Travel photography is all glamour, all the time. You get to be in the world’s most beautiful places under stunning conditions. People are happy to see you and they treat you well.
Of course, sometimes you get to work 20-hour days. Sometimes you have to photograph snowmobiling at 30 below and sometimes you get to photograph the apple blossoms in an orchard the day after the beehives are delivered to pollinate.
I’ve gotten poison ivy in Wisconsin, and chiggers in Kansas. I’ve been bled by black flies in Michigan and covered in lake flies in Ohio. I’ve gotten sea sick in the North Atlantic and sunburned on an elephant ride in Thailand.
Sometimes I get to photograph fine dining and then grab McDonald’s on the way to the next shot on the list. Sometimes I get to hike into the prairie before dawn only to find I am standing in the midst of buffalo when the sun comes up. Sometimes I say words like, “Oh, shit!” when that happens.
But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Last week I got to photograph in northern Wisconsin for the Minocqua Chamber of Commerce. For two days we shot skiing, skating, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, zip lining and dining.
It was cold the first day, and colder the next. I don’t know what the wind chill is when the temp is 20 below and your snowmobile is going 50 miles an hour…but I can tell you it’s a little unpleasant. If your visor is down, you can’t see through your camera. If your visor is up, your eyes water so much that you can’t see through the camera. It’s a quandary.
With today’s cameras, anyone can get a good shot now and again when conditions are perfect. The question a working man has to ask is, what’s going to happen when conditions stink?
The answer…gear up and keep going. Make the place look pretty, no matter what.
It’s your job.