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More than just a Photo Contest!

Our younger travellers may not remember the days of cameras that used film, but please indulge me for a moment as I trip down memory lane!  Who of you remembers travelling with packages of film?  Did you pack your shoes with film? Did you stress over whether or not you had bought enough and the right speed? What if you ran out? Would film be easily accessed in foreign countries?

Whatever camera or film you used, there was the process and a bit of pride involved in how quickly and efficiently you could whip out the used film cartridge and load a new roll. Then once you arrived home, the big question would be, do I print the pictures and make scrapbooks or produce slides?  How many of you are like me with a cupboard full of old scrapbooks and slides?  While those days are long gone, however, the need to preserve our precious memories is still alive and well! The good news is that with today’s cameras, we can instantly up load our photos keeping family and friends in the loop as we journey. We can also save these pictures in rotating slide frames or online which will allow us to share them easily with family, friends and fellow travellers all over the world.

Every year, Wells Gray Tours hosts a photo contest through Facebook. The reason we do this is twofold; one it’s an opportunity to win travel dollars for your next trip and more importantly, it’s a great way for our clients to share their memories with other travellers.

Photos are great reminders of the places we have been, the memories we made, the people we travelled with, good food we ate and different culture we experienced.  Photos capture a moment in time on our journeys and help us remember the feelings, smells or simply the excitement of being in that moment. We all view the world around us differently which is often reflected in the pictures we take. Hosting a Facebook Photo Contest provides a great venue for all of our travellers to share their special pictures with those that were on the journey and with other travellers who may have interest in a particular destination.

Here are some things to remember when taking photos:

  1. Photography makes you more aware of the environment:  When you are looking to take a picture you are often more aware of lighting, the uniqueness of buildings or the faces of the locals. I love to take pictures of the local people I meet and interact with on my journeys. For example, in Bhutan our group shared our picnic lunch with a local couple caring for their grandchild. The feeling for all of us was the reward of sharing and for the receivers, one of gratitude and joy.  Please note: Whenever taking pictures of local people you should ask their permission, some may ask for money.


In Antarctica the challenge of shaping a picture of a penguin in flight kept me out on the ships deck watching the shoreline. Keeping my eyes open for that magical moment, my determination allowed me to witness the terrain at first light, glaciers rolling by and an abundance of wildlife.


  1. Photos help you remember:  I now keep all my images online in photo albums that organize them automatic by date, love the fact there is no more pasting with glue and big albums or slide trays to store.  When I am thinking about a person I met along the way, within seconds I can literally pull up that image and take a step back in time to the moment that interaction took place. Nothing jogs your memory better than photos that you took yourself.
  2. Friends, family and fellow travellers will actually want to see your vacation photos:  I remember going to friend’s homes for an epic long evening of viewing their vacation slide show, Do you? Today, those evenings are a distant memory. I like to see what my friends and family are doing but I love the fact I can do it online when it is convenient for me or I can follow along in the footsteps of their journey.

So keep taking pictures, pay attention to your surroundings, take the shot and share them with loved ones and Wells Gray Tours. You could be our next big winner!

You can view and vote for your favorite entry on the Wells Gray Tours Facebook page.  


Written by: Joan Niemeier