San Diego Photography Tours

Combine Your Trip To San Diego With a Private Custom Photography Tour or Lesson 

photo tours

Take some great pictures and improve your photography skills on a custom photo safari or walking tour - designed just for you.

Whether your're a local San Diego photographer, visiting for a vacation, stopping by on a cruise ship, or attending a convention, you can take advantage of a half-day, one-day, or even longer, photographic adventure with renowned photography instructor and Dummies Guide author, Mark Holmes.

I can design a custom tour of San Diego photographic sites that matches your timing and interests. It could be as simple as a walking tour of interesting and hidden downtown locations or a drive into the desert to photograph the sunrise. You have the option of turning your adventure into a class on photography techniques or having me act as your guide to the best locations to take great photos. I can meet you at your hotel or meet up at a specific location, sometimes with little notice needed.

Tours are designed individually for up to six people and can include transport, lunch or dinner. You have the option to turn it into a lesson or include a review and post-processing session.

Prices start at $50 per person for walking tours and $75 per person for instruction. Group discounts are available. Please call or email for a no-obligation quote.

Just some of the locations and types of San Diego custom photography tours I've done include:

  • Downtown and Harbor

  • La Jolla Cove

  • Little Italy
  • Desert flowers
  • Desert overlooks
  • Desert sunrise
  • Pacific Beach
  • Windansea &  Sunset Cliffs
  • Point Loma Lighthouse
  • Night scenes
  • Seascapes and sunset
  • Old Town
  • City hiking trails
  • Birds & wildlife
  • Balboa Park

Call 858 361 6682 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a custom photography experience designed for you!


Photography Lesson Gift Certificates

Mark Holmes Photography (Adept Creative Media) Gift Certificates

When you order a gift certificate, a gift card will be sent by first class USPS to the address specified in the order delivery address. If you prefer to receive a PDF by email, please state this in the special instructions.

If you do not see a certificate that meets your need, I can create one with a custom value for you.

Got a gift card? Use the supplied code to register for a workshop on this site, or call or email to set up a private lesson.

Please feel free to call or email if you have any questions or special requirements.



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

858 361 6682

One Standard-Priced Workshop or 1-Hour Private Lesson in Balboa Park


Two Standard-Priced Workshops or one 2-hour Private Photography Lesson in Balboa Park


Two Hours of Private Photography Instruction in Your Home or Location Choice*


*Within 25 miles radius of Downtown San Diego. Not available weekends.









Terms and Conditions for Adept Creative Media (Mark Holmes Photography)

If the minimum number of participants is not met for a specific workshop, then your money will be refunded 100%.

Definitions - ”Workshop” refers to the Workshops referred to on the Mark Holmes Photography website. - ”Website” refers to the site.

Workshop Terms and Conditions

1. Subject to all the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Adept Creative Media will allow you to attend the Workshop and provide you with workshop materials.

2. In the event that you are unable to attend a Workshop you may nominate another person to attend in your place, provided that Adept Creative Media is informed of the identity of any such attendee no less than one week prior to the relevant Workshop date.

3. Registrations can be cancelled no less than one week prior to the relevant Workshop date. In the event of a cancellation, a refund of 75% of the purchase price will be made available with 25% being held for administrative costs. The refund will be in the same form as the Fee payment, or the refund will be credited to a nominated account.

4. Adept Creative Media cannot guarantee and does not promise any specific results from attendance at any Workshop.

5. Adept Creative Media has sole and exclusive ownership of all right, title, and content associated with the Workshop including all copyright and any other intellectual property rights therein.

6. Adept Creative Media reserves the right to use any feedback collected in relation to the Workshops for promotional purposes.

7. Fees must be payed at the time that you apply to register for a Workshop. In the event that the Fee, as appropriate, is not paid in accordance with the provisions herein, Adept Creative Media may deny you access to the Workshop without notice and without any reduction in your liability to pay the same.

8. Adept Creative Media shall be entitled to cancel any Workshop and terminate this agreement by notice to you at any time.

9. Adept Creative Media does not represent or warrant that: (i) the provision of the Workshop(s) will be timely, uninterrupted or error-free, (ii) the Workshops will meet your requirements or expectations, (iii) errors or defects will be corrected.

10. The Workshops are provided to you strictly on an “as is” basis. All conditions, representations and warranties, whether express, implied, statutory or otherwise, including, without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement of third party rights, are hereby disclaimed to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.

11. Adept Creative Media shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages, including but not limited to loss of profits, goodwill, business or business benefit, or the cost of procurement of substitute products or services by you arising from: 1. cancellation of a Workshop; 2. attendance at a Workshop; 3. alteration of the times, dates, itineraries or speakers of any Workshop; or 4. any delay or failure to provide a Workshop that is due to third parties, including but not limited to internet service providers, data centres, server hosting companies and telecommunications companies, even if advised by you or any other party of the possibility of such damages.

12. Purchase of this workshop is for the registration date specified in the calendar. It may not be changed for another date and there is no refund for non-attendance.

13. You shall not reassign registrations without the prior written consent of Adept Creative Media.

14. Neither party will be liable for any loss or damages arising from delays resulting from circumstances beyond the reasonable control of such party, provided that the nonperforming party uses reasonable efforts to avoid or remove such causes of nonperformance and continues performance hereunder with reasonable dispatch whenever such causes are removed.

15. Nothing in this Agreement shall give, directly or indirectly, any third party any enforceable benefit or any right of action against Adept Creative Media and such third parties shall not be entitled to enforce any term of this Agreement against Adept Creative Media.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions I am frequently asked about my workshops:

  1. If I don't turn up can I come on another date?
    Your registration is for a particular date. If you do not show up, or do not cancel according to the published terms and conditions, you will have used your registration.
  2. Do you teach minors?
    My workshops are aimed at adults over the age of 18. For my own protection, I choose not to teach minors.
  3. Most of your current workshops are outdoors. What if it rains?
    Some workshops can be moved under cover from rain. If not, you will be issued with a voucher to reschedule at your convenience. Extra dates are usually added to the calendar for cancelled workshops, which happen rarely.
  4. Can I pay by credit card over the phone?
    Yes. I can take your workshop registration over the phone when I am available to do so. but registering online is preferred.
  5. Can I pay on the day of the workshop?
    I used to accept payment when people showed up at the workshop. Guess what happened? People signed up for workshops and then never showed up on the day. As workshops are often full, someone else was denied a place. All payments now need to be made at the time of registration.
  6. Can I cancel my workshop registration?
    Yes, you can cancel within the period stated by the terms and conditions.
  7. Can I cancel my private lesson appointment?
    Yes, you can cancel up to two hours before the start of the lesson. 
  8. Can I bring models to my private lesson?
    That depends. If your lesson is a portrait lesson, then I encourage you to bring your own model. If your lesson is on DSLR techniques, I don't recommend models as you will find them distracting from the subject of the lesson. If you want me to attend one of your commercial shoots, then please refer to my rates for this service.
  9. Do I need to bring a tripod?
    We only make use of tripods on specific night and macro photography sessions.
  10. My camera isn't a DSLR. Is that ok?
    There's no doubt that a DSLR gives you lots of advantages when it comes to creating images. If your point-and-shoot camera is fully adjustable in that you can set shutter speed and aperture independently, then you can still learn a lot from the workshops. Mirrorless cameras are fine, as they are just like a DSLR without the mirror.
  11. Which lenses should I bring?
    If you have a dslr, bring any lenses you wish, but try to have at least one that goes to 50mm. An 18-55mm zoom would be fine, for example.
  12. I haven't heard where the workshop is. When will I know?
    Most are in Balboa Park. I usually send out workshop meeting instructions a few days before the workshop. So, if you haven't heard from me and there are two days to the event, please contact me!
  13. Where are workshops held?
    Depending on the workshop subject we move around, but I try to keep the majority around Balboa Park. Some take place in the studio and some are classroom based.
  14. How long are the workshops?
    I try to keep each session to two hours. In that way, I believe you will retain most of the information, especially if you do the practice assignments.
  15. Can I book individual lessons?
    Yes, no problem. See the section on the site. If you want to bring a friend, the second person is half price. Phone me to arrange a date, time, and place. You can pay by cash or check at the time of the lesson.
  16. Can I have a lesson at my home?
    Most of my workshops take place in Balboa Park or at the studio, but if we can schedule it there is no problem. Please note that there is an extra charge for giving a lesson at home.
  17. I'm a total beginner. Will I be lost?
    No! We all start somewhere and my workshops are for you.
  18. I don't have a camera manual. Is it a problem?
  19. Do you teach traditional film photography?
    No. I no longer use film nor do I have a darkroom. However, there is an excellent b/w film curriculum at City College, San Diego.
  20. Can I purchase a gift certificate?
    Yes. I have several types of gift certificate.
  21. I am a model. Can I have a job?
  22. I engage paid models for my workshops on an as-needed basis. If you wish to be considered, please send a recent photo and details of any modelling experience.
  23. Can I contact your students to do a photo session for me?
    Saying you're looking for professional photography for free and would one of my students do your wedding or commercial pictures for their portfolio does not get my attention. There are plenty of aspiring photographers on Craigslist who can answer your needs, remembering, of course, that you get what you pay for.