James Derheim Bio

James Derheim in Oct, 2020

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James Derheim was born and raised in landlocked Minnesota. After a couple of years of college, James joined the U.S. Navy, choosing to let Uncle Sam provide him with an education. Along with that came plenty of travel experience. His time as the only Navy photographer on the staff of the “European Stars and Stripes” newspaper published in Griesheim, Germany led to his creation of “European Focus Photography” in 1989. James was the first person to come up with the pre-Google Images business of professional photography of people’s ancestral towns in Europe. With more than 2,200 villages and towns in his archive, this business eventually led to European Focus Private Tours, when a client asked James if he and his wife could go with James as he did his work in tiny Flammersfeld, Germany. The trip was the couple’s 50th anniversary gift to each other. His client wrote a newspaper article about their experience and overnight a business was born.

European Focus is more than a business. James feels that it’s his mission in life. Helping others understand and appreciate Europe is something that gives James a great deal of personal satisfaction. James is comfortable working in more than 15 countries across the European lands from Norway down to Sicily and from Ireland to France to Croatia and everything in-between. His vast experience over 346 tours (as of end of December, 2023) provides for his clients an “all in one, one guide for all” luxury and ease of travel.

James is a curious person, and he has a hard time resisting a quick stop to take photographs. Those photographs not only find their way to this web site, but our clients receive copies as well. James enjoys driving, which is a good thing. He logs more than 40,000 kilometers (24,000 miles) per season. Taking the back roads and exploring the country is a passion of his, and his clients love this aspect of custom-designed, private travel.

When James is not traveling he lives full-time (since March of 2020) in the walled, medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, in Franconia, Bavaria, Germany.