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My (completely unorthodox) take on travel photography

Before I profess to know anything about good travel photography, or photography in general, I will humbly acknowledge that among this blog’s readers are some very talented and, yes, professional photographers. I, on the other hand, am a gal who likes to take pictures. Ridiculously large numbers of them, too.

This photo, taken at the Fantasy Fountains water show at Enchanted Forest on our last road trip (read more about the Enchanted Forest here) is by no means technically perfect. But I like it. And since having come across it last night, it has stuck with me for two reasons. The first is that I think it’s a fun photo to share as part of Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday, and the second reason is that I was having so much fun as I took it.

In fact, I was having as much fun if not more fun watching my kids and hubby watching the water show as I was having watching the water show itself. Tim often asks me why we come back from family outings and vacations with so many pictures of people’s backs? His back especially, and often the girls’ backs as well. Now, sometimes, even the baby’s back. It’s a good question. Just look at the lead photo from my last blog post on Fort Funston and you will see a good example of this.

My excuse? Just like at the water show, I enjoy watching my family taking in new places and experiences. And while I also love to get some nice pictures with their sunny smiling faces, as many of you know telling a kid to stop and “Smile!” for the camera in the middle of a new exciting discovery is tantamount to removing a toe nail with a can opener—and the facial expressions usually match.

For me, it is a powerful experience to look back through some of our travel photos and be able to see my kids rediscovering things just as they truly did the moment they happened upon them. And to feel again in my legs and toes what it was like to watch from where I stood as we took it all in together. Sure, I take my fair share of attempted postcard shots as well, and in spite of my sneaky “hip shots,” I can be heard shouting “Smile!” on plenty of occasions.

But these are often the photos I treasure most in the end.

It’s been a big month at my house, and you may have noticed an ebb in the flow of blog posts—first teeth, first day of kindergarten, first ballet lessons, arm-wrestling matches over final travel plans, and visits from three grandmothers have made for glorious interruptions in my usual daily routines, and I offer no apologies. 😉

I’ve also been working on some exciting new things I’ll be sharing next month. In the mean time, if you haven’t stopped by the spanking new Travels with Baby page on facebook, please do. Fans get extremely good travel karma–and quite possibly some other great things to come.



Safe journey,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning guide Travels with Baby