Mary Fiore Cruising Photography Contributor

Meet Wanderplex’s new Cruising & Photography Contributor, Mary Fiore!

Here at Wanderplex, we’re all about sharing advice and bringing you the best insider tips to help you get the most out of your travels. The site already covers unique destination ideas, packing and gear guides and all manner of travel tips, and now I’m excited to announce that we’ll be expanding our coverage to include everything you could want to know about cruising and photography.

As travelers, we all document our trips with our cameras – but chances are we’re not doing it as well as we could be. Lighting, composition, editing – not to mention learning what all those little buttons and settings on our camera are for – can mean the difference between taking a picture that looks like a five year old shot it or a picture that belongs on the cover of National Geographic.

Joining me on the site to share her expert tips is Mary Fiore. Mary has been teaching and lecturing on digital photography for years, including the four years she spent working on cruise ships sailing all over the globe. In addition to sharing photography advice, Mary will be telling us everything we could want to know about taking a cruise – from finding great deals, to planning, packing, and preparing for life at sea. She’ll even give us the scoop on what it takes to get a job on board a cruise ship and get paid to travel the world.

If you have any questions about cruising or photography that you’d like to see covered on Wanderplex, just drop us a line in the comments below.

In the meantime, let’s get to know Mary!

Mary Fiore Cruising Photography Contributor

Meeting the locals in New Guinea.

Hi Mary, tell us a little about your background.

I worked on cruise ships teaching photo editing and computer classes and lecturing on digital photography and computer topics for over four years. I have been around the world a few times circumnavigating the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, crossing the equator and enjoying many seas while getting the most out of shipboard life and exploring & photographing ports. I currently teach photo and video editing, photography, color and design courses online (my education includes two masters degrees – one in education and the other in computers in the arts and painting).

What gives you a unique insight into the word of cruising?

While I was cruising, I was a member of the crew but I also enjoyed passenger privileges, so I ran between both worlds. I caught secret glimpses of crew life first hand – the “below the water line” world of hard work and partying. Among passengers, I was often the go-to person for what to do and how to get there while in ports. I plan to share with you the inside scoop on life as a crew member, as well as how to get the most out of shipboard life as a passenger.

Why should travelers consider cruising?

I admit cruising sounded tame to me before my first embarkation, especially since I had been on so many independent travel adventures. But after my first cruise from Florida, through the Panama Canal and up the west coast of Central America to the west coast of the US, I was hooked. Here’s why:

As a cruiser you’re not faced with daily planning and the anxiety over where to eat and sleep at the end of the day that can happen while traveling independently on land. You have a clean, safe, reliable ship to come back to each day. The ship and crew take you to another country while you sleep comfortably in a serviced room. They cook for you and serve exotic desserts and dishes along with a wide variety of onboard entertainment. You can choose to meet new friends onboard or enjoy a private getaway. You can explore ports on your own or take advantage of pre-arranged tours. In short, you can choose your own adventure while taking advantage of the crew’s research and planning on port explorations.

Exploring the world from the sea and seaside ports offers a unique perspective on countries landlubbers don’t have. Life in seaside towns offers an intriguing glimpse at what drives the people and commerce of the country.

Why is photography so important to you?

The best part of travel to me is the memories, and great photos encapsulate the moments and charms of a location. I started studying photography back in the 70s and I even built a darkroom for developing black and white prints. My 35 camera was a constant companion until going digital and now I never look back. I had mountains of color slides and color prints and now my digital photo collections of worldwide destinations take up two terabyte hard drives!

Do you really think we can all learn to take better pictures?

Yes. There’s a method to finding, composing, editing, saving and cataloging your travel photography. I’ll be showing you how to capture the heart and soul of a location, which shots to take, and how to get them. Learning a few simple rules of composition can give your photos eye-stopping appeal. And while I believe in getting the best image you can with your camera, there are also lots of simple editing tricks that can make a world of difference in your images.

If you want to see some of Mary’s travel photography and art, check out and don’t forget to let us know what topics you’d like to see covered! 

Mary Fiore Cruising Photography Contributor

Photographing the sights in Lisbon, Portugal.