Written by @londonblogger_
Before every trip I go on, whether it’s a press trip or not, I simply NEED to sit down in front of a word document and excel spreadsheet and plan out more or less every possible aspect of my trip in terms of content creation. It took me a good handful of trips to get this planning down to a T and make sure I’m making the absolute best out of my time away, so I wanted to divulge my pre-trip checklist with you fine people, just in time for your Christmas holidays…
1) Plan Paid Posts
Before I go on any trip, I make sure I contact any brands and PR agencies that I think might be likely to approach me with a job around the time I go away (or if I want to work with them/think my trip would be a good fit for them) to give them chance to brief me in well before I leave. There have been one too many times where I’ve been packing my bags to leave and I’ve had the most exciting collaboration email land in my inbox but I’ve not had chance to receive the item(s) before I leave. There’s no better feeling than coming back from a trip not only with amazing content for yourself, but also having created some for your favourite brands. Major insta-high right there.
2) Research Locations
When you’re away, don’t just rely on conveniently stumbling onto a photogenic road or quiet corner of the beach to get shots; this (as I have found out the hard way several times) more often than not this leaves you flustered, frustrated, time constrained and usually results in your content being just ‘ok’ because you settled on a location that does the job but doesn’t really ‘wow’.
Before you venture off, dedicate a few hours to trawling through Instagram’s location tags in your area in order to find your picture perfect locations. Make sure you scroll through a fair few photos of any particular location you find to get a proper view of what it really looks like though, as some ‘grammers (as we all know) have very impressive editing skills and often the photo doesn’t quite represent the location in a true light.
I always recommend research via Instagram rather than the internet. More times than not the internet serves up a limited number of photos produced by a photographer with all the kit and editing equipment to shoot a photo that is the location equivalent to catfishing.
3) Outfit Planning
Once you’ve got your key shoot locations in the bank, you can get to the fun part; outfit planning! When I started blogging I was so shocked at how much locations and outfits could clash; vibes of the shot could be totally killed if one or the other didn’t quite add up or if the colours clashed, so I now buy specific outfits for specific locations to keep my content feeling natural and streamlined. If I have space in my luggage, I usually take two outfits per location just to have a backup in case the location isn’t quite as I expected in reality.
4) Time Plan
If I’m going away with friends or family I sometimes find it really tricky to plan out my time so that I don’t ruin everyone else’s trip by hounding them for photos or dragging them to a specific spot they don’t want to visit. There’s no worse feeling. I therefore plan a content schedule which includes outfits and locations I want to shoot and dates/times to shoot them. This not only gets my content requirements straight in my own head, but lets me communicate to the other people I’m away with times that I need to set aside to shoot blog content and if I’d like their help with it. That way everyone is in the loop and knows what to expect.
Separately to this, make sure you look at sunrise and sunset times and how the temperature varies throughout the day to plan your time out alongside this. I always love shooting at dusk when the light is less harsh and more golden so I often set an alarm on my phone so I don’t miss the perfect lighting.
Check out Emily’s blog at The London Blogger.