Travel Photography with Amanda
Amanda was in high school when she decided that she’d love to travel and explore the world. She was obsessed with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and vowed that she would save her money so that she could go to New Zealand after she graduated. She ended up going to New Zealand with her mom for two weeks in 2005, and she’s been swatting at that pesky travel bug ever since. Read more about her travel photography and her best tips below!
Interviewer: You’ve inspired many women to take control of their adventurous spirit and to travel more! What are the first 3 steps that a person should take to start their travel photography journey?
Amanda: I think the very first step is just to get out there and start shooting! You don’t need a fancy camera or to take any courses right away – the only way to really develop your eye is to practice. And practice. And practice. Once you figure out what sorts of travel photography you enjoy the most, THEN I would recommend getting a decent camera and maybe taking a course on the finer aspects of photography or photo editing.
Interviewer: Although finance is certainly not the most important thing in life, travel does involve spending. How did you balance your finances and your travel lifestyle when you first started?
Amanda: I first started traveling seriously after graduating university – so I was young and had a job that didn’t pay well. I opened up a separate savings account and automatically had a small portion of every paycheck deposited into it. At the end of every month, I would put any surplus funds into that same account. I never spent money that I didn’t have, and I traveled on an extreme budget in those early years. This meant going places where I could stay with friends, booking beds in hostel dorm rooms, and even Couchsurfing a few times. As long as you have SOME disposable income, it’s definitely possible to save up enough money over time to go traveling.
Interviewer: How did you come up with the idea to create The 10-Day Adventure Project? What has been the response from your audience so far?
Amanda: It was just a natural progression for my site. I’ve always focused on travel from the perspective of someone who travels while also working full-time, so doubling down on that message and focusing on trips people can take in two weeks or less just made sense. I’ve been focusing on writing more detailed trip itineraries, tour reviews, and long weekend guides so people can easily replicate the trips I write about on my blog. The response has been good – probably because there are a lot of people out there wanting to take trips like this!
Interviewer: Do you have any marketing tips for beginner photographers?
Amanda: Jump on the social media bandwagon, even if you don’t love it. It’s the best place to network and make connections, and those are so important when you’re trying to get the word out about any kind of new business. Join groups (especially any photographer groups for your local area) on Facebook and even LinkedIn. You never know who you might meet.
Interviewer: What are some of the biggest dangers when travelling solo, and how do you think women can overcome them?
Amanda: I honestly don’t believe traveling solo is any more or less dangerous for a woman than doing anything else in life. In fact, you’re much more likely to have something bad happen to you at home (whether it’s being assaulted or getting in an accident) than you are when you’re traveling. Using common sense and being aware of your surroundings is something most women do automatically anyway, so as long as they continue doing this on the road, I don’t think it’s really all that dangerous.
Now, as for tips on how to feel more *comfortable* as a solo female traveler… One of my biggest tips is to do your homework on the destination you’re heading to before you leave home. Know which neighborhoods are the safest; read up on common scams; make a plan for using public transportation; and be sure to pack appropriate clothing, especially if you’re traveling to a more conservative country. All of these things will help you blend in more and feel more comfortable (and therefore safer).