If you are thinking about traveling as a photographer or perhaps even moving your photography business abroad, there are some important things you must consider, including how best to travel with your equipment and work permits.
This article will look at some of the important rules you need to consider to help you plan your travels as a photographer and maximise your experience.
#1 Passport requirements
If you wish to travel internationally, regardless of your occupation or reason for travel, you have to have an up-to-date passport from the country you reside in. For example, if you live in Ireland, you will need to apply for Irish passport. Whether it is your first ever passport application, or a renewal, it can take several weeks to arrive. Make sure you plan and apply for a passport at least 6 weeks before you plan to leave the country. Your passport needs to be on a date for the entire trip, or you may risk trouble getting home.
#2 Visa or work permits
Each country has different requirements for visas or work permits. If you are travelling as a self-employed photographer and will be in Europe for no more than 90 days at a time (within a 180-day time frame) then you will not need to apply for a visa. If you wish to travel for longer than 90 around Europe or other countries, then you may need to apply for an Entrepreneur visa. If you will be working for a company, then you need to obtain an offer in writing, and apply for a long term work visa. The type will depend on the industry the company is in.
#3 Border control and customs
Most countries will allow you to enter without declaring your photography equipment. It is, however, important that you research the rules of the country you are planning to visit, as the rules will vary from country to country. The custom rules can sometimes be vague, so if you have any doubts, then make sure you check before flying. This will ensure you are not stopped and given any warnings or penalties. It can also get complex on your way home from travelling, as it could appear that your equipment was purchased abroad (or you may in fact purchase equipment abroad!). In the former scenario, make sure you obtain documents that prove they are your personal property. In the latter, make sure you complete the necessary customs declarations form.
#4 Photography rules
The rules of photography will also vary by country. In some countries, you have the right to take pictures in public as photography is often seen as a form of free expression or free speech. However, in some countries, taking photos in public is forbidden and can attract some unwanted attention. Make sure you research the rules before you plan a trip, as the wrong location could end up a waste!
While a travelling photographer is an aspiring career, it comes with its complications. Make the process simple by researching locations and planning your trip for the best experience.