Travel Photography with Smartphones

John Burcham contemplates space and gravity at horseshoe bend of the colorado.

Join Stephen Alvarez in Santa Fe March 26-31 to explore what your smartphone can do. More information here.

“You took that picture with a smartphone?” National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez gets asked that question all the time. Yes, and after using the camera in his phone to capture the seven natural wonders of the world, he realized that it offers some real advantages. There is something absolutely freeing about leaving behind a big, bulky camera and relying solely on one that fits in your pocket.

Through a lively mix of outdoor assignments, lectures, field trips, and discussion, Stephen leads participants in an overview of smartphone photography while exploring the wonders of Santa Fe—a beautiful, historic city with a cultural depth that makes it the perfect setting for our workshop.

Felix Liyali runs across Livingston Island Zambia to catch up with his clients who are headed to Devil’s Pool

We delve into the basics of the craft: composition, when and where to set up our photographs, and the best methods for approaching people. Stephen leads discussions on the unique challenges and opportunities inherent in the medium, including how in-phone applications can be used to alter our images after they’ve been taken and creating work for—and publishing on—social media.

Salvador Perucho fires rockets in front of the remains of San Juan Parangaricutiro Church. These oversized rockets are used everywhere in rural Mexico. The mark celebrations, church services, fiestas.

The best camera in the world is the one that’s in your hand when the photograph happens. For many of us, that camera is going to be a smartphone!

– See more at:

About the author

Stephen Alvarez is a photographer and frequent commentator on the role technology and photography play in our interconnected world. He is founder and director of the Ancient Art Archive (