Best Travel Options For Photographers


If you’re like me, you love to travel and you love to take pictures.  But if you want the best opportunities to take great photos you need to select travel options that will put you in the right places at the right times.  Some travel options like cruises and bus tours just don’t give you enough camera time during the golden hours following sunrise and preceding sunset.  Their schedules are opposite of what photographers need.  Travelling on your own can be hit or miss unless you do a great deal of research in advance.


Fortunately, there are several good options for photographers.  The first is a photo tour.  This type of tour focuses on the needs of photographers and takes you to venues that are photogenic.  They tend to be scheduled around events that photographers would want to shoot and they put you in the right places when the light is best.  They are generally scheduled during periods of good weather to maximize the opportunities for photography.  As you might expect, photo tours are led by professional photographers so the opportunity to learn new skills is also included.


Photo tours usually focus on a particular type of photography such as wildlife, landscapes or people so you should choose a tour that you will be comfortable with.  There are several websites that include lists of photo tours and workshops including:


There is another option for travel photography that is attractive to people who want more flexibility than organized tours offer.  Every photo tour company runs research trips to check out areas before they offer a tour.  In some cases they are willing to take a few people along to get other opinions of an area’s appeal.  The costs are typically lower for research trips but, as the name implies, they are conducted to find out what works and what doesn’t so parts of the trip tend to be great while other parts may not.  You definitely need an open mind and be willing to accept the conditions you encounter if you want to travel this way.


The final option that I recommend is an unescorted tour that has been planned by a photographer.  This is generally a private or self-drive tour that follows recommendations made by a photographer that has been to the area before.  This option allows you to customize your own itinerary taking advantage of a photographer’s knowledge of the area.  Most photography tour companies will create custom trips for you and some offer the option of driving yourself around while others recommend a driver or driver and guide.


So, the next time you plan to take a trip with your camera, figure out what types of photos you want to take and find a trip that will maximize your opportunities.  If you’re the type of individual that shoots 500 images when the subject interests you, find a trip that you think will interest you every day and plan to shoot, store and process 500 images a day.  You will have the time of your life and some great photos to prove it.


May your travel and your photography both be rewarding!


     Roger Nelson