If you’re like me, when you travel you photograph everything that catches your eye and interest, and you end up with a huge pile of images to sort/edit upon your return! But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Responding to what you see is great. Photographing from the heart and the perspective of awe and wonder is the way to go. At the same time, if you want to build a collection of images that tell a story about the place you are visiting, it can help to have some sort of ‘plan’ or checklist or you might find you have lots of camels pictures but no food images – or shoes in the market but no people!
When I travel, I have an overall ‘plan’, a sort of checklist, mostly from doing assignments for magazines and for stock coverage. But that plan has proven useful when I want to build a slide show of my trip, too. I will include close-up details, portraits, intimate landscapes, scenic views and landscapes, food, candid moments,people in the landscape, architecture; dawn/sunrise and sunset/twilight images, and views from towers or hilltops to get that overall image. Each day, and all day, I keep a keen eye out for things that capture the essence of that place, and you never know where those will present themselves.
Yet even though I have this ‘plan’, I keep my eyes and mind relaxed, open to everything around me; after all, if I stick too close to my plan I’m liable to miss something great! So it serves as a general reminder of things to look for when I want to build a collection.
The collage above represents a very tiny sample of what I’ve seen in Morocco. It’s a place that excites the senses – sight, smell and sound all wrapped up in an exotic, warm, sunny package. Like anyplace, it can overwhelm at first, but when I remind myself to slow down, I see more and more each time. After two trips, I feel I’m getting the hang of it! I still don’t have great food images, but tagines are difficult to photograph to look as tasty as they are! I’ll keep trying…