Downtown LA 4-hour Instagram Photo Safari –  A fun tour

This is a fun 4-hour walking photo tour of Grand Central Market, Angel’s Flight Railway, and the Last Bookstore. We will meet at 1 pm at Grand Central Market for your 30-minute Photo Orientation on using your new smart phone. Take many selfies with your phone while learning how to Use your phone camera and learn about the history of downtown LA from your photo Instructor Elle Gamboa and long-time LA resident. We will also have time for a foodie Adventure at Grand Central Market ( an indoor market with many food vendors ) and some shopping. Throughout the walking tour I will be giving useful photo tips & constructive critiques of your photos on Instagram. You will return back home with well-composed, sharp photos that will impress your friends and family.

What you will learn :

Exposure and composition
Manipulating light and shadow
Framing architecture photos of buildings, monuments, & details
Portrait photography composition with flash or no flash
Learn proper video techniques with your Iphone or Android
How to edit photos with apps like Google Snapseed, Prisma, or VSCO

Cost of the photo tour:

$ 200 for 1 or 2 people, $ 300 for 3 people. $ 349 for up to 4 people.
This is a 4-hour walking photo safari. Bring comfy walking shoes

Avaialable dates for the photo tour :  February 24 – April 28, 2020

Book this photo tour

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Looking to impress your friends with the best shots of Los Angeles?

Let me show you the top locations in the city.This is perfect during layover and to get a general impression of the city of Angels. In my fun three hour Instagram/Smartphone walking photo tour, you will learn to become a  more creative photographer as you will learnboth the technical & creative aspect of photography. You will elevate your photography & selfie pics to an artistic levels. We will be shooting all sorts of subject matter: street photography, architecture, people, travel documentary. We will be using photo apps like Snapseed and VSCO. You will be creating amazing photo art with your smartphone. Plus you get to learn more about the history of LA.

Available dates :  February 26- April 26, 2020

Pricing – starts at $ 175 per person for 3 hours.

Requirements : IPhone, latest Android smartphones, good walking shoes What’s included : bottled water, snacks, photography tip sheet, hands on photo instruction for the the night photography walking tour everyone gets one free taco from my favorite food truck on Pershing Square

What you will learn : photography basics ( exposure & composition ), historical facts about LA, best foodie locations
Photography topics : travel. architecture, people, urbanscapes, landscapes, nature closeup, abstract What’s not included : transportation, lunch

Note: This is a 4-hour walking photo tour of downtown Los Angeles

How to book this walking photo tour ?

Please send email to

Send your name, email, and contact phone. Let me know how many people in your group and which dates and photo tour you want to take.

Take your pick of locations in Los Angeles for your walking photo tour.

1) Venice Beach/ Santa Monica Pier/ 3rd Street Promenade ( daytime )
2) Getty Museum/ Santa Monica ( daytime )
3) Griffith Park/Ferndale Nature Museum ( daytime )
4) Downtown LA- Transportation ( LA Metro/Uber ) Leave your car behind.
a) Grand Central Market/Angel’s Flight, Bunker Hill/Last Book Store ( daytime )
b) Architectural walking photo tour – Walt Disney Concert Hall/ Bradbury Building/ Westin Bonaventure ( daytime )

Not included : Meals, Uber/Lyft, and Gratuities

Visit LA and explore the historic Venice Canals and Venice Boardwalk with an LA native and local photographer Elle Gamboa. My 4-hour walking photo tour will cover the Venice Canal created by conservationist & developer Abbot Kinney. After the Canal walk, we will take a short Uber ride to Venice Board Walk and explore this alternative and very creative community of shop owners, restaurants, artists, and skate boarders. We will also check out Muscle Beach and Venice Skate Park.

Dates available : Feb. 24 – May. 12, 2020

Cost of the 4-hour Walking Photo Tour : $ 200 per person. To book this photo tour, please send me email to

venice beach california
Venice Beach Canals – photo by Elle Gamboa
venice beach photo walk

Get directions to the Venice Canals ( California ) . Link here

Master your DSLR Camera in this fun Walking Photo Safari of Santa Monica & Venice Beach

Available Dates :  February 24 – April 24, 2020. All tours by appointment.
Workshop Fee : $ 175 per person ( Reserve your spot via Paypal )
Maximum participants: 6 people. You can book as close as a week in advance for a tour. This is a combo walking/uber photo safari. We can meet at either Santa Monica Pier or Venice Beach Board walk and take a short Uber ride to the next location.

Requirements: DSLR Camera like Nikon, Canon, or Sony, Standard kit lens ( 18-55mm ), a prime lens ( 50 mm ), and Telephoto lens

Meeting place:  Big Dean’s Oceanfront Cafe

What you will learn :

Photography basics ( Exposure principle ) using Triangle of exposure ( Film Speed, Shutter Speed, Aperture ) Creative composition like rule of thirds, leading lines,

Leanne, my photo student from Australia

We will be taking night photos and check out the cool areas in downtown Los Angeles. We will go through the basics of the technical aspect of photography ( exposure ) and then the creative techniques ( composition ) as we walk all over downtown LA documenting the vibrant nightlife on the streets and inside the buildings.

Tours dates : February 25 – April 25 ,2020
Tour prices : The 4-hour walking tour is $ 175 per person, $ 300 for 2 people. Maximum of 4 attendees. Please book 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule

We will be touring :

Pershing Square
The Last Book Store
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Topics I will cover in the night photo workshop:

Triangle of Exposure Basics – Relationship between film speed, shutter speed, and aperture.
Camera operation basics: Using different exposure modes ( auto settings and manual exposure.
Exposure bracketing, White Balance Settings etc,
Shooting HIGH ISO ( up to 6400 ) handheld versus shooting low ISO ( 100 ) with a tripod.
Creative composition using rule of thirds, frame within a frame, leading lines.

Subject Matter : Travel, People, Architecture, Documentary

Your photo assignment for tonight’s shooting :

We will be shooting for a travel magazine in LA that needs photos for an article showing foreign travellers the many fun attractions in Los Angeles they can explore on a budget. These are known as editorial photos. There will be critiques of your photos throughout the night.

Your photo instructors : Elle Gamboa ( night photography specialist ) will be leading the night photo workshop. Be sure to bring a tripod with you.

Triangle of Exposure Chart Above

FAQ’s: A few frequently asked questions:

What should I bring on the photo tour ?

>Bring your camera of course; digital camera is a MUST – be it point & shoot, D-SLR, or smartphone; you may also rent a camera from us or a local camera rental store
Plenty of memory cards (formatted and ready to go); always carry a backup. Extra batteries for your camera and flash (if you have one).
For night photography, bring a light and sturdy tripod or we can loan you one .

How about guests and non participants?

Only paid registrants may attend our LA Photo Safaris. Please do not register spouses, friends, children, etc. who are not interested in photography. These are photography workshops covering many technical & creative aspects of photography. We keep our photo tour groups very small to make sure that everyone receives adequate attention. An ideal group size is 2-4 people

What about cancellations & rescheduling?

What about cancellations and rescheduling? Our photo tours workshops are kept very small (max. 4 participants) which means not only do we usually sell out but we often turn away customers. So if someone cancels at the last minute we lose money. If you need to cancel: You must cancel 7 days or more prior to the start of the photo tour to get a full refund or a rescheduling of your photo tour.

What about bad weather and other changes?

Our LA Photo Safaris & tours are rain or shine. As the weather is often unpredictable in, our instructors have learned how to make the best of seemingly difficult situations. Photo Tour itineraries may be changed  locations to adjust for inclement weather. Please keep your cell phones & email contact on so we may contact you in the event of a change.

Are your LA Photo Tours this strenuous?

For shooting safaris you can anticipate walking anywhere from ½ to 3 miles depending on the photo tour. Most or all of the the walking will be on hard concrete (it is Los Angeles ). Each photorapher should be in good physical condition before attempting to participate in a photo tour. Our more strenous tour are the hike up Griffith Park to Hollywood sign. Easy walking photo

Tours are Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and downtown Los Angeles.

What is covered in your photo tours :

One-on-one photo instruction/ photo critiques, snack bars, photo cheat sheet ( PDF file) and emai support after the photo shoot.

What is not included : 

Cost of Uber/Lyft rides and lunches ride. You can bring a rental car for your group

But I highly encourage using a combination of public transportation & Uber as Los

Angeles has the worst traffic and parking conditions. By the way, gratuities are welcome.

How do I register :

Please contact me to

What you will learn :

Los Angeles Photo Safaris is taught by Los Angeles travel and commercial photographer Elle Gamboa. I loved teaching beginners and even advanced amateurs. My teaching philosophy is sum up in four words : Listen, Write notes, Apply, Ask questions.

Photography has three important principles : Lighting, exposure, & composition.

In a few hours I can move you from absolute beginner to amateur shutterbug taking pictures that will amaze your friends and family.Its important to remember that its the person who takes the picture and not the camera.

This introductory workshop is for beginners who would like to learn the basics of their digital camera. Are you still using automatic settings? Then this class is for you! Students discover how digital cameras work and how to control their image making. This workshop is an exciting way to learn the technical skills of image making and the proper settings for consistent results.

Our video basics for beginners workshops are taught by LA finest videographers & photographers. Learn how to shoot like a pro. Use your DSLR or even your Iphone to create amazing videos that will impress your friends and family

These workshops are geared for photography students who have taken camera basics or are well versed in using their camera settings. We will be using rule of thirds, frame within a frame,leading line, angles, and other creative techniques. Learn to develop your artistic eye.

Not all photos are creative equal when it comes to digital cameras. Most photos need to be organized, color corrected, resized for print or the web using these two most important tools for digital photographer. Lightroom is great for workflow & quick photo editing .Photoshop is great for digital manipulation & special effects.

Experience Los Angeles from the eyes of an LA native and travel photographer. If you loved to take pictures and travel, then this is the tour for you. You will learn about the colorful history of the different LA neighborhoods while  your photo tour guide gives you tips on composition, lighting, and exposure.

Dates available : February 6 – May 15, 2020… Start times are flexible
Cost of the 4-hour photo tour – $ 199 per person, $ 325 for 2 people

What to bring : Any DSLR camera with basic lens, point and shoot, or any smart phone ( Iphone or Android -Samsung, LG, Motorola )
What you will learn – Exposure & creative composition. Travel, street photography, architecture, interiors, portraits, abstracts.

Our schedule of stops will be:
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Michael Jackson’ Star ( he has 2 stars )

Then we will ride the Red Line Metro train to Pershing Square and walk to these locations

Grand Central Market – Enjoy the various eateries here like Eggslut, Sticky Rice & G & B Coffee. China Cafe is known to have the best place for breakfast. The building is owned by a Beverly Hill developer & receives 2 million visitors a year

Angel’s Flight ( shortest railway in the world )

Historic Theater District – before WW11 was LA downtown movie capital

The Last Bookstore ( combination book/art gallery )

Important travel tips : Don’t rent a car unless you really have to. Parking is horrible in a lot of the popular attractions. Taking Uber and the Metro subway is faster.

For the photo walk starting at the Canals, we will meet at 2480 Pacific Ave. Venice, California

A little history of the Venice Canal
This is the Los Angeles version of Lombard Street. A Venice Canal to Venice Beach, and vice versa path. It goes from 25th Ave. on Venice Beach, passes walk street homes to a LA City Crosswalk. The Crosswalk takes you down a windy path to a straight path and you end up on the Historic Grand Canal in Venice. The Canals were originally built in 1906, and restored in 2009. The restoration of the Venice Canals took 9 years of work by the Venice Canals Association. It was paid by the homeowners as a property owner sponsored assessment district. Homeowners paid half the cost of the restoration, and th city of Los Angeles the other half.
The Venice Canal Venice Beach path was built as a result of the Venice Canals Foundation, VCF. The VCF was founded by members of the Venice Canals Association,. Funding was provided by neighbors, The California State Coastal Conservancy, and the City of Los Angeles beautification fund. The Beach Access Path, it’s gardens, etc. are maintained by the Venice Canals Foundation, a 501c3 non profit that has a board made up of community volunteers. X Galanty – LA local Guide

vanice canal california beach access
Meeting place at 2480 Pacific Ave

Los Angeles – Personal Travel & Vacation Photographer

Forget selfies and pestering strangers, your own personal travel photographer will capture your journeys in a contemporary and candid style. Return home with amazing photos of your travels to share with friends and family.

Highlights of your Los Angeles Tours

Enjoy your own custom tour route based on your exact needs
Make the most of a personal, professional and local photographer to capture your travels
Avoid cheesy smiles or poses, only contemporary and candid photography
Benefit from your photographer’s knowledge of the local area
Receive your digital photos via an online gallery, within 5 working days

Meeting Place: Location will be decided by your photographer

Costs – $ 250 for up to 4 people
Payment must be paid via Paypal 2 weeks before your tour
Duration – 2-3 hours

For more email contact us at

Sample photo tour of LA with Cindy from Taiwan. I took her to California Science Center & the Last Book Store