…before you leave home


I don’t know a soul in England.  Not good situation if I plan to interact with photographers when the Bride and I travel to England this spring.

The stave church at Urnes, Norway.  Church built ca. 1130.

The stave church at Urnes, Norway. Church built ca. 1130.

But that will change.  Before we take our seats on the plane I will, at the very least, be a talking acquaintance with several photographers and I’ll have a fairly solid itinerary of the places and venues we will visit.  Here are a few real life examples of how I’ve done that in the past.

In June of 1997, while planning a trip to Norway, I discovered a Google Groups forum called rec.travel.europe.  On that venue I had expressed some interest in the ancient stave churches in Norway and was helped by a man who lived in Bergen.  We traded emails for a few months and, to our everlasting thanks, Paul offered to meet us in Bergen and travel with us to some of the stave churches.  That was sixteen years ago.  Paul has visited us here in the States and we stay in touch.

More recently (May of this year) the Bride and I were planning a trip to Scotland and I noticed a contributor to Google+ who regularly posted images of the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis.  Since that was a place we planned to visit and wanted to learn more, I started a conversation with her.  Before we left the states Emma (+Emma Mitchell) had reviewed our entire Scotland itinerary and had made suggestions for changes and additions.  What a marvelous development!!  On a rainy morning in May the Bride and I met Emma for coffee at the Callanish Stones.  And this is cool:  Over 10,000 people have Emma Mitchell in their circles on Google+.  She wrote on Google+ recently that I am the only Google+ friend that she has ever met in person. 

The Stones at Callanish, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.  They were erected between 2900 and 2600 BC.

The Stones at Callanish, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. They were erected between 2900 and 2600 BC.

But I digress.

It makes perfect sense to me to study about your destination as you make your travel plans.  And it makes equally good sense to try to become acquainted with people in the area before you travel.  This doesn’t necessarily imply that you will meet the person in their country — but it would certainly be a bonus if that worked out. 

But making these contacts may be a challenge.  Photographers are a helpful bunch.  But how to contact them? 

I’m thinking that I may try to contact a camera/photography club in the area I’m visiting.  What do you think?  Will they be welcoming?

Are there ways to make these contacts that I haven’t thought of?

Is it even a good thing to do?

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Robert E. Barber - John, what do you have to lose contacting a camera club where you are going to visit, no we can’t help you? I’d bet you’ll have more invitations to visit or more folks jump at the chance to show you their dream locations to shoot stunning images then you’ll have time. Photographers are not like fishermen, who won’t share their honey holes. When I meet folks from different parts of Indiana I’m happy to steer them to local places for a different image. Wish you one of best trips you’ll have.

skeeter - “Photographers are not like fishermen…”. What a GREAT way of expressing it! And I think you are spot on — as our GB friends would say. Another thing you alluded to is this: It’s a two way street. (By saying that you are eager to show visitors around your favorite haunts in Indiana.) Thanks for the comment, Robert.

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