Marko Alonso and the Visual Personality of Samantha Brown’s Places to Love

There are some very marked differences between Samantha Brown’s Places to Love and the deluge of other travel shows on television. Most obvious is the host of the show exhibiting her desire to transmit a very honest sense of what to look for and what to expect on your travels but beyond this there is a visual approach which is very much by design. Winner of the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Travel and Adventure Program as well as for Outstanding Host for a Lifestyle, Children’s or Special Class Program, Samantha Brown’s Places to Love has once again been recognized this year with a Daytime Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Travel and Adventure Program. The fourth season displays more exciting and surprising destinations that you might not expect but which are enchantingly presented via the talent of Marko Alonso. By nature, travel shows necessitate the use of a smaller and quickly moving production team. From behind the camera, Alonso works with Samantha, director Sylvia Caminer, and Executive Producer Kevin O’Leary to manifest a visual world which is captivatingly sincere and forthright in establishing the experience of these different international locations and cultures.

Six months after meeting Samantha and her EP husband at the LA Travel Show and informing them of his affinity for their series, Marko found himself in Ireland with Joseph Rosendo filming the Emmy Award Winning series Travelscope. While working overseas, Alonso discovered that his work was being thoroughly vetted by one of the most discerning couples in Travel TV. Marko happily accepted the perfectly timed offer to take his place behind the camera for Samantha Brown’s Places to Love stating, “An incredible amount of consideration goes into these decisions for productions of this type. It’s a pretty big liability for these small production companies to bring new crew halfway across the world to shoot these shows in places where you wouldn’t be able to find a replacement. I’m thankful when new people give me a shot. I always make sure to not disappoint them!”

Samantha Brown and the show’s director Sylvia Caminer have both won Emmy Awards as well as multiple nominations for their work on this program. While Marko was brought aboard for his impressive camera work on other productions, he was cognizant that the program had already established a successful visual formula and was careful to not flex his skill in a way that attempted to reinvent the look of this show which was already beloved. He relates, “The inter-personal relationship between myself and the director or myself and the host will influence me and how that will reflect on what the audience sees. The show is not a conglomerate of independent, disjointed choices but rather the natural offspring of certain minds working together. The network of people I work with will influence the final image, beyond the technical and artistic choices I make as an individual. The trust and respect among everyone involved is palpable in great work.” This relationship is important when you find yourself in precarious situations as Alonso has for this famed travel series. Noting one recent close call while filming on a frozen body of water when the ice broke beneath him and he immediately sank to his knees in freezing water while instinctively lifting the camera out of harm’s way, Marko’s reflex actions mirror his “teamwork” ethos.     As everyone in the world experiences the current pandemic, programs like Samantha Brown’s Places to Love offer the only opportunity for many of us to travel, even it is through our television or mobile device screen. Marko Alonso is the proxy for untold viewers who experience these varied global locations through his unique vantage; it’s a marvellous and rich perspective that he communicates from behind the camera. When season 4 of Samantha Brown’s Places to Love returns to work along with the rest of the planet, it will be with the exceptionally talented Marko Alonso once again looking through the lens to capture the locations that inspire travel in us all.

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