Differentiating one destination from the next is part of the challenge of being a professional tourism photographer,  and it often comes down to portraying one of three major elements:  The destination’s culture (traditional and contemporary), its most outstanding scenery or features, and the exceptional experiences it has to offer a visitor (of course, once you’ve worked out these elements, the real challenge begins in terms of capturing them in the best light, filling the frame to make the photo appealing to your market, ensuring the right message is being conveyed and just being lucky enough to be there to capture the exceptional experience).

I’d like to think that each of these photographs below reflects several of these elements and satisfies one of the most important criteria for a strong promotional photograph: That it is unique to the destination and that you’ll need to go there to see or experience it for yourself.

Above: The rich tribal culture of Papua New Guinea is one of its most photogenic and distinctive features.

Above: The Huli Wigmen of Papua New Guinea. You’re unlikely to get a more an eye-catching photograph to promote the destination.

Above: Striking a pose in traditional attire in Samoa draws attention to the significance of the country having the oldest Polynesia culture in the South Pacific.

Above: Fire dancing originated in Samoa and it’s a big cultural drawcard to the destination.

Above: Saleh Madain – an ancient structure in the desert – is one of Saudi Arabia’s most distinctive landmarks and tourist drawcards.

Above: Swimming with the Stingrays in Moorea is one of Tahiti’s exceptional experiences

Above: Overwater bungalows have become a signature experience for visitors to Tahiti.

Above: Tahiti has long been a destination for couples.

Above: The traditonal houses in the background and the attire worn by these men, make this photograph distinct to Timor Leste

Above: Swimming with the humpback whales is Tonga’s signature tourist experience.

Above: There is only one place on earth you can go to see this sacred ritual – Malekula Island

Above: Only on Vanuatu’s Pentecost Island can you witness the ancient land diving ritual

Above: Cook Islands: This joy of this photograph has drawn attention worldwide (and its not a sight you’re likely to see anywhere else in the world).

Above: Cook Island girls. Their Polynesian features and dress make them distinctive to the island

Above: Cook Islands: The irredescent blue water and white sand surrounding One Foot Island in Aitutaki is an international drawcard.

Above: Combining the lagoon with the traditional dress of the Cook Islands saw this photo used on the cover of an international sales brochure.

Micronesia: Only in Mirconesia will you see this ancient structure – the photograph made more appealing with locals in traditional dress.

Above. The Golden Temple – clearly a distinctive structure – is one of Myanmar’s biggest drawcards

Above: There’s not many places outside of Australia where you’re likely to see these old Aboriginal drovers.

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A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.




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