Portraits of Culture – Peoples of Destination

Travelling is about enjoying experiences, either visiting a well known or little visited destination, savouring the journey, relaxing, finding adventure, visiting family, attending a festival or event these are just a few of the multitude of reasons for travelling.

Greek women on the Saronic Island of Spetses in Greece on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Ladies hour

An often quoted reason by travellers is to experience a different culture, to immerse themselves in an alien community.

Berber beggar in the medina of Marrakech, Morocco on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

On the breadline

Artist at work in a church in Lucerne, Switzerland on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Don’t disturb me

The wider this culture gap generally the greater our interest”

Culture often defines a destination and comprises many aspects of the way of life of its people; language, art, social action and interaction, spirituality and perception of their surroundings. These are what attract us to a society, they are different from us and their values differ from ours. The wider this culture gap generally the greater our interest and the more exciting it appears to us.

Local in the Old Town of Sharm el Sheik in Egypt on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

A natural smile

Even within a relatively short distance cultures can be entirely different. The various countries that comprise Europe are ample proof of this, but within a country or even a region of the country there can be contrasting ways of life.

Street vendor selling Swiss food in Lucerne. Switzerland on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Streetside vendor

People are culture and it is always fascinating to meet them, immersing yourself in a society requires getting to know the people; no surprise hopefully. There is not any particular skill required for this or to be especially extrovert. A little friendliness, an open minded attitude and a willingness to engage are all that is needed. Smiling often helps break through any language barriers.

Being allowed access to another society, accepted and made to feel welcome is a privilege we can all enjoy even if only for a short time.

Playing boules in Lucerne, Switzerland on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Enjoying some free time

“memories that come flooding back”

The images of the people that you meet can often portray the culture and character of a destination and provide the strongest memories. Think back to places that you have visited and many of the memories that come flooding back will feature people. A tour guide, fruit seller, local family event if you were really lucky or people at work, portraying people actually involved in daily activities can provide some especially interesting images.

Berber guide in the Kasbah at Toubkal near Ouarzazate in Morocco on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Smiling Berber

Greek local in the Saronic Island of Spetses near Athens on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Full of character

Providing there are not any cultural restrictions, respect of people’s privacy is retained the timing right it is possible to return with plenty of striking images. These often say much more about the destination than any architectural or even landscape picture can.

A candid portrait of a local person smiling naturally, a face full of character maybe enjoying some freetime or going about their daily business. These are the kind of the images that make my trips really special, and why I continue to travel and take photographs.

Tannery at Marrakech in the medina of Morocco on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Working out the hard way

Locals taking a break from the sardana festival in Setcases, Catalonia, Spain on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Just hanging out

I hope you enjoy some of my own special memories of the people that I have met on some recent trips.

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Comments 7

  1. Lisa @chickybus

    I really enjoyed this, Iain. I like the variety of photos and what you had to say about culture and people. It’s definitely what travel is all about; those memories–the ones I have of my interactions with the people–are what I cherish the most.

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      Iain

      Thanks Lisa, it is great meeting all these amazing people and sharing just a moment of their day. They really provide the special memories that I enjoy most, glad you did too 🙂

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      Iain

      Thank you Lisa so glad you liked it, people often make or break a trip I think, so far I have been fortunate that I have not met too many of the latter. Great views, amazing architecture and lively events make special memories but mixing with people in these situations often makes the biggest impact on us.

  2. Andrea

    This is so timely for me! I had just posted on my blog that the pictures I regret not taking are of PEOPLE. Monuments and spaces can be found on post cards and web pages any day. Pictures of the people who made your trip special and made you really feel like you were in another place and culture. Those are invaluable.

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      Iain

      Thank you Andrea I really hope it inspires you to take a few more pictures of people, they really are the heart and soul of a destination and bring back so many memories when you look at them later. Seeing a wonderful sunset is great but being able to interact with the people and just get involved with the community a little makes the travelling experience that little bit more special for me.

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