Traveling Elopement Photographers: Top Tips for Female Solo Travel
As elopement photographers who travel, our business can be a lonely one. We travel to events, shoot them, then spend hours upon hours culling and editing our photos. Most of this is done alone aside from perhaps a second shooter, an assistant, or outsourcing some of our editing. Traveling alone as female photographers provides unique situations that can require specific strategy and planning. Here’s how I make the most of my solo travel and how other female traveling photographers can do the same!
The majority of tactics I use when traveling is just common sense that I would utilize back home anyway. There is a healthy level of fear that aids in making you self-aware and careful. For example, I consider many factors when making stops on the road: did I park in good lighting? Are there cameras around? Are other people present, or am I alone? Should I get gas before the sun goes down even if I still have half a tank? These are all questions you should ask yourself as traveling photographers, especially when you’re a female traveling alone.
Sharing my location on my iPhone with a bunch of friends is something I do for fun on a regular basis. I also do this because I want people to know where I am as I’m solo traveling. I always try to tell someone what my travel plans are for the day or week so at least one person would know where I was if something were to happen.
If you have a long road trip ahead of you and you’re traveling solo–plan accordingly. Recently, I drove 17 hours in one day by myself and had told almost everyone I knew that I was driving that far. I asked friends to call me if they thought of it during that time period. It was SHOCKING when my entire day was filled with random phone calls from friends phoning in from all over!
I probably had about 25 people call me that day. Not only did I get to catch up with some friends, but it also made my trip feel much shorter. If phone calls can’t work out because of timing or cell service, I always download my favorite podcasts ahead of time to distract me from the length of the trip!
This might sound silly to my fellow traveling elopement photographers, but something that has made traveling really enjoyable is this: coffee. If I am somewhere completely unfamiliar, I can always count on Starbucks to be a consistent stop on my path. My go-to order is a half-sweet hot vanilla latte and a sausage, cheddar & egg sandwich. It always tastes the same, and that’s what I love about it! It’s something familiar on that endless road of unfamiliar that provides a bit of comfort and literal warmth on my journey!
One of my other favorite habits while on the road is finding local coffee shops with GOOD COFFEE in the particular city I’m traveling to! It’s such a fun way to connect to the local people of the city, as well as invest in a small business!
Ever since my experience of having all of my photography gear stolen from my car, I have taken extra precautions when I’m on the road. This is important for all traveling photographers to keep in mind as we usually bring most of the gear that provides our livelihood. One part of my solution to this is carrying around a belt bag on my person at all times. It contains all of my super important items: credit cards, hard drives, driver’s license, and anything else that I couldn’t bear losing. Having these items on my body (and sometimes carrying around my camera bag too) provides a peace of mind that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
I believe that fear shouldn’t keep you from traveling alone and living your life to the fullest. It just means that you have to take some extra precautions to make your experience run smoothly and safely. By traveling solo, I have learned so much about myself. I have gained the skill of actually enjoying spending time by myself so that joining the ranks of solo traveling photographers doesn’t feel lonely.
This might seem like an odd concept, but you really have to learn how to be alone well or you will be miserable. I have become an avid people-watcher, and I have learned that there are kind people truly everywhere you go. If you travel alone, you absolutely cannot be afraid to talk to a stranger. Some of the days, strangers are the only people you’ll encounter!
I firmly believe we as humans are better together than we are apart. I would choose to be with people any day over traveling alone. Sometimes, you don’t have any other option so it’s important that you know how to still enjoy the time!
If you are looking to travel with other photographers (even though traveling solo is great!) then join us for our next Invitation content day! We would love to have you!
Video | Dragr Productions
Planner | K. Rose Events
Venue | Rimrock Ranch
Dress | BHLDN Weddings
Makeup Artist | Alexandra J Beauty
Florist | Hermano Flower Shop
Caterer | Wheat and Fire Mobile Catering
DJ | Extreme DJ Service