I’ve been into photography since as long as I can remember – both behind the camera and infront of it. You see, I love taking photos BUT I also love being in the photo! Some may say that’s vain: I guess I have my parents to thank for that! They would always take thousands of photos of me growing up, so even back in the days before digital photography, being infront of the camera was just a part of my every day life! Some weekends my dad would just take me out for a photoshoot and I honestly didn’t realise how much our family took photos until my friends told me – I just thought it was normal to do that!
As I got older, got my own camera and started backpacking in my teens and early twenties, I started to love taking pictures of the places I was travelling. I stepped out of the limelight and let the landscape be the main subject – often I would go away on trips and there would barely be any photos with me in them! My photography gave me a chance to express my creativity and I was always so proud to show my photos to my friends and family and give them a chance to see places they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see (this was all before social media took over the world!). I found photography gave me a chance to capture and freeze a moment of my life I could never get back, but I could always revisit it by looking at the photo.
I forget so many things and it’s often only by looking back through old photos that a lot of memories come back to me. The more I started to travel full-time, I found images and moments would start to blur in my head. I would find when I was looking back through my landscape photos that I often couldn’t place the exact moment, yet if I was in the photo it gave it more meaning and more impact (plus it was a LOT more fun to shoot and gave me more chance to be creative) and so I started focusing more on getting pictures with both the landscape and myself in them. However I often travel alone, which was at first pretty difficult to get pictures of myself. Now I’m a whizz at it and you can read my article on how to take photos of yourself when travelling alone, where I give you all my best tips to ensure you get the best photos when travelling solo!
I began to realise how truly fortunate I was being able to spend so much time travelling and seeing the world. I felt I should make the most out of it, capture as many moments as possible, and display them for others to see, learn and get inspired by, and so I created my Instagram account @24hourslayover one year ago. Rather quickly I began to realise that many travel accounts were very similar – beautiful pictures that had been fantastically edited with a dreamy look, often giving a false illusion of a place, but little or no information was written in the caption about the place, the people, the culture or problems faced there. It was just a pretty picture uploaded to get likes and nothing more.
I wanted my pictures to give people more, and so I use my Instagram as a way to open people’s eyes up to new places AND new cultures. I don’t do typical relaxed holidays – I do raw, honest, open travel. The good AND the bad. Getting underneath the skin of the country and really seeing the local way of life, their way of thinking and their daily struggles. I don’t just visit well known places, but also places not everyone will have heard of or would even think to visit – infact these are the places I prefer most! Personally I don’t like following the crowd and I love travelling to places where tourism isn’t huge and you can really interact with the local people, learn from them and help them. I love to show people that you need to make your own decisions and judgements about places and cannot solely rely on the opinions of others. Follow my adventures on Instagram here!
I don’t often take time out and wind down when I travel as my mind is not only curious to learn and discover more, but is always on the lookout for a great photo to shoot! My photographs are the most precious things I can take from my travels as they can transport me back to that exact moment and how I was feeling at that moment in time. They are what makes your journey unique from everyone else and it really gives me so much pleasure to look back at my photos after trips.
For years I had wanted to start a blog displaying my travel pictures, but I never had the guts. However after countless friends encouraged me to do it because they loved seeing my pictures, I started my blog and have had so much fun with it so far! I have found a great community of bloggers and we all support each other, which is really great and empowering!
All the photos displayed in this article are photos I have taken myself, just using a tripod and a self-timer. I want to empower women to take the leap to travel alone AND get great pictures at the same time! Enjoy!