5 TRAVEL & PHOTOGRAPHY BLOGS THAT WILL GROW
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in travel blogging. Teletext Holidays interviewed some of the best travel photographers in the UK about how they translated their appreciation of the world around them into visually stunning content that continues to capture their followers.
If you’re looking to see the world through a different lens, follow these travel and photography bloggers on their journeys around the globe.
One of the bloggers in this category will be nominated for the Teletext Holidays Blogger Award, which is a brand-new part of the British Travel Awards 2019.
MEET TOM LAW
“I started my career working as an ethnographic photographer, which involved exploring how different cultures shaped the way people live. This meant a lot of traveling and drinking tea in living rooms from Croydon to Kazakhstan. I then became obsessed with traveling and specifically learning about different subcultures and communities which often shaped environments.
For me, travel is a state of mind and my photography is about capturing that mindset or feeling. Whether it’s something which makes you feel happy or uncomfortable. It’s these memories you’re much more likely to remember that the size of the pool at your hotel.
I consider myself a micro-influencer. Over the past 5 years, the internet has been bombarded with big names selling or sharing content and after a while, people lose trust. It’s the smaller writers / photographers who engage with their followers who have the greatest impact. With Instagram, I started with 1 follower and now reach over 1.3k people. My website draws in around 300 unique viewers each month and my published work has reached hundreds of thousands of readers around the world.
All my commissions come through either my website or Instagram. People often read one of my articles in a magazine or see some of my work in exhibitions then contact me online. I’ve even had someone send me fan art of one of my portraits - which was pretty awesome.
What makes my work stand out? Firstly, my pictures are very much through my eyes, I suppose you could call it, ‘natural surrealism’, nothing is faked, but the way I shoot has a dream-like quality - a stillness which slows time down and allows you to be absorbed in the fleeting moment captured.
Second is my writing - this also takes on a surreal quality. Travel for me is as much about the psychological experience as the physical and being able to describe that, and bring it to life is something I love to do.
Finally, my gear. I shoot digital now, but I started in film. This really slowed down the way I shoot. I now only use manual lenses made by Carl Zeiss. They give off an otherworldly quality and force me to not rush anything. It means each photograph is truly contemplated."
MEET PHILIP LEE HARVEY
“First, I was a photographer with a passion for travel. I photographed a few personal projects that were seen by Condé Nast Traveller Magazine and they started to commission me.
In the beginning social media didn’t exist, but now I have a small but loyal following over different platforms including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I've managed to grow and engage my follower base with regular posts of quality images plus a few tips and behind-the-scenes stories. I am proud to be a working travel photographer for magazines, advertising and tourism. My social media presence is there to showcase my work as a travel photographer and therefore I have no need to monetise it.
Three things that make me stand out from the crowd? Quality, use of light and an individual style.”
MEET LLOYD & YAYA, FROM HAND LUGGAGE ONLY
“We started Hand Luggage Only after travelling for many years. Photography was something we just naturally fell in love with as we travelled. As photos were such visceral reminders of our trips, the urge to constantly look for ways to improve our travel photography pretty much went hand-in-hand with our constant desire to explore more of the world.
We started with just our parents following our blog (which, we're happy to say, they still do) and this has, over the years, changed to include 800,000 other fellow travel lovers across our social media platforms. We now have over 1,400,000 page views per month and try to always share the very best tips and advice from around the world.
Our audience is and always has been a reflection of who we are. You put yourself out there and attract people who think like you and like the same things as you, so I guess our audience has grown (and has been engaged) because we've always allowed ourselves to just be ourselves. Not a shinier version or a version we think the world wants to see - just our true ourselves, warts and all.
The monetisation of our blog comes in a few different forms and is often either passive via display ads or direct by collaborating with brands we feel a strong connection to."
MEET KATHRYN, FROM TRAVEL WITH KAT
“As soon as I was given my first camera at the age of 10, I was hooked, mainly photographing friends and family. It wasn’t until I started working in the tourism industry as a graphic designer that I got serious about travel photography. Inspired by the professional photographers’ images I was using in my designs, I wanted to take my skills to the next level and spent three years at photography evening classes after work.
I started my blog, Travel With Kat about eight years ago so that I could share my photographs with a broader audience and, with the help of a friend, I began writing about my experiences. I’m dyslexic, and writing didn’t come naturally, but over the years I’ve learned a lot.
My blog is now taking me around the world, giving me the chance to photograph everything from grizzly bears in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest to the stunning temples of Thailand. I’ve worked hard to build a following. Sharing eye-catching photos certainly helps with that and I now have over 50,000 followers on social media. I’ve monetised my blog through advertisements and paid campaigns supplemented by leading guided walks in the South Downs. I feel so lucky to be making a living doing something that I love.
Three things that make me stand out from the crowd? Passion, determination and a touch of eccentricity.”
MEET JONO, FROM NOMADIC THOUGHTS
“Having set up Nomadic Thoughts (Worldwide Travel) 32 years ago, and having been involved in travel for all of my adult life, my blog has, over the last seven years, offered observations, comment and reflection on the present-day landscape of travel and tourism.
My camera has been my only constant travel companion over the past four decades. I have posted over 6,000 photos (all my own) across more than 350 blog articles. My blog, which reflects the travel arranging activities of Nomadic Thoughts, is totally independent, self-edited and advertisement-free. The monetising of the blog is reflected in the fact that it endorses, as well as enhances, the services we offer as a small independent UK tour operator.
My readership covers Nomadic Thoughts’ client base, colleagues from the travel industry and anyone has a like-minded attitude to travel. My focus has always been on ‘quality content’, opposed to ‘quantity followers’. Core to my belief is that any travel experience must benefit all stakeholders equally – the traveller, the destination and the local community.
My stand outs:
• Quality of photography
• Longevity of my travel experiences
• Broadness of travel topics”