About Shutter Tours

How Did This All Start from Owner Terry Divyak

Shutter Tours initially began with the idea of starting a simple walking tour at the Pike Place Market as a “Plan B” while I was a Network Engineer at a major bank. During the economic meltdown in the banking industry in 2008 and the largest bank failure in U.S. history of Washington Mutual in Seattle, I knew I needed to have plan B in place.

n 2009, I decided to start Shutter Tours with the goal of offering a unique and engaging city tour experience in Seattle. As an avid photographer, I wanted to create a tour that not only showed visitors the best of what Seattle has to offer, but also provided them with simple tips on how to capture great photos while they explored the city.

At the time, iPhones were becoming increasingly popular, so I saw an opportunity to create a tour that would appeal to tech-savvy travelers who wanted to take great photos during their visit to Seattle. I started the company while I was still working as a network engineer at a major bank, but in 2011, I was "made redundant" from my job and decided to focus on growing Shutter Tours full-time.

With my love of travel and my deep connection to Seattle as a fourth-generation Seattleite, I was excited to share my knowledge and passion for the city with guests from around the world. I believe that my insider's perspective and expertise as a photographer helped set Shutter Tours apart from other tour companies in the city, and over the years, we have become one of the top-rated tour companies in Seattle.

Having the travel bug, I was excited to be involved with the tourism industry and share my love of Seattle with guests from around the world. I felt I could offer an insiders view of the city, since I was born in downtown Seattle, on Terry Avenue no less. Being a fourth-generation Seattleite, it was a perfect fit for me.

Our Business is about the Customer Experience

As the owner and operator of Shutter Tours, I believe it is essential for me to be closely involved with the customer experience. That's why I personally operate many of our tours throughout the week, continually striving to improve the experience for our guests. Our entire team is dedicated to ensuring that every aspect of your tour is exceptional, from the cleanliness of our buses to the professionalism of our drivers.

We go above and beyond to ensure the safety of our guests, washing the windows inside and out before every tour, even on rainy days, and regularly servicing our vehicles with top-notch, certified mechanics. Our drivers also undergo semi-annual medical exams to ensure they are fit to operate our vehicles. Additionally, all of our buses are equipped with seatbelts, a feature that many other tour companies do not offer.

At Shutter Tours, we believe that the details matter, and we are committed to providing you with an unforgettable tour experience.

What Makes Us Different from Other Tour Companies?

One thing that sets Shutter Tours apart from other companies is our commitment to providing the most accurate and up-to-date information about Seattle. We are constantly researching and updating our knowledge of the city, its history, and its best attractions, restaurants, and activities. In fact, we often take the time to shut down our tours for a day and explore the city ourselves, so we can experience it firsthand and ensure that our recommendations are always top-notch. Whether you're looking for historical anecdotes, insider tips, or just a fun and informative day out, Shutter Tours has you covered.

This may seem like a lot of work for what some people think are just tour guides, but we all take a lot of pride in what we do. We want to make sure that each part of our tour is a positive experience, even after you get off the bus.

Many of our customers are surprised by the simple photo tips. In fact, many had no idea they would learn a couple of simple composition tricks they can use on their phones to take better travel photos. We also send a link to a 30-page E-book we wrote that is full of great information on how to take pictures around the Pike Place Market when you book on our website.

Bottled water and snacks on our buses are always a welcome treat for our guests, and we are unaware of other local tours that provide the same. We know our customers come from different time zones and they are not on our schedule, so we don't want them to get "Hangry" on tour.

I'm thankful that we get many comments from customers mentioning that we provide the best tours they have taken and hopefully after your tour with us you'll agree with the many Five Star reviews we have received since 2009 on Tripadvisor.

We want to be the company that our competition admires and that our customers can trust when they make a booking, which we can meet those high expectations.

Our Vision For The Future

A few years ago we added an exciting addition to our company, our photo safari to Tanzania which has become one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had as a traveler and a photographer. This is a trip myself, and our guides look forward to every year. But I also know there are many great opportunities in our backyard that we are exploring to offer you in addition to our highly rated Tulip and Snoqualmie Falls and City Tours.

In Closing

We understand that travel is an appreciating asset and we want you always to appreciate the time you came to Seattle and enjoyed your stay here. We hope we can be a small part of those great memories when you visit Seattle.