I just got done calculating my road miles for 2018, and once again it was over 20,000. The majority of these miles are not daily photo shoots but instead long photography road trips. If I can drive to a destination, and have the time, I always will drive, even if it is a day or more. Why? The obvious benefits are cheaper travel, no luggage restrictions, no cancelled flights and security issues (all those lithium strobe batteries!).
But those reasons aren’t why I like to road trip. What’s more important are the creative benefits. I can’t count the number of times I have discovered a new location, incredible portrait, or flaming sunset while on the road. And since I am driving and have the time, I can change my schedule and explore the photo possibilities. A huge struggle for me is the time versus creativity struggle. I get so busy with day to day business and shoots that taking the time to drive to a location seems like an eternity. But slowing down and really experiencing a location or journey is when I create my best work. Even if you have to fly to a location, learning to decompress and get into your creative zone in a new country will help your photography. The challenge is ‘slow down and smell the roses.’ The current issue of Digital Photo (on news stands now) has a story I wrote on photography road trips, including some of my favorite drives. Check it out if you get the chance. Maybe during this holiday season you will have a chance to take your own photo road trip.