I’m wrapping up a seven day shoot of the Cook Islands for its tourism authority.

We worked together five years ago and produced a fairly solid promotional library. It was time for a top-up.

While it’s been productive, sadly, we’ve been hampered by inclement weather which has made for a challenging shoot. Still, as you can see, we managed to grab some pretty reasonable shots, mainly built around visitor activities and a clever branding strategy the tourism authority has underway (if you haven’t seen the cute “Katukunga” promotional clip for Love a Little Paradise on YuTube, make the effort. I love it).

I should add, the scenery and arial pics you can see below have all been shot on the new 35mm, F32 prime lens for my medium format camera. And what a staggering quality it produces – delivering a massive, crystal-clear, 110mg file size (it’s almost an injustice to  post these low resolution images on the blog).

I fear I’ll never draw on my 35mm cameras for scenery again.

Anyway, well done team.

Next Stop: Tahiti.





If I was heading to the Cook Islands on a week’s holiday with my partner and I decided to spend it on Rarotonga, I’d either rent a house on the beach with some friends or I’d stay here (above) at Little Polynesian – a charming, boutique property nestled between palm trees on the south coast of the island. The view out across the pool from the restaurant or the rooms says it all. To be able to open the door of your bungalow (I think there’s only 12 in the property, all stylishly appointed, with air con) and take a few steps across a sandy white beach into this incredible lagoon is about as good as its gets if you’re looking for a comfortable, relaxing,  island paradise holiday.

Highly recommended (www.littlepolynesian.com).


It’s been a bit of a frantic shoot, working around inclement weather, but you’d have to say, when the sun’s out (and the fish are biting), its hard not to come back with an appealing picture of the Cook Islands.

Early morning yoga, some ariels, a bit of underwater stuff and, hopefully, some nice light to play with on Muri Lagoon before we wind up the assignment. I’ll post a preview at the end of the shoot.


As a professional travel and tourism photographer, it occurred to me a while back that I would have given anything (within reason, he rushes to add) to have known what I know now – 20 years ago. Oh, I lamented, the time I could have saved, the mistakes I may have avoided and the photographs I might have captured, if only I’d been given the opportunity to learn from the photographer I am today.

It was with this thought in mind, that I started gathering together my battered collection of moleskin notebooks in which I’ve scribbled many of the lessons I’ve learned about travel photography over the years to create a book which I thought might be helpful to the next generation of travel photographers. The book would use the best of the photographs I’ve been fortunate to capture over more than two decades to illustrate some of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Key to its success, I figured, was that it needed to be a book of concise, practical tips which were genuinely likely to fast-track a photographer’s prospects of capturing better photographs, regardless of their level of expertise and experience or the camera they were using. Combined, these pictures and lessons (gems of wisdom, I’d have myself believe) would reveal the approach, the techniques and the circumstances that have contributed to many of my most popular images (without being too technical, I should add).

As I wrote in the introduction, “This book has been created on the simple premise that anyone keen to improve their travel photography is likely to gain from the first-hand experience of a professional travel photographer who has risen to the top of his game and spent the past two decades enthusiastically studying his craft.”

The 200 page book is simply titled: Travel Photography – 100 Top Tips.

With luck, I’ll have finished it by the end of the year and it will be in book stores and available through Amazon in 2017.

Next: The brief and Shot List’s in. I leave on assignment to the Cook Islands tomorrow.


 This photograph proved very successful in attracting attention to the Cook Islands.

I head off into the South Pacific next week on back-to-back assignments, with both clients keen to get some “Hero Shots” of their destinations.

Given I’m shooting The Cook Islands, then Tahiti, I’ll certainly have some stunning backdrops to choose from (assuming good weather, he rushes to add).

So, I thought I’d add a post of what I think a tourism Hero Shot is – and what it takes to capture them.

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