How to be unique in 2022

Many photographers dream of traveling around the world. Using the craft to get to the places they’ve seen online seems like a dream come true. Being able to travel is a privilege that a photographer can enjoy if they put the time and effort into the craft. However, travel photography has changed dramatically over the years. What was once an opportunity for a select few is now within reach of the masses. So, if everyone is doing it, is it possible to make a unique travel photography in 2022?

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The birth of travel photography

Prior to the development of transportation, there was little need for travel photography. As nations made railroads, planes became commercial, nationwide bus routes became clear, people branched off from their usual vacation spots. With the development of photography and the increase in tourism, it made sense for publications and travel agents to use the images to sell the dream to potential tourists. Fifty years ago, few people owned cameras, compared to today’s society where there is one camera in every pocket. There wasn’t much tourism either, which meant that the opportunity to create never-before-seen travel photos seemed limitless to those who could make them.

According to the data of our world, in 1959, there were only 25 million tourist arrivals around the world. It seems like a big number. However, compared to the figures for 2018, which saw 1.4 billion international tourists arrive, it pales in comparison. Combined with the rise in tourism, the growth of the camera market and the advent of the Internet has made it easier to create and consume more travel photography than ever before. Analyze it all together, and you soon realize that the world that once felt endless in terms of exploration is now small.

Saturation in travel photography

How many photos of . have you seen? Taj Mahal? How many pictures will we see Machu Picchu? It seems that everything we can photograph has already been filmed. Some would argue that it is unnecessary to consider taking up travel photography, especially if you want to stand out from the millions of other people who have cameras that do the same type of photos. However, the truth is that there is still plenty of land to see and share with the world. You just need to adjust your way of thinking.

The way we look at travel interests me endlessly. Many of our travel choices are based on what we are told to love, rather than out of thirst to explore the unknown. Since birth, monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China have been described as the best destinations on earth. Most of the world’s major destinations have been mapped to us rather than discovered by us. The truth is that many people leave these spots disappointed. The result is that social media and photography portfolios are filled with the same kind of travel photography.

Explore the unknown

One must be willing to go off the beaten path to change this. You should dare to travel to places that are not packed with tourism and know that it is not always because it has nothing to offer. I think every city, town and country has something to offer in terms of visual places. Whether it’s local stories in the community or a cute pueblo, there are plenty of places in the world waiting for you to explore. I am currently in Veracruz, Mexico. There is relatively little tourism compared to Quintana Roo, Mexico City, and Oaxaca. I have no idea why, because she is beautiful. Perhaps because outsiders consider the country more dangerous than others, but I can honestly say that I feel safe. And it has a lot to offer, from beautiful parks to a beautiful city centre.

Where am I is just one example. The point is, there are many places one can go with a camera that are different from the tourist hubs that other people tell us to like. So if you want to be a travel photographer and want to document in a way that others don’t, start planning a trip to a less explored part of the world. As with any form of travel photography, the same rules apply. Find out how safe the place is, and connect with the locals to get a deeper experience of the place you are visiting. Most of all enjoy seeing places that very few people outside of the local community see. Of course, be respectful, and accept that you might get some curious looks. Smile, follow cultural values ​​and make beautiful photos – there are still plenty of opportunities to be innovative.

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