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The #WindowSelfie




In 1839 a Chemist and Photo Enthusiast named Robert Cornelius took what is considered to be the first ever photographic portrait, when he snapped a picture of himself in the back of his families store in Philadelphia. That portrait is also, technically the worlds first ever SELFIE. I don’t think Corneilus had any idea what he was starting and how he would feel if he were alive today. Would he be amused or horrified by Kim Kardashians Selfie book? A random search on any social media site for the hashtag selfie delivers a treasure trove of frightening proportions. From 6 year olds using their moms iPhone to so called Instagram Models taking risqué shots to the delight of the millions who follow them for all kinds of reasons.

So it’s was with real trepidation that I decided to wade into the oversaturated selfie waters. I was in New York to interview Cissy Houston about Whitneys death and our crew rented an amazing room in Trump Tower for the interview.It had breathtaking views of the fall leaves in Central Park and we got there just in time for sunset. The windows in the suite were ceiling to floor and as the sun began to dip, it was a moment, that demanded to be documented. I sat at the desk in front of the window and had a Producer snap this picture, which became an instant classic.


And that for me was the beginning of what I call the #WindowSelfie. Now let me explain my window selfie, because its a lot different then the window selfie that we often see on social media. Usually when people drop that hashtag its because they have taken a photo of their reflection in a window and ignore everything that is on the other side of the glass. But in my version of the #windowselfie it’s all about whats on the other side of the glass.

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to stay in some of the best hotels on the planet. And as soon as I check in the first thing I do is check out the view and break out my camera. I’ve developed a real system and for the most part tak all the pictures myself. Usually its my GoPro, on a stand, triggered by my phone.

Sometimes I use my Canon point and shoot which can also be remotely controlled. I have a $9 fold up tripod that serves as the perfect stand in those situations. It really just depends on the room, the window and the desired effect that I want. I preferred the Canon for this shot in Monaco.


But my GoPro was better for this shot, one of my favorites, that I took in the SLS Hotel in Vegas.


Now my new thing is the 360 Window Selfie. Using one of my 360 cameras, I carry two, I have now developed a system that is a new take on my old 2D photos. Because the cameras shoot everything in the frame on both sides I had to rethink the composition of the pictures. In the past I wanted to be in silhouette but now, in 360 I can actually be a much more active part of the picture.

the real key is too make sure that the sunlight outdoors, and indoors matches. So that means often making sure I am close to the window and that it is floor to ceiling.

Now I’m not done with the normal shots, it just means I’ve added another layer to the equation. So here are a few tips so you can begin to take your own #WindowSelfies


Angle is everything – Head on is not always the best angle, try multiple angles and different heights, until the picture works.

Make sure that there is enough light – These pictures are better taken during the day, unless the background is full of lights, like the picture I took in Vegas. Even then, it was the light from my computer on my face, that made this picture work.


It may take a few pictures before you get what you want – This is a process, so take a few pictures and take them from several angles and heights as I mentioned before. But most importantly think creatively and you will be rewarded.

If you are taking 360 pics, and are still trying to figure out how to share them, let me suggest you sign up for an account with our partners at … thats .co not .com

Have fun and we can not wait to share your Instagram shots on Travel Coterie.

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Not Your Traditional Museum



Lincoln Heights is probably not on your list of places to visit during your time in Los Angeles, but thanks to the 14th Factory, you might just have to become acquainted with the East LA area. 14th Factory, LA’s new pop-up art space, is an enormous building across from an abandoned city jail.

The experience begins as you walk through a pitch black hallway and into a bright white room, a replica of the bedroom from the final scene of Stanley Kubrick’s classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The Barmecide Feast, by Simon Birch

From there, you make your way into the center of the factory which has a man-made lawn with swings hanging form the ceiling.  All around the open space, are different works of art, paintings and photography.

This opens up to the Instagram famous picture spot, “The Crusher” by Simon Birch. The piece composed of 300 hanging pitchforks allows visitors to put themselves at the mercy of the dangling farm tool.

You can get as creative as you want!

The other rooms use giant screens to show images of Hong-Kong apartment buildings, a Ferrari crashing at high speeds and a group of men involved in a brawl.

All the installations allow the visitors to completely immerse themselves in the pieces. Tickets are cheaper online ($18) so make sure you plan ahead. If you want to get a chance to go through this unique experience, they are scheduled to shut down at the end of June.


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Zip-Line Through Paris



The most visited landmark in the world is getting a little upgrade. The City of Love is getting a fun new attraction to excite the over 7 million tourists that visit each year.

A zip line stretching from the Eiffel Tower, across the Champs de Mars, and finishing at the L’École Militaire will be available for thrill-seekers until June 11. Le Perrier Smash was setup by Perrier in celebration of the French Open.

If you’re not afraid of being 375 feet above ground and soaring through the city at about 55 MPH, then this attraction has to be on your list of “to-do’s”. And if the thought of gliding down the zip-line terrifies you, don’t worry, it’s only a half mile long and you’ll be down in about a minute.

Have VR goggles? Pop them on and witness it in 360!

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Machu Picchu: Changes In Ticketing



If Machu Picchu is on your bucket list, making sure you secure tickets to the UNESCO World Heritage site is the first thing you should do.  Unfortunately, you can’t make the journey up to the citadel without having tickets in hand. 2500 visitors are allowed per day to access the site, and the tickets currently allow for all day access.

Over a million tourists per year step foot on the iconic site, and although this is great business for Peru, it is wreaking havoc on the actual structure.  Archeologists have warned of the serious damage all the foot traffic is causing. The deterioration of the site is leading to changes in ticketing.

To protect the archaeological site, ticket sales will be divided into a morning ticket (8:00AM to 12:00PM) and an afternoon ticket (12:00PM to 5:30PM). These changes aren’t due to happen until early 2018. Changes in prices haven’t been announced and as of today, you can book a ticket for 152 Soles, which is a little less than $50 US dollars.

The change will try to reduce the damage caused by tourists, but will hopefully help in maintaining the site in good shape for generations to come!

If you aren’t planning your trip through an agency, you will need to make sure to get all your business in order.  You can do that here 

And if you haven’t thought about going to Peru, you should.  It is one of the most magical sites to set foot on.

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