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10 tips (from the pros!) for taking great photos

A Society for Professional Travel Writers poll offers up some great ideas

by Lylah M. Alphonse  |  7173 views  |  0 comments  |      Rate this now! 


“On cloudy, dreary days, try to include bright colors such as red (a person’s jacket, an umbrella, a sign) in the photo, since reds, oranges, yellows and fuchsias can make a washed-out rainy scene pop with liveliness.”-- Susan Farlow, freelance travel writer


7.      Shoot important subjects from several different angles and vantage points and with different lens and at different exposures.  Take an overall wide shot, a medium range shot and a close up detail shot.  Check your photos on site to make sure you have your shot.


“When shooting with a slow shutter speed and no tripod, shoot three quick frames in a row, making a better chance one will come out sharp.” -- Michael Ventura, freelance travel photographer


“Remember to shoot verticals as well as horizontal shots.  Verticals work best for covers or full single pages.” -- Susan Farlow, freelance travel writer


8.      Wait before you click!  Wait for the clouds to clear, the truck to move away from the front of the cathedral or other distractions to pass.


“Look around you and see what’s happening.  If a child with a red balloon is coming around the corner, wait until she runs into your frame.”-- Mary Love, freelance travel photographer and writer


9.      Put local people in your photos.  Ask permission first and try not to pose them. Put people in your photos to give a sense of size and scale.


“Learn the phrase for ‘Smile, please’ in the language of the place where you are traveling, and smile before, during and after you click the shutter.” -- Maxine Cass, freelance travel photographer


“After photographing a local, turn your digital camera around and show the image to your subject.  Everybody is happy to see what a great photo you just took.” -- Annette Thompson, associate travel and livings editor, Southern Living


10.  Use fill-flash, even outdoors, to “fill-in” shadows.


“Sometimes you don’t have the option of waiting for the right light.  The fill flash will light up a person’s face and remove shadows when the sun is overhead.”--  Laurie D. Borman, editorial director, Rand McNally

The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) is a non-profit professional association that works to promote responsible travel journalism and to provide professional support for its members, including travel journalists, photographers, editors, electronic media, film lecturers, television and film producers, and public relations representatives from the travel industry.

For more information on the Society of American Travel Writers, visit

About the Author

Lylah M. Alphonse is a journalist, blogger, and mom and stepmom to five kids. She is a Senior Editor at Yahoo! Shine, writes about juggling full-time career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day here at Work It, Mom!, and blogs about everything else at Follow her on Twitter: @WriteEditRepeat.

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