Travel Photography

10 Journey Security Suggestions Each Photographer Ought to Know

Any type of crime or rip-off can damage a visit. As a journey photographer, you’re a goal for scammers and criminals.
That’s why these journey security suggestions are one thing you must know.
However danger shouldn’t instantly deter you from going away and photographing.
That’s why we’ve put collectively these 12 journey security suggestions that can assist you keep secure, and keep photographing.

building with pillars on a river reflecting the blue, purple, and pink sunset sky
© Kav Dadfar


12. Analysis for a Higher Understanding of Widespread Scams/Dangers

The very first thing that you must do earlier than any journey is thorough analysis. Not solely on what you must see and do but additionally on potential risks and annoyances.
For instance, wherever you’re on the planet, in any large metropolis, there’ll at all times be areas which might be greatest averted. Ensure you know what these areas are and don’t go into them.
Attempt to get to know the commonest scams in your vacation spot and how you can greatest keep away from them. Use pictures and journey teams, or get in contact with photographers you realize have been there earlier than.
You also needs to maintain a watch on overseas affairs and any journey warnings for a vacation spot. Do not forget that no photograph is price risking your life over.
Even if you’re heading into the wilderness you must nonetheless perform some research into that vacation spot.
Are there wildlife that you simply want to concentrate on? Is the climate a possible hazard (reminiscent of on mountains)? Or have you learnt tide occasions if you’re photographing close to the ocean?
Don’t depart something to likelihood because it may put you in severe hazard.

A man lying in bed, with headphones on, working on his laptop
Credit score: Dreamstime

11. Respect Native Customs to Keep away from Conflicts

The one factor that you must at all times respect as a photographer is native customs. Issues that will not offend you and even cross your thoughts may be impolite and even offensive in different cultures. This will, in flip, escalate into confrontation or worse.
Evidently that you simply also needs to respect native pictures guidelines.
Photographing folks in non secular constructing while they’re preying may not be allowed. Or in some cultures ladies don’t need to be photographed.
Respect these customs and also you’ll keep away from pointless confrontation.

People praying in the Mosque of Rustem Pasa in Istanbul, Turkey
© Kav Dadfar

10. Have a Plan B

As a photographer, you must at all times head to any vacation spot with an in depth shot record. Use this as a place to begin to create a plan to your journey.
From the second you permit the airport to the second you come again, you’re a potential goal. In case you are heading someplace for the primary time ebook your first couple of nights of resort upfront. This can imply you aren’t wandering round city together with your baggage.
Contemplate organising an airport switch upfront as an alternative of public transportation.
The bottom line is to have a plan so that you’re not wandering round aimlessly, particularly while you first arrive. So print out clear instructions for locations you should get to, how lengthy it’ll take you and the most effective route.
Make a listing of necessary phone numbers . Embrace the native embassy and emergency providers.
It’s additionally price giving an itinerary of your journey to relations and replace them if issues change. That is particularly necessary if you’re heading into the wilderness.

Hand holding a piece of chalk, writing on a blackboard, Plan A, Plan B
Credit score: Dreamstime

9. Why You Want Digital camera Insurance coverage

It doesn’t matter how cautious or properly deliberate your journey is, accidents occur. So it is important that you’ve got enough insurance coverage to cowl your tools and your self on any journey.
Having a digicam stolen can be irritating and traumatic. What makes it worst is figuring out that you simply gained’t be capable to exchange the few thousand {dollars} that you simply spent on it.
Your pictures insurance coverage ought to cowl the price of your tools within the occasion of loss, injury and theft. Maintain a notice of your extra cost when taking out insurance coverage. It is perhaps price paying a little bit bit extra to cut back this price.
Additionally examine these different issues. Whether or not your tools can be coated if broken in transit, or if stolen from a automotive, resort room and so forth.
You also needs to have enough insurance coverage to cowl your public legal responsibility. That is in case you trigger an harm to a member of the general public.
Don’t select the most affordable choice, select one that may give you the most effective cowl.

POV of hands holding a DSLR, the screen in view, getting ready to photograph construction workers
© Kav Dadfar

8. Take Your Gear Onboard

Except you need to, you must at all times carry your pictures gear onboard with you. This retains it secure from injury. Nevertheless it additionally means there’s much less likelihood of somebody stealing one thing from it.
Ensure you select a digicam bag that’s accredited for carry-on and can match within the overhead compartments. You’ll often have to put your tripod into the maintain as airways won’t can help you take it on-board. So put it in your suitcase and encompass it with garments to maintain it secure.
When you’ve got no different selection however to check-in your digicam tools, select a sturdy lockable exhausting case. It’s simple to power zips open on suitcases and don’t depend on padlocks which may be minimize simply.

View from an airplane window of the airplane wing and engine, against a blue, purple, and orange dusk
Credit score: Dreamstime

7. Maintain Your Valuables With You

Upon getting landed and are in your method to your lodging, at all times attempt to maintain your valuables with you. Even if you’re in a personal licenced taxi, keep away from placing your digicam bag and valuables within the boot.
Relying on the place you’re on the planet it isn’t unusual for folks to cover within the boot of vehicles or buses. They will steal your belongings while you’re unaware.

brunette woman with a backpack hailing down a taxi cab at the airport
Credit score: Dreamstime

6. Use Your Protected

While you must maintain your valuables with you on the best way to your resort, you must keep away from carrying them round unnecessarily. So in case your resort room has a secure, use it. However earlier than you place all the pieces in it; check that it really works and you may get it open.
This isn’t a assure that your valuables can be secure. However it’ll make it tougher for somebody to steal them.
Your resort can even be a consider holding your valuables secure. The higher and extra respected it’s, the much less probably somebody will break in. Use your individual judgement on the security of your valuables in your resort room.
No matter you do don’t carry all of your valuables and digicam gear round with you. Solely take what you want and the amount of money that you will want for the interval that you can be outdoors.
In case you are out within the wild and plan to camp, take your valuables with you and don’t depart them in your automotive. If you need to depart something worthwhile, be sure that it’s properly hidden.

man in a black parka holding a DSLR watching people in a parade at a distance
© Kav Dadfar

5. Know Your Environment

OK, so you’re prepared to go out for the primary time. In case you are new to this and relying on the place you’re on the planet, it may be daunting. The important thing to being secure when photographing, whether or not you’re in a metropolis or out within the wilderness, is being conscious of your environment.
In a metropolis, this implies ensuring that you’re conscious of what and who’s round you.

  • Is somebody attempting to distract you for some motive while another person picks your pocket?
  • Is there a bike driving in the direction of you too near the pavement which could imply a bag snatch?
  • Or is it that as you are attempting to seize a photograph you unknowingly stepped into the street?

A part of this can even imply recognising what you’ve got on you. For instance, if you’re carrying your tools in a sling bag or utilizing a 3-point slinger, maintain it in entrance of you in busy areas. It’s additionally clever to keep away from the sting of the pavement the place it’s simpler to have a bag snatched.
Even a digicam hanging off your shoulder could possibly be a goal. So for instance, maintain it on the shoulder away from the street and by no means use your again pocket for telephones or wallets. You may also put money into some slash proof digicam straps for further journey security.
It’s additionally worthwhile figuring out what you’re photographing as properly. Photographing navy personnel or a navy constructing (except a vacationer web site) will imply getting advised off or worse.

photo from behind of a man setting up a DSLR on a tripod by a pond with white birds, the trees in the distance - travel safety tips
© Kav Dadfar

4. Don’t Depart Issues Unattended

Evidently that leaving something of worth unattended wherever on the planet is a danger. That additionally means placing luggage on the bottom when for instance consuming at an outdoor desk.
Thieves are opportunists. Few danger consideration if the crime is just too troublesome to tug off in busy areas. The bottom line is deterrence.
Placing your bag strap beneath your chair and even your legs will imply somebody can’t stroll off with it. And a smartphone on a desk is simpler to grab than in your pocket.

DSLR left alone on a stone slab in a memorial area
© Kav Dadfar

3. Again Up Each Day

Cash, cameras, cell phone…you may exchange these when you have insurance coverage. The one factor which you can’t exchange are the images.
You need to get into the behavior of backing up your images from every day, each night time on exhausting drives.
I exploit three passport measurement 500gb exhausting drives on each journey. A purple, black and blue one among every and I again up all images for the day on all three each night time.
I’ll then depart the purple one hidden in my suitcase. The blue one stays in my digicam bag and I carry it with me always. The black one I maintain in my resort secure.
This would possibly appear to be a bit an excessive amount of warning. However not solely am I protected ought to one of many hard-drives get stolen, but additionally if one among them fails for any motive.

three external hard disk drives on a grey surface - travel safety tips for photographers
© Kav Dadfar

2. Take Somebody With You

One of many the explanation why photographers are sometimes in danger is as a result of they have an inclination to begin early to catch the most effective mild. They then typically work till the late hours within the night. This, in fact, presents risks, particularly for feminine photographers.
There are many nice articles on-line on security suggestions for ladies which you must learn. However one good choice is to try to take somebody with you on a shoot. This could possibly be an official tour information. And even higher a few fellow feminine travellers that you simply belief.
One other good tip is to get an official taxi to your location. Ask them to attend till you’re completed to convey you again.

Man and woman at a pier with DSLRs taking photos
Credit score: Dreamstime

1. If It Appears Too Good to Be True, It Is

Usually the largest risks for travellers aren’t really thieves and pickpockets, however scams. It’s so simple as an unsuspecting vacationer to fall right into a vacationer rip-off. Often, this implies wasted time however it may even have extra severe implications.
As a normal rule, if something looks like it’s too good to be true, then it in all probability is. There are hardly ever freebies and undiscovered loopholes so don’t fall for it.
This additionally extends to whom you belief. Don’t assume that as a result of somebody appears to be like sensible or as a policeman they don’t have a hidden agenda.

close up of hands, palms up, with henna design on them
Credit score: Dreamstime


Most photographers shouldn’t have any points throughout their journey. Use some warning and customary sense, and also you’ll be nice.
However if you’re confronted with a scenario of getting to present your valuables (i.e. being mugged), achieve this with out a struggle.
You’ll be able to exchange your tools. Even images for that day aren’t price risking your life over.
Don’t attempt to confront or make the scenario worse. Attempt to get your self away as shortly as doable.

man in a red shirt sleeping in a hammock outdoors, a stone wall in the background - travel safety tips for photographers
© Kav Dadfar

This would possibly all sound very scary. However the overwhelming majority of journey photographers could have no issues on their travels. In additional distant locations or cities with excessive crime charges, you will have to train extra warning. Elsewhere, you’ll not have to fret a lot.