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New Mexico Custom Photo Tours in Taos

View of the Rio Grande Gorge located near Taos, NM

Exclusive Guided Full-Day and Multi-Day Private Photo Tours in Taos, New Mexico

Taos is known for its historic adobe buildings, high desert landscape photo opportunities, and golden light in any season. Situated at 7,000 feet, Taos experiences all 4 seasons. Capture the flowers blooming in spring, the cactus flowers along the Rio Grande in summer, the fall colors in the cottonwood and other trees in autumn, and the snowy landscapes in winter. Taos has you covered!

The Sangre de Cristo mountains serve as Taos’ backdrop. Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, located just outside of town, offers photo opportunities of the 800 feet deep gorge with views of the river below. We can drive down into the canyon in a couple of locations to capture images by incorporating the river into the landscape – some of my favorite.

WHEN: November – May

Exclusive to your group. We do not mix clients from different parties on private tours.

Not all people in your party have to be photographers. We regularly take non-photographer companions and family members.

Start and end times vary depending on time of year and are determined upon booking.

Sorry, no half-day tours available.

How do I start? The hardest part is just checking our availability. Start here! (Inquire now)

Once you’ve verified available dates, we get to work to make your tour the best it can be by preparing an itinerary and get your approval on the plan. Upon approval, a 50% deposit of the trip cost is due to secure the date(s) and we begin making the reservations. The final balance is due 90 days prior to tour start date.

The Active Photo Tour Advantage

Full service tour with a team, not just a guide. Michael and Lauri have worked together for 30 years. We combine our logistics experience with commercial photo productions as well as for our many self-supported wilderness trips, to create a one of a kind photo tour for you and will suggest itineraries that maximize the photo experience – all with your approval – based on your ideas and preferences. We arrange accommodations and provide all ground transportation, as well as book photo-driven excursions during the tour. Prior to your trip we will provide comprehensive equipment and clothing suggestions to optimize your experience in New Mexico.

Michael is a natural lighting master, a former meteorologist and patient teacher who knows how and where to find the best light. Known for being a patient teacher, sharing weather and light expertise, and having extensive knowledge and experience in wilderness travel, Michael can help you capture the best of the area including Taos’ landscape and historic architecture. We work with all skill levels and outdoor photography interests from seasoned photographers to “just took my first camera out of the box” and everything in between.

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DAILY GUIDE FEE: $800/day 1-2 people; $900/day 3-4 people


Michael & Lauri as your guides and drivers

Personalized photography instruction

Ground transportation from and return to Taos

Pre-tour logistics including developing the itinerary and making reservations for lodging and other guided excursions (if applicable)


Your Meals (pay as you go)

Lodging for your group **

Fuel **

Rental vehicle for more than 2 participants **

Entrance and locations fees **

Third-party guide and off highway transportation fees **

** These expenses will be reflected in the total estimate of the tour.


Tell us your interests and dates on the BOOKING REQUEST FORM located at the bottom of this page. (Navigate to form now)

We verify our availability. If we’re not available, we’ll provide alternative dates to see if they work with your schedule .

With the information you provide on the booking request form and a separate questionnaire we send you, we will propose an itinerary of subjects and locations based on your preferences.

Upon your approval of the itinerary, 50% of the tour quote is due so we can start reserving lodging, third-party vendors, and other expenses related to your trip. Final payment is due 90 days prior to tour start date.


PAYMENT TERMS: First payment is 50% of total tour quote and is due at the time of booking to secure your requested dates and reservations. The first payment includes a non-refundable deposit that equates to one day’s worth of our daily rate. This deposit is non-refundable for any reason and is applied to the total balance of the tour. Final payments are due 90 days prior to private tour start date.


Cancellations made prior to 90 days of tour's start date will receive a refund of all amounts paid to date except for the non-refundable deposit.

Refunds for cancellations made within 90 days of the tour's start date are not guaranteed. If we can fill the space with another booking, we will refund the amount paid to date minus the initial non-refundable deposit and any non-refundable payments made to secure additional venues (such as lodging facilities).

Cancellations made within 90 days of the tour's start date where we cannot fill the space will forfeit 100% of the payments.

In the event you are unable to make your initial date, we will work with you to reschedule without forfeiture of your non-refundable deposit and as much of the deposits made to secure the additional venues although we understand rescheduling is not always possible due to both parties schedules.


Active Photo Tours and DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC are not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets or lodging arrangements you made in the event of you or anyone in your group had to cancel. You may want to invest in trip insurance to cover these circumstances. We highly suggest TravelGuard® or similar travel insurance policies to assist you in case of last minute plan changes and emergencies.

What Clients Say

“In preparation for an international adventure trip I hired Michael for a one day private class. In the one day of instruction Michael showed me the value of shooting in manual mode, depth of field, lighting and use of a tripod. I was so impressed with his instruction I signed up for his Zion Class, which was outstanding. I highly recommend Michael as an instructor and encourage anyone from beginner to pro to take one of Michael’s classes.”

– Jack G.

“I booked a private tour with Michael to explore the photo shooting opportunities in the Taos and Santa Fe areas. Awesome. Both the scenery and Michael’s outstanding instruction were both superb.”

– Leslie D.

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DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC