Travel photography can be one of the most personal and expressive aspects of photography. The notion of traveling to a new place, around the corner or around the world, can offer great rewards to photographers of all walks of life and skill level. In fact, we are almost all drawn to this kind of photography.
Fashion and commercial folks, portrait photographers and wedding photographers alike all agree they LOVE to travel and shoot. However, there is one thing that will make the work even more interesting. Do a bit of research on the locations you will be going to and find something to make a visual statement. Something very specific to that locale.
On a recent trip to a very popular New Orleans cemetery (St. Louis #1), we kept seeing an odd set of X's always in three's on numerous tombs and crypts while walking there. While there are varying degrees of the story from article to article and from tour guide to tour guide, one thing is certain. There is something about those three Xs.
Most locals agree that if you have a wish that needs granting, you go to the cemetery and ask your wish at one of the sites, possibly even from the most famous of all voodoo ladies, Marie LeVeau herself. You break off a piece of brick as an offering from another crypt and have it with you, spin around three times and leave. Then if and when your wish comes true, you return and scratch, write or draw the three Xs.
Whether you believe it or not and if it is true or not really matters little. What matters is that this is a huge part of the history and a very interesting part of visiting and shooting in and around New Orleans, Louisiana on the Gulf coast.
The Marfa Lights in the Southwest Texas desert town of the same name is another travel element that must be seen and photographed to be appreciated. Strange goings-on out there in the desert for sure...
Also, consider the quaint home of children's author Beatrix Potter in the Northern England Lake District area in the UK when traveling abroad. This beautiful little house and the exercise of simply finding this place is as important as all of the great scenes you will find along the way.
Go! Take your cameras and go! Even if it is around the corner, across the city, or another part of the world. By nature, we need to continually be fed visually as photographers. It is as important to shoot this work as is our need to share the work with others. But a little research will help immensely in your quest to come back with stories behind the pictures. It wakes up the visuals when you do.