Rose Trafford is a travel photographer and writer with a passion for finding the positives in people and places. She has traveled to over 40 countries and gotten herself into all sorts of strange situations, such as locked in a Korean ATM and questioned in a Chinese police station. She has appeared in Money Magazine and the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. When she’s not traveling she enjoys taking photos of anything and everything- lately with a 35mm or instant camera in her hand. Find her at The Compass Rose.
Canon 60D, Sony A7ii, instant cameras, and a Canonet 35mm camera. I occasionally shoot with my iPhone XR as well.
Favorite Lens? I prefer prime lenses… I like the 40mm pancake lens because it’s very discreet and can take good portraits as well as city shots. But I also really love wide angle shots, especially in cities, so I try to have a wide angle lens with me as well.
What is your favorite image you have taken and why?
I really love this image I took of a Maasai woman in Kenya. Her grandson welcomed our group and told us about their village and school, and then gave us permission to take photos while we were there. This image is my favorite because his grandmother shows so much strength and grace in her stature. Everything is so colorful and the lighting just happened to be perfect. I kept wishing we spoke the same language so I could hear all about her life! I also took this photo back when I had the lowest level Canon DSLR that was made, which goes to show that you don’t need the best gear to create great images!
I really enjoy taking candid shots of people, especially when I’m traveling. I sometimes find it hard to balance taking photos and respecting personal boundaries and permission, so I don’t do as much as I would like.
This is so hard to pick! I really enjoy when I have time alone to just wander around the street and photograph buildings and people- Belgium, Crete, and Hong Kong come to mind.
This is another hard one! I think I’d have to say Crete- there was an amazing mix of architecture, historical buildings, nature, and cityscapes. I took hundreds of photos.
If money were no object I would go EVERYWHERE. But if I had to pick one I would choose Antarctica, because it’s very expensive to go and I really would love to see it.
For photography, learn how to be proficient with whatever equipment you have. For travel, learn how to use points and miles to fly for free.
I’m probably reading, writing for my travel site, or snuggling with my cat.
I’m a total tea snob. I don’t drink coffee and rarely drink tea in the US outside of my home and specific cafes because I don’t think anyone can make it right. Luckily the rest of the world drinks a lot of tea and I have much better experiences in Asia and parts of Europe.
I would love to see my photos in the pages of magazines. I would also like to visit every country in the world before I die- at my current rate I will accomplish this at age 71! I’d like to think I’ll still be traveling at that point, but maybe I better pick up the pace!
Do you have any personal or professional accomplishments you would like to share?
This January (2019) there was a full two page spread photo of me in Money Magazine in an article about travel hacking, which was really cool to see. I have also only paid for 2 flights in the last three years- all the rest have been by using points. I redeemed approximately $8,000 in free travel in 2018 alone. I didn’t grow up traveling, and I’m pleased that I’ve found a way to pursue my love of travel without going totally broke.
I’m currently focusing on film photography and building up my blog and brand, The Compass Rose Co, along with my photography website (roseconstance.com)
A kindle filled with books and an instant camera with a bunch of film.