Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California

By Lee Foster

Via AAA blog has just published my 7 Best Photo Ops in the West. See this on their website at


Via AAA magazine/website/blog continues to be one of the most prominent publishers of travel content in Northern California and the West. They have more than 5.7 million members in their NorCal auto club alone. Their publications also get distributed to AAA members in Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska

Via has exclusive use of my text for 120 days, so I will post it here after August 1. Click on the link (above) now to their website/blog to see the project in its entirety.

Meanwhile, here is an outline of the subjects I selected, plus my photo illustrating the concept.

Best Photo Ops in the West

By Lee Foster 



-1 The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands

The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands

-2. Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View

Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California


-3. Colors of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area 

Colorful Rock at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, Near Las Vegas


-4. Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah


-5. The Grand Canyon from the South Rim 

Grand Canyon from the South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

-6. The Giant Saguaro Cactus Forest

The Cactus Forest at Saguaro National Park, near Tucson


-7. Mysterious Islands at Crater Lake

Phantom Island in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon



  1. I reply here to a comment sent from Chris Behrend

    Chris Behrend wrote:

    Mr.Foster, First let me say that I found your article to be inspiring and terribly informative. I have just recently started to consider travel photography as part of my photography income. I love travel and have quite an extensive library. I’m at a juncture in my career making decisions. I’m building a new website that will better reflect the more specific areas I want to concentrate on. You discuss in your article that you have sold photos to LONELY PLANET, SMITHSONIAN, and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. What kind of approach and methods showing samples of my work do you suggest i use to contact magazines of that caliber?
    Thanks for any suggestions you have.

    Lee Foster replied:

    Chris, thanks for your note. It is good to learn of your interest in a travel photography career. Here are some steps to keep in mind:

    -1 Keep developing your resource, both your photography in the field and your ability to process it properly and put in the metadata etc, probably with Adobe PhotoShop or Lightroom.

    -2 Get your travel photography organized in a selling structure that you control and that photo editors can easily access to download images. The best structure I am aware of is from PhotoShelter.

    Look at my http://stockphotos.fostertravel.com as an example.

    Most of the photo editors who are buying from me are downloading their images from this site. I have about 7,000 on the site. Make your photo-selling site a showcase of your work, including a look at your most recent project.

    -3 Develop for your persona your own WordPress website for the long term presentation of what you do. Your photos can be presented as Slideshows on this site from your PhotoShelter structure. You can write up your travels and what you are doing in travel photography.

    See all this at my http://www.fostertravel.com as an example.

    I actually have more than 500 articles on this website about travel. The site has also recently been transformed, and I talk on this, so see a couple of write-ups at




    -4 Begin the patient long term task of getting copies of the publications to which you want to contribute and methodically making contact with the editors, whose name and email will likely be on the masthead or on the website for the publication. Maybe keep in touch with the editors every quarter or so with an email, perhaps alerting them to a new shoot (visible of your site) that might be useful to them.

    -5 You will only be able to get to a small amount of the total travel photo market yourself. Commit to one good photo agency that continues to maintain decent prices for photo sales. The agency I most recommend is Alamy. I have about 4,000 images in Alamy and get helpful sales. They are also approachable and welcoming to new photographers.

    -6 Develop a steady Social Media outreach to keep people informed of your photos. I do this with an announcement once a week in my 5 Social Media about a recent post, either a new article/photo cluster or a refreshment of an earlier one. You can see my five Social Media on the upper right of each of my pages on my website. Probably, for you, Facebook and Instagram would be the most important to get started on. Pace yourself, commit to a manageable longterm effort that your fans will become accustomed to.

    I wish you all success. It is a great joy to capture the world of nature and of human cultural diversity in travel photos. It is a privilege to share them with others. You can earn some income if you approach the entire effort patiently and methodically.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Lee Foster


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