Posts Tagged ‘photography’
This Private Tour Family Wanted to Be in the Company Blog
While we give thought to having passed 2,000 blogs on this website we thought we might use this moment to divulge a bit of how we do things here at Elite Adventure Tours. We schedule and provide hundreds and hundreds of tours each year from hotels all around the Los Angeles area. Sometimes we even meet our guests at the airport or cruise ship terminal, Union Station or at a private home where they are staying with friends or relatives while they visit Los Angeles. Our guides immediately inform (or remind) them that the sightseeing tour they are about to experience is a custom tour. Where do they want to go? What do they want to see? Hollywood and the film studios? Beverly Hills and celebrity homes? Venice Beach and the Los Angeles coast? There is so much to see and do that part of creating a guided tour is getting to know who is with us in our luxury SUVs. Then we inform (or remind) them that we have a fancy digital camera and will photograph their tour so they have their own photo album afterwards. The pictures will be posed and candid and everyone will be in them (no missing dads on our tours). These are the photographs that make it into our blogs. Our guests have to give us permission in each case to use their pictures. Sometimes, like today, our guests not only sign the permission notice but they insist we write about their tour and use a picture or two. We take special note of that and when that blog publishes we make certain that our guests’ tour guides have the blog link to send to them. OK, that does mean a lot of blogs about the Hollywood Sign. We are cool with that because, well, everyone sightseeing in Los Angeles wants us to take them as close as we can (even hiking right up behind the sign).
Our Private Tour Guests Love This Photograph We Take
So many of our guests are wearing sunglasses on their Los Angeles private tour that when we drive into the hills to show them the Hollywood Sign up close we have an opportunity to not only capture their first look at the great historic billboard but we also can see the sign reflected in their Ray-Ban glasses. This is always a favorite photograph among all the photos we take of our guests as we explore Hollywood and Beverly Hills and then maybe head over to the coast for some sightseeing through the L.A. beach communities. Their tour photo album from us is always treasured even when they are taking their own photographs. We can tour for hours if our guests are interested. That’s a lot of pictures. Maybe today, after all the Thanksgiving feasting, doing some hearty walking around and hiking in the hills and along the ocean’s edge will be a good way to spend the day. Of course, it is also Black Friday, so it’s a good thing we have a lot of spare room in our SUVs for packages if sightseeing becomes shopping on Rodeo Drive, Robertson, Melrose and Montana and other exclusive shopping areas where the movie stars roam. The beauty of our custom tour is we can change direction and intention as we go along.
Characters Pose for Photos With Our Los Angeles Private Tour Guests
It seems like it is always Halloween on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. From early in the morning until well into the evening there are creatures and movie characters and some we cannot quite guess prowling the sidewalks for tips they earn posing with visitors to Hollywood. Often it is our Los Angeles private tour group sidling up alongside a sexy Catwoman or a silly SpongeBob SquarePants as their tour guide snaps photographs for the tour photo album they will take home with them. This being Hollywood you might call these Walk of Fame costumed impersonators the best because these individuals go to such extremes to create high quality costumes and to perfect their street personas such that our guests really sense the presence of Michael Jackson or Captain Jack Sparrow. This time of year these hardworking and imaginative “actors” serve another purpose – Halloween costume ideas. From the pedestrian and inexpensive to the bizarre and complicated, all sorts of characters and ideas roam the street. At this time of year there are even “amateurs” on the street, the kind of “dress up and go out” folks you might see at the World Series or a big football game. Instead of team logos we are talking about Rocky Horror Picture Show and Curse of the Mummy and lots and lots of zombies. We probably all have “dead man walking” clothes in the back of our closet.
We Expect This When Our Private Tour Arrives in Hollywood
Our guides are so experienced they know just where to stand as their Los Angeles private tour guests follow them up any of a number of pathways to an extraordinary view of the Hollywood Sign. We always take a number of photographs of the guests getting their first unobstructed look at the giant white letters looming above them on a steep hillside above Lake Hollywood and the Los Angeles basin. Unposed and completely spontaneous. Thankfully we have high quality digital SLR cameras to quickly capture everyone’s immediate response. It’s like seeing Old Faithful or a unicorn for the first time. Maybe even an NFL team in Los Angeles. Oh, there is…welcome (back) Rams! Plan your trip to see Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the beach communities from Venice to Malibu and expect to receive a tour photo album with many surprised expressions on your family’s faces.
This Private Tour Was All About the Goop
Three young lads and a bucket full of slimy yellow goop made their way in our luxury SUV all around Los Angeles including this stop up by the famed Hollywood Sign. The boys insisted on posing for photographs with oozing slime dribbling from their hands. They even wanted us to use the photos in one of our Los Angeles private tour blog postings. We never want to disappoint our guests so, boys, here it is. The boys learned about the Hollywoodland Sign and its origin as a giant billboard for the housing development just below dating back to the early 1920s. The boys learned about our Mediterranean climate and chaparral ecosystem and how little rainfall falls in our beautiful city with the big blue ocean clearly visible nearby. They learned about the charming Lake Hollywood just below that once provided drinking water to the growing neighborhood and which today is maintained more for emergency use. They learned about coyotes and rattlesnakes present all around them as we explored the Hollywood Hills. They learned about Castillo del Lago (Castle of the Lake), the giant estate right by the Hollywood Sign once owned by gangster Bugsy Siegel and later by Madonna. What did we learn with the boys? Their goop is pretty much the same as the goop of our childhood. Boys love goop.
Our Private Tour Is All About the Pictures
Everyone takes pictures on vacation, right? It is expected. In this modern age when cell phones double as cameras a family visiting Hollywood can return home with bazillions of digital images from every family member’s phone. We encourage this on every private Los Angeles tour we do. We also bring our own digital SLR camera so that the family can have photographs with everyone in the picture. We also bring our experience from years of exploring the city and thousands of tours that let us know where and how to get the best photos at each destination. We have a lot of fun getting great candid pictures of our guests seeing the Hollywood Sign for the first time or the kids climbing on the giant sloth sculpture at the La Brea Tar Pits. Maybe the women just want to pose in front of DASH before going in to “browse” in the glamorous boutique and maybe pose again after with their packages. The guys are more likely to strike Arnold Schwarzenegger poses either at the handprints in the Grauman’s Chinese Theater forecourt or when we are at the ocean exploring Muscle Beach. Even our snapping a shot of our guests having a “selfie” moment is worth putting into their tour photo album. It is sort of a “behind-the-scenes” shot and perfectly appropriate for Hollywood.
With a Big Private Tour Family This Photo Is a Challenge
As difficult as it might be to get everyone in the air at the same time, jumping for joy at being so near the famous Hollywood Sign, everyone always has a good time getting this photograph into their tour album. Thankfully we have a very good SLR camera that we use to take photos of our guests throughout their private Los Angeles tour with us so we can “machine gun” photos in the strong Southern California sunlight. We have to keep everyone away from the cactus and thistles that are abundant up here on the side of the mountain where the sign is situated. By the way, the sign just passed it’s 93rd anniversary. It was in July of 1923 that the first Hollywood Sign was completed and illuminated. History buffs as well as our guests will know that the first sign read HOLLYWOODLAND and was merely a giant hillside billboard for the housing development springing up below. Now, 93 years later, she is a symbol of our entertainment industry known throughout the world. No wonder the excitement of being here lifts everyone off their feet…almost everybody.
Our Private Tour Guests Love to Goof Off
Sightseeing is fun. It is supposed to be an enjoyable way to learn about someplace you visit. On a private tour in Los Angeles, however, our guests REALLY have fun. This is not just a factor of our tour guides all being from the performing side of the entertainment industry though that might be a part of it. Always ready with a joke, funny anecdote or a quick bon mot, each guide makes certain that their passengers are entertained as well as informed and excited about the sights and people they get to see as they navigate Hollywood, Beverly Hills, downtown and the beaches. The warm sunny weather most days of the year brings out the joy in our guests. The smiles all around them as Los Angelenos go about their daily business contribute to a fun atmosphere for their luxury tour of the city. And maybe it is partly caused by the snacks we serve aboard our luxury SUVs. Perhaps it is the fact that we are photographing our guests everywhere we go and making subtle suggestions that they forget about the usual family poses and let their inner-child come out. We once had a physics student suggest that the gravity might be lower in Hollywood. Now that would explain everything and why the “Hollywood Jump” is such a popular response to “smile for the camera” when we arrive up at the Hollywood Sign.
Who Loves Harry Potter? Our Private Tour Family Sure Does
They were here for the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. The day before their visit to the movie-based theme park they joined us for a wonderful private tour of Los Angeles. They saw a number of famous movie studios that do not have rides but do have a lot of history and are exciting to see and talk about. We explored throughout Hollywood and then ventured with the family into the hills of Beverly Hills and Bel Air and pointed out the homes of the celebrities they knew. The family learned much about the history of Hollywood and the movies as well as saw how contemporary stars landscape their mansions. The high point of their sightseeing adventure was driving high up along Mulholland Drive. From various scenic vista points we looked over Hollywood all the way to the ocean. From other stops we could enjoy the panorama of the San Fernando Valley. In this photograph for the family’s tour album you can see the Disney and Warner Bros. studios. Most important is seeing Universal Pictures and the Hogwarts Castle rising up in the background. We are certain the family loved the rides, the shops and the other Harry Potter inspired activities.
Private Tour Family Gets High at the Hollywood Sign
None of our guides remember when this particular “pose” entered our repertoire for photographs we regularly take when we have our private Los Angeles tour groups up at the Hollywood Sign. It has been a long time. We have numerous possibilities if our families are shy or not feeling demonstrative when we stop at one or more spots that put the famous landmark sign in the background with generally bright blue skies above and beyond that. It is a good thing that our digital SLR cameras allow us to take multiple quick photos in succession so we do not have to count down too often trying to capture everyone airborne at the same time. All of the photos go in the tour photo album for the family to share when we drop them off at the hotel after seeing Hollywood and Beverly Hills and possibly much more. Downtown, the Valley, the beaches and a number of other Los Angeles neighborhoods can be explored on a custom tour if our guests express interest. We have no set time limit for a private custom tour and have been known to sightsee from dawn to dusk….and beyond. Our guides are indefatigable and so are many of our special L.A. tour guests.