EnTOURtain connects cameras with coaches
Scott Hayden and Larry Conley lead serious photographers through northern Arizona scenic excursions and explorations
By David Hubbard
EnTOURtain is the word Scott Hayden came up with to describe his broad-brush approach to motorcoach excursions. Watching his father drive for Greyhound, Hayden cultivated his newest tour product from his life with motorcoaches and an ironic connection with Larry Conley, a professional photographer based in Arizona.
Through EnTOURtain Photo Excursions the two present the grandeur of the Southwest to serious photographers with more focus and flair than the average sightseeing charter.
Hayden founded his company in 2006 in Phoenix, AZ, after driving for coach operators in Arizona and California, racking up over two million miles in 26 years without a recordable accident.
Conley worked in Ohio as a photojournalist for a midwestern newspaper, but always felt the pull of the west, migrated to Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado where he could point his camera at the natural beauty.
As director of photography for a national company, Conley trained and mentored photographers throughout the country to improve their skills and help them excel in their careers.
Struck with the idea to develop exciting photo excursions to northern Arizona and southern Utah to capture some of the most renowned topography on the planet, Conley discussed the concept with his neighbor, who just happened to drive for Hayden Motorcoach.
Hearing this idea, Hayden needed no further convincing for the new venture. He was mulling over a similar idea after handling the coach detail for one his clients from the Midwest who conducted similar photography tours.
“I wanted to establish such a retail product for my coaches,” says Hayden. “I needed something solid that would sell seats as opposed to charters.”
He says it all came together with Conley’s involvement, believing they could improve on his recent one-day trips to Sedona and Red Rock Country.
“I had to be careful that we were not competing with my clients,” says Hayden. “But EnTOURtain Photo Excursions is a very different niche that serves us well.”
Hayden and Conley are emphatic on the difference between a sightseeing tour and the 7-1/2 day educational adventure they provide.
“Sightseeing tours stop where and when it is convenient,” says Conley. “The location may not be the best, nor the best time of day to take a great photograph.”
According to Hayden and Conley, the photographers aboard the EnTOURtain coach tours are in for an educational workout. Conley shares his knowledge of the basics, and says he guides the participants through enough new experiences and photographs to last a lifetime.
Hayden describes the transportation into these areas as multimodal.
“For the most part, our motorcoaches cannot get into the places we seek out,” he says. “In locations such as Monument Valley, Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon, we take the coach as far as we can then transfer to jeeps, boats, helicopters and hiking boots, whatever form of transportation it takes to get to the best vantage point.”
EnTOURtain finds photo ops that range from the red rocks of Sedona to slot canyons surrounding Lake Powell and on to Havasupai in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, as well as the most photogenic locations in between.
In its first year EnTOURtain has worked closely with the top hotels and restaurants along the itineraries to ensure a first class coach trip start to finish.
This year Hayden and Conley will take their Discover Photography Workshops on an educational tour across the country to promote their concept to eager photographers. They will conduct three-hour photography workshops in hotel conference settings. Conley will offer instruction that will help photographers of every level derive the most from their digital cameras, offering tips on composition and approaches to landscape photography. Workshops in photo editing will also be available.
Hayden says in addition to the workshops, they will contract with motorcoach operators in the area to help provide a sampling of the EnTOURtain Photo Excursions concept.
“We see a bright future for EnTOURtain,” says Conley. “We are planning future photo excursions throughout the United States and even to other countries.”
For more information, visit www.entourtainphotographyexcursions.com, www.haydenmotorcoach.com and www.discoverphotographyworkshops.com. BR