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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

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Class Trailer

Class Introduction


How to Break Into Travel & Destination Wedding Photography


How Are You Perceived as a Photographer?


Brand Yourself Before Others Brand You


Activity: What Are Your Photography Goals?


Owning Your Own Style


Preparing for a Photoshoot


The Importance of Research


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

I'm Laura Grier. I'm an adventurer destination travel photographer. I've been doing this for 16 years, s Christmas said. I've traveled all over the world, 65 different countries, and I am so excited to be here to talk about being coming a travel photographer, because there's so much that goes into that much more than you would even realize in terms of photography and writing and everything else. So I want to talk about for the next whole class and all everything. How to create your dream lifestyle of while traveling the world. And honestly, it's easier than you think. And it's much better than having a job that is that you hopefully fund the lifestyle that you want to have. Let's let's stood altogether right So I wish someone had told me back when I was young and back when I was starting. I think I'm still young, but back when I was starting that it's you have so much more control over the kind of jobs that you want in the kind of clients that you want to attract and and that you reall...

y can pick and choose where you want to go and brand yourself as a photographer as a travel photographer. I just spent so much time fearing or looking at other people and wanting to be them and trying to figure out how to be them and kind of doubting myself and not celebrating what made me unique. What made me cool is a photographer and celebrating just why I was different. So I wanted to talk a lot about that throughout the course, about how kind of our fear and our lack of confidence in ourselves is usually the only thing that gets in our way, like honestly of doing the things that we want to do. It's not that unattainable, and a lot of it is starting right here just by being here is by logging and by being open to hearing suggestions. You're already starting your path, traveling the world and becoming travel photographer and doing the dream job that you want. So basically, I want to talk about how to turn. Maybe you're a little bit of envy of certain people into motivation, right? I want to talk about how having intention and adding intention to your work and strategy can really enhance your photography, but also get you these jobs that you may not even know exist out there. And I want Before we go in, we talk about travel, photography, jobs. What? Why are you all here? And I mean everyone like you. All in the logging on a swell. Why are you here? Are you interested in becoming a professional photographer? How many professional photographers to be had here in the audience? You okay? And so some of you may be interested in becoming a photographer, Maybe you guys are looking to add travel and excitement to your already existing in travel photography businesses. Maybe you are looking just to get your photos published or easier ways to do that. Show hands like who just wants to add more travel to their life. Exciting. Yeah. Okay. Was everybody So whatever your reasons are for tuning in, I want to really help you turn your dreams into reality. And I don't want to preach like this is how you do it. And, you know, a lot of these stories are sort of my path and how I got where I am right now. Um, and it's still evolving. I'm still evolving every day. I'm still learning to be a better writer and a better photographer, and I watch creativelive videos of other people that inspire me. So I'm not up here telling you that I'm like the top of my game. I'm just here to kind of So you had it to get to the next level in your business. Uh, but most importantly, I want to talk about how to get your trips and these jobs funded some of these dream ideas that you have, how they actually turn them into jobs. And a lot of what I'm gonna be talking about is is aspirational. Ah, lot of it is not photography related. People think being a travel photographers, all photography, and it's not and it's being a modern photographer today. It's so different. It's such a different road map than it used to be. It is. It is a lot of writing. It is a lot of pitching ideas. It's a lot of reaching out to editors. It's a lot of starting the conversation. It gone are the days where photographers are part of a staff for a magazine and they come up with a trip and they send you on it. That doesn't work. That's not what's happening today. You have to be the one that goes out there and get sitting, creates the jobs in the stories. And on top of that, a lot of it I'm gonna be talking about today is branding on. Branding is can mean a lot of different things. And we'll talk about color branding, photo branding, video branding, branding yourself even just the way you talk about yourself. And I'm gonna also show later on in the course, I'm gonna really dive into how to pitch and how what travel editors want and how to write your articles and set that up and things like that, so we'll dive into that a little bit more. But what I really wanted to say is that the whole course is going to be sort of like my stories. I'm going to tell you visual stories, video stories, personal stories and all these stories have sort of a lesson at the end that I hope you'll take because some of them were, you know, failures in certain ways, and some of them were expensive lessons, and hopefully you want the make this mistakes. You can just hear some of things that I did and and be able to apply that to your own businesses. So the key detaining your dreams is right now not to sound hokey or anything like that. But, like, honestly, you're in this room. The fact that you're already here is your well, on your way. And so I wanted to before I get into the fund story. The next slide. I wanted to talk about a little bit of my beginning, so I grew up in an unusual family. My parents were both see a We traveled the world. I lived in Indonesia. The 1st 4 years of my life and travel and being around other cultures and other languages has been something I was sort of born into. My first passport voter's me, like six months being like held up in front of the cameras. So I've been doing this for a while. I have three sisters and two of them live abroad in Europe, and you know, honestly that that bug, that wanderlust that I called my website is has been ingrained in me and, um, and it's It's the reason why I am a travel photographer today I worked at National Geographic Azan intern. I also worked at the Central Intelligence Agency for while I was in college and learned how to repurpose and the cost by images into all kinds of really fun stuff. And it all of it together, has kind of made me the wanderlust. They're in the traveler and adventure that I am. So I wanted First start with a story of a recent trip that I just did to the Czech Republic and Monaco in Italy. And basically it is my James Bond themed road trip across the Czech Republic. Great, so it's kind of funny. I wanted to tell this story a because it's the most recent shoot that I did. But because I want to tell you how it started from idea to reality, I was cuddled up with my boyfriend, Winston, watching, uh, James Bond Casino Royale one night and basically I was like, Oh my God, how cool would it be to be in this movie? The film, this movie? I was looking at the scenery in the movie, and it was amazing. It was castles and, you know, casinos and glitzy nous and all this stuff, and, you know, it's kind of a win win like to be both watching Daniel Craig like every guy wants to be like Bond. And, you know, I I would love to be a various types of bond girls, like who knows? So I was like, singer watching movie like God, that was so amazing to be able to do a road trip like that and just get a fancy car and drive around, you know, to all these other locations. So I Googled where the movie was filmed, and I was shocked on it. I found out that it was filmed in the Czech Republic, cause I really didn't know anything about the Czech Republic. So, um, I started Googling the places like had this would be really cool. And then I thought, how cool would it be to Dio like, kind of a romantic trip with your significant other Could be a honeymoon or something like that. And instead of being like on a lounge chair and is having drinks and was hanging out by the pool having more of an adventurous story behind it because for me and Winston were like adrenaline junkies. Well, we go on vacation. It's like we're gonna snowmobile somewhere do something crazy or hike a mountain. So we're not the typical couple that just wanted to, like, sit and stare into each other's eyes. Er, I don't even only on vacation. So I decided, like, OK, this is really quote. We should do that. So asked Winston, like what? Have you turned in the bond? We like rent a fancy car. We go across the Czech Republic and visit all these places. And he was like, All right, well, who's gonna be my other bond girls? So the guy thing to say And I was like, Wait, I could be all the bond girls. I could get some wigs. We get some outfits to be really fun. We could make a movie posters, and then it just started rolling like the ideas. Oh, okay. I could get a stylist. I could dearly And I just started really thinking of, like, a clever idea. Like what a cool way to do an adventure road trip. So, in order to make a reality, I thought, Okay, I'm gonna write to the border tourism the Czech Republic and tell them idea I'm going to say, Hey, I'd love to do this road trip. I write for helping Impose and various other publications. I'm also a professional photographer, and so I wrote a whole pitch and we'll get into that later. I'll show you how to pitch. They love the idea. And they wrote me back and said, Not only would we want to invite you and Winston come to the Czech Republic, but we want to take care of everything. We want to invite you to the Karlovy Vary Film Festival so we could like where the tux and do the red carpet be like Super Bond style. And we, um, they researched all the locations in the movie, made a timeline for us hired English speaking guides. Help this out like helped us like playing out the itinerary rental cars like everything. And so it was amazing because the border tourism was like a huge resource, you know, and I was like, OK, this is really happening. So now I've never really modeled for myself. It was a little difficult, so I was like, I need outfit So I reached out, says celebrity stylist Caylee Rinker. And she does a really cool thing. She actually does styling for people's honeymoons and she will not only go shopping for you and pull outfits and help you plan outfits, but she'll send it ahead to your hotels. It's waiting there for you. And I thought, Whoa, this could be a cool service. Like I could write about it, since it will be kind of like an adventure honeymoon idea and give her press. And so in exchange for that, she donated her time to style us. And then we were on our way. We packed their bags and we went, And so I want to show you some of the pictures from it. So basically my inspiration, the movie, my research. Usually I do my own research and I'll talk a little bit more about that. But in this particular case, the border tourism did a lot of it for me, Which is amazing. My preparation waas really just I planned out according to the locations that they, uh, research for me. Which outfits should go where I Google searched James Bond and his outfits and really, like, planned styled that out like I would do for a fashion shoot. And, um, I basically just had to think of logistics of how we're gonna bring the clothes. How are we gonna get photo permission like some of the places where, like the Montecarlo casino and the broke library in Prague Worm, you know, like you need to get voted permission to go there. And that was another thing that the Board of Tourism was able to help us with. And that was very cool. On the other thing was the mission itself. Like we had to be able to go to these places and like quick change and some things outfits and do the shoot sometimes very quickly, and and then continue on her way. So I want to show something off it. So basically some of the photos are composited. We don't know why it is, but I would set up the pictures and, like, handed to our guide and they would just, like, do something different. I don't know. There is taking a different direction. So some of the images were able to get self timer on a tripod, and some of them I had to composite like this was self timer on a tripod. And this is at the Lucchetti Castle in outside of Karlovy vary in the Czech Republic And so we have lots of different outfits at different wigs like this one. Obviously, I can't wear a tight dress without a helmet on the back of a motorcycle going fast. So as much as you'd like to like they do in the movies So we basically opposed it and just Photoshopped, just for fun dragged the motion blur behind it. And we've styled every single thing to the T. So this was in the spa town, one of the hotels where they film the movie and they put us up in the hotel, were able to fully shoot there. This is the outside of the same hotel, and it was just a lot of fun to kind of figure out what looked good and how to do it. And so, in some of the cases, I'll show you one like this one. This image was composited. I set it up on a tripod. I shot Winston a bunch of different versions of him, and then we switched places and I stood to the right of where he was standing and he took a bunch pictures of me. And then I photoshopped them together because it was really difficult to get the look that I wanted for both of us in one image, like when you, like, run over and self timer and try to do it was difficult, so I found that this was a lot easier to be able to composite and get kind of the look that I wanted. This is the Baroque library and in Prague, and nobody gets the step foot in here ever, ever like, except for Daniel Crag, many film the Parliament seen here. But we got special permission when all the people that work there left for lunch from the border tourism the sneak in there for, like, 5 10 minutes and get some pictures. And it was like being It's like the checked republic version of the Sistine Chapel's Amazing in there. So that was another thing. Sometimes you only have five minutes to get the shot. So wait to be no, what we wanted to dio This is in front of the Montecarlo Casino in Monaco, and I enlisted some tourists toe hold a little mini light for me on the side, and we were standing right in the valet's, or that the ideal location. But I wanted it right at twilight to get that blue sky. And we had, like, 10 minutes to get this shot and in between cars driving in. And it was it was we had to be ready and know exactly what we wanted. And then this is important, you know, Italy at the rooftop hotel pool that we had and styled by Caylee with this old fashioned kind of thirties bathing suit and again like we had to get there. Even though I knew I wanted to shoot in some locations, I didn't really know until we got there how to set it up and where to set it up. So we a lot of it had to do in a time crunch, and I just really, visually know what I wanted to get done. So this was OK, So this one is because I had way too much time on the international flight back and I was so in, like James Bond, or that I started photo shopping Winston and the like James Bond posters. But like the idea was, you know, some of the older James Bond stuff is super kitschy and photoshopped and composited, and that was sort of the way that we were doing our shoot. So the reason I want to tell you that story was that literally that idea started off is like us watching a movie one day like I was just like, Wow, the scenery is really cool in this movie and it turned into a whole trip and it turned into a fully funded trip. And, uh, it was one of those amazing experiences. It was a full adventure around Europe and the Czech Republic, and and this is how you can create jobs that you want to dio.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Travel Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Art, Life, and Business Discount Code
Writing & SEO Guide for Travel Magazines
Sammy's Photo School Discount Code
Novica Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews


I've been listening for, like, two hours. OMG. Like, I could, like, you know, get more from this if, like, she stopped jibbering and get to, like, you know, the topic? She sounds more like a rambling stream-of-thought teenager than a mature adult giving a succinct organized presentation. In two hours, I have, like, learned about two or three things I can, like, use. Like, Ehhhh...? It's like, bor-ing! Like, whutttt? Is she, like, 15 or what? Sheesh.

a Creativelive Student

I have to start by saying that I was lucky enough to be part of the live audience in this class! What Laura has shared this 2 days, is something that will have taken me a few years to learn. Thank you for remanding me that we create our own opportunities and we have to go for what we want instead of waiting for it to happened and will these tips your share in this class, will make it a lot easier to approach editors or potential clients to be able to conquer my goals! Thanks you very much Laura and Creative Live for making all these possible for the photo community all around the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Student Work