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Photographing the City on Your Lunch Break

Local photographer Wayne Moran leads afternoon tours through picture-perfect Minneapolis


By Rachel Fergus 

Despite having a 612 area code for 21 years, I still stumble upon events I knew nothing about and neighborhoods I didn’t realize existed. So, when I heard about a lunch-hour walking tour of Downtown Minneapolis, I signed up.

Wayne Moran is a photographer based in Minneapolis. He frequently explores the city on foot, discovering unique nooks and crannies and places to photograph. These walks evolved into small tours of the city for anyone interested in photography and getting out of the office for a couple of hours.

Last week, six photography newbies (including myself) met Moran in the Cappella Tower atrium. (If you go on one of these walks, arrive at the Cappella Tower early. From a fireplace and coffee stand to comfy couches and photo-worthy architecture, there's a lot to see in Cappella alone.) After a quick get-to-know-you session, the tour commenced.    


Before we began, Moran challenged everyone to get at least one photo focused on details. Here, Moran, far left, and three members of the photography group admire the details in a stone carving. 

Tour participants photograph Cowles Center for the Arts’ façade from across the street. 

Throughout the tour, people took pictures of one another for fun. Here, a participant photographs the group while they walk through a tunnel. 

The Lumber Exchange, like many historic buildings in Minneapolis, offers picture-perfect scenes everywhere you look, including up.

The Hennepin Avenue Bridge has a walkway and stairs on both sides. If you walk under the bridge, the trees and river make you forget that you’re standing in the middle of Downtown Minneapolis. Looking for some peace and quiet? This might be the place. 

Even though there were seven people with cameras on the tour, everyone’s photos were different because we all found inspiration in different things. 

The tour ended where it started, at the Cappella Tower. 

The tour resulted in a few photos that I really like. The next time I tour the city with camera in hand, however, I will keep these three things in mind:

  1. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOWS. I thought I would be fine in flats. Ha.
  2. A phone camera works just fine. I brought my phone and was thankful I didn’t have to carry a big, clunky camera around with me.
  3. Don’t be afraid to take bad photos. For every one decent photo that I took I had at least three bad shots. 
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