Last weekend, I had the opportunity to play tourist here in Chicago a bit. I took a photo tour with photographer Ralph Velasco that spanned several hours on a Friday evening and again early on Sunday morning (he also did two Saturday sessions in which I did not participate). While I conceivably could head to downtown Chicago on my own any given weekend and take many of the same shots in the same places, I still found the tour worthwhile.

For one, it “forced” me to actually do it.  While I keep thinking how I’d love to spend more time just wandering around Chicago taking pictures, I rarely make time to do it. Paying $89 per session for a photo tour meant I would make it a priority.

And two, it can be inspiring to explore the city with other photographers – to see what they focus on and what kind of shots they try to find. It pushes me to think outside the box  a little more and perhaps discover angles that I may not otherwise discover.

Now I just need to push myself to do this again in other parts of the city on my own.

Here are a few of my favorite shots:

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