Tour the Town: my five lessons in photography

While documenting my Tour the Town journey on Facebook, I knew pictures would make the posts more interesting.

Anna Thomasson

Except I’m not a photographer. Pre-digital photography, I was the one standing at the Walgreens counter with the sad look on my face as I rifled though the packet of photo duds in my envelope.

Fortunately digital photography saved me, and I’ve learned a few simple things while carrying my iPhone 7 on my walks:


  1. Your feet are the best zoom lens: Several years ago, my husband and I attended an Italy destination wedding in the company of a former USA Today photographer. The advice passed down from his mentor has stayed with me.
  2. Think differently: Those full-bloom Palo Verde trees are so grand; they compel a shot of the full, glorious yellow tree. But one afternoon, I stood under the tree and shot up to the sky to get a whole new perspective.
  3. Expect the unexpected: The morning sun casts long shadows including the silhouette of me and my dog taking the picture. Then I realized we were part of the story and we stay in a few photos.
  4. Edit ruthlessly: I can still hear my photographer dad’s advice, “Honey, throw out all but your very best. The average ones will take away from your best ones.”
  5. Enhancing is not a crime. After our morning walks, we sit outside at Starbucks and quickly edit the pictures.

A quick crop, a little lightening or a one-click color boost takes only a moment. We hope you enjoy this tour of our beautiful community. Join us on Facebook (Tour the Town) or in person.

Editor’s note: Ms. Thomasson is a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley and pursuing a seat on town council this August

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