Ewan Barry is a professional photographer who runs photographic guided tours of Edinburgh with his partner Audrey Pinard. Covering both famous landmarks and also the unique and unusual spots of the city that you might not know about – they show you the beautiful Scottish capital from a whole new perspective.
What inspired you to start Foto Tours and how long has it been up and running?
The commercial photography side of the business began in 2008 when we formed Tête-à-Tête Foto but Foto Tours Edinburgh only began in 2015 following our Edinburgh Fringe Exhibition. We had around 600 visitors to our little studio during the fringe and we were asked lots of questions about the photographs, techniques and locations which led to us setting up our photography tour.
2. Do you need photography knowledge to go on a tour?
Photography knowledge isn’t essential but photography enthusiasm is! We explain why we’re taking an image in a particular way and demonstrate our way of doing things, but we aren’t here to tell people what’s right or wrong – we hope our photographs and the techniques we share will act as a starting point for people to discover and make their own photographs.
3. Can you show us your favourite photo (taken by you) of Edinburgh?
This is just the shadow of someone walking past the Scottish Parliament building. It’s really simple but striking at the same time. I enjoy photos of everyday things or scenes, it’s impossible to predict or who or what will enter frame at any moment and this keeps the tour exciting for me.
4. What is the best thing about running Foto Tours Edinburgh?
I enjoy the same things as our clients do – walking through Edinburgh, looking for new photographic possibilities, discussing our photography and the local history. It’s really great when people send me their photographs after a tour though – particularly when I see a familiar Foto Tour location photographed in a way I haven’t seen before. It reminds me that I need to keep looking
5. Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I’d like Foto Tours to expand and take on new routes – maybe even outside of the city.
And just for fun…
6. If you could take a photograph of anyone or anything in the world, past, present or in the future, what would it be?
I enjoy finding the subject or scene – seeing something new or in a new way, but I don’t know what it’ll be until I find it. So I suppose I’ll choose the present, but the photograph could be of anyone or anything.
7. What fellow photographer do you most admire?
Choosing just one photographer is impossible – I enjoy so many different styles and approaches to making pictures. If I limit it to “street” photographs, then the photographs of Saul Leiter or Manual Alvarez Bravo are fantastic. They definitely make me think that I can feel the places they’re depicting.
8. What is your favourite quote?
“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” – Elliot Erwitt.
9. If you could spend a day in the body of another person who would you choose and why?
Definitely one of my sons – they’re two and six – to see everything a fresh through their eyes. Having said that, I don’t really want to reach a stage that makes me think that there’s nothing wrong with putting my pants on my head.
10. When was the last time you felt exhilarated?
All the time when I’m out taking photographs and having a good day – particularly in the wind or rain.
Tours can accommodate up to 10 people. Private tours and exclusive group bookings are also available. For further details and to check availability visit their website.