Hands up who loves to a good road trip? Some of us do it for a fun vacation and an escape from the daily routine. But some do it more long term as a lifestyle choice and road trip photography becomes part of their experience.
A life on the road used to be out of reach to many. But with increasing internet accessibility, digital nomads and location independent working are becoming more and more viable ways of making a living, enabling a life on the road. I have some tips for making sure your own road trip goes without any photography hiccups.
Essential Road Trip Photography Tips:
No.01Make sure you have access to electricity regularly.
On some trips this might be as simple as plugging in at your hotel each night, but if you’re wild camping you may need a small back up generator or even portable solar panels.
Try to have solutions so you can charge as you drive too. You may need to prioritize which devices are most important. Is a charge on Mum’s laptop more important than the kid’s Kindles?
Also, camera batteries need charging – I try to have 3 batteries on the go. 1 in the camera, one charged and one being charged – if they are labelled 1, 2, 3 then you always know where you are in the battery cycle!
Read more: Travel Photgraphy – What to Pack
No.02Back up storage.
Back up storage is essential. Especially if you are working on the road you need a way to keep those client images safe. Sometimes it’s a good idea to work with all current projects on your laptop with them backing up to different external hard drives for different purposes.
I have a back up drive for personal work, and a back up drive for client work, and then an additional one which acts as a backup for everything. It may seem like overkill but when you’re creating once in a lifetime memories you really don’t want to lose them. You can set the drives to automatically backup when plugged in and it just happens in the background.
On top of that level of backup cloud storage is always a good idea as and when you have internet access.
Read more: Do’s and Dont’s of Travel Photography
No.03Access to the internet.
Access to the internet is essential when working on the road. Dependent on where you’re traveling it may be something you don’t even need to give a second thought to. But if traveling to remote locations, or a different country then a little more planning may be required.
I travel with a portable router and buy a data sim from a local cellphone carrier when visiting a different country. This often has a daily data allowance so you need to plan your upload/downloads accordingly so that you are delivering images, or backing up at optimum times.
No.04Manage client expectations.
If you’re just on a road trip or traveling for fun then this one doesn’t apply. But if clients are expecting images from you then you have to let them know reasonable time frames, and times when you may be out of contact.
Being on the road is not an excuse for being unreliable. In the same way, you need to manage your own expectations of when you can and can’t work – editing while driving can be tricky!!
No.05Capture your trip.
You’re not there just for the paycheck. You’re there to enjoy your road trip and to live the adventure you’re on. Don’t forget to capture it along the way.
And that means all of it – from the amazing landscapes, to the regular days , including the chores. Even on the road the dishes need washing, lunch needs cooking and the laundry needs to be do sometimes. But that’s part of the adventure – capture those every day moments as much as the spectacular ones.