Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography

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In an industry filled with thousands of bloggers writing about travel and trying to stand out, optimizing the quality of images you take and post will not only better illustrate your travel experiences, but also exponentially improve the quality of content you deliver as a travel blogger. This session is for any blogger who is serious about learning to take better photos, regardless of equipment, and who wants to learn how to select the best ones to help tell their story including practical and interesting offbeat tips for photography.

[ Takeaways ]

(1) Bloggers will walk away with solid tips on how to better photograph people, landmarks, children, food, and night scenes creatively.

(2) Bloggers will go back to some core basics to learn what truly makes a photo memorable, some interesting compositional techniques, as well as how to pick which ones to illustrate their stories and photo essays.

(3) This session will help bloggers start the process of developing and sharpening their creative eyes.

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  • Travel and Street Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots --- http://amzn.to/25dsjfS
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  • Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Photography --- http://amzn.to/1puVx9l
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  • The Traveling Photographer: A Guide to Great Travel Photography --- http://amzn.to/1UIiqC3
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  • Thanks @wildmktg! Your site looks good. Love the name too "Local Munch"
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  • Thank you. I really loved your approach and clear simple points by slide. I am an amateur lifestyle blogger...food, wine, travel...http://localmunch.blogspot.com. Welcome feedback.
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  • It’s the same way an embedded photojournalist works
  • Chances are they already have photos of every attractive angle of their property
  • Chances are they already have photos of every attractive angle of their property
  • People are more relaxed when it’s one on one interaction instead of a group interaction.
  • Chances are they already have photos of every attractive angle of their property
  • Photos can capture how the bloggers feel around the property or doing the trip.
  • Self-portraits like this one brings us alongside you and right into the scene
  • Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography

    1. 1. Telling Your Stories Through TravelPhotographyLola Akinmade Åkerström
    2. 2. Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography
    3. 3. Quick Intro as a PhotographerSweden-based photographerwww.akinmade.com | @LolaAkinmadeRepresented by National GeographicStock Image CollectionWas on assignment for NationalGeographic Channel filming “Through TheLens” in South AfricaContributor to Sweden’s Image Bank andwas their official photoblogger for 2 years
    4. 4. What we will cover[1] “Next Step” tips for photographing:People +children, landscapes,animals/wildlife, lowlight + nightscenes[2] Shooting creatively duringblog/press trips[3] How to choose photos to illustrateyour stories
    5. 5. What we won’t coverSpecific camera gear – Ask me later!Hard-hitting photojournalism≠Travel photography* Chances are most of us aren’t looking to be war photographers
    6. 6. [ 1 ]“Next Step” creative tips forcapturing photos that start tellingstories
    7. 7. AssumptionsYou guys already know a few basic technicaland composition rules of photography…such as:
    8. 8. My assumption – RULE OF THIRDS
    9. 9. My assumption – DEPTH OF FIELD
    10. 10. My assumption – LEADING LINES
    11. 11. [ 1A ]“Next Step” creative tips forphotographingPEOPLE
    12. 12. TIP 1 – INTERACT
    13. 13. Interact and try to avoid sneaking shots of people all the timePeople want to be acknowledged firstHOW?Nonverbal cuesEye contact and smilingLifting camera as a questionDialogue – If you speak a common languageLight but engaging conversation - What did you do today?”Intense and deeper conversations
    14. 14. WHY?Your subject is momentarily comfortablewith your presence
    15. 15. ExamplesDieter,Busker in Edinburgh
    16. 16. Market Vendors,Durban, South Africa
    17. 17. Per, Sámi Elder
    18. 18. Interacting getsyou closer.Closer gets youbetter travelphotographs.
    19. 19. “Befriend people first, and then take thepicture. That makes the encounter into a richand rewarding experience. “National Geographic,Guide to Travel Photography
    20. 20. TIP 2 – VISUALLY ELEVATE THEM
    21. 21. Getting a fewinches lowerconsciously &subconsciouslyelevates yoursubject.
    22. 22. Lets people draw their ownconclusions especiallywhen photographing“poverty”
    23. 23. TIP 3 – BE AN OPPORTUNIST
    24. 24. Once you’ve got their attention, always haveyour camera on burst mode/multiple frames persecond.
    25. 25. TIP 4 – BE PATIENT(if you have time)
    26. 26. Observe howthey’re interactingwith theirenvironment.Observe how light isflowing throughtheir environment
    27. 27. MUNDANE INTERESTING
    28. 28. [ 1B ]“Next Step” creative tips forphotographingCHILDREN
    29. 29. TIP 1 – GET REALLY LOW
    30. 30. Not Low Enough LOW
    31. 31. TIP 2 – FOCUS ON GROUP FIRST
    32. 32. Then,single outthe subjectyou’remostinterested in.
    33. 33. Applies to candidshots as well.
    34. 34. TIP 3 – INTERACT WITH GUARDIANS
    35. 35. Guardians grant access
    36. 36. TIP 4 – STAY AWAY IF SOLOReinforce “no talking tostrangers” lesson byparents
    37. 37. [ 1C ]“Next Step” creative tips forphotographingLANDSCAPES
    38. 38. TIP 1 – INSERT LIFE
    39. 39. Provides scaleand context--Bringslandscape to life
    40. 40. Also tells storyof interaction
    41. 41. TIP 2 – ISOLATE
    42. 42. TIP 2 – ISOLATE
    43. 43. Isolation makesthe mundaneseem moreinteresting
    44. 44. [ 1D ]“Next Step” creative tips forphotographingAnimals/Wildlife
    45. 45. TIP 1 – MAKE EYE CONTACT
    46. 46. Capturing eyes/eye contactadds life to the photo andautomatically makes it moreinteresting
    47. 47. TIP 2 – GET THEM IN ACTION
    48. 48. Okay shotwith eye contactDisturbingbut cooler shot
    49. 49. [ 1E ]“Next Step” tips for photographingNight + Low-light scenes
    50. 50. TIP 1 – FOCUS ON SINGLE LIGHT SOURCE
    51. 51. Shows how light source isinteracting with itsenvironment
    52. 52. In general, sweeping nightscenes are fine.Next level -> Isolate asubject and light sourceand shoot that in relationto its environmentIt adds an element of“drama”
    53. 53. TIP 2 – TURN YOUR BACK TO SUNSETS + SUNRISES
    54. 54. GOLDEN GLOWHow light is interactingwith the landscape
    55. 55. GOLDEN GLOWLight interacting withpeople
    56. 56. What is called –> GOLDEN HOUR
    57. 57. [ 2 ]Shooting creatively duringblog/press trips
    58. 58. Five types ofphotos we allbring back frompress or blog trips
    59. 59. Close-ups of yummy expensive food
    60. 60. Photo of the property
    61. 61. Photo of your hostand/or chef
    62. 62. Photo of other bloggersphotographing stuff
    63. 63. And…photo of yourselfdoing something cool
    64. 64. TRUTH IS:These are allmundane and abit boring eventhough they’rewell composedand “pretty”shots.
    65. 65. Your challenge?(Should you accept!)Make the mundaneinterestingHOW?By sharpening yourobservational skills
    66. 66. FOOD- How is itinteracting with itsenvironment?- Shoot everythingaround the food
    67. 67. Food in itsdomain
    68. 68. Take moreenvironmentalportraitsof food
    69. 69. Charactersinteracting withfood
    70. 70. PROPERTY- Focus on uniqueangles- How are peopleinteracting with theproperty?
    71. 71. Chances are your hostsalready have the mostattractive angles on file
    72. 72. Focus on humaninteraction
    73. 73. How people areinteracting with theproperty
    74. 74. HOST / CHEF- As the group moveson, linger for a fewmoments- Focus on what othersaren’t focusing on
    75. 75. Focus whenothers are goneCloser candidshots
    76. 76. Linger for a bit…or awhilePeople are morerelaxed one-on-one
    77. 77. Other Bloggers + You- Switch your angle- Catch them whenthey’re NOTphotographingMore self-portraits
    78. 78. At play
    79. 79. Self-portraits
    80. 80. TakeawayImproving your press/blog tripphotos with unique perspectivesoffers the DMO and your host(s) afresh angle on their destination orproperty.
    81. 81. Similar to how my relationshipwith Sweden started
    82. 82. [ 3 ]How to choose photos totell your stories
    83. 83. You’ve improved your photosYou’ve taken creative shotsNow what?How do you “kill your darlings” and choosewhich photos illustrate your story?
    84. 84. Your photos should answerthe following questions:What?When?Why?Who?Any unique details?
    85. 85. The morequestions asinglephoto cananswer, thebetter.And that should be your leading shot in a photo essay.
    86. 86. Example
    87. 87. What?River sceneWho?WomenWhen?DaylightDetails?Fish + BoatsWhy?Heavy lifting?Going to sell?Example 1
    88. 88. What?PierWho?WomenWhen?DaylightDetails?BucketsWhy?Negotiating?Interacting?Arguing?Example 2
    89. 89. StrongestYour strongest image in a photo essayanswers the most questionsStrongerStrong DetailsStrongOpen-endedStronger
    90. 90. What?River sceneWho?WomanWhen?DaylightDetails?XWhy?XExample – Open-ended question
    91. 91. Did you notice the common threadof interaction throughout these tips?You interacting with your subject?Your subject interacting with itsenvironment?
    92. 92. Your progression as atravel photographer?How well you caninteract with andobserve interactionswithin yourenvironment to tell itsstories.
    93. 93. In SummaryMost people can take pretty decent picturesSo how do you stand out and make people notice?Technical prowess IS NOT the #1 reason. Creativity willget you there especially with travel photography.Your creative challenge -> Make the mundane interesting.
    94. 94. “Amateurs worry about equipment,professionals worry about money,masters worry about light…I just take pictures… ”…Vernon Trent
    95. 95. Questions?@LolaAkinmade

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