Think the idea of professional travel photography sounds like a dream come true? Here's Instagram star Marta Gaska's top tips on how to get started...
Ever thought about getting into travel photography? Marta Gaska, perhaps better known by her Instagram handle @Voyage_Provocateur, has found an audience of over 100,000 followers online thanks to her habit of snapping awesomely striking travel pics from around the globe.
Alongside @WhatAlexLoves and @dpc_photography_, we set Marta the challenge of taking her best snaps ever with the iPhone 6s amid the formidable landscapes of the Lake District. You can see just from scanning this post that she thrived in the lakes’ misty hills, but what can we learn about the world of travel photography from Marta’s experiences? Read on to find out…
Finding your style
“I’m a very visual person,” says Marta when we quiz her on her photographic inspirations and background. “I love capturing beautiful moments. I started as a teenager by borrowing my mum’s camera and wandering around my hometown (Sanok in Poland) – there’s actually a beautiful national park nearby. But when I moved to London a whole new world of opportunities opened up to me, and I started exploring different neighbourhoods.
“Over time, and during numerous travels, I then eventually began to refine my own style.”
That style? Colour-heavy. Take a look at Marta’s Instagram profile and you’ll quickly see what we mean; there’s a swathe of bright and neon colours on show, with lots of Marta’s shots ramping up one particular hue to great effect.
“I don’t think that style will ever stop evolving, though; I keep on trying new things and adopting new techniques. Hopefully my pictures are inspirational; they invite you to dive into another world – I want to connect with my audience on an emotional level.”
Of course, inviting followers to ‘dive into another world’ is always easy when you frequently travel to some of the world’s most breathtaking places. But Marta explains that her trick is to try to mix those stunning vistas with something of a visual story…
“Typically I focus on landscapes, and I like to always put something in my pictures that captures the audience’s eye, or I try to make people feel like as if they were there. That feeling of watching the sunset over a cliff when the wind blows in your face and your muscles are sore because you have been hiking whole day, for instance; you’re tired, but you feel accomplished. You realise that today you made memories that will last a lifetime.”
“I get inspired by documentaries, magazines, or sometimes a friend will tell me about a place,” Marta says, explaining how she decides on where to journey to next. “Or, if I need more inspiration to travel I take a look at @doyoutravel and @chrisburkard on Instagram.
“I could go on and on and on about other Instagram accounts, but at the moment these are my favourites. So I research new places often and from lots of different sources, and really everything and anything can inspire me. My next stops? Namibia and Cape Town, but the rest after that are currently super top secret.”
As these pictures show, Marta was in her element in the Lake District, taking some really striking pics that made the best of the epic scenery. But what about when she’s further afield? What challenges can budding travel photographers find themselves up against?
“The biggest ones are always unknown,” she tells us. “Especially when taking pictures abroad, where the culture and sensibility can be different from back home. But at the same time that’s the beauty of photography, which requires spontaneity and creativity.” That said, Marta knows when she’s been beaten by nature: “I’m very specific with how I shoot, and when I realise that the picture won’t look the way I imagined, I won’t force it. There are so many beautiful places in this world to be captured so I’m not worried to run out of subjects, but ‘failing’ in this way has happened so many times and it is so common that I’ve stop keeping count.”
Thankfully, there were no such occasions on our trip:
“The landscape is breathtaking,” she says of the Lake District’s undulating scenery. “When you live in London sometimes you forget that the city doesn’t necessary represent all of what England has to offer. So the trip gave me another perspective, and a drive to keep on exploring what’s closer to our doorstep.”