What’s missing in our travel photography? Quite a lot, really, but one of the worst of our faults would be a ridiculously small number of travel photos with people in them. We have great images of landscapes, historic sites, and architecture, but where are the people?
Steamboat Springs, Colorado, 2012: On trips with family, we end up relying on taking photos of them. Notice how adding a person to the photo tells the story of the record-breaking snowfall?
Whistler, BC, Canada 2011: Who would have guessed just how large this tree was without the human scale?
Halloween, Arlington, Virginia, 2008: We’re happy for those festive occasions – like Halloween and parades – when folks have gone to great lengths to dress in costume and are happy to have their effort rewarded with a photo taken.
Iceland, 2011: An easy way to capture someone’s image is to wait for them to become distracted – when a photographer is the least of their concerns.
Istanbul, Turkey, 2009: At a tourist site, most people are fine with being photographed as “background” in the crowd.
Tokyo, Japan, 2013: At some tourist sites, photographing staff who take part in the exhibit is expected. Lucky break for us!
Photographing people is truly an art form, especially when done with respect to their privacy. We’ve struggled with how to do this. Some people clearly don’t want their photo taken or (we fear) will demand money (which we’re not willing to pay).
Yangshuo, China, 2013: Others have surprised us and indicated they’d be honored to have their photo taken – like this man in the Yangshuo market.
On our upcoming trip to South America, we’ll make a concerted effort to photograph more people. We haven’t figured out exactly how that will happen. Let’s just say that for now, we know our weakness, and our goal is to improve.