89 comments on “5 Tips for Taking a Really Great Travel Portrait

  1. I’m glad to stumble upon your blog, and congrats on being featured on Freshly Pressed. Your portraits here are stunning, and I love the one of the girl against the colorful, speckled wall. I don’t do much portraiture, but I do like your comments about backgrounds and how sometimes they are significant, but other times they aren’t depending on the place and where the subject is. I recently shot a couple in San Francisco and while they wanted iconic backgrounds at times (the Bay Bridge, a trolley car), I noticed the strongest shots were ones with nondescript, simpler backgrounds (an alleyway, a brick wall, etc.).

    Anyway, keep up the excellent work.


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  3. Your pictures really tell a story. Thanks for the tips. I like photography as well but I don’t have a very nice camera. I thought about getting one but I know when I travel i won’t want to lug it around. That’s where the personal vs. professional preference comes in. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Your images are stunningly beautiful and you have written information clearly, concisely and with heart. I enjoy doing street photography and capturing people going about their everyday life. The ideas you have shared are important for anyone taking photographs of people. Do you use model release forms? Thank you for a great post.

  5. Amazing photos. You are very talented!

    I will take these tips into consideration the next time I take a portrait photo.

    I love the one of the young lady (and others) reading!! She looks like she has a lot to say and I want to listen!

  6. You’re the first blog I want to subscribe to lol. I really enjoyed your post. I’ve been trying to get some professional shots through friends of mine who are semi-experienced photographers and the photos they gave me looked not so good. I want to show them these tips you posted since they apply to regular portraiture too.

  7. Amazing work!!! All the pics tell deep compelling stories of African daily life. On the surface (via print media) we only hear about the negatives and heart-wrenching stories of famine, epidemics and war-torn countries. You pictures tell truly different stories. Human Stories, from the eyes of kids! Thx for sharing.
    With your permission, I’ll definitely repost them!
    dian – san diego

  8. amazing portraits! So much passion behind these. Couldn’t tear my eyes away from these photos for awhile long enough to finally comment! Truly beautiful

  9. In theory, this is information I already know. In theory. The reality is you have beautifully written and illustrated this post so that anyone taking photos can benefit, not just beginners but the more seasoned as well. Great work in both the writing and the photography. Congratulations on being “freshly pressed” today, well deserved.

  10. Excellent. Incredibly engaging and helpful. A perfect balance of technical advice and emotional vitality. The picture of the girl in the school actually affected my heart rate, made me jump, and made my eyes water. No other photograph has ever produced a physical reaction in me.


  11. Congratulations on this wonderful post. I have forwarded this to my son who is travelling through India, with the hope it might be able to learn from your advice. Thanks.

  12. Wonderful tips, and wonderful pictures. I love photography, and I will most definitely use your pointers the next time I travel somewhere. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

  13. You’ve taken some truly beautiful portraits here. I see exactly what you mean about the power of your subject looking directly into the camera, it really speaks to me as a viewer. Happy travels!

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  15. Gorgeous pictures and great tips too! I’m going to keep this post in mind when taking pics of my pups too…thanks! Oh and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  16. Your photos are really gorgeous and I’m impressed that you got many great ones of people! In my experiences, I always feel a little shy asking for a picture. Some cultures seem less open to it than others… any more advice for how to approach people? I especially love the photo with “AC” and the baby.

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  18. I have yet to master portraiture, and as such, feel that the story of my own very cherish nomadic lifestyle is only half told. I often look back through photo blogs and lament that I have only rarely (and inadvertently) captured the peoples of the lands traveled. I hope to put your tips to good use. Thank you and safe travels!

  19. What an interesting article! 🙂
    I rebloged it on my blog – there’s another great photographer in the Photography category.

    Im curious: does this not take away from your immediate experience of the place?
    when the trip is just 3 days is there no danger of it becoming just a photo-taking exercise or is it more reason to preserve memories?

  20. As a Peace Corps volunteer trying to capture some of my experience, I’ve been hoping I would read something like this. I’ve talked with other volunteers, great photographers, but I’ve been waiting for a well said bit of advice like this about getting portraits, which I find so difficult.

    THANKS and congrats on being freshly pressed.

  21. Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing! I love the photos, especially the one of the girl at her school desk with her head in her hand. I like how there is another arm in the foreground that mirrors her pose. Really Beautiful.

  22. Your portaits are absolutely amazing and beautiful. I do a lot of traveling myself and will definately use your tips on my next journey. Thanks so much for the great content.

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  24. Love the photos and thank you for your advice as well! Your photos seemed to take me right in as if I was standing there with you looking at the kids and farmer. I sure miss having a camera after seeing these stunning shots. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! LB

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  26. good tips, thanks! I was wondering do you have any tips on photographing while on a field trip? I find it difficult to multi-task, e.g. both concentrating on the work at hand and photographing at the same time! any suggestions appreciated 🙂

  27. Thanks for the tips. I am sharing them with world traveler friends of mine. I like the first photo…sometimes simplicity opens up the imagination.

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