Travel Photography with Silvia

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Silvia was once a full-time nomad, now trying to find a balance between continuing to explore off the beaten path places around the world while also building a home in Norway. After launching Heart My Backpack in January 2014, she has traveled solo through Iran and the Caucasus, backpacked around the Middle East, and fallen in love with the Balkans. After even more adventures, she decided to make Norway her home. Read more about her adventures and her journey to becoming a travel photographer below!

Interviewer: You’ve traveled all over the world! What was your initial motivation when you decided to explore life as travel photographer?

Silvia: My parents love traveling so travel was always a big part of my life growing up, but in my mid twenties I found myself between jobs and decided to set off on a long backpacking journey. That journey eventually turned into a full time job as a travel blogger!

Interviewer: Do you have any advice for camera equipment that would be great for aspiring travel photographers?

Silvia: I was always told that the best camera you can have is the one that’s with you, and that it’s better to work on your skills first before buying an expensive camera. However to be honest, I found that my photography got so much better once I invested in a full frame camera. I think partly I felt pressure to learn how to use my camera because I had spent so much money on it, and partly a good camera simply does offer more options for capturing really amazing photos. So I’d say you definitely shouldn’t feel like you need to wait to invest in professional equipment.

Interviewer: You mentioned in one of your blog posts that travel killed your ambition. How were you able to overcome this difficult period and continue with your journey?

Silvia: I used to be very ambitious in a traditional sense. I wanted to enter a prestigious career, whatever that meant. But travel taught me to let go of those ideas, as it showed me that there are so many different, equally good ways to live life. So while writing and photography might not seem like the most stable career choice, I realized that they were worth pursuing if they could make me happy.

Interviewer: What advice would you give to women who are travel photographers?

Silvia: Many women are afraid of travelling on their own. First of all, solo travel can seem daunting, but once you start traveling alone you’ll see that in so many respects it’s actually the easiest way to travel. And as far as safety goes, I often feel much more secure when I’m taking lots of photos on my travels. If I’m in a new place, busying myself with photography gives me purpose and shows locals that I’m not just wandering aimlessly but instead that I’m working and know what I’m doing. I find that I often get more respect and fewer questions when I have my camera with me.

Interviewer: What are some of the financial difficulties that travel photographers can expect to face, and how could they overcome them?

Silvia: Travel costs money, and photography doesn’t always pay! I would say try to set up many different income streams. There’s nothing worse then waiting around for your next freelance gig and not knowing when your next pay check will come in. And you can definitely think out of the box about ways to bring in money – they don’t all have to involve photography!

Interviewer: What is the best piece of photography advice that you’ve ever received?

Silvia: Wait. It took me a long time to develop patience in my photography, but learning to wait patiently for crowds to disperse or the lighting to change has improved my photography immensely. Even if I think I’ve gotten the perfect shot, I’ll now often wait around a bit to see if something in the scene changes – and that’s often when I end up getting my best shots.

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