Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a world treasure because of its warm-hearted, smiling people who make it a truly magical photography destination for capturing candids and compelling portraits of locals, including monks.
Even though the people are reason #1 to visit Myanmar, it’s bursting with cultural heritage and literally thousands of gilded pagodas spread across the country, offering countless opportunities for architectural shots as well. Who wouldn’t love to shoot the sunrise in Bagan overlooking over 2000 ancient temples with dozens of hot-air balloons floating over them?
Last but not least we will experience staged photography sessions where everyone can take really professional imagery.
Myanmar was frozen in time and opened its doors to the world only a few years ago. Now is the right time to go and experience the vibe that may vanish in the next couple of years. The impact of the Western world is evident but hasn’t overrun local traditions – yet.
- Sunrise and sunset shoots in Old Bagan (Optional balloon flight)
- Staged photo sessions with monks and fishermen
- Many incredible opportunities to photograph locals and learn the ropes of travel portraits in natural light
- U-Bein, the world’s longest teak bridge
- Capturing traditional Long Neck Woman, Leg-rowing Intha Fishermen and Silk and lotus processing
- Yangon and Mandalay
- Learn post-processing like a pro
Duration: 10 days
Photo Skills Beginner to Pro
Fitness Easy to Moderate
Very small group Max 5 Participants
+ One Photography Guide
Workshop Price: $4100 USD
Myanmar Photo Tour Itinerary
Let’s submerge ourselves in Myanmar’s culture and smiles
“This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about.”
Rudyard Kipling, Letters from the East (1898)
Day 1 – 3 | Mandalay
We arrive at Mandalay International Airport and transfer to our hotel. In the evening, we kick off our photo tour with a visit to sacred Mandalay Hill to watch the city unfold beneath us. Novice monks often come here before sunset to practice their English and, after sharing a conversation with them, they are willing to pose for a few pictures.
The next two days, we visit Mandalay’s landmarks, like Kuthodaw Paya and many other sights, where we have a good chance of meeting monks. We also document the daily work life of Burmese artisans at a gold-leaf workshop and street marble-carving workshops.
The highlight will be a sunset boat ride along the U-Bein bridge in the royal capital of Amarapura near Mandalay. U-Bein is the world’s longest teak footbridge, which connects two villages. We witness the sun rising above the bridge while capturing the silhouettes of monks walking across it.
The last day in the area, we embark on a day-trip to Mingun and its surrounding to explore the local temples and pagodas. We will enjoy here our first staged photography workshop with local young monks. In Mingun, we mostly focus on the white Hsinbyume Paya and big unfinished Pahtodawgyi pagoda “decorated” with deep cracks caused by an earthquake in the 19th century.
Day 4 – 5 | Bagan
Here comes one of the most impressive scenes of our workshop. Photograph a stretch of typical Bagan scenery featuring over 2000 temples and pagodas spread out over a vast plain with dozens of hot-air balloons wandering in the sky. Bagan looks best at sunrise and sunset, and frankly, these are the times when we will experience its sheer popularity with visitors.
If time allows we will organize here another unforgettable photo session focused on work with natural light with monks posing right in the temples. There will be also opportunity to do the famous balloon flight during the sunrise.
Day 6 – 8 | Inle Lake
In the morning, we fly to Heho and reach the gateway to Inle Lake – the town of Nyaungshwe. On our first day here, we explore the town and its outskirts featuring a visit to a lively local Mingala market. On this day, we also do our first boat trip exploring the unique life on lake Inle. We focus on numerous workshops where we will learn how the Burmese roll cigars, weave silk and lotus, process silver, and simply carry out daily routine tasks on the lake.
Perhaps we get to meet some women from a long-neck Padaung tribe. These will be incredible photo opportunities for more portraits as well as documentary photography.
On the second day, we do a special whole day boat tour on the lake. From sunrise till sunset we will have unique opportunity to photograph various truly breathtaking staged scenes with local people and traditional fishermen.
There will be plenty of time to create perfect compositions on each place and also capture the masterly leg rowing of Intha fishermen. They use one foot to control the oar so that they can use traditional conical nets to catch fish. Not to disappoint you later, nowadays, they rarely catch fish using this technique, but it’s still interesting to see how they used to do it before.
Day 9 – 10 | Yangon
We fly to the former capital Yangon which will be our last photo location in Myanmar. We focus especially on the 2500-year-old Shwedagon Paya which is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar and is decorated with over 60 tons of gold. This monument is especially charming before and during the sunrise when monks are praying and singing.
We pay a visit to Kandawgyi Lake to practice landscape photography with reflections of famous Karaweik hall at sunset. There will be also time to capture the everyday life of Burmese people, and try to blend in with the crowd in Indiatown and Chinatown.
Ethical and respectful travel photography
We strongly encourage our participants to consider this as more than just a photography tour, but also a cultural trip, and to be respectful to the locals while interacting with them and photographing. Burmese people are some of the nicest in the world, and we don’t want to upset them with our disrespectful manners when it comes to taking pictures. We will teach you how to get good pictures of the locals while maintaining a polite and humane approach.
Learn post-processing like a pro
We know what your images need
Bring the touch of perfection to your digital images
Our Myanmar photo tour is not only about taking pictures but we also put emphasis on image post-processing which is extremely important nowadays. We will hold post-processing panels where we will teach you the workflows in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and some additional plug-ins we use to make your pictures stand well apart from the rest. We will try to allow enough time for you to post-process your pictures while on the tour, and hopefully you will go home with your prime shots ready for the showcase.
You will learn how to
- Organize your photos efficiently and speed up your workflow
- Develop RAW files with Photoshop and other editing software
- Use the selection, sharpening and retouching tools properly
- Blend multiple exposures using various techniques
- Stylize your images to give them your own artistic signature
- Apply various image effects to make your pictures stand out
Myanmar Photo Tour Details
What is Included & Excluded in the Price
- One professional photography guide
- 9 nights accommodation in hotels
- All breakfasts
- Staged private photography sessions
- Private ground transportation
- All domestic flights in Myanmar
- Entrance fees to photography locations and government zone fees
- Post-Processing sessions during the tour
- Airfare to/from Myanmar
- Optional single room occupancy (supplement $500 USD)
- Food and beverages other than breakfast
- Travel insurance
- Equipment and baggage insurance
- Visas (if applicable)
- Personal expenses such as laundry, phone etc.
Myanmar Photo Tour Leader
We want you to get the most amazing pictures on our Myanmar Photo Tour whether you are a beginner, keen amateur or professional photographer. We strongly emphasise on individual approach so each of our participants gets the right in–field guidance. Moreover, you will be in a group of people who share the passion for photography and you will expand your creative and post-processing skills. We want you to experience the uniqueness of this destination and return with plenty of outstanding pictures and unforgettable memories.
Martin Bišof is a Prague based professional photographer and adventurer who has years of experience guiding photo workshops and with a commercial shooting. He has traveled to more than 35 countries around the globe and has explored wonders from the depths of the Amazon rain forest to the high peaks of the Himalayas. His pictures have won awards internationally and appeared in various magazines and other publications. Martin truly loves connecting with people from all over the world and discovering new places, tastes, and cultures. Read Martin’s full profile >
Gallery | Myanmar Photo Workshop
& Behind the scenes
Testimonials | Myanmar Photo Workshop
This was my first photo tour with Inscape tours and it won’t be my last. Everything was very organized. As traveling photographers, we didn’t have to think about anything but our camera gear. We had two guides (Martin, the owner) and Jan. Both were wonderful and always willing to help with any photography advice. On a couple of days, we had some local models which we got to photograph in various locations. We also received candid feedback during post-processing which is always helpful.
Martin had all the details worked out ahead of time and was quick to resolve any issues were encountered. Our tour was made up of solo travelers. We had a small group and everyone got along. Looking forward to joining about photo tour in the future!
I traveled with Inscape Photo Tours on their Myanmar Photo Tour. It was an excellent experience! I had a wonderful tour with my guides Martin and Jan. They took care of everything along the way and shared their awesome photography knowledge with each of us.
The tour was great for any experience level of photographer. Our activities were well planned out with many models added to our photography shoots to capture the iconic images of the diverse people of the country. We also had many post-processing sessions to discuss this most important step in our creative vision.
I will definitely be traveling with this company again in the future.
Had a fantastic 10 days with Martin and Jan in Myanmar. They had a fantastic schedule for us, allowing for a lot of shooting time as well as sufficient downtime and unstructured time. I appreciated that they were flexible with the agenda and adapted for what suited the group. Both Martin and Jan were helpful and focused on helping all participants improve their photography skills and go home with the best shots possible.
Thank you both for an amazing experience! I will definitely be looking for future opportunities to join Inscape Photo Tours in the future.