Photo Tips from the Pros

What can I do if the light’s not right?

For 36 years, my husband, photographer and photo editor Bill Reaves, shared the stories of Texas in the pages of Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Highways magazines. I’ve browsed through his photo files, and I’m convinced he personally set foot in every single nook and cranny in the state.

Add his experience to that of the dozens of talented freelance photographers he worked with over the years, and there’s a wealth of photo knowledge out there that I’ll just bet they’re willing to share.

One of the great things about traveling in an RV, is that you have an opportunity to take as much photo gear as you’d like on your road trip. Or, you can just use your pocket camera and take better photos with a few tips from the pros.

I’ll be publishing lots of photos and tips over the coming months, so if you’re enjoying the blog, subscribe and keep in touch! (And send us photos from your RV road trips!)

Today, Bill and I talked about being flexible when trying to get “the shot.”

Photo Tip: Think outside the portrait


Note the harsh shadows across the cowboy’s face. You may need to rethink your shot when the lighting just doesn’t cooperate.

You may want the perfect portrait shot, but find that the light is just too harsh. In the photo of the cowboy, you’ll see that the sunlight is almost directly overhead, and the brim of the cowboy hat casts a dark shadow over the subject’s face.


This tight photo of the worn leather says a lot about the cowboy and his way of life.

There are a couple of solutions here. You can push the hat back from the face and add a little flash fill, or, you can be flexible, and look for another shot. I found that a tight shot of the worn boots, spurs and chaps, said as much about the ranch and its people as the portrait would have. Maybe more.  ~Bill Reaves

Remember, we’d love to see your photos, too!

~ Elaine Acker, Airstream Writer