Pro Photo Daily | Insight: How to Do Travel Photography Right, and Travel for Free

By: David Schonauer
Publish Date: March 9, 2018, 8:23 a.m.

How’d you like to travel the world for free?

YouTuber Chris Hau says you can — at least, he says photography has allowed him to do so. “An important thing to remember before you begin is that you don’t need to have a strong followers’ base on Instagram, or anything like it. You just need to be able to create good content and show it to the people you contact,” adds DIY Photography.

Today we feature Hau’s report along with other insights into travel photography, including tips on packing like a pro, shooting in Antarctica, shooting seascapes, and not taking the same travel photo as everyone else on Instagram.

Our roundup starts with a profile of travel photographer Sara Melotti, who offers this advise to other photographers who would go roaming: “Learn about the culture of the places you visit and try to go beyond photography,” she says. “Don’t even take the camera out for the first few days; if you want to create something interesting look at the world through your eyes and your heart before looking through the viewfinder.

1. Secrets of a Full-Time Travel Photographer

DIY Photography  recently profiled Sara Melotti, an Italian photographer currently based in New York whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Glamour magazines. In 2015 she launched her Quest for Beauty  project to capture the beauty of women around world, no matter their age, size, or color. “I love to capture glimpses of the essence of the countries I visit,” she says, adding, “I’m not a technical photographer, I follow my heart and my instinct when I shoot.” She reveals her gear choices (including a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and an 85mm f/1.2 lens, and a Canon PowerShot G5 X camera for vlogging).

2. How to Travel the World For Free

“I get asked a lot, Chris, how to do get to travel to all these places. It must be expensive,” says photographer and YouTuber Chris Hau in the video above. Hau shares the story of how he got started as a travel photographer and how he learned to get free trips via tourism boards. “An important thing to remember before you begin is that you don’t need to have a strong followers’ base on Instagram, or anything like it,” adds DIY Photography. “You just need to be able to create good content and show it to the people you contact.”

3. Traveling Across Australia, Trading Photos for Food and Accommodation

Inspired by the film 2013 movie Tracks, which told the story of a woman’s nine-month journey on camels across the Australian desert, Australian photographer Edwina Robertson  set out on her own three-month trip through the country’s rural areas, driving a battered 1979 Toyota Land Cruiser called Alice some 17,000 miles and trading her photography for food and accommodation. Her dog Jordie was her only companion. The report above tells her story. DIY Photography  has more.

4. How to Pack Like a Travel Photographer

Travel photographers Ira Block and Colby Brown boast nearly half a century of travel shooting between them, notes PDN. Brown and Block recently shared some of their far-flung wisdom with attendees at the Sony/PDN day at B&H Photo and Video. Among their tips: Pack only the photo gear you can carry onto a plane, since you don’t want to run the risk of checking your camera gear only to have the airline lose it in transit. Pack photo gear in a roller bag for travel to/from the airport but keep a backpack in your checked luggage for transporting gear when you’re at your destination. And bring lots of SD cards. Brown also keeps a pair of micro-spikes (above) handy for when he needs to cross icy paths or navigate a glacier.

5. How To Shoot In Anarctica

It’s one of the planet’s most challenging environments in which to photograph. But in this video Chicago-based photographer Kenneth Browne  discusses how to work in a place where temperatures are far below freezing temperatures, the sun never sets, and there is only limited private transportation in and out. Browne visited Antarctica to shoot a TV commercial for a snow blower. Fstoppers has more.

6. How to Capture the Perfect Seascape

Crashing ocean waves and scenic visual landscapes make seascapes an irresistible subject for many photographers. But getting the final results that you'd like isn't always easy, notes My Modern Met, where Australia-based landscape photographer Anton Gorlin offers advice on capturing the perfect seascape. Among his insights: To learn if there are key vantage points or areas not to be missed in a particular location, he uses Google image search, as well as a search of Flickr and 500px, to see what's already been shot at the scene.

7. Shooting In Nepal With Only an iPhone

Robert Rose has operated the Brant Photographers portrait studio in Bellevue, WA for almost 35 years. At DP Review, his son, Carey Rose, talks with Robert about why, at this stage of his career, his documentary camera of choice is an iPhone 8 Plus. “Perhaps most importantly, my dad finds photography with the iPhone to be refreshing, fun and freeing,” writes Carey.

8. Top Online Travel Photos from The Outside Project

The Outside Project  is an online community focusing on exploration “beyond the beaten track through storytelling and world-class imagery.” Resource magazine  has been highlighting some of the best work from the project’s Instagram account, including Canadian photographer Brendin Kelly’s shot of Squamish, British Columbia (above). “If I had one piece of advise for an upcoming photographer, I would say, just have fun. I think a lot of people worry about the number of likes they get or the number of followers they have on social media. I just love taking photos and I never lose sight of that,” says Kelly.

9. The Best Travel Photographers to Follow on Instagram

Instagram has democratized travel photography, notes UPROXX: “We can all go out there and take photos and post them up on our feeds. If we have an eye, a sense of space, and a grasp on color theory, we may even start getting a few followers,” notes the website, which has spotlighted a number of travel photographers to follow. They include Brent Rose, a “modern-day digital nomad” who is “a champion of the van life, our public lands, and making travel a central part of everyone’s life.” Above is his photo of the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado.

10. How Not To Take Travel Photos Like Everyone Else at Instagram

Want to make an impact on Instagram? Don’t take any pictures of people holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Photographer and videographer Oliver KMIA created a video showing the dearth of creativity in Instagram travel images. Another aspect of this is the damage that can occur to particularly popular locations when everyone in the world goes there to take a picture. DP Review  notes, for instance, that a photogenic tree at Lake Wanaka in New Zealand  (hashtag #thatwanakatree) is being destroyed by visitors.
At Top: From Sara Melotti