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Photography behind travel writing

by kasiawrites
woman holding a camera towards the viewer

These days it seems that photography is synonymous with travel. Everywhere you go, there are people with cameras – both point-and-shoot and professional quality – smartphones and even tablets. Let’s be honest, we all do it. But are we all motivated the same way?

My first trip to Paris all those years ago marked my first foray into travelling with a camera. It wasn’t anything fancy and it took pretty crappy pics. I remember seeing everyone around me with much better equipment and being envious of said cameras. It was then that I knew I had to get a better one myself and so I did. I haven’t stopped taking pics since.

First encounter with photography

Do you remember the first time you had a run-in with photography? For some, this type of event is accidental. Some find inspiration from others. For me, it was a photography class in high school. I have even experimented with a pinhole camera!

The class introduced me to the basics, including developing my own black and white film. Although I’m really grateful that with the advancements in technology I no longer have to develop film in a dark room, the fascination has stayed with me.

I think deep down inside I was always intrigued by it. As I can’t draw or paint, I have always felt limited in my artistic ability. Photography has opened up the world to me and allowed me to capture things that I see. I’m probably more comfortable with holding a camera and editing software rather than a paintbrush or an instrument. That’s probably a good thing.

How does photography inspire you

People take pictured of different things. Some love snapping selfies with cool backgrounds, others turn every meal into a photoshoot. Instagram is full of photos that inspire those who see them and those who take them. Every one of them different from the rest.

I have always loved looking at old photographs to see what life was like in the past. How people looked, what they wore, how they spend their days. Photographs tend to capture those moments in time and give us a glimpse into the past. For me, that’s always really exciting. I mean, how cool is it to see the past? Every time I’m in a museum, an old building of historical importance or some fancy digs, I get absolutely giddy when I come across old photos of the place. Don’t you?

What kind of photographer are you?

There are as many different types of travel photographers as there are travellers.  I liked What’s Your Travel Photography Style? blog by Stewie Overseas, as it gives a neat breakdown of the types of photographers you can meet. Me? I’m definitely into architecture.

After my Indiana Jones phase, the next best thing I wanted to be was a photojournalist for National Geographic. I wanted to travel the world, take pictures and write about my travels. In a way, I do get to do this now, but it’s called a travel blogger. I love taking pictures of places I visit, but I am the most drawn to buildings.

There is something about architecture that appeals to me. Buildings stay pretty much the same while the world around them changes. That seems to be true of all structures like the Colosseum, the Parthenon, the Pyramids and the Great Wall. The grand royal palaces of the rich and famous, the monuments to the victories of the past. All hold secrets and tales that fascinate me. All of them are probably going to outlast my time on this planet. I want to capture them as I see them so that the people in the future can look back to our time. It’s like leaving a little mark on the world.


Why do you take pictures?

There are many reasons people take pictures. For some, travel photography represents memories and mementos of the trips they went on. To show others the places they visited, things they have done and such. Many do it for fame while others do it for posterity. No matter why you take them, images are a great way to capture the world around us.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but there is something about a narrative that can bring an image to life.

So, why do you take pictures? What type of photographer are you? Let me know!

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Barry O'Leary May 12, 2018 - 3:50 am

Photography is becoming the new literature. I love taking photos, and then going back over them to help me write. But a well written piece with description, feeling, and humour will always win for me.

While I strive for beautiful pictures, I long more for stunning words and descriptions, details, and memories that will jog all travel lovers.

I had my camera and diary nicked off me in Rio del Janeiro. I miss them both, and I’ll be able to search Google and get photos of the places I saw, but I’ll never get those words back.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Barry o Leary

kasiawrites May 26, 2018 - 1:10 pm

You are welcome! I think there is something really awesome about capturing images of the places we visit, but without conext they are just images. We put a part of ourselves into the story behind the image. That’s what makes this blogging thing fun 🙂

I’m sorry to hear you got your stuff stolen. It’s never easy especially if it’s something that’s not easily replaceable.

PJHAZE March 13, 2018 - 12:28 pm


Please all follow my blog to see my Travel Photography I will be posting at the end of the month on my trip I will be going on round Cuba, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Guatemala for 4 months!

I would love to know all your thoughts and opinions on my Photography.

karenalmarez March 4, 2018 - 5:36 am

Hi Kasia! Thanks for sharing this! For me, it’s really an advantage to have a good Smartphone that can produce great quality photos like DSLR. Though of course, SLR’s are way better since you can play much with the quality of your photos. But smartphones can be at par too. Plus, they are handy. 🙂 Just to share my view. 🙂

kasiawrites March 4, 2018 - 10:31 am

Karen you are absolutely right! Phone are way more handy! It’s easier to use them and carry them around. I always felt that way until I upgraded my DSLR. That thing is a beauty! And I can send the photos to my phone right away! However, it is bigger and heavier than my phone! 🙈 I normally bring them both. Here to have too many than no to have enough 😁

Alycia February 20, 2018 - 6:08 pm

I definitely think the rise of social media has impacted to photo taking game. 🙂 Thanks for writing!

kasiawrites February 20, 2018 - 6:17 pm

You’re welcome 🤗 Social has definitely played a role both positive and negative.

delphinethebabbler February 1, 2018 - 3:54 pm

Wonderfully written post! I’m a newbie to traveling as I’ve only just made it a big part of my life as a blogger about 5 months ago, but since then photography has become a huge part of my life. A lot of my pictures are still rather beginner status but I think I’m finally getting a sense on what screams “picture-worthy” to me. I often take pics of views, landscapes and of course me with the view which I then add to my blog and instagram.
However, I will NEVER be a selfie stick girl. I’m a solo traveler so getting pics taken of myself is sometimes rather difficult but I would still rather ask complete strangers than go out and buy one of those sticks.

kasiawrites February 1, 2018 - 4:31 pm

I think as you travel more your style changes and evolves. I have a tripod that is fantastic for taking photos when I travel. 😀 So happy to hear that you’re getting more comfortable with photography. It truly is an amazing outlet.

amindfultravellerblog January 31, 2018 - 5:59 am

I think this is quite a personal question, each one of us will have a different, unique answer. I do agree though, that being in the moment is extremely important. Not only capturing these moments form behind a lens, but being mindful of it and present within is vital. Xx

kasiawrites January 31, 2018 - 11:10 am

You’re absolutely right. We are all coming from a different perspective and that’s what makes photography so unique 😊

thewonderer86 January 31, 2018 - 3:18 am

It’s a good question: why do we take photos. I often ask myself this – when there are so many photos of the same thing out there. But I guess it’s personal – I think it has to do with creativity – expressing myself, putting my own spin on things. I love wondering about, camera in hand, waiting for inspiration to strike.

kasiawrites January 31, 2018 - 11:09 am

I agree, I think people view things differently so we can all take a pic of the same thing but the results will be different. As the say, beauty is the eye of the beholder, so to speak 😁 I also love having my camera and taking pictures. You never know what you can discover 📸

Jennifer | Stewie Overseas January 30, 2018 - 9:09 am

Thanks for mentioning my blog post about different styles of travel photography. Photography is such an important part of travel.

kasiawrites January 30, 2018 - 9:33 am

I really thought it was a good breakdown of different photographer types 👍🏼

Jennifer | Stewie Overseas January 30, 2018 - 9:53 am


ostendnomadography January 30, 2018 - 7:47 am

Well Kasia, about this topic… I have been thinking a long time: What is photography. For me? For others? It is just a memory? Or an expression of (y)our creative beast (ok let’s say soul:) ) inside you/us. Through the years we have made progression on many aspects in our life and traveling is also learning… and ups, we have a fascination for something new. I started to photograph, just to have a memory, about 7 years ago. I bought a good compact camera, followed a course (But I quitted, i don’t have it for time waster students and teachers who don’t show any passion), Made steps on the technical aspect. Horizon, shutter time… tripods, you name it. Now,today…. I experimented with filters, fascination for urban stuff: architecture:), a bit of street life. Abstractism. Sometimes I think back on this photography course, it was good… pushed me in the good direction but passion is inside us, can be developed by ourself. But passion, nobody can learn us this.The sky is the limit. Kasia, again a wonderfull blogpost, you rock!

Jennifer | Stewie Overseas January 30, 2018 - 9:12 am

I think photography is definitely about expressing your creativity and not just recording memories. Though that is important when you travel. There’s so much to learn about photography, and lots of things to explore. You’re right, there’s no limit when it’s your passion.

ostendnomadography January 30, 2018 - 9:22 am

And in addition, the last year, often I put my camera in bag. Stunning landscapes? Wow! We have to enjoy too, breath. Not only focused on photography but also enjoy the moment. Not thinking about blogposts,how to share, what can be a nice title. No no. Just enjoy the moment and the beauty of a certain place.

kasiawrites January 30, 2018 - 9:37 am

There is that too. I find myself taking my camera with me almost everywhere. You never know when you come across something wonderful 📸

kasiawrites January 30, 2018 - 9:34 am

Absolutely! I think the more curious you are about it the more likely you are to experiment with it

kasiawrites January 30, 2018 - 9:33 am

Thanks so much Stefaan! I think you’re absolutely right about the passion part. Most people just snap pics without much thought. It takes more than just the want to documenting your trips to be even looking at oneself as a photographer. For me, it’s a constant development. I used to work with filters but haven’t in many years. Now that I have a good camera I plan on experimenting with them again. Street art is always a nice one 👍🏼

ostendnomadography January 30, 2018 - 9:40 am

We can not decide to each how they have to enjoy a getaway or trip. But still I think, if people wanna share a photo: respect yourself and the beauty: for example: make sure that at least the Horizon is correct. But, as avid hobby photographers, maybe we see it sometimes to technical:)

kasiawrites January 30, 2018 - 10:04 am

The rise of selfie stick photography are all the rage! 😜

ostendnomadography January 30, 2018 - 10:08 am

Stop it!😂😂😂😂😛

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