Are you headed on vacation or going for a photo adventure? Remember to stay safe! Here are 5 reminders to keep you safe while you are taking photos.
1. Always be aware of your surroundings
Know where you are going and what dangers there may be. If you are in Florida, know there are alligators near the water. If you are in a hot climate, know where to get some shelter from the heat. When you plan to be out at sunset, remember to bring a flashlight or headlamp in case you wonder farther than you thought and it gets dark on your way back.
If you are in a cold climate make sure you know how thick the ice is before walking on it. Always do a little research before going on a photo adventure. Check the weather before you go and know that in certain places weather can turn quickly! Know when the tide will be coming in and out because you don't want to be stranded somewhere.
Know what type of wildlife is in the area. Will there be bears, alligators, snakes, spiders, stinging insects or anything else that could harm you? Signs are there for a reason so pay attention to what they say to stay safe.
2. Watch where you step
If you are hiking near the edge of a cliff, plant your feet safely first then take the picture. Look first then take your camera out. There are many things you can trip on when you are out hiking so look for tree roots, rocks, mud, sticks, ant hills, cactus, poison ivy, loose gravel, thorn bushes, etc. I've had a cactus in my foot twice and it really hurts especially when trying to get it off! I always wear closed toe shoes now when I'm in an area with cactus.
Also be aware of hanging branches that you may run into and bump your head or poke your eyes. Rocks near water will be slippery and the coastline can have jagged edges from oysters or other shells on rocks.
Also be aware of where you step so you aren't stepping on a fragile ecosystem or a little critters home. Stay on the path and be especially aware if you step off the path for a moment. A path isn't always for an easier trail, it's to protect the environment.
3. Carry water, snacks and necessities
Always pack water and snacks especially if you are in a hot climate or high elevation. You may walk farther than you think and it’s good to be prepared. You don’t want to have to turn around because you are thirsty and miss that epic shot.
Some of the necessities I carry with me are band-aids, chapstick, kleenex/toilet paper, trash bag (carry in and carry out whatever you bring), water, snacks, flashlight (if I'm out near dark), extra gloves/mittens and sunglasses. If I'm going to be near water I like to use a dry bag so everything stays protected.
4. Wear the appropriate gear
Layers are the best way to go. Depending on the season, you want to be comfortable while you are out taking photos. You may want to invest in some good hiking boots because you never know what type of terrain you are going to be in. I sometimes wear tennis shoes on the beach because I know I might be climbing up on rocks. People have looked at me weird like why would you wear tennis shoes on the beach. I usually have sandals packed with me too in case I want to go in the water.
Hand warmers come in handy in cold weather or cooling towels when it’s really hot. If you are going to be in an area where hunting is allowed, know when hunting season is and wear bright colors!
Look for an upcoming article on what’s in my closet to see what I take on photo outings.
5. Go with a friend
Having a buddy is not only more fun but it’s safer when you are out in remote locations. Have a few friends to rely on when you are taking photos locally. If you are traveling with family, have someone come with you to see the beautiful sites. Plus you can use them as a model to show scale in your images.
If you are traveling solo you could always join a photo group and see if someone wants to meet up with you at a certain location. It’s also fun to compare photos with a photog bestie and see what they were able to capture and vice versa.
When you take photos safely you are helping yourself and others. Always remember to protect the beautiful environment you are in as well. If you can think of other helpful safety tips please put them in the comments below. Being aware is the first step to staying safe!