How Safe is it to Travel the World With a Camera?


I felt safe in all countries we've visited in the past 2 years. Colombia, India, Mexico...

But some time ago I posted a video about me going out on the streets of Lima to shoot some street photography. That video was really fun to make but I got a few comments on photography forums like:

“Isn't that dangerous?”


“That's a way to get robbed.”

Then I replied that it was not dangerous because I try to research and use common sense. To that, someone replied:

“You should try to go to La Victoria in Lima with your camera
and see how that goes!”

…because apparently that's not the safest neighborhood in Lima.

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And I mean, what kind of comment is that even? Why would I go to an unsafe neighborhood if I know that it's an unsafe neighborhood. Of course you'll get robbed if you don't use common sense or don't do research. I never felt unsafe in Lima because I knew where to go.

That's the whole point when traveling. The world is not a dangerous place. Analogy: Driving a car. Thousands of people die every day in traffic but no one thinks driving is super dangerous. Everybody gets in their car without worrying. So, why do a lot of people think that traveling with or without camera gear is so dangerous?

I feel like people focus too much on bad stories because that's all they hear. On the internet, you'll only read about people who got robbed and things like that. You don't read the millions of stories of people who travel without anything happening.

Related • Keeping Your Camera And Valuables Safe While Traveling

I've been traveling all over the world with my camera gear now and the only place where I didn't feel safe was… Los Angeles because we accidentally booked a motel in a shady neighborhood. I felt safer in Colombia, Peru, and here in Mexico... All these countries, of course, have places where you shouldn't go with camera gear.

And of course, something might happen, just like it might in any city in the world but if you do some research and know where to go and where not, traveling with a camera is not dangerous. Just don’t flash it around in the most dangerous neighbourhood you can find. Who would do that anyway.

If something does happen, it’s usually being in the wrong place at the wrong time…

GearJoris Hermans