If you have eyes, you’ve most likely started at some of Scott Stulberg’s travel photography in amazement. He has a knack for making even the most reserved people gape and stare. He combines galavanting to exquisite locations along with his serious shooting skills to produce his iconic imagery. In the article below, Scott talks about what draws him into travel photography year after year. Thanks for sharing, Scott!

There are so many different things on this earth to photograph and there are many ways to make money with your photography, but my favorite is and always has been travel photography. Ever since I was 13, I was traveling to faraway places. It’s amazing to witness what a big, beautiful world there is out there. Capturing moments in time from some of the special places on earth has always been my passion and I love helping others learn what it takes to do it for a living. It’s not an easy task. There is so much planning needed–not just where to go and where to stay, but what kind of images you want to end up with, too. You also have to consider safety, theft, expenses, travel times, language barriers and so much more. In the end, you hopefully come home with some of your all time best photos and stories to accompany them.

Travel Photography Image © Scott Stulberg - Monks praying in Yangon, Burma

Monks praying in their monastery in Yangon, Burma

The first thing I think is pretty crucial is being comfortable in airports and flying on planes. You will be doing this a lot! During my next trip to Burma and Sri Lanka, I be on about 15 different planes by the time I get home. It’s not really something I look forward to, but to get the shots that you want, you have to do it. Pay close attention to booking your tickets as places like Expedia can be a nightmare if you need to change your itinerary. For me, dealing directly with the airlines is worth a little extra expense. They’re much better at working with you.

Travel Photography Image © Scott Stulberg - Santorini, Greece

Sunrise in the town of Oai in Santorini, Greece

Another big part of travel photography is deciding on gear. You certainly don’t want to carry extra stuff. Many times I pick and choose lenses and other accessories to bring for each location I will be visiting. If I know I will be going to somewhere like the Galapagos Islands, I will bring my 15mm fisheye and lots of rain gear. If I’m going to Burma or Cambodia, I’ll definitely my flashes and reflectors because I will be shooting a lot of monks and children.

You have to tailor your gear to your trips. Best thing to do is sit down and think about what you absolutely need and what you definitely can live without.

Travel Photography Image © Scott Stulberg - Massai Tribesman

A villager from the Massai tribe in Kenya, Africa

Tripods are a must, but they aren’t the easiest thing to pack. Camera backpacks can get heavy. More often than not you will realize that you brought plenty stuff that you didn’t need. I make checklists while I’m traveling of things that I didn’t need and things that I forgot to bring. No matter where you seem to be, there’s always something you wish you had remembered. Checklists are great.

With digital, now we are bringing laptops, hard drives, battery chargers and more. Unfortunately, there is a weight for everything. If you’re traveling to places like Africa, you are limited by how much weight you can take on the plane, so careful planning is crucial!

Travel Photography Image © Scott Stulberg - Elephant in Jaipur, India

A painted elephant and it’s trainer in Jaipur, India

Doing your homework before you go is probably the best advice I can give. I look through Google, Pinterest, and everywhere I can on the web and in bookstores because I want to see where my next adventure might take me. By doing your research first, you get a good idea of what it might cost and how long you should stay in each location. Some of my workshops are for far away locations, and some closer to home. Either way, people get a good idea of what it’s like to be a travel photographer. I love showing them exactly what to expect, what to do, and how to get the best shots. Be warned, traveling with a lot of gear to places you’ve never been can be intimidating, but the effort pays off!

Travel Photography Image © Scott Stulberg - Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower at dusk.

Traveling to amazing places around the globe is much different than taking a weekend trip to Las Vegas. Putting significant effort in research always seems to pay off. There is nothing out there that really excites people more than beautiful places that are far away, so the photos you end up with are priceless.

And as Mark Twain said:  “20 years from now…You will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails”

Explore, Dream, Discover! For this is the essence of travel photography!

Check out more from Scott on his website. If you’re interested in attending one of his workshops, the announcements are posted on his blog as new workshops come available.

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