Photography Tips From Our Experts
Photo: Norway
This image captures Norwegian mountains through the windows of a hut.
Photo by Dan Westergren

How to Shoot a Portrait

"Getting close to people is the best way to get close to a culture. The camera is a great tool for meeting people. I've found that in every country there are folks who love to be photographed. But there are secrets," says Catherine Karnow, who has been shooting for 20 years. Those secrets include:

• Take the time to develop relationships with people and the land.

• Focus on common experiences—love, family, friends, death, celebration—and appreciate the cultural differences.

• Keep your camera discreet, always ask permission, and photograph people unposed, ideally involved in a typical setting.

• Learn a dozen words of the local language. 'Please' and 'thank you' are good places to start. And be sure to smile.

• Learn as much as you can about a place before visiting and always respect local customs. If you're not wanted, quietly leave and move along to the next photo opportunity.

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