Last year I logged more than 20 thousand miles between work and family trips. As a culture, lifestyle and travel photographer, my bags are literally always packed. In fact, I have packing my travel photography gear down to a science. The thrill of adventure and travel is a part of who I am, both as a person and as an artist.
But because of the Coronavirus pandemic, travel has come to a screeching halt. Staying home may be necessary, but it is a harsh reality for travel photographers, who not only enjoy traveling, but rely on it as an essential part of our jobs and income. So, how can we stay engaged, motivated and enthusiastic about our work when we can’t leave the house?
Here are three ways I’m staying connected with the art of travel photography from home.
1. Create travel e-books and virtual travel logs.
One of the things I love to do with my travel photos is to go through all my family trips, look at images and create e-books or folders of images. Between client work and other stuff, my own personal family trips always go by the wayside. But with the travel ban, this exercise has been a lifesaver to help my family and me relive our trips.
This is also a great way to flag images I might not have chosen, or that I missed, the first time around and edit them.
I use apps like Unfold and InShot to organize my trips into stories. This way I can either share them on social media or send them via email to my family. Google Photos is also a great way to share images and stories among family and friends.
2. Print physical travel books and travel narratives.
I love to write as much as I love to take pictures. My travel adventures always focus around a story, a theme and a narrative. For travel related client work, I research stories prior to the trip. For my personal work and family trips, I always let narratives come to be during and after our adventures.
One thing I have found super helpful in post-travel narration is the act of journaling. I journal excessively during my trips, which helps me create a narrative-based approach to my travels. Journaling doesn’t have to be elaborate. Sometimes all I do is jot down thoughts, feelings and emotions from a particular activity or event. Even a quick voice memo will do the trick.
Lately I have been creating narratives for my personal and family adventures as well. This is a great way to bring storytelling to all aspects of your life.
Printing your travel photos:
You can use services like Mpix or Artifact Uprising to create photo books and albums of your trips. I create templates in Adobe InDesign or Photoshop to create a magazine-like layout for my travel narratives, which are a combination of text and images. You could also try Issuu or Canva to create PDF or magazine templates for your travel photography narratives.
3. Get creative with your travel adventures.
When the whole global shutdown started because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a fellow travel photographer started a series called “Our Great Indoors” as a way to travel to our favorite places right from the comfort of our own homes. My kids and I instantly fell in love with this series and have re-created different travel scenes with items in and around the house.
These little indoor adventures help keep the pull of outdoor travel and exploration alive when we can do nothing more than step outside our front door. We love that it’s a small way to do travel photography from home. This is a great way to channel our creative energy towards something we all love to do.
Photos by Karthika Gupta