Capturing Memories When You Travel
Tomorrow night I'm speaking at Meet, Plan, Go Boston 2012 about this very topic and in helping to collect my thoughts, I thought I'd share them with you.
Traveling is something I love to do and plan to spend the rest of my life enjoying.
As a storyteller, it is important for me to experience as much as possible when I'm on the road and then to turn around and share it with the world so others can experience it. Companies hire me to do this because they know I'm going to deliver results that they'll be happy with.
No matter if you are capturing travel moments for a client or for yourself, there are some things I think you need to keep in mind to be as successful as possible with it so that the memories live on.
Know Your Equipment
It is never about the tools first, but if you don't know how to use all the equipment you choose to bring with you there could be trouble.
On my recent trip to Spain, I brought a new Olympus OM-D 5 camera to use and review. I only had about an hour of shooting with it before the trip and I made a grave mistake when my frist day of video filming was all without audio due to a menu setting that I hadn't educated myself about. If I hadn't noticed this when I did, it could have been devastating since I was hired to film video while in the country.
Make sure that you know all the quirks of your equipment, have all the chargers, cards and any other accessories you need before hand. Don't wait until you get there to realize you forgot something.
Carry a Notebook
No matter how good your memory is, you are going to forget things.
Carrying a small notebook with you on your travels takes up no room, but allows you to jot down thoughts, reactions and details that you might forget down the road. I rarely leave the house without a notebook of some sort and would never think of hitting the road without one.
They are also great for jotting down new phrases you learn, directions and doodles if you get delayed on your journey. Plus, they make a great keepsake to flip through in the future.
Use a Smartphone to Track Where You Go
Location data is something that you may not think about when traveling, but I live for it.
Most smartphones these days allow you to know exactly where you are in the world. Mine allows any photo I take with it to capture that data with the image.
If your phone doesn't do this, use one of the popular photography apps such as Instagram that allows you to tag your photo with your current location.
When you upload these photos to a service like Flickr, the map data goes along so that you now have a virtual travel log for your photos. I then use this data from my phone to add all the other photographs I take with my other cameras to my map. I love sharing this little travel hack with everyone I meet because most don't know they can do it.
Develop an On-The-Go Workflow
Every professional creative knows that over the course of their lives they will constantly fine tune their personal workflow. I've learned that what works in your office doesn't always work when on the road.
It is crucial that you are backing up your memories when traveling. Personally I always have multiple memory cards and an external hard drive with me. Anytime I find myself back at my room, I make sure to copy all the images and videos I've taken to a hard drive. In doing so I now have two copies of everything I've created. I also make sure that when I have a WiFi connection I allow Google+ to do a full backup of all my mobile images into a secure and private album they offer.
Also, by importing your photos and video on to your computer, you can work with them as you travel without having to get all your gear out. Plus, nothing makes a train ride or flight go by faster than working on your post processing.
Share Your Journey Upon Return
Why capture the memory in the first place if you have no plans to share it?
Today there are numerous ways you can share your journey with others. While I choose to share them with the world, you may choose to do it more privately.
Something I'm beginning to do more of is assembling a photo book for major trips. Using a service like Blurb, anyone can easily import photos and have a hard bound book shipped to them quickly and easily. Some even allow for map data and words to be added to make it an extra special memory.
Another great solution is from Animoto, that allows anyone to create a slideshow like the one above. They now allow for video clips to be added into the mix as well.
I'll be sharing more tips at the event tomorrow. Tickets are still available, so I hope to see you there.