Home > Travel Preparation > Safety Tips for Photographers While Travelling

Safety Tips for Photographers While Travelling

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Safe Travel Camera Photographer Camera

When you're travelling and wanting to take pictures, there are several things you need to keep in mind at all times, and the main one - of course - is your own safety. Obviously, your camera is important, too, but that can be replaced - you can't. Your safety is paramount. A lot of the tips here are simply common sense, but all of them are designed to make sure you get home safely - and hopefully with the shots you wanted.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

When you're in a foreign country, or even somewhere in your own country that you don't know, you don't have the local knowledge to be aware of what's a bad or dangerous area. You might have gone out walking, looking for scenes that would make good pictures, and not given any thought to where you are. You need to keep alert, keep your senses sharp. You could be somewhere that will put you at the mercy of thieves, or possibly where you can be attacked by animals. Before you go out, ask some questions and do a little research! It could make a huge difference.

It's a maxim that applies to road safety, too. The perfect shot might be from the middle of the road. You glance left and see nothing coming, step out - only to be hit by a car. Remember, in most countries the traffic goes the other way. Stay aware of that, check several times before you walk; it could save your life.

A good camera case is essential, but it's a great help if you have one that doesn't seem to advertise the fact that you're walking round with an expensive camera. Keep it plain and simple, if possible. Keep the camera on the front of your body, where you can see it, not slung over your back where it's just a magnet for thieves. If you have gear in other bags - lenses, or even film - keep them closed tight, and also on the front of your body. The less obtrusive your equipment, the safer it will be.

That doesn't mean you can forget about it. Make sure your insurance covers your camera and other equipment, and only take along what you need for that trip, rather than everything. Apart from anything else, your hands and body will thank you!


Although your camera case shouldn't stand out, it should be strong. Almost inevitably, at some point you're going to drop it, so you want something that can withstand life's bumps and drops, something well-padded and secure. Some cameras do have shockproof casings, but many still don't, so you need to take precautions, and always remember to return the camera to the case when you're not using it.

Personal Safety

In the event of a mugging - and they done happen - don't try and fight to hold on to your camera. Let it go, even though you'll probably never see it again. It's not worth your life, and in many parts of the globe, life is cheap. As long as it's insured, all you've lost are the pictures you've taken, and you're worth a lot more than that.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • The Bilateral Sandwi
    Re: French Speed Limits
    'Course you did, @Stomp! French police have no jurisdiction or other legal means to add points to or cancel a British driving License…
    13 July 2018
  • Scotinfrance
    Re: French Speed Limits
    With respect, you need to distinguish between Britain and England. English drink drive law is 80mg/100ml but in Scotland it is the same as…
    10 February 2018
  • Viking
    Re: Drink Driving Limits in Europe
    this information is incorrect as Scotland has lower alcohol limit than rest of UK
    18 November 2017
  • Stomp
    Re: French Speed Limits
    Lost my licence . French coppers hidden, on private land just before end of sign for village. After a long time stuck behind a swaying french…
    11 October 2017
  • tim
    Re: French Speed Limits
    I just got hit with 4 speeding fines from our holiday this summer! I drive in France every year and this was a real shock. All under 10% over…
    6 October 2017
  • Richy
    Re: French Speed Limits
    Hey, first of all, sorry for my bad English. I just received a fine because I cross the speed limit with 1km/h. Really 1 km/h an it cost me…
    16 September 2017
  • Pete
    Re: Car Seat Safety for Baby and Child
    Is it legal for a 6 year old child to sit in front in a correct booster seat when travelling in France and Spain by car ?
    19 August 2016
  • bramhall
    Re: Drink Driving Limits in Europe
    You cannot have a scientific test for zero alcohol. That implies a calibrated measuring device which is accurate to more…
    13 August 2016