I have not blogged in some time but let’s be honest, the few of you out there who have come across this blog probably did not take much notice. In light of this, I have renewed my sense of motivation and ambition after travelling Italy for almost one month.
Travel is the topic of the day. You can travel across states (if you are from the USA), you can travel to neighboring cities, or you can even jet your way across vast oceans to unlock cultures previously only known to you through television and movies. The latter has been, and always will be, my choice of adventure. There is nothing like hoping on a long plan ride, only to take a train ride before taking a taxi ride to your final destination. The extended, almost ridiculous, amount, and types, of travel adds to the sense of discovery and will put you in your own personal movie if you can imagine the cameras following you around.
All of the movie jokes aside, I decided to “Eat, Pray, Love” my way through Italia with the help of my wonderful girlfriend and my mostly fantastic brother. I guess there was another movie joke in there.
We spent just over three weeks exploring the best that Italy has to offer, all while finding some amazing photographic opportunities and scouting places for future photo excursions. We started in the Dolomites, a mountain range that could rival any other in its class. The combination of sharp mountain peaks and rolling hillsides will make you want to sing at the top of your lungs (sound of music?). From the north, we explored Venice, Florence, Toscana, La Spezia and finally ended at a small farm house near the city of Perugia. In the south, we traveled to Rome and Naples before ending our trip with a five day rest and relaxation experience in the Italian Riviera.
Although, there was quite a bit of R&R involved with our trip to culinary Mecca, we ultimately went there to explore new horizons for my photography company. I wanted to inject a bit of culture and excitement into my photography and I knew that traveling to foreign soil would do the trick. Not only did I want to capture some amazing moments, but I also wanted to create some of my classic over the top composites with the help of Italy’s people, resources, and scenery.
However, I quickly learned that planning and executing some composite work in a foreign country without ever having been there before is extremely difficult. This is not to say I could not have done it because I could have. However, I would never have gotten the photos to be 100% and I am too much of a perfectionist to let photos just be “good enough.”
Instead of trying to achieve the unachievable, I decided to turn myself into a street photographer and treat the trip as an exercise in com position and subject matter while also scouting potential location for composite photographs from future travels. In addition, I scouted location for future photography workshops that I hope to host within the next three years!
My time as a street photographer taught me three lessons:
- Never leave your camera at home. You will miss too much and will always be wishing you had it.
- Shoot for stories: see the textures, the colors, and the shapes as part of the foreign landscape.
- Always shoot, even if you don’t think it looks right.
These lessons go against my code as a composite photographer because I am very methodical when it comes to planning and creating photos, however, I learned a lot about how to explore the world through the lens. Using natural elements and candid subjects, you can create amazing stories that will evoke emotional responses from your audience.
Perhaps more important than the three new lessons, I gained a renewed sense of self as well as an increased motivation to build my photography brand. I want to travel the world and welcome budding photographers to it. I want to open the door to the globe for people wanting to explore it from behind the camera. This means that hosting international workshops is in my near future!
Until then, go out and enjoy the world, or maybe just these cool photos from our Italy trip!