Testimonials – Luminous Journeys Photo Tour Leaders
Myanmar – Kyaw Kyaw "KK" Winn
“KK was a complete star – what a wonderful man… I learned more about photography with KK than I have ever before in my life! This is the one of the best trips I have done and I am certainly more than “quite” happy – I am extremely happy! The photography was fantastic and intense and I loved it. And of course Burma is such a special and wonderful country. The trip was magical – and I cannot rate KK and Boothee more highly. I can’t wait to do another LJ trip!”– Katie Garrod, UK
"I’m still glowing after the incredible journey (Jan 2020) through Myanmar. KK is an amazing guy—so much fun, always smiling and happy and patient with all of us. As well as willing to share his knowledge of photography and settings for our cameras when we were stumped. Each place we visited was more special than the last. And we had a very congenial group. Throughout this trip I met so many fabulous people, starting with Soe Soe in Yangon and ending with the women in Mindat with their tattooed faces who welcomed us into their homes.
So thank you for arranging such a special journey. I loved every minute." –Emily Kelting, USA
"My Myanmar Luminous Journey with KK Winn was truly a life changing experience on so many levels. The itinerary and photographic opportunities were breathtaking, fascinating, and unique. KK planned every shoot to perfection, to optimize the timing and lighting. He was a patient teacher, helping me improve my shots and use my camera more efficiently. Watching him charm people into being our models was a pure delight. Exploring the remote Chin State looking for the disappearing tattooed women was a treasure hunt and even our driver was enthusiastically a part of the fun and thrill as we found each new treasure, beautiful unique women to document with photos. KK is a passionate photographer who loves the beauty of Myanmar and wants to share it. It was a honor and so much fun to travel with him on this journey.” –Ann Moore, USA
“I’ve been on quite a number of photo tours all over the world, and Luminous Journeys has been the best –BY FAR. Kyaw Kyaw Winn and the people of Myanmar will always be in my heart.” — Benny Hanigal, Israel
“I’m sitting in the airport lounge in Yangon waiting for departure to Bangkok. I just wanted to tell you that our tour was fabulous and the organization perfect and far beyond expectations. On top of all, we had the pleasure to meet KK, who is not only an exceptionally talented photographer but also a very empathetic and friendly person. To sum up: we are more than happy with your services and wanted to thank you personally and the Luminous team for all your efforts. We will certainly come back!” – Heini Rüdisühli, Switzerland
“My trip to Myanmar with Luminous Journeys was really fantastic and unforgettable! We were fortunate to have as our guide KK, (Kyaw Kyaw Winn), a true professional photographer who was kind, educated, didactic in the best way, patient and loved by all in our group, which made our trip as pleasant as possible. KK taught us new techniques such as dealing with light and shadow in a surprisingly beautiful and cultural script. Truly a dream of travel; everything perfect in that beautiful country. Congratulations to Luminous Journeys for their ability and seriousness in their Photo Tours.”– Sinisia Coni Corrêa Ribeiro, Brazil
“Everything was excellent! My family and I enjoyed and learned a lot from KK. He is amazing!! Thanks for everything!!”– Moises Nissan, Mexico
“I cannot think of a word in my own language that captures how great my photo tour workshop with KK (Kyaw Kyaw Winn) was. More than great, it was an honor and a privilege to work with such an outstanding photographer and wonderful teacher. He is always thinking ahead and working hard to make sure his clients get every opportunity to capture extraordinary photos of Myanmar, including going well beyond the postcard shots.
One surprising highlight for me how really funny some of our photo sessions turned out to be. KK has such a friendly and fun personality that sometimes he would make the people we were photographing laugh and laugh until tears came down everyone’s faces! I got caught in the laughter as well, even though I didn’t understand a word of Burmese!
I just love KK and it was an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience. Millions of thanks, and I can only repeat, I loved it soooooooooooo much!!!” – Kerstin Glassner, Germany
“Starting with the logistics, everything ran perfectly. All of the group really appreciated that we all had space, we were never cramped in the vans or buses. The hotels were all great, especially the Wyndham in Yangon. Your local guides that assisted KK were all around very good. Special note for Jack who went out of his way to help us, especially on the last day to get the t-shirt made for KK. And another special note for Nan in Inle. She was really wonderful and helpful and an excellent source of knowledge.
As for KK, he’s a gem, a real trooper, very patient, great guy to know. His infectious smile and his ability to connect with strangers really helped all of us have a great experience in Myanmar. Just a great guy and a fantastic travel photographer with connections everywhere. He really worked very hard for the group.
So, in conclusion, you guys run a fantastic operation and you know how to cater to your customers and their habits, needs and wants. I'd highly recommend you guys to anyone wanting to do a photo tour.” — Paul Papadopoulos, UK
“My 2020 Myanmar photo tour was excellent on all fronts. The itinerary was just what I was looking for, the logistics smooth… KK is a gem, both from his knowledge of photography and his willingness to impart it, and in his ability to convince passers-by (monks, farmers, road workers, children, etc.) to participate.
The journey was much more than just a photographic experience - it gave me an appreciation of the beauty and challenges of this wonderful country. It also reinforced my experience that a leader must be deeply knowledgeable about the country in which the travel occurs…” — Paul Greenfield, Australia
“There is simply nobody like K.K. Winn. His smile and laughter are infectious. We laughed so hard that our bellies hurt! We also captured phenomenal images in between! When KK smiles his eyes crinkle up and he his knees compress. I guess you could call this a whole body experience! KK you were the best possible guide we could ever of hoped for, but most of all I loved your joyous energy!” — Carolyn Angus, Judge Member, Canadian Association for Photographic Art
“We traveled with K.K. Winn on a two weeks photo tour last January. Great tour with a great photographer! We got the advantage of his vast experience from all over Myanmar, and he went the extra mile for us to succeed… And K.K. is blessed with good humor. Laughter was never far away. He gave inspiration to numerous exciting shooting possibilities, as well as ideas on useful camera settings in the various situations. We got a lot of interesting images from this trip, most of which would not have been possible from an ordinary photo tour. We will go with Kyaw Kyaw Winn again, no doubt about it! — Asbjorn Olsen, Norway
“Kyaw Kyaw Winn is the perfect manifestation of the Burmese ethos. He is a great photographer, yet humble, accommodating, adaptive, and a great human being to be around. During our trip I was amazed at how coolly and successfully he handled different personalities from around the world. K.K. Winn and Luminous Journeys gave us a fantastic opportunity to make great photographs day in and day out. This experience has definitely raised the bar for me.” — Sesh Sareday, USA, from his “Luminous Diary”
“I am always impressed when a company actively seeks feedback. The organisation during the photo tour was seamless & very impressive… KK & AP Soe are tremendous photographers and the standard of their work was amazing. There is no doubt this was the real deal. Care also was obviously taken over restaurant choice as none of our group was ill at all… Overall, this was a fantastic & memorable holiday – it is going to take me ages to sort out all the photographs!” – Steve S., United Kingdom
“It was a great photo tour. K.K. was really always there to show us how he sees things and his tips in taking a fantastic image. He would show us how he would approach a scene and was always willing to show us his compositions. He is truly one of the most genuine persons we have ever met. He really cared about how we were doing and made sure we learnt as much as possible. Please pass on our thanks and appreciation to your staff, especially K.K. They are truly professional and extremely helpful.” – Yvonne Ho and Andrew Chow, Canada
“Boothee (K.K. Winn’s #1) is a warm, personable type who one quickly considers a friend. He was quick to attend to our every need and ensured a comfortable, pleasurable trip. His photographic skills are superb. His has excellent technical skills in all types/makes of camera and proved a valuable asset to our team.” – David Fleeger, USA
“I had the pleasure of travelling with Kyaw Kyaw Winn as part of a Luminous Journeys photo tour (Photographers Gone Wild, 2014, and again a year later on an LJ custom photo tour to more remote regions.) A humble, friendly and unassuming man, his enthusiasm always shone through with the joy and excitement of finding those conditions that could produce the perfect photograph. It was soon clear to all of us why he had won so many photographic awards. His local knowledge and contacts around the country proved invaluable throughout.” — K.S. Matharu, United Kingdom
“The photo trip was fantastic!! We had a great time! K.K. Winn and Boothee were extremely helpful and able to assist everyone with any issues that came up. They were genuinely interested in every one’s shooting experience, and did their best to accommodate. Logistically, you guys were spot on….from the airport p/u to the transport and hotels, everything went very smoothly. The hotels were also very nice. We went with Luminous Journeys thinking of your local knowledge in Myanmar and we were right to have done so!” – Ralph Quinonez, USA
“A recent photo tour to Myanmar with Luminous Journeys constituted what one dreams about – the trip of a life time. Photo opportunities were spectacular! Our two Burmese photography guides – Kyaw Kyaw Winn and Boothee – were invaluable with their use of the native language combined with their photo skills. Hotels and meals were fully satisfying. I would recommend this adventure to anyone with an interest in Myanmar and photography!” – Wilfred Geshke, USA
“My private Myanmar photo tour workshop with the wonderful Boothee Thaik Htun was absolutely EVERYTHING I could have hoped for. Not only is he an exceptional photographer and leader, but a lovely genuine guy. He’s extremely easy-going and so willing to go above and beyond the call to ensure that you have a good time, a good shoot, feel happy, comfortable, relaxed — but also challenged enough to learn and even go out of your comfort zone trying new techniques.
So I can say without a shadow of doubt that Boothee and Luminous Journeys met and exceeded my expectations and hopes for this tour. It is a trip that will not only remain in my heart forever, but which has left me with a desire to return, not only to a beautiful country but to see a beautiful friendly face again. So thank you and all your team for putting together such a fantastic private photo tour of Myanmar. I shall treasure these memories a lifetime.” – Jayne Rose, UK
Myanmar – A.P. Soe
"I want to thank you I for a wonderful (2019) adventure to Myanmar. The trip, from start to finish was absolutely logistically sound, and finished without a glitch... The hotels were perfect and the food fabulous.
AP Soe was magnificent. In all my wildest dreams did I ever expect to meet someone so kind and gentle who was so very gifted and knowledgeable. Each day AP had a program in place on what to teach. His teaching style is quiet and understated but very intense. I learned so much from watching and observing his interactions with subjects and environment. As a beginner, he never made me feel inadequate or incapable. He would gently guide me to see other ways and explore the sights around me. I was very impressed by how respectful he was to his subjects...
Although AP was not my first teacher, he is certainly the best. I have gained so much insight and passion into photography because of AP. He made it fun and beautiful. He exceeded all my expectations of what a ‘teacher’ could be. He was absolutely the best thing to enter my vacations." — Mary Ann Schmidt, USA
“AP, what a star he is… Travelling and photographing the beauty and heritage of this fabulous country with him was an experience I will never forget. His enthusiasm and passion for both craft and country were never-ending… I learned so much just from watching how he set up for a shot and brought his vision to life. Throughout the tour he would go to any lengths (including lending lenses!) to make sure everyone captured great shots… A.P. Soe is without a doubt the friendliest, happiest photo tour leader I have ever had the pleasure of photographing with… I cannot wait to chase the light with him again soon. I will certainly recommend his photo tours to anyone I know. An amazing experience.” — Richard Cawthra, United Kingdom
“Since attending a Luminous Journeys photo tour in Myanmar with A.P. Soe, I’ve become so passionate about photography that I started traveling more, trying to apply the valuable techniques I learnt during the tour. People who see my photos sometimes ask me if I’m a professional photographer. This is how much AP helped me improve! I am very grateful to AP for that but also for being such a nice person and friend, it really made the photo tour an absolutely memorable experience that I keep building on day after day.”— Eddie Hui-Bon-Hoa, France
“This photo tour organized by Luminous Journeys in a place that was on my bucket list was nothing short of amazing, I fell in love with the Golden Land and its friendly people. Inle Lake was fantastic, the people, the light, the landscapes... I wish I remained longer there! The various tribal people I met in the villages near the borders with Laos, Thailand and the Chinese province Yunnan provided superb opportunities for portraiture and documentary photography.
AP did a great job all along the journey and everything went so smoothly. You guys have very good connections, especially AP who called his friends for the latest local information and also to assist on certain shoots. Thank you for this extraordinary photo tour!” — Claudiu Falub, Switzerland
“What a great trip we had! David Lazar and A.P. Soe are amazing photographers and teachers — and just great people. My photography improved by leaps. It was a fabulous tour with real pros that actually care that you become a better photographer. What more can one ask for?” — Patricia Pomerleau, USA
“The Myanmar photo tour with A.P. Soe has been the highlight of my photography experience. Traveling with a local photographer is a privilege and we got to see and do things that are otherwise not accessible to foreigners. I learned a tremendous amount from him. He is a talented, patient and generous teacher with a keen eye and an excellent understanding of both artistic and technical aspects of photography.” — Ora Buerkli, Switzerland
“A.P. Soe is not only is a truly great photographer – he is an artist, knowing exactly how to take technically perfect shots – but he also knows how to transport emotions in a photograph! A.P. taught me a lot of valuable things, but two in particular that as a beginner changed my thinking – that having expensive gear is NOT important, while understanding light and how to work with it is absolutely critical!
The trip was relaxed and wonderfully organized. The inside access from A.P. would not have been possible for a foreigner like myself without him, and every day delivered one highlight after another to experience and photograph. It was an absolutely overwhelming experience that will stay with me for a lifetime!” — Dr. Thomas Kreis, Germany
"When we signed up for the trip to Myanmar with Luminous Journeys my wife and I were frankly apprehensive as to how the whole trip would turn out. We had never been to Myanmar before and also this was our first trip we had undertaken with Luminous Journeys. It turned out to be one of the most interesting and exciting trips we had taken. Starting with the pre-trip communications and information we were impressed on how well and thorough it was and whatever question we had it was quickly answered in full.
AP Soe is a superb photographer, teacher and travel companion. Every day was filled with wonderful sites and unbelievable photographic opportunities with AP always available to assist, if required, with photographic issues and to offer suggestions for interesting compositions and set ups for our photography. In each location we were joined by a different local guide who had detailed information about the location we were in and who could offer deeper insights and answer any questions we had about where we were, as well as help with access to interesting photographic opportunities.
Congratulations to Luminous Journeys and the local team in Myanmar, and especially to AP Soe for a truly memorable and fabulous trip that we would enthusiastically recommend." – Jean Claude, USA
“I am always impressed when a company actively seeks feedback. The organisation during the photo tour was seamless & very impressive… KK & AP Soe are tremendous photographers and the standard of their work was amazing. There is no doubt this was the real deal. Care also was obviously taken over restaurant choice as none of our group was ill at all… Overall, this was a fantastic & memorable holiday – it is going to take me ages to sort out all the photographs!” – Steve S., United Kingdom
“A.P. Soe makes things happen. That sounds deceptively simple. But I can assure you that many of the high points for the photographers were made possible through A.P’s interaction with the monks, fishermen and others… His mastery of landscape photography also ensured us that we were in the right place at the right time to be able to bring home special images of Myanmar.
This trip convinced me… As someone who has always traveled solo I now understand the value of a targeted photo tour that has been carefully designed to maximize shooting opportunities. With good leadership and smooth logistics from Luminous Journeys, I was free to photograph.” — Sandy McElroy, Canada
“Luminous Journeys has a number of excellent photographers who assist with the group’s needs. A.P. Soe was ours and he was able to set up shots and give us directions on settings and best angles. It is only after you see the images that you realise how crucial his input has been. Apart from A.P.’s relaxed and jovial manner, he is an excellent photographer who I will always credit for having taught me the art of low light portraiture. A great journey through a very interesting country; many thanks!” — Roger Wood, Australia
“I had the pleasure of traveling in Myanmar with A.P. Soe in November 2014. AP is an excellent photographer, skilled, imaginative, and extremely helpful. I have been all over the world shooting, and Myanmar was one of my photographic highlights, largely do the presence of A.P. Soe. I would do this trip again….anytime!” – Dr. Jeff Landman, USA
“A.P. was fabulous. He’s a great photographer and a patient teacher. If I return, I won’t hesitate to hire him again. I really can’t say enough good things about A.P. Soe. Thanks Luminous Journeys for the opportunity to work with him.” – Steve L., USA
“A.P. was always a genial and attentive host, and of course, an outstanding photographer. It was great to be given the benefit of inside local knowledge for shooting pictures. I got the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy myself and produce some good work at the same time. You can’t ask for any more than that. Thanks A.P.! ” — Dick Beilby, Australia
"We had a wonderful time with AP in Yangon. My wife got some great candid shots at the market and on the train. AP not only provided good technical instructions in the moment, but we also really appreciated his style in approaching subjects in public. He is very respectful and patient, establishing a rapport with people before asking if he can take their photo. It was fun to see how many folks agreed, especially on the circle train.
The visit to the nunnery was the highlight of the day. We have traveled around the region enough to know that we were treated to something special. My wife thoroughly enjoyed the day and captured some precious images.
You have created a special business, and have won these seasoned travelers over as fans. We’ll be sure to reach out for our next trip..." — Paul Choiniere, USA
Myanmar – David Lazar
“What a great trip we had! … David Lazar and A.P. Soe are amazing photographers and teachers — and just great people. My photography improved by leaps… David’s Lightroom and Photoshop tutorials were exceptional… It was a fabulous tour with real pros that actually care that you become a better photographer. What more can one ask for?” — Patricia Pomerleau, USA
“The Myanmar photo tour was wonderful…the group was so funny; we had a great time together. Everything ran flawlessly. We were treated like VIPs and of course the shooting was amazing! I can see you (Luminous Journeys) continuing to organize these for a very long time. You are the best at inspiring people to attend your photo tours, and living up to your promises. I just read the itinerary for India and I am very interested. I would love to join David (Lazar) on this tour!” — Paul D’, Switzerland
“My photo tour with Luminous Journeys and David Lazar was an amazing experience. Everything was organized perfectly so we could concentrate on photography. Besides being a great photographer David is also a really nice person and always willing to help. It’s really inspiring to see him work. I came back with the best photos I’ve ever taken” – Jani Uljas, Finland
“David Lazar is a wonderful, charming and eloquent travel companion. With his fine humor and graciousness he offers all participants breathing room for personal development. He does this in such a way that the group dynamic develops spontaneously and helps create new friendships in an atmosphere of mutual inspiration and support.
It was always fascinating to watch how David interacted with the local people from a photography standpoint. He was very natural and relaxed in his approach, even gentle, and would smile and use a few words in their native language. You could see them relax and very quickly develop a sense of trust with him. This paid off time and time again throughout the tour, both during focused photo sessions and free shoot situations. David loves to teach and pass on his knowledge and experience to participants. He taught me a lot about how to approach a shoot. Like how to see light with more discernment, and then find the best possible compositions to take advantage of that light. This was followed up on later with image review and editing, which he was always more than happy to do.
In short, David is a first rate photographer with an ideal personality for travel work and leading photo tour workshops. This along with the perfect organization from Luminous Journeys made for a truly unforgettable and rewarding experience.” – Renate Szinyei – Switzerland
Vietnam – David Lazar & Nguyen Vu Phuoc
“My Luminous Vietnam Journey was far and away the best photo tour I have been on. It was more than a photo tour, it was an investment in myself as a keen photographer, it gave me the opportunity to engage with ordinary Vietnamese people and some extraordinary professional photographers in David and Phuoc – I have visited 42 countries and been on enumerable holidays and tours – this one really was the trip of a lifetime” – Lindsay Earle, Zimbabwe
“I have just finished the Vietnam tour with David Lazar and Nguyen Vu Phuoc and I believe I took the best photos of my life. The trip was great, well organized, and Diep (logistics coordinator) was typically ahead of everything and kept the group moving well. David Lazar is a great leader, he knows his camera stuff, loves what he does and offers great ideas to achieving outstanding photos – the trip would not have worked as well except for his presence. Phuoc was priceless, his eye for photos, attitude, energy and good nature made the tour a joy. I appreciated all of the effort that went into organizing and executing this tour. You folks did a great job and your company will be on my list for future photo tours.”– Chuck Mauter, USA
“Having been on several organized trips to Asian destinations over the past few years I have found Luminous Journeys trip to Vietnam to have been the best value for money organized tour that I have been on. The opportunities to take unique photos of people and landscapes could not have occurred without the professional organisation of the tour leaders. Their expert photographic guidance meant that all members of the tour were able to capture shots that were technically accurate and artistically composed. We were guided to areas and local villages that are not accessible to the ordinary traveller. I was happy to go on this photo tour and will be more than happy to do Luminous Journeys photo tours in the future.” – Robbie L, Australia
“Big THANKS to Luminous Journeys for delivering an excellent photo tour. Overall I was pleased and I’d recommend this tour to other photographers who want to capture the wonders of Vietnam!” – Antony Chodas, President, CameraCanada.com
“We feel very privileged to have participated in “Luminous Vietnam”, and would highly recommend it to anyone who is a keen photographer, especially those wanting to take some distinctly different images to give an edge to their portfolio. Our photographers and the itinerary provided so many opportunities for fantastic and unique photos which would be impossible to get on our own.
David Lazar was always patient and kind in offering his expert help. He didn’t monopolize the best shooting position, ensuring everybody had their turn. Expert Vietnamese photographer Nguyen Vu Phuoc was persuasive with the locals, creative and a genuinely nice guy. The friendly positive atmosphere and good humour contributed to the wonderful time had by all. We enjoyed the trip so much that we are considering doing Luminous Journeys Bali photo tour next year. In the meantime we will continue to speak very highly of your company and of our amazing experiences. Thank you Luminous Journeys for providing us with the photographic opportunity of a lifetime!” – Lyn Vernon, Australia
“Our Vietnam photo tour with Luminous Journeys was a fantastic trip… (It was my second photo tour with LJ, after Myanmar in 2014). David was charming as expected and Phuoc was a very nice surprise – active, creative and a fun person to work with. Some of the set-ups were simply astonishing, and the locations were amazing… Logistics man Diep Van was perfect – a real gem.” – Benny Hanigal, Israel
“Lived up to expectations, great photo tour all around, good companions and great guides! Certainly recommended. Seriously considering the Southeast Asia 3-country trip early next year. – Dave McKay, U.K.
“…the Vietnam trip was great – exceeded my expectations. David was a terrific leader and a great photographer. I learned a lot from him about composition, colors and post processing. He was very pleasant, outgoing and accommodating (an all-around nice guy). Phuoc was a lot of fun and also went out of his way… All in all a great trip that I’d recommend to others.” – Len Seeve, USA
“I like to travel and I love photography. Luminous Journeys Vietnam photography tour offered me an opportunity to combine the two. The tour was perfectly organized and run smoothly by the resourceful Diep. We had multiple unique shooting opportunities arranged by David Lazar and the playful Phuoc. If you love travel photography I definitely recommend this tour.” – Matty Karp, Israel
“David Lazar’s travel photography is among the best we’ve ever seen.” – Photo Review Australia
Bali - David Lazar
“I have to commend Luminous Journeys and David Lazar for putting together what I consider to have been the best photo tour we’ve been on…and we’ve been on quite a few around the world. From start to finish, Luminous Bali was impeccably researched, planned and executed with a rich, full and unique itinerary that left no photographic stone unturned.
David was a joy to travel with; often cracking us up along the way and, a fantastic mentor from whom I feel I learned a great deal. I really appreciated how genuine and generous he was sharing his knowledge and creative talent. I think my mom has unofficially adopted him! I should also mention just how much we adore Pande. What a gem. For future trips, the first place I’ll check for photo tours will be Luminous! Looking forward now to Vietnam in June with David.” – Lee Ann Birkenstock, USA
“David Lazar and his team at Luminous Journeys know what it takes to put together the perfect photo tour. After ﬁrst traveling with A.P. Soe in Myanmar and then with David Lazar in Bali, I can say they are experts at searching out locations that yield the best photos and are sure to get you there in the very best light. So many elements have to come together perfectly and Luminous Journeys manages them all. Our hotels were comfortable, clean and often downright cushy. Our local guides/drivers were both champs. They perfectly navigated Bali’s winding roads, getting us where we needed to be on time, every time. In spite of their long hours, they were unfailingly kind, caring and great representatives of their cultures.
The real star of the tour, still, was David who devoted every minute to helping us understand his process and what it takes to come home with beautiful images. He is very generous with his knowledge of photography and always put our photos ahead of his own. I especially appreciate his comfort with the local culture and the way he interacts with the people he photographs. He shows a real closeness with his subjects and that comes out in his photographs.
Anyone fortunate enough to travel with David or any of the Luminous Photography team is in for a real treat. I know that I’m already planning out my next trip!” – Susan Flickinger, USA
“I really enjoyed the Bali photo tour and learnt a lot. I enjoyed watching David work, set up shoots and consider the light more than anyone else I have ever observed. David was highly organised and everything ran to schedule. The villa at the end of the tour was amazing, food, staff and amenities all excellent. I have lots of great photos …” – Dr. Patricia Barbour, UK
“Luminous Bali was a most interesting, well run and rewarding trip. The research that had gone into it and the attention to detail was impressive. I liked the fast pace and full days. We were left in no doubt that this was a photography trip and had a fabulous line up of opportunities to take good shots. Both David Lazar and Rarindra Prakarsa were extremely generous with their knowledge… All accommodation was good and the last few days in that superb villa proved to be the icing on the cake. A chance to unpack and relax a little, but with no lessening of the photographic feast! Still the action kept rolling on….
As the primary leader, David was well organised and thoughtful and kept the entire trip ticking over perfectly. He was an absolute pleasure to travel with and I am most interested in travelling with him and your company in the future.” – Beth James, Australia
“I remember when I signed up for my first photo tour with Luminous Journeys in Myanmar. Benn (LJ’s photo tour director, Benn Stevens) told me that this trip will take my portfolio to the next level. Not only was he right about that; but images from that trip have also won me several awards in the last two years.
The photo tour in Bali was Utopia – the place, the people, the team and arrangements. The Luminous Journeys team did an excellent job with tour design and logistics… David Lazar & local Balinese guide, Pande Sura, were extraordinary. I have already signed up on my next trip with LJ and David in Vietnam.” – Sesh Seraday, USA
“Luminous Bali took us well away from the touristy south of the island, up into the mountains and the traditional heart of Bali, where life is lived much as it has been for centuries. Subjects were everywhere, from green and graceful rice fields to colourful ceremonies, volcanoes and a rampaging buffalo race.
The Balinese were pleasant and welcoming and not camera shy at all. There were lots of portraits, lots of sunrise silhouettes, lots of people at work and many stops at the ubiquitous “warung-warung” (cafes) for refreshment. Then sleep and dine at the best hotels. Expect long, active days. Expect good pictures. Bali, away from the metropolis, really is beautiful. The villa was a stroke of genius, and top marks to David, Rarindra & Pande. Thanks for a memorable experience, Luminous Journeys!” – Dick Beilby, Australia
“I had never been on a photo tour and was very reluctant to come along, believe it or not! I can tell you I was very pleasantly surprised. It was a great experience with David Lazar and the team. We went to some amazing places thanks to LJ’s great planning. Excellent opportunities to photograph and awesome locations, with effective leadership made this trip a wonderful experience. I wouldn’t do it any other way…” – Swamy Kumar, India
“David Lazar is one of the world’s foremost travel photographers.” – Practical Photography
India – David Lazar & Swarup Chatterjee
“I took the 2019 Luminous Journeys tour of India led by David Lazar, and all I can say is WOW! There is no better way to capture the colors and flavors of this fascinating country than to take this journey. David is the best kind of leader–not only an expert photographer himself, but also a self-less, patient teacher, and a lovely fun guy who set the tone for our great adventure… I also truly enjoyed my fellow photographers, and the local guides.” –Emily Kelting, USA
“Luminous India was one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever done!! The trip was awesome and as always (this was my third Luminous Journeys photo tour) I had a lot of fun with David Lazar and the group. India was not among my countries to visit but when I read the itinerary I knew I would not be disappointed. And heck, you have organized an amazing journey under many points of view: beautiful places, nice people and dozens of photographic opportunities! Now I LOVE India!! Really, I can’t think to a better itinerary for a 2 weeks trip, thanks for having organizing it so well :)” – Paul D., Switzerland
“Oh my feet haven’t really touched the ground since returning from India. It was such a fantastic trip and I am still on a high. I so appreciated having been on another Luminous Journeys trip where everything was well organised and all I needed to do was focus on photography. It is also great to spend time with like minded people who are just as enthusiastic to get up early in the morning and stay out after sunset … and we had a lot of fun!
David is an amazing photo-tutor – always looking out for great compositional opportunities for us; humble and generous with his knowledge and encouragement. He’s relaxed and completely joins in the fun of the team, while being available for one-on-one advice and assistance should we ask for it. I appreciate that we are presented with access to great image making; have some model shoots organised for us but also have opportunities to do ‘our own thing’.
Swarup was enthusiastic and energetic with a totally different approach/style of photography from David’s. I learned a lot of different things from him. So I really feel completely spoilt by having two tutors on your Luminous Tours. Swarup’s management of us at the Holi Festival is to be highly commended – pre-planning and organisation was excellent. Although I usually hate crowds and this was “chaos on steroids”, I felt completely safe in the care of the team and was able to really enjoy myself.
Vikas is a remarkable tour guide. Well organised, fun and with such an inspirational life story! It was great to have him interpret and explain situations, history and culture. I can’t actually speak highly enough of him – one gem of a tour guide.” –Rosalyn Johnson, New Zealand
"The workshop was amazing. Thank you for putting together such a fantastic team and for all your assistance in preparing us for this trip. David was delightful and incredibly easy to spend time with. He was knowledgeable, helpful, inspiring approachable, open minded and a pleasure to work with. I learned a lot and came away with so many images that make me proud and will forever remind me of the fun we had.
I cannot say enough about Vikas. I adored his sense of humour, and his endless dedication to helping us all have the best time possible in India. Our group certainly threw some unexpected curves his way and his professionalism and patience was above and beyond what anyone might have hoped. He made us all feel welcome and never stopped smiling. I would not hesitate to say he was the best guide I’ve ever been privileged to meet.
And, although we didn’t have much time with Swarup, he was generous with his experience and relaxing to share with. Thank you again for making my India adventure such a great treat! " –Susan Rogers, Canada
"I had a fabulous time in India! It blew my mind, no place like it in the world! It was an absolute blast. Thank you so much and I’ll see on my next Luminous Journey!!!! I’m thinking about doing the Vietnam tour next year." –Shelly Lailberte, USA
”Swarup (Chatterjee) was fantastic! My husband and I discussed after the workshop that having him as our photography trainer was one of our best decisions! Swarup is not one of those prototype trainers. He touches your heart!” – Kaushiki Sen, India
“Luminous India 2018 was a fantastic journey… I’m still dreaming and refusing to wake up! The trip was perfectly organized all the way through, and the amazing photography was always a good mix of arranged shoots and freestyle. As for tour leader David Lazar, what a lovely person! Far, far away from any star attitude, always open for suggestions, to answer questions, share his experiences and offer advice. He was excellent in taking care of all 10 participants and seeing that our needs were met. In other words, a perfect choice!
I also I learned a lot from Swarup Chatterjee, and really enjoyed his fellowship. He’s an excellent, well experienced photographer… His expert guidance and instructions in preparing to shoot the Holi Festival was for sure most helpful. Local guide Vikas was also a brilliant choice, always open to chat about India and arrange some extra wishes. He was tireless, always living the slogan – ‘In India, everything is possible!’
It was just an amazing, brilliant, fantastic journey every hour of the way. I really fell in love with the country and I can’t wait to return!” – Mario Becker, Switzerland
“I was in Mumbai and had attended Swarup’s Basic Photo Workshop. Good that I did! The two day workshop with Swarup was very informative, practical & enjoyable. Swarup really knows his stuff & will share all his knowledge with enthusiasm! I can’t recommend this workshop enough. The first day was full of information and the second day that followed was action packed full of different locations to target specific techniques & settings. I only wish I did this sooner! Thank you India!” – Ted Moore, USA
“Travelling with Swarup Chatterjee is always so much fun. Not only he carries an incredible amount of knowledge about India, he exactly knows where to shoot and when to shoot.” – Tushar Pandit, India
“Swarup’s sincerity of approach and commitment to the art of photography runs very deep.” – Mr. Anand Sharan, Internationally Acclaimed Indian Photographer
“Swarup Chatterjee is a thorough professional. He exactly knows the art of conducting photo travel. He is also a go getter. An amazing personality to deal with.” – Washim Khan, India
“Spending a day with Swarup on his Basic Photography Course was an absolute revelation! His easy but technically informative style of teaching gave me the knowledge I needed to finally get off the ‘auto’ setting and actually use the camera for what it is designed to do. It also made us look at beauty as a concept in a completely different and innovative manner. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a keen amateur, I could not recommend this course more highly! – A.M. Sachdeva, India
“We feel a sense of respect and dignity for all of (Swarup Chatterjee’s) photo subjects… (His) work is outstanding.” – Lens Culture , 2017
Bhutan – David Lazar
“I just wanted to let everyone know what a great experience I had on our Bhutan trip in 2019. Along with being a master photographer, David always made sure everyone got the best possible shots. Our local guide and drivers were terrific, and in fact became part of the group! This was an exceptionally well organized trip. Sincere thanks to all that made it possible. – –Bob McLean, Canada
“Bhutan was a country I always wanted to explore. Normally I go on my photo journeys alone, because I love working and photographing independently. Then I discovered that Luminous Journeys and David Lazar offer a photo journey to Bhutan. I decided to join and as I soon discovered, he was an excellent photo tour leader, and I didn’t regret it for a second!
David possesses a unique talent of organizing shoots and being able to place people skilfully in the shot. His relaxed way of communicating allows him to connect with the native population and he manages to make everyone laugh, both those in front of and behind the camera. David ensures that all participants get the opportunity to create unique pictures. In addition to the technical support and help with the composition, it was apparent that the chosen locations were very well researched in advance. We visited locations that are only rarely searched out by other travellers, resulting in an exceptional choice of photographic possibilities for us.
But even Dorji, our Bhutanese tour guide, and our two drivers, Jigme and Kencho, ensured spirits were always high throughout our journey. Being in their company gave us the opportunity to discover Bhutanese culture even on a more personal level.
Bhutan possesses an abundance of cultural richness and offers unlimited possibilities for photography. If you have been dreaming for ages, just as I had, to go on a photo journey in the Himalayan kingdom, then Luminous Journeys would be – by far – my best recommendation!” – Sina Falker, Germany
“In April 2019 my husband and I joined Luminous Journeys Bhutan photography tour. The Bhutanese people we interacted with were charming, sweet, and not averse to having their picture taken. We went to festivals, enjoyed some excellent home cooked meals, went to lovely hotels with views, and hung out with monks on several occasions. We had a photo shoot with Monks that were about six years old and it was magical.
The staff went out of their way to be accommodating and presented us with multiple opportunities to experience Bhutan with our hearts, souls and cameras. When I hurt my ankle at one point, our local guide Dorji was great in helping me to create a slideshow. If I couldn’t keep up I sent him ahead with the camera. He was an excellent photographer, and extremely thoughtful. We had a blast being slideshow co-creators, which helped create a special synergy between us.
I think each of the photographers on the trip improved over time. I was not embarrassed asking questions that were perhaps considered basic. David Lazar made it easy to talk to him, or check camera settings, all in a nonjudgmental manner. He was a great camera coach assisting each of us at our own levels. He’s also a Lightroom/Photoshop marvel beyond my comprehension!
We truly enjoyed the trip, along with our get-along-well international group! One gentleman was on his 4th trip with Luminous Journeys, and another his 3rd. Now we know why. We liked this trip so much we are seriously considering a second trip with LJ next year.” – Anne & David Steinberg, USA
Japan - David Lazar & Francis Ansing
“Japan was FABULOUS! I loved it. David and Francis, and indeed James the driver/translator were so wonderful, and the group was amazing. Everyone got on like a house on fire, and we had a very fun and enjoyable time. Just the nicest group. The logistics worked very well, and all went swimmingly. The hotels were excellent - we all adored the Brighton in Kyoto, and prying us away from their delicious breakfast every morning was quite a feat! It was a truly memorable experience and I can't wait to come back on another LJ trip!” – Katie Garrod, UK
“This was my first tour with Luminous Journeys but I very much doubt it will be my last! Japan Winter Spectacular was a tour like no other I have seen advertised. From unique opportunities to photograph the snow monkeys, to private photo shoots with a Geiko and Maiko, to the snowy minimalist landscapes of Hokkaido, every day was another exciting experience to get some amazing shots. The trip was organised and executed extremely well. Both David and Francis were excellent, as well as just friendly, approachable guys.
I have followed David’s impressive work for a while so when I learned he was the leader, I jumped at the chance to join the tour. I am relatively new to photography and was a little apprehensive that my lack of knowledge may have hindered my enjoyment of the tour, or that I would have felt too embarrassed to ask questions that seemed basic, but I needn’t have worried. David is as good of a teacher as he is a photographer, patient, approachable and generous in sharing his knowledge. I would not hesitate to do another tour with him again in the future.”– Caroline Leech, Ireland
"There are three qualities that I value in a photo tour: organization, communication and opportunity. Looking back, now a month removed from the experience, I can honestly say that this tour with David Lazar and Francis Ansing exceeded expectations in all three categories. Was I happy with my tour choice? YES! I would highly recommend this tour to anyone considering a photography tour of Japan." – John Kalson, USA
"The Luminous Japan Winter Spectacular photo tour led by David Lazar and Francis Ansing was truly amazing in every respect - definitely my stand out favorite of the 7 photo tours I have done so far! The day to day organization, timing for the locations (we always aimed to be there before others arrived – and this was particularly important with the early morning shoot with the snow monkeys!), the unique photo locations selected and the wonderful help and tutoring of first class photographers David and Francis - all A+. Special thanks also to our expert driver/translator James.
Our LJ tour group consisted of 10 photographers from the US, the UK and Australia who got on so well and there was fun and laughter every day… I feel privileged to have been part of this fantastic group.
I’ve now taken 3 wonderful Luminous Journeys photo tours - Vietnam, Bali and Japan and I can thoroughly recommend them all. I definitely plan to do more photo tours with David and LJ in the future." – Lyndall L, Australia
"All of the Luminous Journeys Photographic trips that I have been on have been highly professional and enjoyable, and this Japan Winter Spectacular with David, Francis and James lived up to my expectations. The photography is number 1 consideration and this, with David and Francis’s guidance and organization has been of the highest quality.
Accommodation, meals and transport have also been first class and have made the difference from being a great trip to being an excellent trip that caters for all levels of photography, while being comfortable and enjoyable. David and Luminous Journeys will find those locations that are little visited by other photographers and will give you the opportunity to return home with many unique and diverse photos." – Roby L, Australia
“As usual (this was my 4th LJ trip) I cannot say enough good things about the tour. David, Francis and driver/translator James, as well as the planned itinerary, were phenomenal. Can’t go wrong with Luminous! Really enjoyed the trip!! Currently counting my pennies to see if I can make it to Ladakh, lol… had my eye on that one for some time.” – Lee Ann Birkenstock, USA
Southeast Asia - David Lazar
“The Southeast Asia trip was everything I expected after a very enjoyable Vietnam tour with David. I would put the two Luminous tours I have done among the very best. Good organisation, great photo opportunities, and good company! Photo advice from David when needed is always excellent. I’ll certainly be looking out for more of your trips. Not sure of what could be improved on the tour. If you are up for the impossible, maybe arrange for sunrise to be a little later? But seriously, keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll be seeing you guys again…” – Dave McKay, UK
“The Southeast Asia trip was great! It’s always such a pleasure to travel with David Lazar. I was doubtful that I would get good photographic opportunities in the tourist spots, but I have to change my mind: we went against the flow and off the beaten track as much as possible. In so doing I got some shots that I can define as “unique”, in places photographed millions of times. I think this is quite an achievement!!” – Paul D’, Switzerland
"Everything about the trip was wonderful and exceeded my expectations. I've been raving to my friends. David is an amazing tour leader and his excellent organisation meant that we saw few other tourists and those we did see were behind us. We also visited interesting places that other tourists don’t visit and we had some extraordinary experiences.
David’s teaching was also valuable. I have learned a lot and improved my photography skills considerably. As a bonus David’s friendly (and often playful) manner meant that we had some very enjoyable interactions with the local people we photographed. He also created a friendly atmosphere within our pretty diverse group so that most of us are still in contact with one another. I hope to do another tour with David in the future, so don't let him get away! – Ruth Brooks, Australia
"I really loved the trip. The timing on everything was wonderful as far as light and access. I was particularly impressed with the Cambodian guide (Kimleng Sang) and how we got to all the well traveled temples when there was the fewest number of people (ie, jungle temple, Buddha face temple). Very well done. David was a fantastic guide. We was so calm and collected...so warm and welcoming...so generous with all his knowledge and all things photography...so helpful and accommodating. He is definitely one of the best photo guides I have ever had. I would totally recommend the trip, David and the tour company hands down. When I am ready for another photographic trip - I am looking toward you first for sure!" – Kelley Priddy, USA