Your Photos Don’t Have to Be Spectacular

 

Photographs don’t have to be spectacular. You don’t need to visit crazy places for photography. Any place will do if you just take your time and look. You don’t even need to go to the tourist attractions or landmarks. In fact, don’t go there at all. Head in the opposite direction. That’s where life is happening and where the photographs are, ready to be captured.

Udaipur, India.

Udaipur, India.

I used to think that I needed to go to spectacular places to get good results. It felt like everything around me was just dull and boring. The problem was that I didn’t look. It was a lot easier to go to an amazing new place to get inspired. When I was living and working in Belgium, I went as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo and northern California to take photos. It felt easier to make photographs there, almost effortless and that was a problem.

Delhi, India.

Delhi, India.

Traveling & spectacular photos

You’re not going to be at an amazing or spectacular landmark all the time. I’ve been traveling non-stop for a year now and I can tell you that most of the locations I’ve been to are not spectacular or amazing. Are they beautiful? Yes but they’re just… places. I appreciate those places a lot more now, even more than the incredible National Geographic locations. Don’t get me wrong, take me back to Varanasi or the top of Mount Bromo any day but I enjoy photographing the low key places just as much because it’s more satisfying to take photos there.

Pondicherry, India.

Pondicherry, India.

Hang around for a while

The mistake we made when we set off on our journey was traveling too fast. We pinned a few must see locations and traveled from one to another as fast as possible. Because of the distances, there were a lot of one night stops along the way. Places where we spent the night so we could move on the next day. We missed exploring a lot of cities and towns like this and on top of that, it was tiring. It took us a few months before we noticed that we had to slow down. We started to stay in some places for at least a week, even if there was nothing special to see.

Udaipur, India.

Udaipur, India.

Related read • Being a Travel Photographer - More Than Just Taking Photos

And from that moment, I noticed the beauty of the kind of places we normally only spent one night in. It takes more effort to see the photos but they’re always there. It’s those photos that will make your travel photography special. Everybody takes the same photos these days. There are lines at famous landmarks where everybody takes the same shot. Don’t be one of those people. Head in the other direction and go look for local life. Try to find those special photographs that no one else shoots. That’s what we need in order to make travel photography interesting again.

What the most interesting ‘boring’ place you’ve visited?