Bali…Paris…and Arctic Glaciers — The Joys of Travel Photography

When my husband and I wanted to escape the rainy Seattle winter weather in 2012, we planned a trip to South East Asia and spent a month on assignment exploring luxury resorts and spas in Bali, Indonesia.

Last summer we relaxed on a luxury barge floating down the Burgundy canal, sipping French wines, visiting local villages and eating fine food along the way. And we did some other business while we were in the neighborhood—in Paris, London, and Wales (nice neighborhood!).

We visited Alaska and kayaked around icebergs and glaciers, captured photos of bear cubs, and floated along on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry—hopping off when we had a story assignment or wanted to explore a place.

Sometimes we stay closer to home and explore the Pacific Northwest. We’ve explored luxury lodges and marinas. We’ve been wine tasting all around Oregon and Washington. We sailed on a vintage schooner on a four-day wine cruise off the coast of Washington state.

I travel like this because I take photographs for a living. I take photos to accompany my husband’s travel features but that’s not all…often the resorts where we stay want photo galleries to use on social media, marketing brochures, and their websites…and photos from our trips can also be used for fine art and stock agencies, too.

When I first started in travel photography, I lived in Asia and worked a corporate job. I had a point-and-shoot camera, no formal training in photography, and I was doing it just for fun.

Then my job moved to Europe. I traveled constantly for work, but spent most of my time in airports, hotels, and windowless office buildings. My husband said I spent my time “in the dark, satanic mills”. (He wasn’t far off.)

So in 2009, when I left my corporate job, I promised myself that I would travel on my own terms from now on. No more windowless offices.

Soon after, we returned to the U.S. and I continued to pursue my travel photography hobby, attending photography courses and live workshops.

Then, accidentally, my husband and I started working together. He sold an article about somewhere we had been in Europe, and the editor asked if he had any photos. Before long, we started selling articles and photos as a package.

Over time, we got better at planning our travels around where we wanted to go and who might be interested in buying the stories and photos about that place. There was a learning curve but these days we have the freedom and flexibility to decide where we want to go, what we want to see, and how long we want to stay away.

What I love about photography is that I am constantly learning. And there’s a lot of flexibility about what I do with my photos.

Travel photography has allowed me to go to many places around the world, stay in luxury accommodations beyond my wildest dreams, and do things that I wouldn’t have otherwise done.

Best of all, I’m enjoying traveling around the world through photography. I fulfilled that promise to myself about traveling on my own terms. Sure beats the dark, satanic mills.

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