I don’t think many people can say that they’ve been to FIVE COUNTRIES IN TEN DAYS. I did, and it was a blast!
I remember literally falling into my bed every single night, so consumed by exhaustion and falling asleep within seconds. But the thrill of travelling and photographing in a foreign but refreshing environment everyday was truly an experience.
When Jacky and Jasmine first approached me, their concept was simple but bold – they wanted to travel to as many countries as possible, capturing their travel adventures along the way. Jacky & Jasmine were completely open to suggestions and practically gave me free reign to make suggestions. What better way to embrace this god-sent opportunity but to…challenge myself and suggest all locations that I’ve never been!
And so, it was decided… Singapore – London – Santorini – Budapest – Paris – Amsterdam – Singapore…five countries in ten days, phew! And…I’ve never travelled to any of those locations before 🙂
Prior to the trip, I calmed my nerves by basically…doing an intense amount of research. The bulk of my research was online, google searching on the best places to shoot in each of these locations by choosing a combination of iconic destinations and unique cities. Talking to fellow photographers and friends who had been to those countries was also a great help. But most importantly, I had an itinerary planned down to the detail.
Travelling with Jacky and Jasmine was great fun. One of the craziest stories that I still tell to this day was that because it was difficult to secure a makeup artist at each location, prior to the trip, Jacky seeked his mom’s help on makeup so that he could be Jasmine’s makeup artist – how crazy is that!
I also fondly remember the time we went up to montmatre in the wee hours of the morning and were pleasantly surprised to see a few groups of people who had been drinking and partying through the night. I’m sure they were as equally pleasantly surprised to see us crazy tourists because they welcomed us with open arms and even participated in the shoot:
If you’re a photographer about to make a similar crazy trip like mine for the first time, here’s some advice I would give 🙂
- Do not be too ambitious as each city is relatively huge and it may take time to travel between locations. It is important to plan your route and know how much travelling time you’ll need. Have a list of “must visit” locations and another list of “good-to-visit” locations that you can skip if you run out of time.
- Plan your itinerary down to the detail including how to get there from your hotel, the transport required to make the trip, and how to travel between locations. Make sure you cater for extra time for touch ups, attire changes and you never know when you might stumble into a picture-perfect awesome street!
- Be opportunistic! An awesome part about going to a foreign place is that you see the place in a new perspective. Even if it’s the Eiffel tower that has been photographed millions of times in millions of ways, find your style!
- Be safe and guard your items at all times, especially your camera and memory cards. In Budapest, we started photographing in the wee hours of the early morning and although the location seemed safe and relatively quiet, my tripod was stolen within minutes of me turning my back :/ I can only thank God it wasn’t my camera.
- Travel light – Different airlines have vastly different baggage requirements. As we travelled budget for one of the routes, my bags ended up being overweight when they were within the weight limit for all the other flights despite travelling very light with the following equipment: Canon 5D Mark 3, Canon 16-35 F2.8, Canon 50mm F1.4, Canon 70-200mm F2.8
till next time!