Travel in cars, not a bus.  15 days in country, all the way across Bhutan.

Everything you want to know about our Guides and Drivers

Rainbow Photo Tour Guides
All Rainbow Guides are trained photography assistants and cultural "fixers".
Robin Smillie
Photography Tour Certificate of Achievement
(Click to see larger copy)

Guides and Drivers Certification

Guides receive a Certificate of Achievement as a "Cultural and Photo Fixer" after a minimum of three tours with Robin as their teacher and advisor.


The guides and drivers are:

  • Licensed and trained guides with the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
  • Designated as a Photography Guide and are trained for the following work:
  • Professional Social Skills
    •  Excellent ability to discover and seek out Buddhist pujas and ceremonies that present good photo ops.
    • Advises client of proper protocol and etiquette for photographing religious events and people.
    • Excellent at explaining cultural and religious standards to his clients.
    • Ability to courteously and respectfully gain permission and access special events and rarely photographed treasures.
    • Ability to redirect a subject’s focus with personable conversation to avoid a direct camera gaze, and “turn-to-stone” facial expression. Uses an engaging manner to elicit laughter and gestures, making the scene serendipitous instead of posed.  Certified guides also encourage their client in the cultural exchange.
      Technical Photography Skills
      • Trained and experienced to quickly learn client’s photo gear-how to set up tripods, aim reflectors, and properly handles sensitive electronic equipment.
      • Trained and experienced in clearing scenes of non-photogenic clutter, such as plastics or Westernized objects, repositions client to avoid distracting backgrounds/foregrounds, cars, electric poles, etc.
      • Understands the "magic light" concept and utilizes a personal reflector in low light situations or to create side and back lighting.
      • Knowledgeable in the principals of "environmental portraits." Directs the photographer to angles showing the subject’s natural surroundings, inner character and personality-telling the subject’s life story. Adeptly directs shots with unique backgrounds that speak solely of Bhutan and the Himalayas to frame the central subject..
      • Advises client of proper protocol and etiquette for photographing religious events and people.
      • Understands the concept of changing perspective, getting lower or higher or closer to subjects. Thinks ahead to assist the photographer in a variety of situations ranging from a piece of cardboard under the shoulder for a ground shot of a spinning festival dancer, finding the ladder into the attic for overhead shots or to just finding the door key keeper of a mask storage room and then obtaining photographic permission.
Monk Friend in Bhutan

More Guide and Driver Information

Our drivers are skilled, seasoned, cross-country drivers for Bhutan. They are very well aware of all the road conditions, mountain passes and have safely driven us across country since 2001.

Bhutanese Guide with horned beetle
Dung Beetle Story
"Our guides and drivers have a great sense of humor and enjoy interacting with us as much as we do with them."
GoTo Reservations and Cost Page
GoTo Itinerary Overview Page

More Recommendations for Rainbow Photo Tours

“NO ONE but Rainbow Photo Tours does it with the routing and logistics that took us all the way across the country to the authentic Bhutan of old." —TripAdvisor Review of Rainbow Photo Tours
tiny windows in Bhutan
Tiny Windows into Bhutan
Bhutan Fall Tour

Spring and Fall Tours

Cross Country Cultural and Festivals Tour

15 Days In-country
Limited to 16 Participants