When I got my first DSLR camera back in 2010, I was nervous to take it with me when I traveled. I had taken a Basic Media Photography class in college, but I still wasn’t super confident with all of the settings on my camera. So a lot of the time, I was just guessing. Would it even be worth it if I didn’t fully know how to use it?
Not long after I purchased it, I went to Chicago with my school’s Alternative Spring Break program, and we were going to be staying in a shadier part of town. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to bring it with me, but luckily a college friend convinced me. It was why I got it, after all.
Since getting over that initial fear, I’ve taken my DSLR camera with me everywhere. I’ve gotten a lot of great pictures over the years, but one stands out as my absolute favorite travel photo.
I brought my camera to take updated photos of the kids to send to their sponsors. But while I wasn’t taking their portraits, I got to run around with them and take pictures in the school yard.
This school was in the slums of Kampala, so these kids weren’t super well-off. In fact, a lot of them were only there because we offered a free lunch. It was their summer vacation, so classes weren’t actually going on at the time.
Whenever I took out my camera, I was swarmed. I loved it. Many of them didn’t have photos of themselves, so they wanted to see each and every photo I took. Which is difficult when I was taking 2,000+ in one day.
Some of the other volunteers helped the kids create paper butterflies to play with, and when they were done they all wanted a picture taken with theirs. So ended up getting swarmed by kids shoving paper butterflies in my face. There was no way for me to look through the viewfinder on my camera, so I just started clicking randomly.
When we got back to our hotel that night and I looked through my photos, I found this gem.
How cute is he?!
I’m thrilled with this photo. It is my absolute favorite photo I’ve ever taken, and it was complete luck. I was randomly pointing and clicking, and luckily my camera settings were correct. I didn’t even edit the above photo.
Imagine what would have happened if I had chickened out and left my DSLR camera at home. I wouldn’t have awesome photos like this to look back on and remember my travels.
What’s your travel photo? Send it to me in the comments!