What’s your travel style? When traveling or exploring, what are some of the things you must include in your plans?
As a Destination Wedding Photographer, I travel . A lot. During busy season, I turn over most corners of The U.S. and a million tiny parts in between about every three weeks. I take advantage of this (how could I not?) by bookending all of my trips with days for exploration and relaxation. I investigate and wander and bask and watch and realize and shoot. But maybe most importantly, I jog.
Every time I head to a city that’s not my own, I save the first few mornings for travel jogs. As silly as it may sound, it’s my favorite part of any trip I take. Travel jogging isn’t like regular jogging. It exercises different parts of your body. When I’m home and jogging, I watch my feet and the pavement. My head is down. My thoughts are loud. There is a finish line waiting.
When I travel jog, I step outside—sometimes seeing a new city for the first time in daylight—and choose a direction on a whim. I don’t hold a map. I don’t drop a pin. I’m stripped of everything but my senses. I wind through new cities in five to seven mile chunks. I turn when it feels right, mentally tracing landmarks. These are my breadcrumb trails. I often don’t know what parts of cities are safe in the desolate stretches of the morning. I’m left to sense and feel and decide where to turn. Every new city is a new person that I memorize inch by inch. I learn smells and assign favorite corners. I revisit each day.
When I return to these cities after a few months or years, I catch up. I see them in new lights and new seasons. I note new murals that have replaced old murals and decide which I prefer. I remember some of the same cars that are still lining the same streets. I check to see if light still slants in the same places. I let my memory breathe.
When I am home and itching not to be, I vividly remember the places I’ve seen. These are my strongest memories. I could draw a map of each, but they wouldn’t read like the glove compartment kind. Instead, they’d denote where the best ivy crawls and the exact plot of sidewalk where careless tree roots are peaking through.
This is my travel style. It is gritty and sensory. It is up close and personal. It is secluded and friendly.
Whether I am working or visiting faraway family and friends, travel jogging and general city wandering are top priorities on my personal to-do list. If I ever left a city before I got to know it a little better, I’d feel like a major opportunity had been totally wasted.
Share a link to your favorite photo from your travels. Tell us about it. (If not one of your own photos, share and describe why another photo inspires you to explore.)
Though this is just a mobile photo, it encapsulates so much of what I love about the world beyond me in a single frame.
While urban exploration is my oldest and dearest friend, surveying nature from the tips of mountains and edges of lakes is otherworldly. It stops you in your tracks. It begs to be studied. Even when surrounded by many people, it’s hard to not feel singled out. Personally captivated. Drawn in.
I took this early in the morning as my boyfriend and I were regretfully on the verge of trading in Montana mountains for Chicago skyscrapers. We were quietly memorizing the curves of rock and bend of the lake while feeling so tiny that we almost couldn’t breathe.
Tell us about your Bucket List trip. Where, specifically, do you want to go? What is driving you to this place?
I’ve always been attracted to the sympathetic. Parked almost directly between Iceland and Scotland are a stretch of seemingly forgotten islands. Though often overlooked, they command attention. I’d love the opportunity to shed some light on them.
My Bucket List Initiative is to travel to the Faroe Islands to capture the essence of the islands. To do this, I’d focus on the striking uniqueness of the homes there. From the grassy roofs to the monochromatic black and white houses to the colorful wharfs, I want to see and shoot them all. My journey would eventually land in the village of Kvívík on the west coast of Streymoy where I’d get to see firsthand the remains of Viking houses and grass-topped igloos. In addition to these sites, I’d love to capture images of some of the animals that can only be found in the Faroe Islands. From Faroe ponies to Faroese sheep, I’d hope to document them all along the way.
How would you choose to document your adventure? What mediums would you use to tell your story?
There are three mediums I use to tell any story: photo, video, and writing. I shoot photo and video on a couple of Canon 5D Mark III’s + 35mm f/1.4, 45mm TS-E, 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.2, 135mm f/2.0, and 70-200mm f/2.8 II lenses. My DJI Phantom 3 Professional quadcopter is my new go-to for aerial views as well. I also shoot Portra 160 and 400 film on a Rolleiflex and Leica M6. Additionally, documenting adventures on Instagram through mobile photography is also really important to me. I journal and keep notes for myself, but ultimately, I blog all my stories, photos, and videos on my website.