I’m excited. The Vanuatu Tourism Organisation (VTO) has just signed up one of its staff for a mentoring program I established this year for emerging photographers in the South Pacific.
Alcina Charlie (pictured on the left) is the first student in the program which is jointly sponsored by the national tourism authority.
Alcina has accompanied me on two assignments of Vanuatu already and has showed great promise and particular initiative. It’s testament to both the eye she is developing and her ability that I could easily sprinkle into my presentation several of the pictures she captured from the last shoot we did together and I doubt anyone would know the difference.
Technologies have advanced and the VTO has invested in a compact camera that can rival most 35mm professional cameras which I’ve been teaching Alcina to use. As I’ve written before, 70% of the photographs I capture for a destination’s promotional library can be shot by someone with the right camera, a trained eye and the know-how needed to process the pictures to international standards. Training Pacific islanders to do this, while strengthening the promotional photo libraries of the tourism authorities I work with, is the objective of the mentoring program I’ve launched.
Key points in the program include developing an eye for capturing promotional images, understanding what is required of travel and tourism photographs in the international marketplace, shooting and processing photographs to professional standards and managing your national tourism authority’s photo library. Importantly, a component of the program is also devoted to recording the host country’s traditional culture and its unique rituals.
Training will be intense when we travel together (field work in the day, revision and homework at night) and I will provide remote support and guidance to Alcina where required on an on-going basis.
Its a positive initiative – credit to everyone in the VTO for embracing it – one which I’m hopeful will be taken up and shared by emerging photographers and tourism authorities throughout the region.
… but all this said Alcina, given the quality of your shots already, I wouldn’t be standing too close to the edge of that volcano the next time you’re up there with me.