Any photographer will tell you that landing a travel assignment will always be right on top of their career bucket list. While studying photography we were often told that the photographic industry is not what it used to be. Gone are the days of extravagant travel assignments and large-scale production sets. The thought of being commissioned to visit exotic locations as a photographer soon vanished off my list.
I was however, fortunate enough to land a travel assignment in Mauritius early in my photographic career, and despite the smug feeling, it is not what you would come to expect. Nervous excitement quickly fades and by the time you board that airplane you are shaken into reality. The only thing running through your mind - DON’T screw this up! Imagine returning without any decent images. That thought is a sure winner to shake you out of your travel assignment virginity. Getting up at absurd hours to capture sunrises, risking expensive gear in dodgy markets and making sure you back-up all images late at night quickly becomes the norm. To quote the famous MasterCard ad – the feeling you get when boarding your flight back home with the right shots in the bag: Priceless!
Having said that, it was a magical trip; one of my fondest memories is shooting a couple of food dishes right on the beach with the sun setting over the ocean (who knew golden hour could be applicable to food as well). Personally, that trip served as a wake-up call. It is important to establish goals - be it a bucket list or to start collaborating with other creatives. It is so easy to become discouraged by the negative comments from peers. My advice; get out of your comfort zone and produce something unique and meaningful.