More Than Snapshots & Postcards

There's nothing wrong with postcards or snapshots, but most of us want more than that when we're traveling with photography in mind. We want images that express something, that are more powerful or evocative than your usual snapshot, and that takes being much more intentional in our approach.

Take a moment to watch this video (above) and consider how you can make stronger photographs by going deeper and by consistently putting yourself in the right place at the right time no matter where in the world you find yourself. Some of the priorities I share are a little counter-intuitive at first but they've changed the way I make photographs. Not only are my photographs stronger, and more authentic to me, but I enjoy my travels so much more.

Did you miss the first video, Have Camera, Will Travel? You can see it here.

In a couple more days I'll send you an email and let you know the 3rd video has been posted. It's called What If I Bring the Wrong Gear? It's not really about the gear, it's about some of the fears we face as we travel and photograph, and how to disarm those fears or see them from a different perspective.

Every year I get more and more people wanting to learn the kinds of things I teach on my workshops and every year I do fewer and fewer of them. But you can still learn the same approach I teach in those workshops, and in a couple more days I'll tell you how.

Got questions about travel photography? Leave them in the comments and lets discuss it.

For the Love of the Photograph,

David duChemin


  1. This post highlights the desire for more meaningful and intentional travel photography beyond just snapshots. It emphasizes the importance of being in the right place at the right time and shares insights that have improved the author’s photography. The mention of upcoming videos adds anticipation for more valuable tips. It’s evident that the author’s passion for photography shines through in their teaching. Looking forward to the next video!

  2. Thank you so much David for reminding us of all these points! I am going to Lanzarote next week with a group of photographers. So your videos come just in time for me! Have a good day! Beate

  3. Saw this video of yours a few years back and it’s just a great reminder for all of us. When I go to a foreign town i rely on my GPS to allow me the ability to get lost. To get lost is the best advice any traveling photographer can get. There are places in Old Delhi that no tourist goes to and you get to immerse yourself in the culture to a degree that no tour will ever approach. Wander until your feet hurt is my motto.

    The only city that I’ve ever been to that this advice is not good for is Fez in Morocco. Goggle maps has not mapped the 14K + streets. Even the guides get lost so it’s not probably good advice for a nighttime stroll there.

    Love to get lost with you on a workshop one day when you are up to traveling with a group again.


  4. I see the time stamp on these videos and the responses was from 2 years ago… but the advice is timeless… You talk about “Iconic”, Joe McNally has an interesting chapter on this topic in his book, “The Real Deal”…. As I watched the video I kept looking beyond you David… I was drawn to the mud flats on the river bank and all its wonderful texture… and even more so to some of the articles (perhaps clothing) that was embedded in the mud… the best time for an image would be when you have the light that provides the necessary contrast to reveal all those indents in the riverbank and the colour in the discarded clothing… Cheers… Thanks for sharing your wisdom…

  5. Thankyou for sharing your insights and musings . Currently working my way though your travelling lens course and enjoying. Just can’t wait to travel the world again but anywhere I can wander with my camera is a good day(even if its the backyard)

  6. I’ve read your book “The Heart of the Photograph,” and I am halfway through “The Soul of the Camera.” Your advice is excellent and valuable. I have downsized my day-to-day kit, first to a Fuji x100v but now to a Sony A7C with a few small primes. Due to the pandemic, I am not traveling soon, but I am applying your thoughts to where I live and where I work. “A Willingness to Surrender” is good, there are stories to tell and images to capture everywhere. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Great advice. I also ask locals about their favorite places. Talk about getting lost and getting surprised! Thanks again for sharing your wonderful insights.

  8. This is an unabashed fan letter. These two videos have been spot on in both message and tone. Your whole approach to photography is inspiring to me. I’ve now read three of your books. You are able to address the somewhat esoteric aspects of photography without sounding pedantic or condescending. Your voice speaks to me and I look forward to more of you in books, video or whatever.

  9. Thank you so much! You are right when you go to a new place by the time you get better acclimated it’s time to leave. Thanks for your insight and inspiration!

  10. Before you get lost, find out where the high crime areas are and either stay away or go with an escort or two. Another way to checkout a place you never been to is use Google Earth. It gives you a visual picture of the location. Then of course search the internet for information before you go. In some countries it is against the law to do what we call “street photography”. Find out before it is to late.

  11. Thank you so mucho for sharing these videos. They are inspiring and invite us to think and feel much more what we photograph. What you do is very important and valuable. Thanks so much for sharing I´m a big fan.

  12. I always enjoy your musings and advice. Not only do you encourage putting personal expression into our images, including sharing your knowledge of the principles of picture-making, but you allow us to compose by intuition rather than by rule or by convention.

  13. Thank you David. Thank you very much. Great advice. Always learning with your videos

  14. I subscribed to the Traveling Lens last year and absolutely loved it. I have all the videos downloaded onto my iPad and watch them over and over again whenever I have a few spare minutes.

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