A couple of years ago following a family vacation to Europe and getting a different viewpoint in life, my wife and I had several discussions about spending more time in Europe.
As we’re both originally from England there are certain things one misses over the years living in the USA. Deep down there is a longing to experience more of those things you know exist, but just can’t experience due to your geographical location. So much so, that we looked into things and took it a step further. My eldest daughter is now grown-up and has graduated college and is setting her life up in the US. My youngest daughter at age 11 has a flexibility window beginning to close as she heads for teenage years. It was a case of “now or never”. Also with Brexit getting delayed a few times, it was easier for us to move to Europe before the Brexit door shut us out.
To make a difference in photography one of the most important things you can do is to change your viewpoint. You pick up your camera and tripod and move it a few feet to a different location to create a fresh angle. So in that sense, we decided to change our whole viewpoint, so we moved to Salzburg in Austria.
How is my travel schedule affected by the move?
I travel for most of my work with my existing clients. Across the US and the Caribbean and have recently done work in the UK and Germany. When I started looking at how living in Europe would affect this work, the answer was “not much”. I looked closely and starting comparing travel time and cost, there really wasn’t a huge difference. It takes a few hours longer to get somewhere, but on many occasions I can take a direct flight from Europe to my final destination instead of multiple flights, which I usually had to do from Florida.
The cost isn’t much more either. It does help having long term working relationships with great clients. It couldn’t be done without great people who work with me on my travel schedule.. I am finding ways to make things work by bundling two or sometimes more jobs together on the same trip. In some ways it’s more cost effective than when I lived full time in the US. Our expenses in Europe are much lower, we now have one car instead of two and don’t even use it much either as public transport is so efficient and ubiquitous.
How does being in a new country affect us?
Living in a new city and country is also very stimulating. For some reason our senses seem a little sharper when our surroundings are new and different. That’s a big reason that humans find travel so alluring, I’m sure. After all, travel is the reasons hotels exist, so if I’m photographing them it seems right that I live and breathe the essence of travel in order for my photos to be honest and hit the mark. I have a background of working in Leisure travel since I was 18 years old, so when I add to that by being a business traveller myself in recent years, it gives me a good understanding of who my photographs are marketed to.
To my existing customers who may read this, I will be a more worldly photographer. For potential new clients, I am in Europe and ready to bring my experience to the table. Photographing hotels, restaurants and destinations is what I love to do and will continue to do so in more widespread locations.