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Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography
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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 ...

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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  • 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 Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography Presentation Transcript

  • Telling Your Stories Through TravelPhotographyLola Akinmade Åkerström
  • Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • [ 1 ]“Next Step” creative tips forcapturing photos that start tellingstories
  • AssumptionsYou guys already know a few basic technicaland composition rules of photography…such as:
  • My assumption – RULE OF THIRDS
  • My assumption – DEPTH OF FIELD
  • My assumption – LEADING LINES
  • [ 1A ]“Next Step” creative tips forphotographingPEOPLE
  • TIP 1 – INTERACT
  • 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
  • WHY?Your subject is momentarily comfortablewith your presence
  • ExamplesDieter,Busker in Edinburgh
  • Market Vendors,Durban, South Africa
  • Per, Sámi Elder
  • Interacting getsyou closer.Closer gets youbetter travelphotographs.
  • “Befriend people first, and then take thepicture. That makes the encounter into a richand rewarding experience. “National Geographic,Guide to Travel Photography
  • TIP 2 – VISUALLY ELEVATE THEM
  • Getting a fewinches lowerconsciously &subconsciouslyelevates yoursubject.
  • Lets people draw their ownconclusions especiallywhen photographing“poverty”
  • TIP 3 – BE AN OPPORTUNIST
  • Once you’ve got their attention, always haveyour camera on burst mode/multiple frames persecond.
  • TIP 4 – BE PATIENT(if you have time)
  • Observe howthey’re interactingwith theirenvironment.Observe how light isflowing throughtheir environment
  • MUNDANE INTERESTING
  • [ 1B ]“Next Step” creative tips forphotographingCHILDREN
  • TIP 1 – GET REALLY LOW
  • Not Low Enough LOW
  • TIP 2 – FOCUS ON GROUP FIRST
  • Then,single outthe subjectyou’remostinterested in.
  • Applies to candidshots as well.
  • TIP 3 – INTERACT WITH GUARDIANS
  • Guardians grant access
  • TIP 4 – STAY AWAY IF SOLOReinforce “no talking tostrangers” lesson byparents
  • [ 1C ]“Next Step” creative tips forphotographingLANDSCAPES
  • TIP 1 – INSERT LIFE
  • Provides scaleand context--Bringslandscape to life
  • Also tells storyof interaction
  • TIP 2 – ISOLATE
  • TIP 2 – ISOLATE
  • Isolation makesthe mundaneseem moreinteresting
  • [ 1D ]“Next Step” creative tips forphotographingAnimals/Wildlife
  • TIP 1 – MAKE EYE CONTACT
  • Capturing eyes/eye contactadds life to the photo andautomatically makes it moreinteresting
  • TIP 2 – GET THEM IN ACTION
  • Okay shotwith eye contactDisturbingbut cooler shot
  • [ 1E ]“Next Step” tips for photographingNight + Low-light scenes
  • TIP 1 – FOCUS ON SINGLE LIGHT SOURCE
  • Shows how light source isinteracting with itsenvironment
  • In general, sweeping nightscenes are fine.Next level -> Isolate asubject and light sourceand shoot that in relationto its environmentIt adds an element of“drama”
  • TIP 2 – TURN YOUR BACK TO SUNSETS + SUNRISES
  • GOLDEN GLOWHow light is interactingwith the landscape
  • GOLDEN GLOWLight interacting withpeople
  • What is called –> GOLDEN HOUR
  • [ 2 ]Shooting creatively duringblog/press trips
  • Five types ofphotos we allbring back frompress or blog trips
  • Close-ups of yummy expensive food
  • Photo of the property
  • Photo of your hostand/or chef
  • Photo of other bloggersphotographing stuff
  • And…photo of yourselfdoing something cool
  • TRUTH IS:These are allmundane and abit boring eventhough they’rewell composedand “pretty”shots.
  • Your challenge?(Should you accept!)Make the mundaneinterestingHOW?By sharpening yourobservational skills
  • FOOD- How is itinteracting with itsenvironment?- Shoot everythingaround the food
  • Food in itsdomain
  • Take moreenvironmentalportraitsof food
  • Charactersinteracting withfood
  • PROPERTY- Focus on uniqueangles- How are peopleinteracting with theproperty?
  • Chances are your hostsalready have the mostattractive angles on file
  • Focus on humaninteraction
  • How people areinteracting with theproperty
  • HOST / CHEF- As the group moveson, linger for a fewmoments- Focus on what othersaren’t focusing on
  • Focus whenothers are goneCloser candidshots
  • Linger for a bit…or awhilePeople are morerelaxed one-on-one
  • Other Bloggers + You- Switch your angle- Catch them whenthey’re NOTphotographingMore self-portraits
  • At play
  • Self-portraits
  • TakeawayImproving your press/blog tripphotos with unique perspectivesoffers the DMO and your host(s) afresh angle on their destination orproperty.
  • Similar to how my relationshipwith Sweden started
  • [ 3 ]How to choose photos totell your stories
  • You’ve improved your photosYou’ve taken creative shotsNow what?How do you “kill your darlings” and choosewhich photos illustrate your story?
  • Your photos should answerthe following questions:What?When?Why?Who?Any unique details?
  • The morequestions asinglephoto cananswer, thebetter.And that should be your leading shot in a photo essay.
  • Example
  • What?River sceneWho?WomenWhen?DaylightDetails?Fish + BoatsWhy?Heavy lifting?Going to sell?Example 1
  • What?PierWho?WomenWhen?DaylightDetails?BucketsWhy?Negotiating?Interacting?Arguing?Example 2
  • StrongestYour strongest image in a photo essayanswers the most questionsStrongerStrong DetailsStrongOpen-endedStronger
  • What?River sceneWho?WomanWhen?DaylightDetails?XWhy?XExample – Open-ended question
  • Did you notice the common threadof interaction throughout these tips?You interacting with your subject?Your subject interacting with itsenvironment?
  • Your progression as atravel photographer?How well you caninteract with andobserve interactionswithin yourenvironment to tell itsstories.
  • 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.
  • “Amateurs worry about equipment,professionals worry about money,masters worry about light…I just take pictures… ”…Vernon Trent
  • Questions?@LolaAkinmade