If you’ve seen gorgeous photographs of Slovenian landscape, it was perhaps Ljubljana-based landscape photographer Luka Esenko who took them. Luka also organises amazing photo workshops and tours and has co-founded a tech startup. As a young dad he photographs mostly in wider region (Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia) but occasionally he still travels further (Georgia, Yemen, Oman). And trust us, he knows good food and wine just as well!
How did you start organising photo tours?
I started to travel and photograph at about the same time, 20 years ago. I love to do both and soon decided to make this my living. Photo tours and workshops are my main business since about 11 years ago. Nowadays we are a small team of photographers and friends who run workshops in the region (Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and the Balkans). We are known as the best local experts of this region and we work with some of the best companies in the world. Most of our partners and guests are from the US but there are more and more international guests coming from all around the world.
How and why have you co-founded Photohound?
Our original app was Snapp Guides. I realised no one is making guides for photographers in particular. There was Lonely planet and alike, followed by Tripadvisor and Google maps, but photographers need different guides. And photo workshops can be expensive so most of the people cannot afford to attend. This is why I started with the photography guides app which was recently upgraded and improved so much we rebranded it to PhotoHound. Now we’ve evolved into a platform of user contributed photo locations we carefully curate for accurate and reliable information. We also want to promote responsible travel and photography because we care for this planet, places we photograph and people we meet. We decided to give back 30% or our revenue to contributors and environment.
Is cuisine also part of your photo tours?
Despite photography being the priority, we still cherish good food and wine! In our region this is often very easy to combine: we have a wine tasting and a food tour, followed by a sunset shoot. Sometimes we have picnic lunch which allows us spending more time at a location. We also plan photoshoots with some food photography, especially if dining at a fine restaurant where the setting just calls for photos, or visiting a scenic farmhouse with local, organic food. Often we take our groups to wine country with beautiful views, and the experience is wholesome: photography, food, wine and genuine hospitality. Our guests are always pleasantly surprised by the quality of food and wine in Slovenia and beyond. For example, we like to enjoy farm delicacies of Kabaj Morel in Goriška brda, Škerlj in Tomaj, Pr Matk in Matkov Kot, Hlebec in Kog …
And what are your favorite spots in the city?
When it comes to Ljubljana restaurants, I like Gostilna na gradu, Gujžina, Vigo, Tabar. But generally I am a simple guy. I love mountain food, stews, stuff you can eat with a spoon. Fancy restaurants are a nice experience occasionally but not that important to me. Homemade stuff, be it in Tuscany or Balkans, all the same. What really matters is that the food is fresh, unprocessed and preferably locally produced. I also try to eat seasonally – I think there is something beautiful in changing your diet with the seasons – or maybe this is just the photographer in me. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
If you crave some more delicious experiences, come join our food tours! Or buy our super informative, mobile-friendly and helpful foodie e-guide. Also, if you need help with your travel planning to Ljubljana and/or Slovenia, do not hesitate to contact us as we do also offer these services. Cheers from the yummy side of the Alps!