The Tour Guide with a Camera
What is a Photo-Shoot Tour?
You sign up to have your picture taken and to interact with and get to know each group member. .. and learn a little bit about San Francisco between photo-shoot stops.
Are reservations necessary? Yes, reservations are necessary at least 1 day in advance of your photo-shoot tour date and you can book on-line
No reservations are necessary for my 9:00 am meetup at the Dewey Monument in the middle of Union Square on Monday through Friday in the Month of June. I plan to add an 11:30 am tour when I get some traction.
Are there Photo-Shoot tours on holidays and Sundays? There are no tours on national holidays, nor certain religious holidays. The reason is practical. Many key establishments are not open thereby limiting the opportunities our tours ordinarily offer. There are no tours on Sundays as that is my day to rest up and enjoy family time so please don’t ask.
Is there a maximum number of people that can sign up for a Photo-Shoot Tour?
Yes, 5 individuals or 3 couples. I prefer 5 because that gives me an even number including me. Unlike a traditional sightseeing tour where the tour guide is the center of attention and talks (usually entirely too much!) the entire time, we all work together when I'm taking photos and we pair off when in between photo-shoot stops and take time to talk to and get to know each person in the group. I ask that you walk or ride with someone new even if you sign up as a couple with three singles. Why? You get a chance to interact with and get to know 5 new people (myself included) on every one of my tours. This is something I found missing from my 8 years of sightseeing tours with some exceptions, such as, smaller groups on over-the-road tours.
Is there a minimum number of people necessary for a reservation?No, there is no minimum since I charge $125.00 per hour. I encourage individuals who want to take a private photo-shoot tour to bring a friend along to help with all the minute details revolving around your preferred “buttoned-up” appearance in photos. Little things like hair out of place, lint, pollen or dust on dark clothing, wrinkled clothing, smeared lipstick or makeup and oily or dry skin can undermine an otherwise perfect photo.
Are large group tours available?No! I am pleased to refer you to the San Francisco Tour Guide Guild for large group sightseeing tours. I have a few companies I will always do a larger tour for.
What about children? No! My tours are not designed for children for a number of reasons. Point blank … they are too hard to photograph and too much of a liability issue for this little company to consider out on the streets and trails and bridge walkways of San Francisco.
Are school field trips available?No! Sorry, I don’t do school trips and I do not photograph children.
Do you provide "step-on" or "ride-along" guide services?
Yes, I do "step-on tours" with limousines, vans and small buses. I DO NOT PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION
What about Men-only or Women-only tours?
If you are a solo-traveler and wish to join a gender-specific group I will do my best to accommodate you. I’m not sure how to advertise ladies-only or men-only tours on my website without getting into trouble for promoting discriminatory practices. Please WhatsApp or email me your preferences or fill out my contact form on-line.
Does WalkSanFrancisco.com accept credit cards? Yes, when you sign up on-line. My Union Square Tours are cash only. All of your photos can be purchased online with a credit card.
Does WalkSanFrancisco.com accept checks? No, we do not accept checks.
At what time do tours meet?Photo-Shoot tours by appointment meet at the appointed time booked online and confirmed by phone. Morning tours in Union Square start around 10 am or 11 am on weekdays for the month of June
Where do we meet our guide? I meet you at a high-visibility location for everyone's safety and protection in hotel lobbies or somewhere close to where you are staying in San Francisco downtown, Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf or where arranged via phone or emails. If you are staying at an Airbnb somewhere further out you will need to come to meet me.
What about inclement weather? Fog is expected in the summertime and I try to go where we get the best views with or without the fog. My enlightened self-interest is to know where to go to get the best pictures at the best time of day. So we will proceed unless you express that the weather conditions are not acceptable. However, if the weather services issue "hazardous warnings", we reserve the right to suggest cancellation. Should you decide to cancel due to unacceptable weather conditions, call me at 1-415-980-0593 at least three hours before photo-shoot tour time. There is no cancellation fee for adverse weather situations. However, if weather causes cancellation after the tour is underway, full payment is charged.
What if we have to cancel due to extenuating circumstances?Again, please try to give us at least three hours notice. Situations do occur, but they should be reconciled with the least amount of inconvenience to all involved. Call the WalkSanFrancisco.com HOTLINE at 1-415-980-0593. If I don't pick up please leave me a voice mail and I will call you back.
How far will we walk? Are there restroom stops and refreshment stopsOn average:
2-hour #photoshoottours walking and riding on cover about 3 to 5 miles (5k to 8k).
4-hour #photoshoottours are variable depending on if it is a limousine transport event or if we take a ferry boat to Angel Island and ride bikes or walk.
My pace is faster than a casual, window-shopping stroll unless I'm seeing things and looking for lighting and shadows or watching for reflections that might make a picture. .. and we move quicker that a typical walking tour but non-athletic on 2-hour tours. If you have an athletic group I love to power-walk to cover more ground. We stop as often as I want to do a photo-shoot which could be anywhere along the route we take.
Restrooms can be a challenge on some early morning tours before establishments are open. I'm a problem solver and most stores and restaurants love it when I stop by. Refreshment stops need only be requested.
Where do tours end?Most of my walk/ride tours do not bring the group back to the starting point. However, if you have a secondary destination for the day, I will instruct you as to how best to get there. If you order a limousine you are in control of the start and end points and for absorbing the entire cost of the vehicle and driver gratuity.
Is tipping allowed?If you really enjoyed the experience of going on a photo-shoot tour with me then I am happy to accept a gratuity.
How many photos do I get for free and how much do photos cost?
2-hour #photoshoottour – 2 free portrait and 1 group photo per person
4-hour #photoshoottour – 5 free portrait and 2 group photos per person
Additional photos are as little as $10.00 per photo for raw photos up to $50.00 for 3-step retouched photos (you can choose any of your own portraits and any of the group photos which will be sorted and available under your name on my Smugmug photo sharing site)
What are Photo-Incentives?
I also give photos away on my tours as rewards for "poses well struck" and "jobs well done" in helping everyone get a successful outcome. The more everyone chips in on a tour like this the more everyone gains
How to Dress for a Photo-Shoot Tour
Our climate is so much rainier and chilly this year than I have seen in over 30-years of having lived in the Bay Area. To keep warm and to change your look, should you desire to do so, I suggest that you wear layers of different colored sweatshirts or tops. More formal attire can be worn on 2-hour or 4-hour limousine photo-shoot tours but there are no changing rooms on the streets and trails or walkways in San Francisco that I guide you on. Let’s not complicate things, ok?
Sexual Harassment – If I see any signs or am told by a group member that they feel harassed by any other group member the tour will be stopped and the offending party will be TOLD to leave the group. Police will be called if necessary.
There are many things that are unacceptable but what is acceptable are fist-bumps and high fives. Verbal abuse, unsolicited hugging and touching is strictly prohibited on all of my tours. I take really fun photographs of people, never compromising or solicitous.
Are you Insured?
Yes! I have a Certificate Of Liability Insurance through the National Federation of Tour Guide Associations – USA, Inc. by Producer - Howard W. Phillips & Company and Insurer - Twin City Fire Insurance Co. NAIC# 29459
Is WalkSanFrancisco a Registered Business with The City of San Francisco?
Yes! WalkSanFrancisco.com is a registered business with the City of San Francisco
Where are your reviews on Trip Advisor?
When I serviced large groups on buses I never seemed to have the time or desire to ask for reviews. With smaller groups, the value-add of my photography services and my own brand on the line I expect to get lots of really good reviews this year.