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Why we take photos

Categories: Travel Photography

A return ticket to a moment otherwise gone

What souvenirs do you bring back from your travels?

I used to try to bring back something for all those closest to me whom I’d left behind. I’ve gradually backed off from that. Partly because, if I brought something for everyone, they’d have to be so small (size and dollar-wise), partly because they didn’t really mean much to the recipients anyways, and partly, I suppose, because I don’t like shopping at the best of times, and certainly not spending my precious travel time shopping.

But I do always bring back something for myself from every country, usually a T-shirt. That’s something that stays with me for a few years, reminding me of the trip. It also sometimes becomes a conversation piece so that I can brag up the trip to others.

Plus, I bring home a lot of photos. “Click now, delete later,” is my mantra. “Since the film is free, might as well fill it up,” a friend of mine once said.

I suppose most of us take a lot of photos. Some of us take great ones, some not so great. I mostly get the latter, but sometimes luck out on the former. But it doesn’t really matter, does it? Because most of us don’t take photos to sell or to win competitions with.

Another friend posted this with her recent photo from Morocco: “We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.”

I like that. I think that really reflects why we take photos. They’re for us–a lot more than for those whom we show them to on our return. Thanks, Vanessa, for that great line!

Here’s a few of my “return tickets.”

That said, we’re all proud when we do get the “great shot,” right? And most of us wish we were better at it. That is why we are planning to have a professional photographer aboard some of our West Adventures tours, to help us capture our return tickets, get that right angle for the best shot and give us pointers to all become better photographers.

If you had the choice between a tour with a professional photographer on board and one without, which would you choose?

Got a great photo to submit? Along with a short story that goes with it? Submit it and we’ll try to print one or two of the best.

Did you know?

Canada has about 60% of the world’s lakes. No wonder most of the iconic photos from Canada include a lake: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Peyto Lake, Maligne Lake, Emerald Lake, and many others!