Travel Photography – Tips and Tricks : Are you a budding travel photographer with all the required skills but not the time to travel to the locations to take those one in a million shots you’ve been dreaming of? You feel you are ready to take the leap and launch your photography career but can’t afford to give up the 9 to 5 just yet? Odd as it may sound, shooting travel photography doesn’t necessarily mean going anywhere.
I remember leaving regional Australia to live in London for a few years in my early twenties thinking I was finally moving to somewhere picturesque, somewhere interesting. Returning home a few years later I realized what I had left behind. My point is this: Every corner of the world is unique, even yours. Each country, state, or region carries its own set of characters, notable figures, culture and landscape. The challenge for the photographer is to find them to present to others.
Maybe you live in a city with a number of historical buildings, or near national parkland. Your town might host an annual carnival or event that is well known. Whatever your location or the size of your local area, there is bound to be something which interest people. Make it your goal to educate people about the place you come from, to show them why they should visit.
The great benefit to photographing subjects that are near to you is that you have the opportunity to revisit them as often as you need to get the results you are looking for. This can help relieve some of the pressure you may feel if you were spending a limited amount of time at a location. Here you are able to shoot in varying conditions and at varying times of day to capture the many moods of your subject. Spend a morning here, an afternoon there in between other commitments and before long you will come away with a comprehensive series of images depicting your subject in various light and shade.
To keep yourself enthusiastic about your subject, you might want to shoot two or maybe three projects at a time. Spend a Saturday afternoon shooting your local town’s attractions and people, and next weekend drive into the nearest city to shoot architecture and café culture.
But how do you choose projects that will assist in creating strong saleable images? Search stock photography agencies, look through travel magazines and newspapers. What you see everyday is what sells. The key is to plan what you are going to shoot. Although we are all guided by weather conditions, it is possible to select the images you want before you arrive at your location. I rarely arrive without at least a few images mapped out in my head, and never without a shoot list.
As travel photographers, it goes without saying that we have a passion for travel. It’s why we do what we do. But it is an extremely difficult business to get into. The catch 22 is that to produce a portfolio or stock image library you need time and money. To fund your photography you need to work. It will take time and dedication, but by shooting close to home you will gradually improve your photography skills and start to build a portfolio of images to be proud of. It all comes down to the way we view our surrounding.