Before we get started with this week’s travel photography tip, some of you have probably noticed I am massively behind in answering comments right now. Mea Culpa – things have been somewhat frantic recently, and are likely to be so for the next couple of weeks. Rest assured I read and appreciate every single comment (yes, even the spam!), even if I can’t always respond right away.
Travel Photography Tip #4: Negotiate Up Front
For most people, travel photography is just aspect of their holiday activities. This is especially the case if you are travelling with a non-photographically-minded travel partner (be that your significant other, family member, or friend). When trying to balance travel photography against other activities in your limited holiday time, you may want to consider negotiating travel photography time with your partner/s before you go.
Discussing things up front means you can agree some time for travel photography take a priority, and some time when you’ll let it take a back seat in favour of their priorities. One point that is frequently raised post-holiday by keen photographers is that they’d ‘hoped for more time’ for photography. But there’s no point hoping you’ll be able to squeeze some time in, and feeling disappointed if it doesn’t work out, if you didn’t tell your travel buddies you wanted to do it in the first place. Of course, this works both ways – they probably have something they want to dedicate some holiday time for as well.
When I went on holidays with my sister (who is well aware of my tendency to be easily distracted – for long periods of time – by photographically interesting objects), we spent some time before we left discussing what we really wanted for the trip. While we generally have fairly similar travel preferences, there is one difference; I enjoy photography, and she doesn’t (and she loves museums, while I can take ’em or leave ’em). Based on what each of us really wanted to do and see, we easily came to a agreement on when I would try and keep the impact of my photography on the schedule to a minimum, and when she’d accommodate (reasonable) requests for extra photography time.
The most important thing about these discussions was not the resolution we ended up with, but the fact that both of us were on the same page, and that we were both aware of each others priorities. We didn’t need a detailed agreement – just a sense that both of us were willing to compromise to make sure we both got what we wanted out of the trip. And it worked – she got her museums; I got photography time when I really wanted it, and we both had a brilliant time!