If you’re getting ready to head out on a photography road trip and snag some bucket list shots, then you are going to need to put in some planning before the rubber hits the road. This includes everything from your destinations to gear, ideal camera gear storage solutions, snacks, meals and tons of other little details.

With so many places to go and shoot and so little time to get the shots you want, efficiency is key when it comes to photography road trips.

With that in mind, here are six tips for successfully planning a photo-oriented road trip.

Plan Your Route Beforehand

If you are planning a road trip around photography, then you are going to need to plan your route from location to location. After all, the trip is all about the destinations you will be visiting.

While this may sound obvious, people often end up spending time in places they hadn’t planned when on the road. As a result, they will end up short on time and miss some spots they did intend to see.

With that in mind, it is smart to make an itinerary of the places you plan to shoot and the most efficient route to take when traveling from destination to destination.

Build in Time for Photography

Again, this might sound a bit obvious, but you need to plan out how long you will spend shooting a given spot. The fact is that you don’t have all the time in the world and you will need to keep your trip moving along at a certain clip. Because of that, you will need to set specific amounts of time to photograph each area you plan to visit.

Plan a Shot List

If you want to get really meticulous about things, you can even plan out a shot list.

Planning a shot list is a great idea as it will help you to put yourself in the setting and imagine what you might expect to see and properly map out the gear you will need to capture the ideal shot.

Moreover, shot lists can be hugely helpful to keep photographers on track and prevent them from getting lost in the moment, thus expending all of their time at a spot without ever capturing the shot that they really wanted to snag. Additionally, if you don’t have time to photograph everything that you want to shoot, a shot list will help to prioritize the pictures that are most important to you and your photography portfolio.

Map Out the Gear You Will Need to Bring

Depending on if you are driving your own car or traveling with other people, you might not have the space to bring every piece of equipment that you own. Therefore, it is vital to plan out the gear that you bring on your road trip.

Again, a great way to map out which items are essential is to refer to your shot list and establish what type of cameras, lenses, headlamps and other gear you will need to get everything to look just right.

That said, given that you are going to be traveling great distances, it is imperative that you get a camera hard case to store your equipment. After all, camera gear is expensive, sensitive and fragile. For these reasons, using proper protection is critical.

Be Prepared to Stop

While it is certainly wise to have an itinerary and a shot list, you need to be prepared to stop the car at a moment’s notice to grab that once-in-a-lifetime surprise shot that appears on the side of the road. Maybe it is a stunning view, beautiful wildflowers as far as the eye can see, a stunning rainbow – whatever it is, you need to expect the unexpected while on a photography road trip.

This also means that you should have your camera gear inside the car and not in the trunk so that you can quickly pull over, get that serendipitous shot while you can and get back on the road quickly.

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Remember to Stay Powered Up

Keeping your camera’s batteries charged is a critical part of a photography road trip. Without power, you’re dead in the water. It is imperative that you take advantage of any point of electricity you can utilize. This includes any hotels or campsites at which you might stay. Additionally, if you are traveling in an RV or similar vehicle, it may be possible to charge your equipment while on the road.

Whatever the case may be, it is essential to ensure that your gear is constantly ready to get the shots you are seeking.

Traveling to Get the Shot

Taking a photography road trip can allow you to get some incredible shots. However, to make the most out of your trip, it is vital that you plan everything out and know exactly how your time will be spent.

By following the tips above, you can plan out a successful photography road trip that enables you to get some stunning images.