Words by Tammy, Photos by A.
Travelling with a good friend is a joy. Travelling with a good friend who can take amazing pictures? I was beyond excited, expecting many good photos of me and our Thailand trip. Hello new profile picture!
Well, I did get many beautiful pictures from the trip. However, beyond that, this trip taught me about photo-blogging – and how to be a good travel companion of a photo blogger.
My definition of photo-blogging is publishing high quality pictures – of food, scenery, people, etc, – as a key element in blog posts. Since the pictures need to be of a certain standard, it takes skill, time and effort. Your blogger friend will supply most of the skill. But the time and effort need to come from you too – and this might come as a surprise!
So, to avoid future shock (and arguments!), based on my personal 4-day experience with A, I am listing the 5 things that a travel companion can expect 😉
1. Be Prepared to Wait Before You Eat Your Food
Famished after a long scenic walk? Sorry, no gulping down the tantalising Pad Thai in front of you. You will need to wait patiently as your friend arranges, and re-arranges, AND RE-ARRANGES, your food, to create mouth-watering pictures for the rest of the world to see. I was surprised that food photography went beyond taking a photo and putting a filter on it. It takes a good arrangement of all the items on the table – the food, utensils, spices – and also the surrounding: lighting, angle, etc. No wonder it took ages for A to take pictures of our brunch…
Tip: When you stare forlornly at your slowly-melting ice cream, remember: anticipation is half the fun. At least now you can recall how delicious the food was every time you see the photo afterwards.
2. Be Ready to be a Human Tripod
Another thing to expect when eating with a photo blogger is to be a human tripod. I mentioned that aspects that make a great food photo include the angle and composition of the dish. And since your friend’s hands are busy with the camera, guess who has to tinker with the food to create a good composition? During my Bangkok trip, I have held a spoonful of tom yam soup to showcase the juicy prawns inside, tilted a plate of pasta and tried to offer help to hold a spoonful of creamy Banoffee – which in the end A decided to hold by herself.
Tip: For people with little photography skills like me, enjoy this experience! This might be the only time to proudly say that you do have a hand (sometimes literally) in the making of these amazing photos.
3. Master the Art of Not-Being-Seen
If you are travelling with a blogger, accept the fact that sometimes you will not be the highlight of the pictures. Thus, most of the time, you need to stay out of the frame. I cannot remember how many times I was asked to duck under the table so as not to photobomb the food picture, or to move aside so as not to become an unnecessary foreground in those golden Stupa or market street pictures.
Tip: Afterwards, ask your friend to take a shot of that same scenery with you inside. She will be able to capture you in your best angle, with the best background image.
4. Accepting That Sometimes Weird Measures are Necessary to Take Good Pictures
As A mentioned to me, “You have no idea what I have done to create great photos.”
Sometimes your friend might do some questionable – and bordering on embarrassing – things for the sake of capturing that perfect image. The weirdest thing I witnessed so far? Using instant noodle packets as props to create a good photo composition.
A tip: As long as the weird measure does not get you arrested or thrown out, just file it as a memorable experience of the trip. You can also use it as blackmail material 😉
5. Get the Best Trip Experience!
Tons of beautiful pictures? Check.
Unforgettable experience (think human tripod)? Check.
New skills acquired (i.e photo taking)? Definitely. Trust me on this.
But the best thing is, as you go on a journey with a person who captures the best images of life, you will start to view the world in a new perspective – and find that it is a truly beautiful world.
So, that is my take, and tips, from my trip with A! I am sure that I am not the only person who has gone through this experience. Do share your own experience, crazy stories and tips from when you went on a trip (or even just ate dinner!) with a blogger friend, or simply those friends who are nuts about photography!