Tips for Shooting Abroad

The Ultimate Guide for Traveling Photographers/Bloggers

Ok, so you’ve made that leap of faith and actually find yourself in a foreign country and ready to take all the noteworthy photography you’ve been dreaming of. Months of waiting, saving, and busting yo’ booty has finally paid off.

This is your moment. Camera in hand, butterflies in your belly…and TOURISTS EVERYWHERE. Like I mean everywhere-left, right, totally and completely in your every shot. Oh and you have no idea how to get back to your air bnb, and where the f*** can you get some wifi around here?!? Your phone is about to die, no one speaks english, and you’re quickly realizing that everyone online who traveled here before you-well they totally withheld sharing this stressful portion of their trip abroad.

Well don’t you worry my friend-I got you. Here’s some tips on how to travel abroad to a foreign country as a photographer (or blogger):

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Like really though. Go on Google maps and Trip Advisor-figure out how far away your destination is from your hotel. Is there parking available? Do you have to pay to get into the national park? Do they charge for the bathroom? You’re going to get hungry-are there cafes nearby that you could swing by on your way from the Eiffel tower to the Louvre? Sure you could wing it in most European countries-but most likely you wont have internet service to ‘yelp’ something, you’re on a time crunch, or your destination is a lot harder to get to then you thought. The more you research in advance the more smooth your traveling experience will be-which means less stress 🙌

2. GET THERE EARLY. I honestly can’t stress this enough if you’re traveling abroad solely to capture photography/create content. Most tourists sleep in and get a late start to their mornings-because they are on vacation!! If you want that epic shot of Big Ben without all the selfie sticks in the background-get there as soon as the sun rises. Literally every time I travel abroad, I’m up at 5am, out the door by 6am, and on location by 7am (or earlier). No tourists in sight, I have the whole monument to myself, and oh yeah the place is filled with that beautiful sunrise lighting 🤤 You’re welcome.

3. UNDERSTAND YOUR LIGHTING. Ok so let’s be honest, maybe you can’t always get to your location during that golden hour of sunrise/sunset lighting. You are traveling abroad, and well, shit happens. That doesn’t mean you can’t make amazing photography!! It just means you have to get creative with your camera settings and angles. Don’t get scared of harsh lighting, you could make a really dynamic photo just by playing with shadows and getting artsy with your composition. Backlight your subject, find a shaded area, or go inside and play with artificial lighting. You have no excuses 😉

4. DON’T FORGET. The most obvious things to bring-but I forget back up batteries, memory cards, and phone chargers alllllllll the time. Charge them while you sleep, set a reminder on your phone, bring extras, and back up your photos. I always bring two hard drives with me while I travel just in case some terrible freak accident happens to one of my drives-I still have all my precious photos saved on the second drive. Don’t think it won’t happen to you-because it will eventually. I’ve cried too many times over a crashed hard drive and if I can save you the tears, please BACK UP YO’ PHOTOS.

So there you have it-some sound pieces of advice for creating content while abroad. Have you ever traveled abroad? Or ran into any of these situations? Hit me up on Instagram and let me know your experience! @champagneunicorns

Paris, France August 2016.

Paris, France August 2016.