Travel Photography – Focus on the People

I was searching through some images last night and as I was making my way through my Cambodia collections the thought occurred to me that I had a lot of casual people pictures.  Every one of them made me feel more connected to the country and the time that I spent there.  Loving to travel, as I do, I think it is important to document everything I see.  Not just the touristy things like monuments and temples (believe me when I tell you that I have more than my fair share of those).  I think to really improve your travel photography you should include the people and the culture that embody the true spirit of the country.  There is no one better at this than my buddy Vincent Versace.  Vincent recently returned from a trip to India (thankfully before all Hell broke loose) and when he posted images from his travels on Flickr, there were few if any pictures of the scenery.  It seems as though he spent his entire time just shooting the people of India.

The thing is that you can tell so much about the country from the faces of those that live and work there.  So next time you travel to some exotic location, or even not so exotic, keep an eye out for the real monuments, the people.

Here’s a few that I rounded up from my trip to Cambodia. (Click on the images for a larger view)


  1. Nice shots Jeff – That shot of the Monk at the temple is one of my favorites of your work?

  2. James Walker says:

    Yep, people are unique the world over.

    That would be a great project, a picture of every single person on Planet Earth on a single day, or month. “We are planet Earth……”

    Hmmm, logistically challenging but still interesting…

    Freiburg, Germany

  3. Jeff – I have been guilty of zeroing in on the landscapes and buildings of the places I have had a chance to visit, but have been almost totally oblivious of the people. One of my favorite photos from Costa Rica is of a little girl with ger brother on a playground swing — my wife took it. This is a great reminder of what is truly memorable.


    Bill Rahling

  4. Once again, your photography amazes me. You are so right and I am going to focus on such stuff if I can ever travel again.

  5. Jeff,
    Great photography. You are right, people photography does bring you closer to the people and the environment. I was on a mission to Honduras last year and spent a lot of time shooting the kids and some adults. Great memories also.


  6. Nice pictures! But the picture with monk really caught my attention. He’s like waiting for something that will come but he’s unsure of what that is. Thanks for the great work!

  7. Love your photos. It’s so much more meaningful to see the country’s people – especially for my grandchildren.

    Do you need to get a photo release from these people so you can publish them? I’ve been avoiding people because of the release issue.


  1. Craft&Vision says:

    When you travel, focus on the people

  2. RT @CraftAndVision: When you travel, focus on the people

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Daniel Friedli, Craft&Vision. Craft&Vision said: When you travel, focus on the people […]

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