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Apologies first, this will be a long post.
Backstory then the questions.
I’m in a bit of a creative rut – I’ve recently graduated and I’m chipping away at my own business. I’ve fallen mostly into events and light news work… It’s well paid, especially if I land a couple more clients, but dull and I find myself at a crossroads.
In the early days of my study I was that irritating idealistic youth – ’I’ll change the world with my images!‘. With clearer and possibly more cynical eyes I now recognize that while still holding that objective to heart I’m beginning to aim for the enjoyment of my work, the interesting and possibly important stories that I may cover all while maintaining the finances I need to live a turbulent, but ideally comfortable life.
I’m realizing I could tough it out for the next 5 years, send out folios, work for a local paper and push my way up a hierarchy weakened by the online trend. Instead of looking forward to that challenge, the prospect of photographing the proverbial cat-in-a-tree fills me with dread and causes the creativity gland in my brain to shrivel. This, coupled with the dullness of event work, has spurred me to make a change, and like so many in their twenties I’ve heard the call of travel to broaden my horizons. While I’ll have to come back to this one day, travel now while I’m young seems to be a good idea.
I’m keen on the idea of passing through south east asia, India and Nepal and possibly other locations should they interest me. I have a lot saved for this and I expect I’ll have the ability to travel for 6 months, but quite possibly much, much longer than that.
While I expect this trip will give me a chance for relaxation and personal growth, I’m also keen on using it as an opportunity to develop my style and portfolio. With the vast amount of time I’ll have to play with I’m aiming to put together stories as I go – words, pictures and audio. I’m fairly sure of my ability to put together a good story ( www.lukakauzlaric.com ) but I’ve no idea how to sell them.
Here’s the first question: I know a little about agencies and stock sites, but is there a market for travel/human interest stories, and if so, would they accept multimedia and/or words? If not, is there some other avenue I can use? I have a hypothetical story I run around in my head of a fish market in a small village, visiting it 3-4 times during my stay: Broad and detail shots followed by a focus on a young man with his boat heading out with his lantern just before dawn, returning to his stall in the busy marketplace, selling his catch and taking some home for his family at the end of the day. Coupled with words and an audio track containing the sound of his paddles hitting the water, the yelling of the market and the birds returning to roost in the evening. The sell-ability of this exact hypothetical may be quite limited but as an example I use it to indicate the small stories I hope to encounter and document in a very interesting way while immersing myself in my travel and the experience.
I’m packing fairly light – my m9, a 35mm lens, possibly a telephoto if I can get my hands on one, a small laptop and a couple of hard drives for image security. I’m also packing some binaural microphones and a sound recorder allowing me the chance to put together multimedia pieces from the field should I want to.
Have any of you been on an open ended trip like this? What do you wish you knew before you went? Am I heading towards some unforeseen trouble? Or is this simply a stupid idea to mix my travel and work in such a way? Or should I simply stay at home and chip away on the career long road?
The plan is to arrange this once the last of my client commitments end in late July.
Thanks for taking the time to give this a read, I hope to hear your thoughts and honesty’s appreciated!