I chose Nomads for my photography topic this week. I recently went on a fantastic photography tour to the region of Quarzazate and the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. One of the best parts of the tour was an early morning visit to a Nomad family in the Todra Gorge. Here are some of my favourite photos from that session:
If you plan on visiting Morocco and are a photographer, I highly recommend taking a 10-day tour with Darren Lewey and his tour group Images in the Sun. The tours are quite small – there were only 2 other photographers plus Darren with me in the group! I had previously considered taking a tour with National Geographic, but their Morocco tour has up to 16 participants. I imagine the photographers in that tour would be tripping all over each other and constantly in each other’s shots. Plus there’s no way you would get one-on-one time with the locals during portrait sessions with that many people. With only 3 of us in the group, we were each able to spend some quality time with the locals during the portrait sessions. Also, Darren lives in Morocco and runs these tours regularly, so he has many local contacts and knows several fantastic hidden photography spots. We definitely went off the grid to get to some of them, which you just wouldn’t get with a typical tour in Morocco. We were also able to spend a lot of time at many of the locations. The desert and Atlas Mountain tour was designed to be longer than most tours in that region so that we could really explore some of the locations and have enough time to really nail our shots.
One of my favourite parts of the tour was the portrait sessions with many of the locals. Darren set these sessions up in various locations during our tour. One of the absolute best ones was our session with a nomad family in the Todra Gorge. We would never have found them either without a local guide! They were tucked up high in the Todra Gorge and you couldn’t see them from the road. It also helped that Darren had already established a relationship with them, so they knew we were coming and had already agreed to be photographed. We hiked up to visit them in the early morning before breakfast, just as the sun was cresting the tops of the canyons of the Todra Gorge. The family allowed us to take photos of them while they went about their daily duties and also stopped to pose for portrait photographs too. It was fascinating to see how they live. It was also fun interacting with them while photographing them since they didn’t speak English! It amazed me how we could still communicate decently with gestures and expressions.
Morocco is a photographer’s heaven 🙂 If you plan on visiting Morocco, be sure to visit the region of Quarzazate and the High Atlas Mountains! And if you would like more info on Darren’s tours, visit his website for Images in the Sun. Have fun!