Many visitors travel to the western coastal city of Seattle to enjoy the culture, history, and stunning views. With rugged rocky shorelines, pristine mountains, and a unique shoreline, the Emerald City is host to many of the most iconic views in the country.
Seattle is equally stunning from the viewpoint of the harbor or from atop the Space Needle. Locals enjoy many well-known spots hidden within the city to enjoy the view from many perspectives.
Whether you want to take in the cityscape from Puget Sound on an evening cruise on a yacht moored at emeraldlanding.com or you want to enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many rooftop restaurants in the city, these views of Seattle should not be missed.
Seattle’s most famous landmark is one of the best places to get a 360-degree view of this gorgeous city. At a height of over 500 feet, visitors to the Space Needle can enjoy panoramic views of the city streets, the Olympic Mountains, and Elliot Bay. Get out on the rotating observation deck and take in the whole city.
Built in 1914, Seattle’s first skyscraper is one of the best places to get a stunning view of the skyline. Located in the popular Pioneer Square, you can climb to the 35th floor to the open-air Observation Deck. Enjoy some snacks and cocktails at the Temperance cafe, a speak-easy style restaurant that envelops you in the rich Seattle history.
Some of the most famous photographs of Seattle have been captured at Kerry Park. This charming park is nestled in the Queen Anne neighborhood where you can stroll through shops, galleries, and cafes. Kerry Park gives you one of the few unobstructed views of the downtown city lights and Mt. Rainier.
Sunset Hill Park
This gem overlooking the lovely shores of Elliot Bay is the perfect place to take in the sunset. Watch the activity of the bay as the sailboats and ships make their way in and out of port. Located on the edge of Ballard, this public park is a spot that can’t be missed for a unique view.
If you are looking for a unique way to see Seattle, you need to take a ride on the Great Wheel. This 175-foot famous Ferris wheel is the perfect place to get a bird’s eye view of the city and the harbor. Ride in comfort in the climate-controlled enclosed gondola pods while you take in the stunning views. On a clear day, you can see the mountains and Puget Sound.
If you are visiting Seattle in the summer, you can’t miss out on a visit to Alki Beach. A favorite of locals and tourists, this two-mile stretch of pristine beach has something to offer everyone. Volleyball courts, tidepools for splashing, restaurants, and shops line the strip and keep the area lively and a must-see destination with stunning views.
Whether you want to see Seattle from the rugged shores or from the air, there is plenty to see in every direction. This versatile city has everything you could want with an iconic skyline to rugged mountain ranges in the distance. Visit Seattle today to take in the views yourself.
Have you ever visited a place that took you by surprise? We didn’t expect Zagreb to be so beautiful and photogenic, so we were totally blown away by the amazing photo spots we’ve discovered in Croatia’s capital city. Although Croatia is a very popular destination, most people opt to visit the Dalmatian coast instead of Zagreb. However, Zagreb is totally worth a visit, especially if you like photography. You might not find Instagrammable beaches or stunning waterfalls, but Zagreb offers so many attractions for history, culture and photography lovers. During our Zagreb weekend, we walked all over the old town and new town and put together this photo guide to highlight the best photo spots in Zagreb, Croatia.
There is no better place to start this photography guide than with a picture of Zagreb Cathedral (also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary). The magnificent towers, golden statues andNeo-Gothic style are breathtaking. Don’t forget to have a look inside because the ornamented columns and interior of the church are quite impressive as well.
St. Mark’s Church and Square
St. Mark’s Church is another very famous landmark of Zagreb. This ancient church was renovated in Neo-Gothic style during the 19th century, and during that time, the unique and colorful roof tiles were added to the church. It’s definitely one of the best photo spots in Zagreb, and many times you’ll find here a beautiful bride posing against the backdrop of this unique church.
Panoramic Viewpoint of Zagreb
Just above Strossmayerovo šetalište (behind St Catherine’s Church), you’ll find a magnificent viewpoint that overlooks the whole area of Kaptol, where Zagreb market and the beautiful Zagreb cathedral are located. Admire the view, sit on one of the benches, add your own love lock to the fence and look for the famous mural, the Whale by Etien.
Gradec Plateau and Strossmayer Promenade
Just below the panoramic viewpoint, you’ll find a unique collection of street art. If you continue walking, you’ll get to the lovely Strossmayer Promenade. This is one of the most famous photo spots in Zagreb. Other than the decorated frames where you’ll be able to pose for an Instagram shot, there are also great viewpoints and artistic statues along the promenade.
Lotrščak Tower is located in the middle of Strossmayer Promenade, and has an important historical significance. Every day at noon, a cannon is fired from its upper deck. You can either climb to the top of the tower to admire the view of Zagreb’s new town or just take a picture of the unique-looking tower from the promenade.
Zagreb Green Horseshoe
After you’ve visited some of the best photo spots in Zagreb’s old town, it’s time to walk along Lenuci Horseshoe or Zagreb Green Horseshoe and photograph some of the beautiful parks, fountains and buildings along the way. Some of the photography spots worth mentioning are Park Zrinjevac, the Art Pavilion and Kralja Tomislav.
The Croatian National Theatre
One of the most impressive buildings along Zagreb Green Horseshoe is located in the Republic of Croatia Square. The theatre’s bright yellow color and Neo-Baroque style are remarkable, especially when photographed from a bit further away, so you also capture the groomed gardens around it.
Antuna Mihanovića, Frankopanska and Ilica Streets
If you want to capture a photogenic picture of Zagreb’s trams against beautiful buildings, you’ll find many opportunities to take your shot while walking along these streets.
Tkalčićeva Street is a great place to visit during the day or nighttime. This pedestrian street has numerous cafes, bars and artistic displays. It is always busy, day or night, and you can get great shots here every hour of the day.
We don’t know about you, but we love drone shots. Although you are not allowed to fly a drone in Zagreb, the next best thing you can do is climb up to the Zagreb 360° viewing platform. This fabulous observation deck is located at Ilica 1a and from there you can get a bird’s eye view of Zagreb. After you get your money shot, you can order a drink and relax at the bar.
There are many more sights and attractions to explore in Zagreb, but these ten spots were our favorite photography spots in the city. If you are planning a trip to Croatia, consider including a visit to the photogenic capital city in your itinerary!
Nancy Lova is a Travel Photographer with a love for color, culture and a thirst for gaining new knowledge about the various traditions each country has to offer.
Tell us about yourself! When did you start traveling?
Traveling has been an interest of mine since my late teens however the photography aspect came around much later when friends discovered I had somewhat of a talent and eye for it.
I’m still trying to establish myself within the industry and whilst I do, I work within Real Estate. I have sold to international clients from all over the world and often the ice-breaker or common ground we tend to have are either the countries we’ve both visited or the knowledge I have of the country they originated from.
I have a long way to go but I am proud to have taken the steps to do travel photography professionally and feel so blessed for the identity this has given me, all that I so far achieved and the like-minded photographers I met along the way.
As we begin our new #DTBehindTheLens series, we’re aiming to spotlight female travel photographers who are not only artists in their field but also showcase more than just a female figure in a photograph. Why do you think it’s important for women photographers to be celebrated?
Many still have the expectation to see females in front of the camera and be the subject of a pretty picture rather than taking control behind the camera. It also comes as a shock to some when they learn that a woman is a solo-traveler. “Aren’t you scared?”, “Isn’t it boring?”, “Why don’t you go with friends?” Are some of the questions I’m asked when I tell someone that I’m a travel photographer.
Travel photography isn’t for the weak hearted whether you’re a man or woman. It takes a great deal of strength, courage and initiative to go beyond what is expected of you and push yourself to experience what traveling has in store, all for the love of photography.
For a woman photographer to break the norm and the judgements that come with, deserves celebration in itself as well as for the gorgeous content she produces.
What change would you like to see happen in the travel industry?
I would like to see more people truly embrace traveling, not just as a tourist but as a local and develop more of an understanding of people from different cultures, faiths and traditions.
Traveling shouldn’t be treated as a check-list exercise to show off how many countries one has visited but as a way to be educated by the world.
What is one of the most enthralling experiences you’ve had while photographing the world?
One trip that I will forever be grateful for would be my visit to Udaipur, India. I went during an unhealthy and negative time in my life with an old partner therefore there was very little planning involved and hardly any knowledge of what to expect. Although I had my camera, my love for photography had pretty much taken a back seat in my life.
For years I heard of the spiritual power India can have over a person but never did I expect to experience this first hand.
At the time, my life had become a prime example of, “sorry, I was miles away” whereby my body would be present in settings but by mind was completely elsewhere.
Each day in Udaipur felt therapeutic, through the warm energy from the people to the calming sounds I woke up to first thing in the morning. I stopped feeding into the toxic relationship I had with my partner and focused on myself, I focused on what I wanted to get out of my trip to India and chose to have my camera for company.
By the end of the trip I was leaving Udaipur with a new sense of clarity and peace which ultimately encouraged me to produce content that helped my photography to get back on track and acknowledged within the travel photography community.
And that relationship? I put an end to that during a flight back from New Delhi. India was my wakeup call.
Through your experiences, what has travel taught you? What lessons does travel bring to those who experience it?
Travel has installed a humbling experience within. I have seen how some people live and the little they own but are richer in life than many others. This has opened my eyes to what is truly important and to value what is often taken for granted such as time and meaningful conversations even with those that you may never meet again.
One of the biggest lessons I reckon travel brings is patience, I find that a well traveled individual often is aware of which matters deserves a great deal of their time, attention and energy and which do not.
Have you ever faced any hard circumstances or issues as a female travel photographer?
I try to not take in the negatives too much but there have been times where I haven’t been taken seriously and was viewed as just a girl with a nice camera that would take nice pictures.
Free favors! From time to time I am asked to work on an assignment or shoot abroad and not get paid for it and instead be told that it would be good experience for me.
Some, men in particular, would assume my idea of traveling and photography is porn-star martinis by the poolside whilst trying to gain a great tan, capturing cute shots ( I mean who doesn’t love the sound of that ?) but are then surprised by my experiences and knowledge of the places I’ve traveled to.
I think one thing that is often a hard pill to swallow is when my dreams are downplayed by those that I tell. Some don’t believe in my goals or assume this is too difficult of a dream for me to achieve and I should just take up a different kind of photography like wedding or baby photography. The two are just as difficult to get into first of all and it hurts when a friend or family member who doesn’t have any experience in the industry, tells you to perhaps consider another option.
What piece of advice would you give to new female travel photographers?
Be strong, be fearless, be consistent. Treat travel photography as a job you’re passionate about rather than a holiday, even if you’re just starting out.
Let your camera be your best friend, take it everywhere you can and keep practicing – this was the best advice I was given by another photographer when I first started.
Be brave enough to visit new places solo and wait for no-one. Be ballsy, this is a tough industry behind the beautiful images you see online or in prints.
Lastly, enjoy what you do and be at peace when capturing content, the energy you have when traveling and using your camera is reflected in your work. If you’re in a rush and frustrated, then your work will look rushed. If your mind is clear and at ease then it is easier to capture the beauty of your environment or subject.
What is it that you aim to photograph during your travel experiences?
I aim to capture shots right in the moment, to make whoever may see my photos, feel as if they were right there with me.
The more color, the better, everyone has their own style in photography but I’m attracted to bright colors and sunlight.
I avoid typical tourist shots when I can, there’s nothing wrong with those but I find capturing well known places from different angles displays the eye of the photographer.
What is the best way to learn digital photography and editing? How did you learn?
Take your camera everywhere, play with it as much as possible. Reach out to other photographers and learn how they capture their shots. I love being inspired by others and putting my own spin on a new technique.
Regarding editing, I downloaded various programs and spent evenings just playing around. The mistakes I made to pictures often enabled me to learn a new aspect or tool of the program.
When editing, I like to come back to the image a little later before posting it on Instagram or submitting it somewhere or to someone. This is because in the moment you could either love or hate the finished edit and have a completely different reaction when you revisit it with fresh eyes.
Some friends can be especially hard to shop for. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift to give your adventurous female friends, we’re here to make your gift shopping a total breeze. We’ve rounded up essential travel items, fun and thoughtful momentos, staple travel wardrobe pieces and more. Stocked with some of our absolute favorite finds of 2019, here is our gift guide for the #DameTraveler in your life. Happy shopping!
Dame Traveler: Live the Spirit of Adventure
Yep, you read that right! We are beyond excited to share our premiere hardback book is available for pre-order! Filled with hundreds of striking photographs and empowering messages and practical tips for solo travelers from the women traveling the world that inspire us most. From page to page, readers will find new destinations and inside tips from women who boldly adventure throughout the globe. We may be biased… but we happen to think it’s the perfect present for the Dame Traveler in your life. It’s been a dream come to life, and we’re so excited to see it on coffee tables and bookshelves around the world.
Travel Wardrobe Pieces For The Stylish Jetsetter
Este Backpack by Lesetta
This vintage-y gem is our most coveted chic, yet durable backpack! With a nod to 70’s nostalgia, we love its bold color combinations and camera-friendly size. We’re also huge fans of Lesetta’s commitment to slow fashion, as the brand offers accessories made by European and South American artisans and designers the founder met through her travels! If you’re shopping for a stylish, fashionable traveler with a love for sustainability – look no further.
AllBirds Wool Runners
Packing the right shoes is a constant conundrum for most female travelers. We’re huge fans finding a shoe that can be both cool, super cozy, and can be dressed up or down (depending on the adventure at hand). And that’s why we love AllBird’s Wool Runners. They’re simple, breathable and go with everything. Pair it with their perfect Trino™Quarters socks… and you’ve got yourself the perfect gift for the comfort traveler.
Dagne Dover’s Landon Carryall
Whether she’s running from the office to the gym, or Porto to Portofino – the Dame Traveler has got to have the perfect carryall bag. We’re obsessed with Dagne Dover’s Landon Carryall‘s do-it-all capabilities and its intentional details for the modern woman. Think 13″ laptop sleeve, interior side pockets for tech accessories, a handle drop to place on a suitcase and more!
Callahan’s Miche Turtleneck
Every traveler craves a go-to airport look that’s just as cozy as it is cool. That’s why we love Callahan’s Miche Turtleneck‘s twist on the traditional turtleneck with color-block design, breathable cotton and perfect softness.
Everlane’s Day Glove
Everyone craves a shoe that molds perfectly to our feet… the type of shoe that’s an easy choice to slip on with every outfit. Everlane’s Day Glove is that shoe! It’s buttery soft leather that molds to your foot, making it our favorite shoe for airports and sightseeing alike. You won’t find us without these flats in our suitcases for a very long time!
Hemant And Nandita Boho Dress & Accessories
We love intentionally made clothing with strong cultural roots. Hemant And Nandita‘s collection of boho, flow-y dresses and chic accessories are a match made in heaven for the Dame Traveler who craves fashion and handmade tradition.
Everlane’s The Cashmere Crew
Every traveler needs a classic, go-to airport outfit if you ask us! Gift your Dame Traveler a classic. We are obsessed with Everlane’s The Cashmere Crew. It’s a classic staple item every woman craves to have in their closet (and suitcase) with the perfect fit. Plus, it’s made of certified Grade-A cashmere!
Katie One’s Cocó Pearl Earrings
A glamorous, yet simple staple jewelry item that can be thrown on with any look. Dame Travelers will love a set of Katie One’s Cocó Pearl Earrings classic drop pearl earrings with its twisted ring and elegant details. Each set is hand made by artisans in the South of France and sourced using sustainable materials. They’ll be the pair of earrings she’ll reach for over and over again for those romantic evenings in store!
White + Warren Cashmere Gloves & Scarf
Nothing says “I love you” to a winter-destination traveler quite like a luxurious pair of soft, warm gloves and a buttery, classic cashmere scarf. We love White + Warren’s cozy cashmere gloves as a gift – they’re just as luxurious as they are easy to throw on with any outfit in the winter-y season. Their Mini Travel Wrap is also the absolute perfect stocking stuffer for the adventurer! It’s a smaller version of our beloved cashmere scarf that packs down easily, but still looks just as classic and feels just as warm!
Apolis’s Customizable Market Tote Bag
There isn’t a single market bag we love more than our customizable Apolis tote! And it’s a sustainable gift that will have a long shelf life for your gift receiver! Each bag is water resistant, made from 100% natural golden jute fiber and can handle any grocery run… and you can feel good purchasing it. The female artisans who handcraft each eco-friendly bag receive Fair Trade wages, annual profit dividends, and a retirement fund.
Carry-On Approved Beauty Picks
Patchology’s Rejuvenating Eye Gels
Dame Traveler’s know just how drying planes can be to our precious skin… and that’s why giving her the gift of hydration is such a good idea! Patchology’s Rejuvenating Eye Gels fight tired eyes, puffiness and dryness with their caffeine and hydrolyzed collagen ingredients. It’s the perfect solution for fighting jet lag! And I mean, who wouldn’t want to treat themselves to a little self-care while crossing continents?
Wine-Stain Preventing Lip & Teeth Balm
If you’re gift hunting for a wine-loving traveler or an explorer who’s always the life of the party – WineBlock’s Stain Preventing Lip & Teeth Balm is a great choice! Nobody likes being the embarrassing tourist… and with the world’s first wine stain preventative, they won’t ever get caught with “wine smile.”
Lano’s Complete Travel Kit
We’re loving Lano’s minis! This little, see-through bubble bag of goodies is sure to please your TSA officer, and your skin too with its perfectly sized travel essentials. Lano’s Complete Travel Kit comes with essentially everything a jet-setting lady needs – from hand creams, ointments, cleansers, vitamin E day cream leave on mask and more. It’s a little gift that keeps on giving!
For The Wanderer’s Home
Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel Coloring Book
Who says that only kids enjoy coloring books? Treat your Dame Traveler friend (or yourself) to Lonely Planet‘s Ultimate Travel Coloring Book, filled with 100 sketches of the worlds most iconic sights… and all ready for you to add your colorful flair! We also are so obsessed with their City Maze puzzle book that features geographical street maps with hidden gems in the world’s greatest cities.
Map Drinkware by Well Told
There’s nothing quite like filling your home with momentos from experiences and memories made around the world. These custom engraved city glasses are sure to make your gift recipient beam with joy! Well Told can make a topographic map from thousands of locations around the world on any glassware you’re loved one uses most- from insulated tumblers to stemless wine glasses.
Having a reliable, insulated bottle is like having a best friend aboard any trip! We’d truly be lost without our trust S’well Bottle beside us! It’s the perfect size to pop into our bag before departure and saves on waste while on the road.
Rifle Paper Co’s Art Prints & Home Goods
We’re obsessed with Rifle Paper Co’s illustrations, art prints and cards! And we just so happen to think that any of their cities art prints would be a perfect choice for the traveler who loves a unique and charming home (we’re partial to this feminine Italy design and colorful Amalfi print).
Shopping for a traveler that loves to host? Pick up Rifle Paper Co’s Cities Coaster Set or Christmas Card Set for their thank you cards. Or are you on the hunt for a thoughtful present for the organized, type-A traveler? This World Traveler Desk Calendar is an adorable choice too!
Vitruvi Blush Stone Diffuser
Imagine clean essential oils diffusing throughout your gift recipient’s cozy home. Thoughtful, right? Adventurers crave the outdoors, which is why we love pairing Vitruvi’s gorgeous stone diffuser with their woodsy bundle. With refreshing and invigorating cedar wood, spruce and more – the oils bring the outdoors in effortlessly!
Steamery Stockholm Cirrus No. 2 Steamer
The perfect travel sized steamer! For the Dame Traveler who wants crease free, Instagram ready looks when she’s on the go – Steamery Stockholm’s Cirrus No.2 Steamer is the perfect gift! It’s super fast, light and packable (our favorite component!), and it’ll also remove unfresh odors and dirt stains. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect little handy addition to their suitcase? We think so!
Travel-Savvy Tech Gifts
A laptop that’s “made to move”? Count us in! If you’re interested in gifting a tech-y item that can withstand a traveler’s lifestyle… the Pixelbook Go is the way to go. It’s lightweight, can stay charged and unplugged for 12 hours ( perfect for those long layovers without an open outlet in sight) and is incredibly responsive and fast to boot!
Looking for the perfect gift for the traveling photographer? Why not give them the gift of nostalgia wrapped up in a fun new toy! Polaroid’s OneStep 2 Viewfinder i-Type Camera is a blend of classic design with intuitive, contemporary details. Its “perfect imperfection” look is completely unique and the thrill of seeing a printed photo is so addicting.
Paravel’s Aviator Carry-On Plus Suitcase
If you’re on the hunt for a perfect gift for the Dame Traveler in your life… a sleek new suitcase is just the thing! We happen to think that Paravel’s Carry-On Plus Suitcase is the absolute best carry-on travelers can own. It’s roomy interior and compression board ensures that everything fits (no matter how much of a chronic over-packer they are!), and we’re big fans of its scuff-hiding textured finish and smooth double wheel design. No detail has gone unnoticed with this one!
Google Nest Hub
Google’s Nest Hub has grown to be one of our favorite home-tech finds this year. Our favorite function? The Nest Hub is digital, live photo album (perfect for displaying those Instagram-worthy snaps taken from the road) that instantly displays photos added to Google+ without needing to manually upload them. Tech-loving travelers will love that it can also be used to control their connected home too!
We’re firm believers in practicing safety at all times here at Dame Traveler… whether on the other side of the world, on a run at home or commuting to work. Safety-conscious travelers will adore BASU’s eAlarmPro’s portability (it’s the size of a thumb drive). Plus there’s no louder alarm that’s smaller, lighter or more transportable!
InCase’s Facet Case & Macbook Sleeve
Show your gift recipient that you care by giving them the extra protection for their precious tech items! We love InCase’s case for iPhone X in Rose Gold and sturdy laptop sleeve for MacBook 12″ – they’re just as trust worthy as they are streamlined and slick.
Paravel’s Packing Cube Set
No matter if you’re gift recipient is a fashionista or a minimalist, every type of Dame Traveler out there needs a set of sleek packing cubes. Paravel’s Packing Cube set are designed to make their next trip a total breeze to prepare for. Their conveniently sized and the perfect organizational tool for those long or short term getaways they’re bound to have in store.
Mophie Powerstation Plus 10000 Universal Battery With Lighting Connector
Mophie’s one of our absolute favorite tech accessory brand. And we’re loving its newest Powerstation with Universal Battery. It keep travelers devices fully charged at all times… we’re talking to 34 extra hours! We love the Lightning connector to charge our phones, but we also are obsessed that it comes with its wireless charging pad too!
I hope this gift guide helps you find the perfect travel gifts for your fellow Dame Traveler friends out there!
Disclosure: Some of the items in this gift guide above were given to us to review and some of the links above are affiliate links. We never recommend anything we don’t personally love and wouldn’t buy ourselves.
Today at Dame Traveler, we’re sharing a surreal story! With our new series #DTBehindTheLens, we’re empowering the women behind the lens of the camera. We’re honored and thrilled to introduce Ling McGregor of Cereal for Lunch in our second spotlight of this series!
Ling’s work is truly eye-catching and her story leaves us feeling inspired — with a bowl of cereal in hand. Today, we’re discussing Ling’s unique story and why she’d like the travel industry to start celebrating female travel photographers.
Hi Ling! Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what you do?
Hi! I’m from Sydney, Australia. I’m so excited for the chance to share my travel photography with you as part of Dame Traveler’s series. First up, I’m not a fulltime photographer or blogger so I feel incredibly humbled to be featured here.
During the week I work as a lawyer in an environmental and climate change practice. Alongside this though, I think it’s important to give time to the things that you love. I try to create as much as possible and have a huge passion for art and photography; I studied writing, draw portraits, and photograph at every chance I get.
While on a trip around the world with my boyfriend, Jason, I recently started sharing my travel photography in particular. On this trip we also decided to create a blog called Cereal for Lunch for creative travellers—lovers of art, history, culture and dreamy destinations.
What are the favourite destinations you’ve photographed so far?
Wherever we go, I love to find and photograph surreal scenes. On this theme, some of my favourite photographs have come from the desert across the Chilean and Bolivian Altiplano—flamingos crowd red lagoons, there’s a desert stretch named after Salvador Dali, and if you wait long enough, you can catch a sly fox between volcanic rocks.
Having said that, these destinations are always spectacular, and you can kind of just show up with a camera. On the other hand, I also love street photography because there are so many small scenes to construct from the chaos. Some of the best street scenes have come from Cusco, as well as cities in Cuba, Morocco and Japan.
What is it that you aim to photograph during your travel experiences?
I think that photography can really compliment travel—it brings a creative aspect to the trip and allows you to document and remember everything along the way. When travelling, the main priority is to see and experience as much of a place as possible; I’m most motivated to explore its art scene, the unique landscapes or architecture, as well as its history, markets and street life.
Hopefully the pictures that I take mirror this travel style, as I want to capture small parts of each destination and the experiences that I’ve had there. I try to post a mix of things and keep a balance between places and portraits. I also tend to photograph scenes that I would like to draw, and usually this means highlighting people, small details and vibrant colours.
Why do you think it’s important for women photographers to be celebrated in the travel industry?
It’s important for women to be upheld and celebrated in every industry! In the early 1900s, women actually made up quite a large percentage of the photography profession—at a time when it was still quite unusual for women (in the West) to even have a profession. Unfortunately, this declined with the advent of photojournalism, and it remained a male-dominated industry for decades.
It’s easier than ever for everyone to publish their work though, and over time photography has become such an important way to subvert the traditional gaze in the arts, and to share women’s perspectives and experiences, as well. There are so many talented female photographers, and I really support Dame Traveler in making a space to specifically promote their work through this series.
Are there any changes you would like to see happen in the travel industry?
I support making changes which leave a more positive effect on places, and think I have a personal responsibility to find ways to travel as sustainably as possible. On my last long trip, this has meant:
visiting fewer places and spending more time in each one;
traveling through each country in a linear way, rather than continuously flying from place to place;
supporting local creators, for example by buying directly from individual artists or makers;
avoiding travelling in peak times, especially to destinations that are severely impacted by over-tourism;
prioritising fair wages over scoring cheap deals; and
trying to reduce waste.
Most of these changes have complimented the way that I like to travel. For example, I prefer to explore many different parts of just one country, rather than visiting a few places in many different countries; the ideal situation would be to hire an apartment, cook from local food, and explore one area over as many days as possible. I also really love to meet artists along the way and know that I’m leaving with authentic and ethically produced textiles, jewellery or ceramics.
I’m definitely not trying to say that anyone needs to change the way that they travel specifically—do whatever you want, and most importantly enjoy your trip! But I do think that businesses and consumers need to consider ways to enhance sustainability, particularly if we want certain places to remain viable tourist destinations.
Through your experiences, what has travel taught you?
Travel has always been quite central as I have a mixed Chinese and Scottish heritage. I think some of the most important things that it can highlight are history, diversity, and continuing traditions. Overall, it weirdly makes the world seem big and small simultaneously.
Have you ever faced any hard circumstances or issues as a female traveler or female travel photographer?
What piece of advice would you give to new female travel photographers?
I’ve been so hesitant to answer this because I’m definitely still learning, too. With travel photography in particular, I don’t think there’s any need to travel to a specific destination just because it might seem photogenic. Once you have your eye out, it’s easier to find something to shoot wherever you are—just try to look for interesting scenes and different views of the place that you’re in.
In terms of getting started, the best thing is to experiment until you develop a personal style that you’re happy with. At first this will probably involve spending just as much time on the editing process as actually taking the shots—it can take a while to get familiar with the adjustments that you need to suit different conditions, and to figure out how you like different types of photographs to be framed. Once you have a range of good shots, make your photos more unique by experimenting with different shades and tones.
I now edit and colour my photos in a very specific way, usually by increasing the luminance, bringing down the highlights, and emphasising the red and green tones (all of these changes can be made in pretty much any editing application). I’ll include a before and after comparison so that you can see the difference that the editing process makes.
I don’t think it’s necessary to invest in the most expensive or professional gear straight away either. I’ve been really lucky recently to be able to use an older DSLR to get started, but the lens eventually became quite limiting. It’ll be clear when you need to upgrade from a phone or first camera to better gear once you know what you want out of your shots, and then it’s a probably good idea to connect with other photographers to learn about the best gear to suit the type of photography that you’re interested in.