Photography Is Easy, Yeah Right

Throughout the decades of being a photographer, I’m often amazed how many people tell me that capturing photos is easy. These same people will look at one of my photographs and seriously think I just walked right up and snapped that photo on the spot, with no or little effort. Technical aside, they have no clue what it takes to get to a location, lugging gear, planning the logistics, dealing with everything it takes to travel to that one location that compliments a photo.

Many of those people will also tell me, “It must be great to travel and see the world,” but they don’t realize, while traveling has its perks, it has its tolls too. It’s tuff on the body when you change time zones and then just about the time you get used to your new tempo, it’s time to travel home and your body has to adjust again. This isn’t jet lag; it’s only part of the jet lag experience.

Throw in the change in climate, plus safeguarding your baggage and sometimes yourself especially in third-world countries, and it’s an experience like no other. Yes, while your eyes will sometimes see stuff others only read about or saw on television, your body starts playing tricks on you. Sometimes you won’t know if you’re hungry or fatigued, and if your body is really pissed at you, it may kick in a little constipation or diarrhea to remind you it’s not happy with the change in climates, new food, different time zones or even flight delays.

Then when you finally make it to your location chances are, for at least the first night of your trip, you’ll toss and turn plus probably wake up with an aching back as you adjust to a new mattress. Worse case, you might even land a bed with bed bugs, it’s known to happen, though I can’t recall the latter in my experiences. Let’s face it, while the sheets might be fresh, you don’t know who slept in the bed before you.

Delta Airlines Jet, St. Thomas

When Heather and I exited this Delta plane in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, we had a 60-degree increase in temperature from our colder origin of Indiana.

Yes, you normally have a choice for the level of your comfort, especially if you are a member of a “frequent guest” program that can help you standardize your travel as one of its perks. My favorite is the Hilton Honors program, but there are many out there, all normally free of charge—just sign up!

The same goes with the airlines and their frequent flier programs plus their perks. While I’m a member with several airlines, Delta’s SkyMiles Medallion frequent flier program is my favorite choice and as of the writing of this blog post, I’ll hit “Million Miler” status on my next flight earning other perks including lifetime Silver Medallion status for life!

Delta SkyMiles Medallion Perks

One of the perks of being upgraded on Delta is the free drinks in first-class.

I intend to write a future blog post on what it took to achieve the Delta SkyMiles Medallion, Million Miler status, as my miles are actual miles flown, not miles gained with credit card perks or other non-flown-mileage promotions. But the perks that help ease the travel tolls include free first-class upgrades, priority check-in, priority security lines, and priority boarding, plus other perks including checking in free bags and expedited baggage handling.

We all want our bags when traveling and while Delta has never lost one of my bags, over the last 30-years of traveling I’ve had a few bags delayed, but I always received my baggage! I’ve only had one bag lost and never found, but that was with another airline—I was eventually reimbursed.

travel upgrade, Delta Airlines SkyMiles Medallion

Part of the Delta Airlines, SkyMiles Medallion program is complimentary travel upgrades to first class.

Now I didn’t even get into dealing with TSA while going through security screening plus how sometimes TSA can damage or not repack your photo gear (I only check-in lighting gear, never cameras), nor how to deal with being away from your family, but hopefully you get the picture. Creating photos is not necessarily easy, especially when travel is involved, though you can ease the travel tolls by being a member of Delta’s SkyMiles Medallion program and other frequent guest programs with hotels and dining.

Yes it’s great to travel and see the world when it comes to photography, however depressing the shutter release on the camera is only 5-percent of the equation. Creating great photos normally involves effort and sometimes that effort involves taxing your body with climate changes, time zone differences, food, culture, etc., and with that I close, as I’m tired.

Heather and I just returned home from a five-day photography trip that included a 40-degree drop in the climate plus we lost three hours from the time zone change—but as always, I ask that you don’t forget the men and women who serve this great nation to protect our freedoms including the right to travel. God Bless them, their family and friends, Rolando.

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