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South America

Peru Machu Picchu

Photo by Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Peru changed everything. In 2006, I decided to take my first vacation focused on photography with the Mentor Series sponsored by Popular Photography Magazine.

Before this time I had traveled a lot of miles but not really focused on more than casual snapshot photos during my trips.

My husband Bryan had taken an interest in photography so I thought it would be good to learn from professionals like Dave Black who acted as mentors on the trip.

As we traveled throughout Peru, I learned a lesson to conduct a little research before I set off on these journeys across the globe.

I didn’t realize that it would take planes, trains, and buses to get to the jungle to see Machu Picchu reaching altitudes of 12000 feet above sea level along the way.

I still have no idea how Hiram Bingham found the place.

I showed up on the trip with my trusty $200 Fuji E-900 point and shoot camera that I carried around my wrist while almost everyone else hiked around the ruins with thousands of dollars in professional gear strapped to their backs.

I only took 300 pictures on the ten-day trip which is a slight regret since now when I travel I would have taken 10,000 images for almost any trip.

A few of the photos ended up becoming very important in my photo career.

This is one of the images that I presented at the final slide show of the trip. After feedback, I realized that my images could actually turn out ok even with a small camera and that I really enjoyed taking travel images to try to capture the essence of a place.

I have to thank Mirjam Evers (, our fearless tour leader and wonderful photographer, for providing encouragement throughout the trip when I was intimidated by all the large cameras around me.

Mirjam has become a great friend who I still travel and shoot with on a regular basis.

This photo was taken just after sunrise on the last morning at the ruins.

When we returned home, we decided to upload and sell a few of my images from the trip through a stock agency and this image became very popular appearing in magazines, websites, and travel guides. 

Finding the photo when traveling still provides a thrill and shows me there is interest in my images and point of view.

I was hooked and addiction began in those mountains of Peru.

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