Pursuing a career in Fashion and Commercial photography has been quite the adventure so far – full of ups and downs and obstacles and amazing moments all along the way. I’ve had the opportunity to photograph in places like Ibiza, Spain, Miami, Puerto Rico, France, Brazil and many other neat places around the globe for clients. Nothing inspires me more than interesting people and gorgeous places and when you are able to combine the two, it is like pure magic, and that is my ultimate passion.
My first break in the industry was shooting for a docu-reality travel TV show called “Get Out” on AXS television. I spent 4 years photographing swimsuit models for the show and after breaking 3 suitcases in one year alone, I found that there truly is an Art to Traveling and that art begins with finding reliable, durable, and functional camera bags because boy my luggage sure takes a beating! Many locations I seek out take me to rugged areas and remote places so I need something I can rely on. Nothing is worse than having to drag a heavy bag around the country with broken wheels or handles. This is why I ultimately chose and rely on the Manfrotto Advanced Active Backpack and the Professional RollerBag 70 which suit my needs perfectly!!
When I am jumping on a flight, I need a roller bag that I can fit ALL of my camera gear in, fit in the overhead compartments, and keep everything safe and secure. And once I get to a location such as the beach where I am dealing with sand and the elements, I like to put my gear essentials into my Active Backpack so I can wear it and shoot at the same time. It has easy access compartments so I can switch lenses quickly. The Manfrotto line has definitely made my travels a lot less hectic and gives me the peace of mind so I can focus on what is important – the connection with my subject and capturing that iconic image.
So if you plan to embark on an epic photo adventure soon, which I hope you will :)… you might try some of these quick and easy travel photography tips I have learned along the way:
Immerse yourself in the culture: Instead of staying in a hotel, try AirBnb.com and book a house or apartment near where you’d like to shoot. I have found that it is a more dynamic experience and it is often much cheaper. Plus you can utilize the Airbnb as a location in the production as well.
Book an extra couple days: When I am shooting a client gig in some destination, I always try to book an extra day or two to explore and create new portfolio work. Sometimes it is hard because of my intense schedule but when it does allow for it, this is the perfect opportunity to create new personal work in a new location without having to spend too much extra $.
Utilize the best light: I love using natural light. And it is interesting that the light is different everywhere you go so discovering this is part of the fun. I always try to shoot at the most flattering times of day so I’ll start shooting in the early morning and then break for lunch during harsh midday Sun and then shoot until the Sun sets. Or if I am stuck shooting midday, I always look for shade or create my own shade with a scrim. Subjects skin will glow in magic hour and shade lighting.
Take a wide variety of imagery: Even if you’re just traveling and shooting vacation photos, try taking a wide variety of images from wide angle scenery shots, to close-ups of faces, texture, food, and colors. The most boring album only has scenery… so try putting yourself or people into your scenery images. This will add an extra dimension to your story.
Go compact: When I am traveling for fun, I love to keep my gear simple, light, and effective. I’ll take my Manfrotto backpack and pack my Nikon D5500 Compact DSLR and my favorite lens- the Nikkor 85mm F1.4 which is versatile for capturing both scenery and people. And then I fill the backpack up with other necessities like sunscreen, towels, lipgloss, swimsuit and etc 😉
Anyway thank you for taking the time to read this little blurb and happy shooting!!! 🙂
CHEERS, Dixie (www.dixiedixon.com)