The How and Why of Making a Travel Photo Essay

Instagram, in particular, is full of high-quality travel photography — there's no end to it. But if you want to tell a personal story from your adventuring or pique the interest of a commercial entity with the hope of landing a new photography client, then you need to be able to produce a cohesive set of images.  

In this video, travel and adventure photographer, Brian Lackey, explains the how and why of making a travel photo essay. He neatly condenses his tips for how to go about this process into six steps. As for the why; he alludes to it at the start of the video by explaining how taking an epic golden-hour shot of a landscape doesn't really tell the viewer anything about the place other than the fact that there might be some great views there. One could say that it isn't really travel photography, it's just landscape photography. 

Most of the time, locations or destinations are more than just their landscapes — it's about people, culture, food, etc. There's nothing wrong with going to locations to explicitly take landscape photos but if you want to tell the story of a place you need to factor in all these different elements. Lackey's six tips are a great guide for getting started and you don't even need to hop on a plane or go on a big road trip. You can practice using your own local area or the next nearest point of interest.

Have you considered creating a series of photos to tell a story instead of shooting single, stand-alone images?

Mike O'Leary's picture

Mike is a landscape and commercial photographer from, Co. Kerry, Ireland. In his photographic work, Mike tries to avoid conveying his sense of existential dread, while at the same time writing about his sense of existential dread. The last time he was in New York he was mugged, and he insists on telling that to every person he meets.

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