There’s no question that having a photographer friend or being in a relationship with a photographer has its perks. Whenever you do something together, there’s always the chance of ending up with some awesome pictures of yourself or of the place you visited. That alone is pretty great.
That said, though, as much as you love your photographer friend or partner, sometimes it’s just not worth tagging along when they go on a trip. Below, you’ll find some of the best reasons why you should never travel with a photographer. If only one of them applies to you, you two should be fine during your trip. If you can relate to two or more, however, you might want to think twice about your travel plans.
1. You Will Never Enjoy a Sunset in Peace
The hour before sunset—including sunset itself—is prime photography hour. If you’re looking to enjoy a romantic sunset with your loved one, think again. They’ll be looking at it through their lens.
2. You Will Never Get to Eat Your Food When It Arrives
Who likes to wait for food when they’re hungry? Who likes, when it arrives, to have to wait even longer? No one! Well, if you’re on the road with a photographer, you might just have to. Food photography is extremely popular on Instagram, so you’ll definitely have to suck it up and let your photographer companion take his or her #foodporn shots.
3. Too Bad If You Don’t Like Posing
If you’re self-conscious or don’t like to be the center of attention, you’ll want to pick a different travel buddy than a photographer. People add a sense of scale to a scene, whether it’s a landscape or urban place.
As you’ll be the most readily available model, don’t be surprised if you get asked to strike up a pose more than once during your trip.
4. They Will Be Holding Their Camera, Not Your Hand
This obviously applies to couples traveling together. If you’re a romantic soul and are totally into strolling on old cobbled streets with the love of your life, don’t fool yourself if that love of your life also happens to be a photographer. They will pay more attention to holding their camera than your begging hand.
5. They Will Wake You Up at 4 AM
Together with sunset, sunrise is one of the two best times of the day to take pictures. In fact, it may just be the single best time. This is because Dawn tends to be extremely quiet and sometimes moody. Photographers obviously know and love this. If the person you’re traveling with is serious about photography, there’s no way on earth you’ll be able to sleep in. Unless, of course, if you don’t join them on their early-morning outings.
6. Forget Long Dinners on Romantic Summer Nights
Long days characterize summer vacations, which means that you’ll often have dinner before the sun actually sets. Photographers won’t have time to stick around for conversations, romantically shared desserts or after-dinner drinks. They’ll be anxious not to miss the “golden hour”.
7. You Won’t Have Any Photos of the Two of You Together
Photographers tend to see the world through lenses and filters. They’re the ones taking photos all the time, while you will be patiently waiting on the sidelines or perhaps even posing for the photos. This results in pictures with either none of you in it or only you in it.
8. Be Ready for Extra Baggage Fees
Professional photographers are notorious equipment gatherers. There’s no maximum number of lenses they can have. Tripods are essential. Maybe they even have a drone! And all of this, of course, has to come along whenever you travel. This stuff tends to be rather heavy, so be prepared to spend a bit more cash on baggage fees (if you’re flying).
9. Get Ready for Extra Checks at Airports
Bags stuffed with fancy, professional camera equipment might raise a red flag at border crossings. Punctual border control officers will pull you apart, search your bags and question you about the purpose of your trip. Keep in mind that professional journalists, photographers, and other media people are often technically required to have a work visa if they’re planning on actually working. This is a gray area, though, as it’s difficult to (dis)prove whether you’ll be working or not. You may just be passing through…
10. You Have to Deal With Complaints About Blue Skies
Blue skies may be delightful if you’re looking to do some serious sunbathing, but photographers hate them. No clouds mean no contrast. It definitely means a boring sunset, too. While you’ll be basking in the sun, your photographer buddy will be moping about less-than-ideal shooting conditions. Is there a bigger vacation mood killer than that? Right, I didn’t think so!
11. They Decide When to Go
Focused on the best possible locations and the best times for photography, photographers tend to be somewhat single-minded and selfish during trips. It’s too bad if you want to go to Japan and only have holidays in June. Obviously, because Japan’s Cherry Blossom season is in April! Don’t even try to discuss this stuff with a photographer.
12. They Decide Where to Go
No matter how much you want to go to a buzzing city and window shop and do all the exciting things, you will never convince your landscape photographer companion that it’s a good idea. They will end up dragging you to a mountain or backpacking in Asia hunting waterfalls instead.
13. Forget About a Relaxing Vacation
If you want to go on a stress-free trip and need to recharge your batteries, consider picking someone else than a photographer as your traveling partner. Traveling with a photographer is by no means relaxing. Rather the contrary, in fact. It will probably be hectic. Photography opportunities are endless; photographers want to take advantage of that. Even on supposedly “relaxing” holidays.
14. Get Ready for Funny Looks From Onlookers
Photographers tend to bend themselves in the funniest positions in order to get the best possible shot.
15. You Don’t Get Their Undivided Attention
Spending quality time with your partner is the basis of any healthy relationship. That’s just a basic fact. However, if you think that you’ll be spending 24/7 with your other half during your vacation, you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise. You’ll have to share your partner with the actual destination, which will demand much of his or her attention.
16. Time off Is Not Really Time Off
And then there’s the editing, of course. Be assured that, if your photographer partner thinks they got a great shot, they will want to edit it in your hotel room and share it on social media. No question about that! Show them this article to save time on post processing.
17. They Will Use You as an Assistant
When traveling with a photographer, you may sometimes feel like a mule. When they’re busy getting the perfect shot, you’ll be standing there holding their camera bags, filters and tripods.
18. A Photographer Can Tolerate Bad Weather, Can You?
Storms, blizzards, tornadoes,… Those all make for an epic, dramatic photographs. Photographers are in love with them, even look forward to bad weather. If you don’t have the same mindset, there’ll be some discussion during your trip.
Traveling with a photographer also definitely has its downsides. Photographers are essentially both creators and salespeople, which puts them in a sometimes stressful position. In exchange for a supremely flexible schedule and opportunities to visit amazing places, photographers often find themselves doing two jobs at the same time.
When you’re traveling with one—doesn’t matter if it’s your boy- or girlfriend or just a friend—you need to understand this about them. You have to realize that things may be stressful. Even if the trip isn’t necessarily a “business photography trip”, every passionate photographer will still want to go out and shoot some pictures.
Be aware of that peculiar quality of someone who is a photographer at heart. Try to respect their passion; try to be flexible when they are not.
Have you traveled with a photographer before? Share your experiences in the comments below!
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