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“Great Experience!”

Chicago Photography Tours by Kevin O'Connell
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: *Private One On One Workshops* The 2018 season has begun. We decided to start the season early this year - Lock in your spot now. Come join me for a fun day or evening photo workshop tour to some of the best locations and hidden spots in the city. I have taught photography in the Grand Canyon and have traveled the world shooting fine art. Many images have won international awards. Beginners - Come join me for an exciting fun filled adventure, while I teach you the fundamentals of photography, and the essentials of your own camera. Advanced - Take one of my Friday Night Tours to learn long exposure and other advanced photography techniques. Make sure you bring your tripod.for any night or long exposure workshop. Private Workshops Person - $195.00 Couple - $245.00 For those who want one on one attention to every detail, and learn new creative techniques of the beginner that wants to fast track learning the basics without taking two months to get there.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed June 5, 2017

I have done two tours/workshops with Kevin and look forward to catching another one when I am back in Chicago. He was flexible in scheduling and also before the first one, took the time to ask questions about my equipment, photography experience and knowledge of both my equipment and general photography concepts. I think this let us work very smoothly together from the beginning and I learned a lot from him. the first tour was the Route 66 tour (10-4). This is a fun family day trip and both photographers and non-photographers will enjoy it. He charges by the car, so if there are a number of budding photographers in the family, it is a great deal!. If not, everyone will still enjoy themselves. Kevin was very considerate and allowed the needs of my pregnant daughter to be a priority in setting our pace. We were the only people on the tour that day-Kevin hadn't really even started the tours for the season yet, but he knew I was coming from out of town and really worked with me and agreed to take us on the tour. When our time was up and he had to leave, he told us about a few more stops on down the road in case we wanted to continue on. We did and enjoyed those stops. It was a delightful day.
The second was a night photography workshop. Originally there were to be some other clients as well. The first time we were scheduled to go, the weather was very bad and Kevin let me know very early in the day that we needed to reschedule.. the date was re-set, and on the re-set date it was quite windy. The other clients cancelled and Kevin still took me out. We were mostly around north beach, working on angles, composition, different exposures. The blue hour was fabulous. We had to walk around some to adjust to the wind conditions and to take advantage of changes in lighting, but Kevin worked with me well over the two hours I was expecting so there was no reduction in shooting time on account of the time spent moving around. It was helpful to have hints on dealing with less than ideal conditions because that is so often what we have to shoot in! Being from out of town, I did not have a tripod with me and he generously loaned me one. Kevin really wants to give you a great experience. No question is too silly or too hard. he also explains things well. Kevin has a tremendous sense of place and this comes through in his photos and in the angles and composition of his photos, He will help you to have that too. One of my favorite Route 66 photos I took is one where he suggested using a slightly different perspective and angle than I had been using. I did and the photo says so much more as a result.

Thank strnr
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 16, 2017

Sarah,

The pleasure was all mine. I'm glad you all had a great time while learning some new techniques. I love working with others that have a passion for photography, no matter there experience. Both Vickie and I can't wait to do it again.
Congrats on the new baby!

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Reviewed December 6, 2016

Had a great time photographing Millennium Park and the Chicago lights at night. Highly recommended. This was the Friday Night Lights Tour. Easily walkable.

Thank Scott F
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 December 8, 2016

Hi Scott,

It sure was an enjoyable night to shoot some crazy super moon lighting.
Glad to hear you had an excellent experience.

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Reviewed October 8, 2015

I booked the last night tour of the season for 9 october. Unfortunately my father in law became very ill to the point that my wife and myself had to go back in a rush to our country, just to find out that the old man already passed away. I wrote to Kevin asking if I was entitled to some reimbursement and in a matter of a couple of hours he replaid stating that I would recieve full reimbursement. In less than 24 hours I recieved notification from Pay Pal indicating the full reimbursement.
Kevin is an honorable and profesional photographer. Certainly, I will take the tour next time I am in town!!!

1  Thank R A
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


You arte very welcome,
Photography workshops and other things like this are wonderful, but family to me is more important than anything. I wish your father a speedy recovery and hope to see you next time your in town.

Sincerely
Kevin OConnell

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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.

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.

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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