Often photographers write us and say; “I´m off to Central America/Kenya/Siberia/you name the place… What photos of [that place] do you need?” And first we turn a little green with envy (it´s nice to see the photos, but we´d like to visit there too!). And then we send this:
Our "magical" travel list
- Populations: Larger, modern cities and official (important) government buildings, medium and small-sized towns, churches, houses, villages, schools, universities, hospitals, health clinics
Transportation: Busses, trains, taxis, cars, highways, traffic
Markets: big and small
Local culture: parties, dances, processions, etc
Agriculture: crops, harvesting, workers
Industry and economy (**): of all kind including commercial harbors, railroads and airports specifically
- Landscapes: rivers, mountains, valleys, forests, beaches, etc with very good specific location information/names
(**) Especially important subject
This list is magical because you can use it to plan your trip (from a photographic point of view) whether you are travelling to Belize, England or Timbuktu. However, the magic only goes so far. A hastily taken, poorly lit photo, awfully described and wrongly keyworded of any of the subjects above is not magical and will not sell. A photographer must always consider both the right subject, the right light, the correct description with as many details as possible of the place and sufficient good keywords.
And remember that even if you think there are enough images out there of a given country, city building, etc… yes, you should bother, and yes, you should go there. Your personal touch, style and point of view might make it seem like a whole new place!
Happy travels and happy shooting!