How To Make The Most of Your Travel Photos

I love reviewing and editing my photographs when I get home from my travels almost as much as I love taking the photos. That's why I always feel so guilty about letting them sit on my hard drive and only posting a handful to social media. One of my goals this year is not just to share more, but to do more with my photos. That's why when I noticed a recent Artifact Uprising promotion for a free softcover photo book, I jumped on the opportunity to create one. Here are 4 easy ways to make something more of your photographs.

Store Them Securely

The most important step after capturing your images is making several backup copies of the original files. This is an obvious one, but how many times do you get back from a trip and get so caught up in real life again you forget to do this? I'm guilty. If you really want to err on the side of caution, three is the magic number (laptop or desktop, external hard drive, and cloud storage). Whatever cloud storage option you choose, make sure it will store the full size original file so that pixels remain untouched.

Show Them Off

steller stories screenshot.png

Looking to build a portfolio website? Use this PetaPixel article as your guide. It reviews the top options for subscription-based and free platforms. For blog-like visual storytelling platforms, check out Exposure and Steller. Mobile apps like Instagram and VSCO serve as an extension of your portfolio. Snapchat and Instagram Stories can be a great way to showcase your behind the scenes moments. Join networks like Blink where brands often seek content creators and visual storytellers.

Print Them

IMG_7625.jpg

For photo books and calendars, Pinhole Press, Artifact Uprising, the Wonder Photo Shop here in NYC (sponsored by Fujifilm) are my favorite places to make my creative projects come to life. For art quality prints, I now order online directly from a print lab (White House Custom Color).

Make Money

Subscribe to Image Brief's newsletter to receive alerts regarding the images popular brands are looking to purchase in order to produce their print and digital assets. You never know when you might have the exact image an editor is looking for! There are also some apps that help make your Instagram feed ready-to-shop (like LikeToKnow.IT). Instagram itself is looking at integrating shopping and e-commerce options into the app for its business users.

Marie Frei

One Carry-On Travel is a blog managed by Marie Frei, a girl with a passion for exploring off the beaten path locations. The blog covers honest and personal stories about living and traveling as an American abroad, shares her global appreciation for unique cultures and design, and promotes traveling to far-flung destinations with a carry-on as fun, affordable, and easy.

YOTEL New York City

You know you’re in for a different kind of stay when a large robot arm is the first thing you notice when you enter the lobby of your hotel. This robot in particular manages a secure luggage storage room. At just $2 per bag, it's a great way to ensure your belongings are safe while you're out exploring. It's just one of the futuristic amenities the YOTEL New York City offers its guests.

The Accommodation

There is no check-in desk at the YOTEL, rather, a row of self-service kiosks on the ground floor where you’ll check-in and print your room key. Use it to ride the elevator to the actual lobby.

We ultimately found our way upstairs to our Premium Queen Cabin on the 25th floor. The lack of light switches gave us a few moments of confusion (and laughter). We found a dial that turned the room every color of the light spectrum except white. The bed was unique in that it converts into a more upright couch shape at the touch of a button.

My expectations for the amount of space in a Midtown Manhattan hotel room were low, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out there was more than ample space for two in this room category.

There was a small desk overlooking the street and Hudson River and the bathroom had a floor length window with the same view.

Unfortunately, when we returned to our room later that evening, we could immediately tell our neighbors had been smoking. The smell had pervaded our room, including the work clothes we set out for the next morning. Security was quick to arrive, and after assessing the situation, agreed we should probably ask to move rooms. The front desk agent secured us a different room on the 8th floor just before midnight. I was reluctant to give up the view, but forgot all about it once I entered the VIP Terrace Suite. I couldn’t believe it!

There was a living area with a flat screen TV, stereo system and leather couch. The doors and windows around two sides open and lead out to an expansive wrap around porch. It was so fun to pretend I had my own glamorous apartment in the city, even if it was only for one night.

Courtesy Yotel NYC Hotel

The oversized soaking tub really made me wish I had more time here.

The terrace extends to the bedroom, where you'll find a hot tub. It was out of service for the winter, so I had to imagine how magical it must be to soak there among the skyscrapers in the summertime.

Dining

On FOUR, the concierge level, you'll find the bar and restaurant, called Green Fig.

We stopped by the bar for a nightcap. My Johnny Appleseed, a whiskey-based drink, came with a slice of maple-glazed bacon on it.

Though I didn't venture long outside (it was January) I snuck a peek at the large outdoor terrace space. It looked like there was ample seating.

Courtesy YOTEL NYC

Courtesy YOTEL NYC

Do

After finishing dinner at Larb Ubol, a Thai restaurant in Hell's Kitchen, we made our way to Times Square.

There's no better way to experience the craziness of Times Square than sitting smack dab in the center of it on a weekday night.

Taxis honk and ambulance sirens wail. Million dollar ads scroll across billboards spanning several stories. Police officers on horses gallop by. Elmo removes his head and takes a smoke break. A man dances around to imaginary music and yells "Chaka Kahn!" while posing for bystanders.

Perfect For

Couples and singles with a sense of humor.

Location

The YOTEL NYC is conveniently located a short walk away from Times Square in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

 

7 Tips for Working With Freelance Travel Content Creators

Storytelling is a vital part of marketing strategy for travel brands. The demand to produce and share compelling visual-based content is so high, some have turned to bloggers for support. Bloggers have the unique ability to produce stories using words and visuals that feel genuine and authentic, especially when compared to traditional forms of advertising. As such, bloggers have emerged as one-stop shops for content production. Their shares on the web and on social resonate deeply with consumers, which helps build brand recognition.

Photo by Andrew Kruczkiewicz

Photo by Andrew Kruczkiewicz

Hiring a content creator or blogger for a freelance project is an easy, relatively low-risk way to explore what content marketing and storytelling can do for your brand. As someone who might be unfamiliar with the concept of outsourcing creatives, how do you know if the blogger or influencer you’re talking to is the right person to work with?

  • They ask informed questions about your brand and the objectives for the project. They discuss realistic deliverables and can provide examples of past work (and better yet - clients who can act as references).
  • They use professional gear for their work, and it shows. They have access to secure, cloud-based digital asset management platforms for the storage of their visual assets (in addition to keeping physical back-ups). They're organized, and even if they aren't, they never let you see it.
Instagram Influencer Gareth Pon in action.

Instagram Influencer Gareth Pon in action.

  • They know when to say "no" to an assignment or partnership with you brand. Maybe it's because they know their audience isn't the right fit, or, maybe there is a conflict of interest with another project they are working on. They won't accept an assignment they can't deliver results on. Keep in mind, some content creators are willing to team up with other creatives to achieve the reach or timing you're looking for, so don't be afraid to suggest it.
Sharing posts on social from an event with Hilton Head Island and Travel Massive

Sharing posts on social from an event with Hilton Head Island and Travel Massive

  • They understand Federal Trade Commission guidelines around endorsements and affiliations and adhere to them on their blog and social media. Consumers are increasingly more aware that partnerships and affiliate marketing are how bloggers and influencers earn income, so this shouldn’t be viewed as a deterrent to your campaign's success. The FTC penalizes both brands and creators who don't comply with their guidelines.
  • Some influencers have tens of thousands of followers on social media. Others have a relatively small amount of followers, but an engaged and loyal following (see Adweek's the rise of the millennial female influencer). Both kinds of influencers can drive results for your brand - it just depends on what your goals are. Use tools like Social Bearing, Klear, and Iconosquare to compare and contrast creator engagement.
insider tip icon.png
  • They treat their ability to create great content like the business that it is. They are prepared to negotiate and sign a contract, plus, they charge and invoice for their services. If they're a photographer, they know the difference between rights-managed and royalty-free image licenses. They also know what a 1099 tax form is and when to ask for one as an independent contractor.
Invite creatives to engage with your brand by hosting events, like photo walks (Photo: Kristin Twiford for Libris by PhotoShelter)

Invite creatives to engage with your brand by hosting events, like photo walks (Photo: Kristin Twiford for Libris by PhotoShelter)

Last, make sure you’ve got an overall content strategy and plan for promotion that your freelance content creator fits into. If you work with an influencer, be sure the digital spaces they will drive traffic to, like your website and social media pages, are prepared for their campaign. Be ready to track the coverage and be sure to share (and celebrate) feedback and success with them. In this hectic world, a word of mouth referral can go a long way for both your brand and the content creators you work with. Remember to keep in touch when a project is complete. You just never know where you (or they) might end up.

Do you have any tips for working with content creators? Share them in the comments below.

Marie Frei

One Carry-On Travel is a blog managed by Marie Frei, a girl with a passion for exploring off the beaten path locations. The blog covers honest and personal stories about living and traveling as an American abroad, shares her global appreciation for unique cultures and design, and promotes traveling to far-flung destinations with a carry-on as fun, affordable, and easy.

The One Travel App I Can't Live Without

Though most people think of Google Maps as just an app for getting directions from point A to point B, there are some other features within the app that can help you plan your next trip. As a travel blogger, I often refer to Google Maps to seek out more information about hotels and attractions, plot distances, and estimate tour pacing. Here are some of my tips on how to get more out of your next Google Maps session.

Research places to go. Check for reviews from local guides. Check opening hours, read menus. Now that Google Maps has integrations like OpenTable, you can even make a reservation. No reservations available? The time graph also shows when it's the busiest time of day to visit, which can help you mentally prepare for the brunch line you're about to come across (or be pleasantly surprised when there isn't one!)

Make sure you're logged in to your Gmail account when you open Google Maps on your phone or computer. When you're logged in and looking at a place, you can star/heart/bookmark places to specific lists, which becomes really handy. I use "want to go" flags for places you wouldn't mind stopping off for to get a bite to eat or shop when I'm planning a road trip. If you're like me and you forget the names of places you visit after you leave them, simply star them to your map. In a year when your best friend says they're going to that same exact destination, you can pull up the map and look at the places you've starred to give them your best recommendations.

For trip research and inspiration, download the Google Trips app, which has the (somewhat creepy ability) to know where you've been and where you're going by searching your Gmail.

Beyond starring places, you can also create a custom map with Google My Maps. When I planned a photo walk in Minneapolis for the Libris team, I saved my starred places and potential walking routes (in different colors) to a custom map. It gave me a way to present my different ideas for stops and possible walking routes to my colleagues and helped them visualize where we'd be walking. It also gave me something to go off of once I got to town and walked the route to make sure it was just right.

Download an offline map. This is something I blogged about in the past and was a lifesaver when I was in Paris because I was too lazy to purchase a SIM card. I didn't want to keep asking shop owners and cafes for wifi passwords, so the offline map allowed me to confidently walk all over the city without connecting to any networks.

IMG_7100.PNG

Pay it forward! Leave reviews and add photos to help local gems be discovered by other travelers. As a Google Local Guide, you’ll be the first to know about new features and even have an opportunity to earn free Google Drive storage space. 

Do you have any tips for using Google Maps? Leave a comment below.

Marie Frei

One Carry-On Travel is a blog managed by Marie Frei, a girl with a passion for exploring off the beaten path locations. The blog covers honest and personal stories about living and traveling as an American abroad, shares her global appreciation for unique cultures and design, and promotes traveling to far-flung destinations with a carry-on as fun, affordable, and easy.

16 Inspiring Female Photographers to Follow on Instagram

This International Women's Day, PhotoShelter released a really beautiful video featuring several female photographers and the women they photographed.

This video forced me to take a step back and reflect on my own journey as a creative. I continue to be inspired each and every day by the content that is shared by the female travel photographers I follow on social media. There are so many talented women, full of hustle and full of heart, producing compelling, original content - much too many to feature here! So, I've selected a few great accounts to give you an idea of what I'm talking about...

A post shared by Adrienne Pitts (@hellopoe) on

A post shared by Rachel Ewell (@rachel_six12) on

A post shared by Charissa Fay (@charissa_fay) on

A post shared by ALICE GAO (@alice_gao) on

Are there any female creatives who inspire you on social media? Let me know in a comment below.