Liz Carlson's blog Young Adventuress is about experiential travel and storytelling. She loves to share photos and narratives, funny anecdotes, and things she's learned while living abroad and traveling the world. For her, travel is dynamic; it’s always changing for the person on the road. She loves being able to share the thoughts and life lessons she's taken away in the hope that it might inspire other people to try something different and get out of their comfort zones, too. You can follow her adventures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Find out more about Liz...
How did you first discover your love for photography? And travel?
I got the travel bug early on reading my parent's copy of National Geographic as a kid but wasn't able to start traveling on my own until 2007 when I moved to Spain for the first time. My dad bought me a little point and shoot before I left which traveled with me everywhere for years. I finally invested in my first DSLR a few years later once I committed to traveling long-term.
How did you make the leap from college student to travel blogger & photographer? How have you leveraged your talents as a writer and photographer to support a life abroad?
I started a blog in my last year of college when I decided I was going to move to Spain to teach English. While overseas, I kept writing and sharing stories and photos as a hobby blogger before making the jump to blogging full time 2 years later. I do a lot of freelance writing and photography, as well as work as a brand ambassador for businesses and brands that I love in addition to all sorts of social media roles. It's an exciting arena to be involved in, and it's always changing and flexible so I am never bored!
What essential photography gear do you take with you everywhere you go?
I bring my Canon 60D almost everywhere I go, along with with my Canon 10-22 lens and Tamron 17-50. I usually bring my Alta Pro 254CT tripod with my BBH-100 ball head, along with a GoPro Hero 3 and selfie stick and different mounts when I am doing water or sports activities. I try to keep my pack as light as possible in my Sedona 41 backpack.
How would you describe your photography style? How do you keep learning while you’re on the road?
I am entirely self-taught and I think my style has grown and evolved a lot over the years. I love shooting landscapes since I live in the mountains of New Zealand. I am always trying to learn new things and I make sure to challenge myself every time I take a photo. I say to myself, this is how I normally would take the shot, but also what else can I do to make it more creative and add another layer to it. I am trying to get better at portraits because I love meeting people on the road and sharing those small cultural moments and experiences in my blog. I also try and put myself into a lot of my photos in an effort to have my photography match my blog personality.
Tell us about your blog – Young Adventuress. What are you hoping to accomplish with it?
Young Adventuress is one of the top 10 travel blogs in the world and it's mostly geared for solo female travelers and people who are interested in hands-on, experiential travel. I don't really have long-term goals with my blog, except to be able to keep using it as a way to get me traveling and allow me to work remotely. Eventually, I hope to write novels and I hope that my blog will help make that happen.
Can you describe one of your most memorable adventures? Perhaps an anecdote that illustrates a surprising aspect of life as a travel blogger?
One of the funniest things about being a travel blogger and having a well-known Instagram account is that I am frequently recognized around the world. It's very bizarre but somehow has created an awesome community and group of friends. Very surprising.
If you had to choose one photo of your own that, at least at this moment, you like best – which would it be and why?
I think this one from Mongolia I took last summer. I was over there horseback riding in the remote Altai with Zavkhan Trekking, and we often stopped at some of the wrangler's family gers (yurts) for tea. I really wanted photos of the family but felt very uncomfortable asking - I am not very good at going up to strangers or just taking a photo without asking; I've seen a lot of photographers over the years hustle people into taking their photos and I really despise that. I ended up playing with the kids for a while, and as we were packing up to leave, I plucked up the courage to ask for a picture. The whole family got excited and posed for me, making this one of my favorite images of the trip because it happened pretty naturally.
Any words of advice to aspiring travel photographers?
Don't be intimidated by people who are pros, just keep taking pictures of what interests you and work on improving where you can. In my opinion, the best shots are the ones you really love and happen naturally.