Road Trip Lessons for Photography
Our family had our first adventure trip since the Pandemic of 2020 started! We road tripped from Seattle, Washington to Moab, Utah to enjoy the majestic natural parks. And, I'm not exaggerating when I use the word, Majestic. I am so grateful for my family being open and willing to still go on adventures like this together! We did a lot of both planned hiking and a few off the highway exploring.
All the while, I enjoyed supporting our daughter with a digital camera and some tips for documenting the journey while our so was content with his iPhone, no tips from Mom needed. I was able to talk with them both about the behavior we witnessed among fellow hikers and tourists. Some folks took a lot of time to document everything with no mind to how they took up space that may be inconsiderate to others. We also witnessed several photographers out doing photo shoots along the Bonneville Salt Flats. Some who left garbage behind were the most frustrating. This trip really showed me that there are still more photo tips I can provide and share with ya'll!
First, the lessons:
- Consider your surroundings! When out in public spaces that you're sharing with others like National Park, be kind. You are sharing the space. Consider enjoying it and not stressing so much about photographing every step. Or standing in the way of others.
- Clean up after yourself. In the case of our Bonneville Slat Flats visit, we had a chance to view it at sunset and then after sunrise the next morning. That's how we witnessed the trash left behind by other groups. We have these National Parks for a reason: for all of us to enjoy them! Don't trash the experience!!!
- The best camera is the one you have with you. There were a few times when I didn't bring along my professional camera and just hiked with my phone. Those moments are still as precious. And, I saved myself the stress of carrying around a much heavier and more expensive camera.
Next, Photo tips:
- Always pack a lens cloth and frequently check your lenses for thumb prints or dust, etc. - no matter if you're using a smart phone or pro camera!
- Pack extras - you need more than one battery, and more than one memory card. I suggest at least two of each. This way, you don't get stuck running out of either battery or storage space. Plus, on road trips often you have inconsistent spaces for charging or backing up files.
- Speaking of backups - consider how to back up your photos off the memory cards. There are a lot of options from bringing along an external hard drive to bringing your laptop and uploading images to a cloud storage option. Do what works best for you.
- Be kind and open with others about swapping portraits! The best photos of me with my family came from asking another tourist to share the role as photographer - we swapped and were able to each leave with a portrait of us with our family instead of an awkward selfie.
- Remember the purpose of your trip - take time to really see and soak in the sights. Don't rush and take photos the entire time. See it, enjoy it and then take the photos you know you'll love for years later.
- Consider what's worth keeping. This is all about thinking ahead. Maybe it's the life-long photographer's journey for me, but I've been thinking a lot about what happens to all of the photographs when I die. What will be meaningful to others? What photographic legacy will I leave behind? This has shortened the amount of photographs I take now. I know that when I die, my children and grandchildren will not need to see every place I enjoyed or saw! I
I believe these photo tips and lessons are also relevant to our business and professional photographs as well. Be intentional and mindful, and don't be too busy to enjoy the experience.