Oh my God! It happened. Again. I went for a photography trip to one of the most beautiful cities in the US, Saint Louis, Missouri. I had my camera in my hand, food and drink in place, and GPS fully charged. The 5 hours driving from Fairfield, Iowa, was really fun. Until I realized that I left my camera battery being charged at home. The photography trip was now just a trip.
I’m pretty sure at some point in your career as a photographer, you will be in a situation like this. For this reason, I would like to share some tips with you for when you plan photography trips.
- Months before leaving
Planning for a photography trip starts at this time. As soon as the trip is confirmed, try to look for the highlights of the places you will be visiting. I would do a little bit of research about where to take photos from and what to take photos of. For example, if you are coming to Indonesia in the middle of August, you may encounter independence day events there.
Early bird bookings for hotels and flights will cost you less. Book a hotel which gives you easy access to your photography spots. I would write down a list of locations where I will be taking pictures from, and then decide the best location of my hotel.
- Weeks before the day
I would spend more time on planning what photos I want to capture at this stage of planning my photography trip. For instance, if I were to travel to Indonesia in the middle of August, I would be taking photos of the independence day ceremony in the morning, fun events in the afternoon. Then in the evening I would take photos of the local sunset.
By properly planning your photography trips, you will be able to dig deeper for more thoughts and ideas. Look at pictures available on the internet and get inspired by them. But not only from the internet, you can also search local photographs from libraries, image directories, photo books, local websites, and tourism guidebooks.
This is a process which may take some time because you never know when inspirations hit.
At this point of the photography trip planning, I would also check my equipment. I would check if any of my gear is not working well and have them repaired right away if necessary. Servicing them now is the best because they must be ready by the time you depart.
- Few days before the trip
Keep in mind that some places don’t provide internet access. Therefore it is much better if you write down, or print, every note you would need, such as local shops, tourist office, and local sunrise and sunset time. Weather forecast is also an important information to be noted.
It would be better if you start making a list of what to bring for the photography trip. Sometimes you might forget some items if you think of them 1-2 days before the trip.
- 1 day before the trip
I would pack the camera and its equipment first. The last thing you want to discover is missing your spare battery or camera lenses at home. Have a last check on the weather forecast. Print all documents you will need for the photography trip. Make sure you have the memory card(s) ready.
Check and recheck for the last time before you leave. It doesn’t hurt you to have an extra checking, rather than regretting that you left an important piece of gear at home. Camera lenses, formatted memory cards, spare battery, and your travel documents should be rechecked.
Insurance, cash money, taxi reservation, flight ticket, and passport are usually the most important travel documents which you should not forget to bring. Other than that you are set and ready to go.
I hope these tips will make your photography trip be more fun and memorable. Have fun and enjoy your trip!