TTIM 38 – Rediscovering Empathy with Jacquelyn Quinones

Jacquelyn QuinonesIs technology killing our empathy?

This is the question Jacquelyn Quinones asked during her recent TEDx talk in Paris. This is a question that we, as travel photographers, should ask ourselves every day.

Technology lets us travel fast and almost always comfortably to remote places. It enables us to take thousands of photos of people from different countries and alien cultures. It invites us to share those photos on the Web with our followers. But in the end, aren’t many photographers treating their subjects as if they were animals in a zoo? What is the story behind the portrait of a woman from the farthest reaches of Borneo? Where is the respect? Where is the empathy?

I discussed these topics with Jacquelyn in a conversation that was, for once, devoid of geekery and totally focused on how we can change our approach to technology for the better.

A visionary in technological communication, Jacquelyn has traveled the world studying the interconnectedness of humanity. Having spent over a decade decoding the human plight through storytelling, the reimagining of emotional experiences piqued her curiosity of the psyche – specifically the effects of technology on the human experience. She began an inquiry into the significance of honesty and empathy in the world of easy online communication. The accelerated innovation of new technologies, proliferation of social media, and ease and convenience of superficial communication led her to question, “Is technology killing our empathy?” In 2015 she founded BANDYD LLC, a revolutionary social media platform born out of her desire to reinvent technological communication and promote interconnectedness.

Duration 37m 56s.

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TTIM 37 – Travel Writing with Lori Allen

Lori Allen

It’s not a secret that I believe writing is an essential skill for travel photographers. I discussed this in episode 21 with Jens Lennartsson, especially with respect to how travel writing can help photographers make a profit and sell their work to magazines and websites more effectively.

So when I learned about Great Escape Publishing and their programs for aspiring travel writers, I contacted their director, Lori Allen and asked her to come on the show and talk to us about it.

Lori is the Director and Creator of Great Escape Publishing, formerly the Travel Division at the American Writers & Artists Inc (AWAI).  She joined AWAI in October 2000 as a marketing manager and quickly fell in love with their course on travel writing.  “It was about more than getting paid to take free vacations,” she said.  “It was about traveling in a better way… seeing the world as an untourist… and selling stories that go into magazines and newspapers around the country making all our best travel experiences eternal.  Sometimes we spend more time planning a trip than we do actually enjoying it.  But with travel writing and travel photography, our memories live forever and they come with the prestige of knowing that others will relive our memories vicariously, too.  And hey… the perks sure are great, too.”  It’s been 13 years since Lori convinced AWAI to let her start her own division around this idea.   Today, Great Escape publishes myriad books, report, online programs and guides on getting paid to travel.  They also host live events around the world where you can try each of their ideas first hand.  Their upcoming travel writing workshop in New Orleans will be their 133rd live event with expeditions in Mexico and Tanzania still to come this year and adventures in Botswana, Namibia, Thailand, Cuba and Jordan in 2017.

If you ever thought of getting into travel writing and using it to make your photography more saleable, but you don’t think you have the necessary skills, I encourage you to listen to my interview with Lori.

Duration 42m 54s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


Expert Roundup – Travel Photography Challenges

Travel Photography Challenges

Travel photography is a genre that can be very demanding and presents numerous challenges to its practitioners. Issue of money, time, distance, safety and others need to be dealt with, if one wants to see and photograph foreign locations.

I have asked some of the foremost travel photography experts and former guests of the podcast to tell us what are the greatest challenges they face in their job and how they overcome them. If you are facing some of these challenges yourself, I am sure you will be able to find solutions in the answers below.

I am planning to make expert roundups a regular feature of the site, first on a monthly basis, that I hope readers will appreciate greatly, so stay tuned for further episodes. (more…)

TTIM 36 – Exploring The Wilderness with Jay Patel

Jay PatelI have been wanting to interview Jay Patel for quite some time, but Jay is a rather busy person, what with having to manage a photography business that is expanding in various directions, running a popular website, traveling, and on top of it all, being the father of a large family.

I finally managed to corner him in between trips to Iceland and Hawaii and of course wanted to know all about the land of fire and ice and his adventure chasing puffins and waterfalls. We also talked about what it takes to photograph the wilderness and I managed to extract from him some elements of his secret recipe for making a living out of photographing nature.

Another topic that is close to my heart and to Jay’s is that of conservation and we couldn’t help but dedicate some time to exploring ways in which photographers can help saving our planet.

Here is how Jay describes himself:

“I can start off like this – “Seeds of Jay Patel’s appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in his childhood….” but it would get boring really fast. I will just sum it up and say that I am a Landscape and Wilderness Photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. My photographs have been published in various magazines, calendars and advertising materials throughout the world.”

Duration 33m 17s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 35 – Finding Simplicity with Viktor Elizarov

Viktor ElizarovSometimes we are so taken up with the latest camera or lens, with pixel-peeping, and with learning the latest and greatest blending technique for Photoshop that we lose sight of some of the things that really matter when doing photography. I personally think that the greatest benefit that travel photography affords us is the joy of being there in the moment. If this is spoiled by having to fiddle with the complicated controls of the latest camera we bought, that we didn’t have the time to familiarize with and that we carried inside a heavy backpack to reach our destination, then it’s maybe better to stay at home.

I discussed this topic with Viktor Elizarov, who has made simplification is mantra.

Viktor is travel, landscape photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada. For years Viktor has worked as a designer in a range of areas from graphic design and web design to multimedia design and broadcast design. But in the last decade, he made a transition to photography. He runs the popular travel photography blog, Photo Traces, where he shares his experiences as a travel photographer and also teaches the different aspects of travel photography.

Duration 33m 20s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 34 – Finding Your Artist’s Voice with Karen Hutton

Karen HuttonIt is always a great pleasure for me to converse with Karen Hutton. There is never a dull moment and she has so many stories to tell! For this episode of the podcast, I asked her to collect her best memories from her recent trip across Europe and from her “artists’ retreat” in Provence.

Karen Hutton is an International Landscape and Travel Photographer, Artist, Speaker, Author, Educator, Voice. She has over 2 million followers on social media; with over 11 billion views of her photographic work. She is a Professional Fujifilm-X Photographer and has been featured in Talks at Google, Photo Plus Expo and on Stuck in Customs, TWiP, Macphun Software,, The Grid, Rick Sammon’s DPE Podcast.  Karen lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. You can find her at

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact topic of our conversation, because we talked about so many things, but I think the central theme of it was the many ways of finding one’s voice through art and of discovering one’s true self by traveling.

Somehow, we also found the time to explore more geeky topics, like photo equipment, software, the Internet and social media, so there’s a little bit of everything for everyone in this interview. Enjoy!

Duration 37m 50s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 33 – Paying It Forward In Nicaragua with Darlene Hildebrandt

Darlene Hildebrandt

If you’ve been following this podcast for some time, you will have certainly noticed that one of the recurring themes here is that of giving back, of using photography to effect some real change in the world and to benefit the communities that we visit when we travel.

This was the central point of Episode 25 with John Butterill, of Episode 14 with Anna Tenne, and of Episode 13 with Ralph Velasco.

I was very happy then, when I contacted Darlene Hildebrandt, asking for an interview, and she told me about her involvement with the people of the El Limonal community in Nicaragua. We immediately agreed that our conversation would be focused on that and, more in general, on the various ways in which travel photographers can do more than just come, snap some pictures and leave.

Darlene is the creator of Digital Photo Mentor. She has been a professional photographer for over 26 years, and photography educator since 2011. Darlene provides valuable articles on her site, has a free ebook, and offers online photography courses, as well as photography travel tours. Her next tour is to Nicaragua in November where you can participate in giving back to the communities there by working with the locals, and a kids photography group. 

Listen to my interview with Darlene, if you want to know more about Nicaragua and how you can help, if so inclined.

Duration 30m 48s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 32 – Japan and Namibia with Martin Bailey

Martin Bailey

Raise your hand if you don’t know Martin Bailey. Besides being a great nature and wildlife photographer, a fantastic educator and Arcanum master, a keen traveler, a prolific author, and an X-Rite Coloratti member, he’s also the host of one of the longest running photography podcasts, having been continuously on the air for 11 years.

Fueled by his passion for nature and travel, and a tireless desire to share his knowledge and artistic vision, Martin is a popular international tour and workshop leader, helping photographers from around the world to see and capture the wonders of this awesome planet we call home.

It was therefore a great pleasure and honor for me to be able to interview Martin for my podcast and I am confident you too will appreciate his insights, if you listen to this episode.

Duration 38m 05s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 31 – Cycling Across Europe with Clint Burkinshaw

Clint Burkinshaw

Clint Burkinshaw, a Travel Photographer from South Australia, grew up spending most of his time engrossed in sport and the beach. That was until he started looking elsewhere to expand his mind further from the life that he knew and was content with, and turned to a map of the world. He was not a hundred percent sure yet of what he was to get from it, but in 2005 he tested the waters by taking off for several months and headed towards Europe where he hit the road and backpacked through well over a dozen countries before returning home. Little did he know, this was just the tip of the iceberg and just a taste of what was in store for him.

In the following years, Clint spent many months on the road, visiting South America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe numerous times. The year 2016 sees him and his wife cycling across Europe one more time, from St. Petersburg to the Baltics, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland and France.

I have been following this trip for a while, waiting for Clint to settle down for a few days and to get an opportunity to interview him. This finally happened when he was taking a few days’ rest in Zakopane, Poland, and this episode is the outcome of that conversation. If you want to learn what pushes Clint to travel, have a listen!

Duration 33m 39s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 30 – On The High Mountains with Erin Babnik

Erin Babnik

Some people explore the world right and left, north and south. Others, like my guest for this episode, Erin Babnik, prefer to explore it by going up and down and by climbing the peaks of the Alps or of the Californian Sierras to capture some amazing photographs of the high mountains.

Erin is a full-time landscape photographer, writer, and educator based out of California and Slovenia. She teaches photography workshops worldwide and shares her ideas about photography through articles for popular photography publications and through public speaking engagements. Her dedication to the medium of photography evolved out of her years working as an art historian, photographing at archaeological sites and in museums throughout Europe and the Middle East for the purposes of teaching and research. She subsequently spent years producing photographs on assignment and for licensing, all the while expanding her personal photographic excursions to increasingly remote outdoor locations. Erin draws upon her background in art history in bringing a deep knowledge of aesthetics, visual communication, and cultural relevancy to her own photographic work and to her writing. Her photographs have appeared in well over a hundred publications, including books, travel guides, magazines, newspapers, and television shows. Erin is also a member of the illustrious nature photography team Photo Cascadia.

We discussed with Erin what is important when considering mountain photography and what are the similarities and differences between the mountain regions of the New and of the Old World.

Duration 32m 56s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!