The Cook Islands Tourism Corporation is the latest tourism authority in the South Pacific to commission us to build them an on-line Photo Library (below) to distribute their promotional images worldwide.

The self-managed Photo Library is expected to be officially launched to the county’s local tourism industry shortly but, in the meantime, hundreds of high resolution promotional photographs are now available internationally to travel agents, travel media, publishers and tourism stakeholders promoting the Cook Islands.

The library is the first project to be delivered from a new association our company has begun building with tourism authorities throughout the region which will see them gaining virtually free access to the hundreds of photographs available in our own commercial photo library at The asssociation will also provide local tourism operators in the country with access to the library at a substantially reduced rate.

For details of the features we’ve added to the photo libraries we build, read below:

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Welcome to 2018 – a year I’m looking forward to working with all of our clients to deliver some world-class promotional photographs and projects.

A new year, and a better deal is what we’re offering tourism authorities in 2018, with eight new benefits and services being added to our standard 10 day photography package at the same competitive price.

Click below for a simple summary of what our new business model is offering in 2018.

For further details, drop me an e-mail at or get in touch on 0417993792 for a chat.

Without doubt, 2017 has been the year of the drone – though there’s been some appealing images captured on the ground and underwater as well.

Following is a short preview of some of the photographs that stood out from last year’s assignments.

Click on the panel below to see some of the pics that made the cut in 2017.


A few tips for photographers to start the new year: Part of the reason I produce this selection of images at the end of each year is to review my work over the past 12 months and consider ways to improve my photography. To this end, I run through the photos posted on my blog to look for what’s worth repeating and –  importantly – consider what I could do better or differently in future.

Here’s five important things I do to prepare myself for the year ahead:

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As a tourism photographer, it’s important to nurture and refine your sense of aesthetics – to see beauty (and hopefully capture it) everywhere you look.

I’m often grateful my profession encourages this in me – whether I have a camera in my hand or not.

So, what a pleasure it was to stumble across this promotional video for Taj Hotels, Palaces Resorts Safaris (click below).

Just look at how their (admittedly stunning) properties have been shot. Obviously, to visit here is an exceptional holiday experience but the sense of aesthetics used to capture it is sublime. It’s an exquisite example of successfully balancing product and emotion into a desire to go there.

If you have a few minutes, have a look. Top shelf.

…..(I’ll have to drop them a line in 2018 and see if they need a stills photographer).

It’s a testament to the beauty and appeal of the Cook Islands that, even during the rainy season (when 23 out of the 26 days I’ve just spent photographing them have been either raining or overcast), the destination can still gift you with a portfolio of images like these (below).

This is my last assignment for what has been a particularly turbulent year (with Saturn returning and Donald Trump still at the helm), but it ends with me rejuvenated and excited by my plans to build the largest commercial photo library on the entire South Pacific (

There is much that will come from the library which I am confident will benefit the region,  including a shared commitment with national tourism authorities to my long-held passion to record the region’s disappearing traditional cultures.

To my family and friends who are familiar with my travails, and to those I don’t know who have begun following me on my new Facebook page at David Kirkland Photography, let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours all the best over the festive period and for the year ahead.

There are many great photographs still to be captured in this most fascinating part of the world ……..and I look forward to returning mid February to try and lay claim to at least a few of them.

My three week assignment in the Cook Islands combined a destination shoot for the national tourism authority with a shoot of the island nation’s premier resort property – Pacific Resort, Aitutaki.
Following is a short preview of some of the photographs captured of the later (I’ll post a preview of the tourism shoot to end the year).

Resort drawcards: Generous, well appointed rooms, tropical gardens, friendly staff, a Belgium chocolate drink infused with chilli and coconut oil to die for, and its vicinity to one of the most amazing lagoons on the planet (which, for those who are curious, will cost you upwards of AUS$1,000 a night).

Photographer’s Tip: While it’s important to shoot a range of what I call “inventory shots” of a resort property (necessary shots that tell a story about the standard of the resort, its rooms, its facilities, the staff and the food etc), it’s also important to identify the singular reason people are likely to want to come to the property in the first place, and strongly associate it with that feature. In this case, it’s the fact that the property sits as close as you can get to stunning Aitutaki Lagoon.
While the aerial photographs of the lagoon’s islands captured with the drone will undoubtedly warrant attention, I think some of the strongest pictures to promote the property are those shot from directly above it which show the vicinity of the villas you’ll be staying in to the white, sand-beach and the incredible water you’ll be stepping in to.

All of the ariel photographs were shot on the Phantom 4 Pro. Iso 100,F4.5 @1/120).

For some candid insights into the seemingly glamorous, often challenging but generally rewarding life of a world-wandering tourism photographer, visit my Facebook page at David Kirkland Photography.