I love to travel and I guess I’m not alone having such a hobby. And I don’t mean having 2 holidays per year in a hot country where you spend all the days on the beach. I mean looking for any opportunity to go somewhere new, even within the country you live in. I should say it’s very addictive. Once you start travel frequently you just can’t stop. But I love this addiction because there are so many interesting places to go, so many cultures to experience (and food to try haha!).
Ok, so there are 2 ways of travelling and I’ve tried both. First is to plan everything in advance: the route, places to see and to book accommodation for every stop. Then when you actually travelling you don’t stress about finding a hotel (especially if you are on a budget), what is a ‘must do’ and ‘must see’ in that place. Another way is just to book flights, go there and see what happens. Usually, it involves staying at a hostel, meeting other travellers and hung out with them. Both ways have its pros and cons. I personally prefer a mix of two and it works well for me.
When social media wasn’t a big thing I would get ideas where to go from travel forums. It was the best way to know what was worth visiting and what to avoid. Then there were blogs with almost the same information but nicely structured, with better photographs and endless lists ’10 must see places in X’. There were recommendations for non-touristic stuff and it was getting more interesting.
Now, there are so many travel blogs out there and it’s really difficult to focus on finding recommendations at just one place. I simply go to Instagram or Pinterest for travel inspiration. And I LOVE it! Usually, I end up finding 2-3 Instagram bloggers, get inspired by the photos they’ve taken, check these places/restaurants on TripAdvisor for the overall rating and add it to my list. I’m a visual person and I like photography, that’s why it’s important for me not to miss an opportunity to take a beautiful photo.
What I do is I go to a search bar on Instagram, type any place I’m going to, select ‘Tags’ category and have a look at 9 most popular posts. One of two will stand out and I will check those people’s profiles for more photos and inspiration. Simple! The same story with Pinterest. I create a separate board and save all the images of the place I go. It gives me a good overview of what to expect and really good ideas for photography.
One of the reasons why I love London is endless opportunities to take a lot of photos at almost every corner of the city. It’s super photogenic and diverse. I like white and colourful houses of west London as much as completely different east part of the city.
During my first year here I was just walking on the streets and taking photos of everything I see: window displays, cute cafes at the corners of the buildings and other random stuff, like black cabs and red buses. I still like this way of exploring the city but soon it became not enough. I work full time so the only time I can go out to take photos is a weekend (and if it’s not raining!) so I have to be very organized and plan my route in advance of where am I going and what am I taking pictures of. London is huge, I also try to cover as much as possible in one area if possible.
That’s how I got an idea of creating a London Photography Guide with all the popular and interesting places for photography. It’s like when you have only 2-3 days in London, you like photography and don’t want to miss an opportunity to check out most of ‘photo’ places in the city. It aims to take a stress out of you while planning your trip and navigate you to where you can take a nice shoot of London. Having spent a few years here I found some not obvious places for really good photos, for example, an overview of the city from one of the rooftops or where to find empty streets of colourful houses outside of crowded Notting Hill. I’m so excited about it!!!