Through a Different Lens: Neil Meyerhoff

Neil and Sayra MeyerhoffWhen Neil Meyerhoff (L’74) attended Georgetown Law School, he never intended to practice law. Instead, he planned to use his education to further his family’s real estate business. While this career has been working out well for him—he is senior vice president and CEO at Hendersen-Webb Inc., a family-owned property management firm—Meyerhoff is best known for his work in another industry altogether: photography.

His interest in photography began as a hobby when he was younger, and carried on into college. “When I was at Georgetown [School of Law], especially the first year of school, I carried around a film camera,” explained Meyerhoff. “I would take photos of my friends and professors, and then develop the pictures and bring them back to them the next week.”

Years later, Meyerhoff began to travel extensively, taking stock photos for Panoramic Images, a Chicago-based company. The photos he took during his travels were primarily used for editorial purposes and annual reports.

Meyerhoff is now chair of the board of the Maryland Institute College of Art and his work has been featured in galleries such as Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, California and C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland.

He and his wife, Sayra, a lawyer who does pro bono work for Legal Aid, still enjoy traveling often. Earlier this year, he told the Baltimore Sun that he has “been to 56 different countries” and that he would “like to get to 60.”

With such extensive travel and photography experience, Meyerhoff has some tips for amateur camera users who would like to take high-quality vacation photos. Check out these tips before heading on your next vacation to help build great photo albums full of memories.


Taking Great Photos While Traveling

 

  • Always use a flash when photographing people. Especially in front of a building or monument, the camera often reads the sky and not the person’s face. Even in daylight, there may be shadows and other light elements that affect the clarity of your portrait.
  • Use the facial recognition feature. Many cameras today have this feature, which can be used to get camera to focus on your subject’s face, instead of something off to the side or in the background.
  • Photograph landscapes at sunrise or sunset. Ideally, when photographing a beautiful landscape, try to do so about an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. These times offer the most dramatic lighting as a backdrop, highlighting the natural beauty of your setting.
  • Use multiple subjects to show scale.  If you’re photographing a landscape, try to put something in the foreground of the scene, such as a tree in front of a mountain range, etc. This will give a sense of scale and depth to your photo, further engaging the eye.
  • Always have the camera with you. Don’t leave your camera in your hotel or residence. You never know when that great photo opportunity will happen. It may be in the car, or while riding public transportation. Be ready, and you’ll always be able to snap those perfect moments.
  • Don’t be afraid to request a photo. You might be hesitant to approach someone and ask to take their photo, especially when outside of the country. Knowing the local culture and customs helps, but often all it takes is a friendly smile and a compliment to have someone agree to have their photo taken. It is important to ask first, however, so that the person doesn’t feel as if you are taken advantage of them.
  • Bring backup. Bringing an extra battery and memory card will save you from having to worry about recharging and reloading too often.