Santa arrives by boat at an all-inclusive resort near Las Galeras on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. All-inclusives have been criticized for distancing visitors from local culture, as well as crippling nearby restaurants and lack of staff tipping.
Dominican Republic – Photo Tip

What story are you telling with your photos?

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Dominican Republic – Photo Tip What story are you telling with your photos?

You can add an extra dimension to your photography when you start looking for images that tell a bigger story.

Jochem Wijnands
Jochem Wijnands Founder / photographer

To me, this photo of Santa Claus arriving at an all-inclusive resort by boat sums up the international image of the Dominican Republic. A semi-tropical island where you go to to get away from the routine and the cold of your home country. Whatever else happens there, nobody really knows and it doesn’t seem to matter.

Photographing Santa Claus this way will first make you smile, because he looks funny and is very much out of place. He must be hot wearing that outfit. And where is Rudolf? But it might also make you feel slightly uncomfortable. He is as much out of place as all the other people in the photo. What are they doing there? Escaping their First World worries by enjoying an affordable holiday in a region with Third World problems such as poverty?

There is something uneasy about this type of tourism and photos can emphasize that aspect. What looks like a photo of Santa Claus is really a photo of one aspect of tourism in the Dominican Republic, and many other countries. Taking a critical and sometimes satirical look is part of being a documentary photographer.

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Santa approaches a beach at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. The Christmas holiday is celebrated for an elongated period on the island, beginning some time at the end of October and running through until early January. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

NIKON D3

Aperture
ƒ/9/1
Exposure
1/320
ISO
400
Focal
200/1 mm

Santa approaches a beach at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. The Christmas holiday is celebrated for an elongated period on the island, beginning some time at the end of October and running through until early January.

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