A Travel Photographer Breaks Down How To Tell The Story Of A Location


Brian Chorski

Great travel photography transports you. Even though it’s a visual medium, you can hear the sound of water lapping on the shore or wind whipping through the trees. You feel the sun on your skin and the wet rocks beneath your feet. This is because good travel pics don’t simply capture an image of a place, they tell its story. They introduce you to people and show you places familiar to the residents, but far from the tourist hordes.

That’s what Brian Chorski’s does. He’s a San Francisco resident making a name for himself as a destination lifestyle photographer. His images draw you in and make you want to pack a bag and fly off someplace new. To explore and never stop exploring.

This week, Chorski sat down with us to share the gear he uses, the role of Instagram in his work, and how to get a fresh take on the sites that every travel photographer has already tackled. He also gave us his two top tips for great travel photography, and they are something everyone can do. Read through this interview and take in the photography. We guarantee you will walk away with the basics you need to begin taking better travel photos now.

Brian Chorski

Tell me a little about how you found yourself traveling the world and taking photos.

I have a full-time job currently. I do a lot of this photography in my free time on weekends, weeknights, and during time off. That’s about the only time I get to do it, which actually ends up being quite a bit of time. I was brought into photography via a study abroad trip I took to France for five months back when I was in my undergrad, and I was living in Minnesota at the time.

I had never really seen much outside of Minnesota, and I was really kind of scared to be going on this five-month travel-slash-learning bender in a different country because I hadn’t left the US before. All I had was my iPhone, and I was snapping pics from North Africa to all parts of Western Europe. When I got back, I was like, “Damn. I should really have a camera on me at all times when traveling.” So, I picked up a camera. I did a lot of domestic travel, did a lot of road trips leading up to my move out to San Francisco, where I now work in the marketing space.

Now, when you’re traveling, are you bringing all of your gear with you?

It really depends what kind of traveling I’m doing. I would say I try to be as present as possible when traveling, and sometimes that means not having my camera on me at all times. This last weekend, I was just up in the Lake Tahoe area skiing with some buddies, and I maybe brought out my camera for a half hour over sunset on Saturday night. That was about it. The rest of the time was spent skiing and whatnot. When I’m on these dedicated missions with other photographers and we go out and get these really beautiful shots and try to tell that story, that’s when I’ve got my camera on me a little more.

I’d say my trip to Thailand explains that. It’s just a whole lot of running around with strangers and people you meet on the road. It’s hard not to want to capture all of that. There’s a little bit more routine trips, kind of like just hanging out with friends. And then there’s more of these adventures, Thailand for example, where you’re going out and you may not be there again. You really want to just take it all in and capture as much as possible.

Yeah. I bring all my gear, which is actually quite minimal on more lengthy trips and such.

Brian Chorski


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