Eat This, Shoot That! Photo Tours Bring Culinary Tourism to Santa Barbara

With the likes of Foodspotting and other social media apps, the rise of food photography has become serious business. While Santa Barbara is known for its epicurean delights, a new photography tour aims to provide a visual feast for hungry locals and tourists alike.

“Santa Barbara is such a photogenic city. I knew I wanted the tour to be really specific and unique to Santa Barbara,” said Tara Jones. “A food tour that nobody has done before.”

Tara Jones awaits her next group of guests

Every weekend, Jones, a 2004 Brooks Institute graduate, takes participants harbourside to experience some of the best in food and fun. A successful wedding and lifestyle photographer, Jones was ready for a new culinary adventure. Started in June 2012, Eat This, Shoot That! hopes to satisfy Santa Barbara’s appetite while giving back to our local economy.

“This is my community, this is my home, this is my city,” said Jones. “I wanted to create a business of substance, one that gave back both commercially and environmentally.”

The culinary adventure begins on the waterfront, across from the Santa Barbara Fish House. Partnering with some of Santa Barbara’s most iconic restaurants and bars, the tour allows visitors a chance to sample the Santa Barbara lifestyle, all through the eyes of the camera lens. From savory crab cakes at Moby Dick‘s to fresh ceviche at the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, the walking tour also highlights Funk Zone favorites Union Ale and Oreana Winery. As part of the experience, Jones offers several key photography lessons, from getting up close and personal to creating the perfect lighting and ambiance. And with the picturesque mountains and ocean as a backdrop, the tour offers everyone a slice of the good life.

“The waterfront is quintessential Santa Barbara,” said Jones. “This tour is a great way to show off our beautiful city.”

Unlike many other tours in the city, Eat This, Shoot That! offers a carbon-free option to explore Santa Barbara. The successful (and educational) walking tours use all recycled materials, from the reusable wooden utensils to the take-home gift bag. Creating a sustainable tourism model for others to follow, Jones hopes to expand nationwide in the near future.

A view of Santa Barbara’s iconic waterfront

“There’s been a huge sweep in American and European tourism towards educational tours,” said Jones. “On my tours, each person walks away with a new skill, increasing the value of their experience.”

CLICK! To find out more about these culinary photo excursions, visit Tours are $99 per person or $149 per couple.

 By Rachel Hommel, LoaTree Food Writer

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