a tour and not worth the money. I have been on other photography tours in other cities/states and they have been great, as the guide/photographer has been organised and had pre-scounted excellent locations for shots (ie an amazing one in SF, and a 'night safari tour' in NYC). However if you are looking for more of a workshop type thing then this may be ok and may meet your expectations.

As a side note, Kevin was a nice enough guy and I was happy to provide him this feedback after my tour, I think if Kevin was more prepared and had a few locations predetermined (and even cater for weather conditions) then this has the potential to be really good.

Date of experience: August 2015
3  Thank maccy78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KEVIN O, Owner at Chicago Photography Tours by Kevin O'Connell, responded to this reviewResponded April 12, 2016

Hello Maccy78,

Sorry the sun did not decide to come out the morning of our tour. Its very hard to gage the weather in a city like Chicago, especially on the Lakefront.

However, if you do remember you did not make arrangements until 9:00pm the night before. I have written in my description that I need a few days at the very least to schedule a workshop because of a series of questions I need to ask of you, so I can be prepared with whatever may be needed, depending on your skill level. I also need to check weather conditions. You were from out of town and really wanted this morning tour, so I changed my plans to give you a private workshop instead of the group workshop that costs much less.

This is still okay, because I understand that when your from far away like you, thins don't always fall into place, so I wanted to make you happy.

We also both know you did not have a tripod with you, so I let you use my tripod, which is also understandable with visitors not being able to take all that equipment on a plane.

The morning of the workshop you were very agitated at yourself while shooting, and showed it, when you were swearing out loud at yourself and throwing things on the ground when you didn't do something right.

As I was right next to you watching and talking to you, I didn't want you agitated and suggested that we walk over to Lake Shore drive so I could teach you some long exposure traffic shots with traffic in the foreground and the skyline in the background. The sun still did not come out as of yet, so you again showed how agitated you were. I then suggested us to walk a block over to Buckingham Fountain to shoot that. When we got there it was closed for the day due to some work being done that morning. Again, this was just plan C because the sun has not come out yet.

So again I suggested we walk over to the bridge a block away to shoot the train yard overlooking the city. You said yes. If you do remember Maccy78, I did not just take you on a long walk, I made these as suggestions to you and you said yes.

At the end of out workshop the sun started to come out. We walked a total of 4 blocks to different sites to shoot and you never told me you were disappointed that I did not do enough.

I see you have some other reviews here that you were very happy with only when everything was perfect in every way for you. I'm fine with that, don't expect I can please everyone. We are all different.

In the future you will see that shooting in perfect conditions are great, but learning how to shoot in adverse conditions will make you a better photographer and you will learn so much more about lighting and so on.

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Reviewed July 14, 2015

I normally never write reviews but I made a TripAdvisor account specifically so I could share my experience with Kevin O'Connell. I came to Chicago on business from Colorado. I enjoyed taking photographs but I wanted to improve my skills. I saw the opportunity to take this lesson was Kevin and I figured I would give it a try. I met with Kevin on a beautiful sunny Saturday and we started our journey by McCormick Place. I had a goal of taking beautiful landscape photos during our two hours together. I was able to accomplish this goal because of the talent and the vast knowledge that Kevin provided. Kevin show me how to take different angle to make a picture pop. Using the sun as a natural back light really enhanced my photos. I really enjoy my two hours with Kevin, next time I am in Chicago I will be taking another journey I highly recommend this to everyone.

Date of experience: July 2015
2  Thank Sebastian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kevin O, Owner at Chicago Photography Tours by Kevin O'Connell, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2015

Thank you Sebastian, it was a pleasure teaching you some new techniques. Had a ball with you.
See ya next year.

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Reviewed July 10, 2015 via mobile

I went to Kevin earlier this morning and had quite the adventure. I am a sub-bar photographer at best so I was very excited to meet Mr. O'Connell. When I arrived Kevin couldn't have been friendlier and that was very appreciated. During our two hours together I learned so much about using natural light and using angles to my advantages. I walked away from this experience a very knowledgeable man and I will be retiring again to gain even more
Knowledge. I highly recommend this to anyone

Date of experience: July 2015
1  Thank Travisclyde85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kevin O, Owner at Chicago Photography Tours by Kevin O'Connell, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2015

First of all, it was my pleasure working with you Travis. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour, and got some great shots for the competition.

Sincerely
Kevin OConnell

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Reviewed June 19, 2015

My daughter and I recently worked with Kevin on June 13, 2015. Neither of us knew much about Chicago, and we knew less about our cameras. Kevin was great to learn from on both fronts. My daughter said, after the tour was complete, that she learned so much about how to operate her camera effectively. His patience for the many "dumb" questions I had was incredible. In addition, he was infinitely more responsive to a request for a tour than another tour operator I was trying to contact (still waiting for this other person's call back to my message). Very very easy to work with. Would definitely recommend this tour for anyone looking to learn a bit about Chicago or about camera usage in general. It was a great time with Kevin.

Date of experience: June 2015
Thank Dave D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kevin O, Owner at Chicago Photography Tours by Kevin O'Connell, responded to this reviewResponded June 21, 2015

Thank you David, it was so refreshing to teach such a great team. Kalena is going to be a great photographer in years to come, such enthusiasm. Thanks to you both for making my job great.

Kevin O'Connell

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Reviewed June 7, 2015

I had two trips booked with Kevin, but the first day turned out miserable weatherwise, not allowing any photographs due to rain, fog and high winds. Kevin took his time to drive me around anyway to show me the interesting spots and even providing me with the best locations to park at reduced fares.
On the second (evening) tour he stayed with me for much longer than the alotted time and provided answers to all my questions, as well as helping me shoot some amazing photos. Kudos.

Date of experience: June 2015
1  Thank Helmut R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kevin O, Owner at Chicago Photography Tours by Kevin O'Connell, responded to this reviewResponded June 9, 2015

I'm glad you enjoyed the tours Hemut. I understand how a client must feel after months of planning a photography workshop, and have it ruined by unpredictable weather conditions.

It was my pleasure to extend the second tour for you.
Its all about making new friends, and doing what we love

Thanks so much
Kevin O'Connell

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