Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of @thirdandwonder.
These Two Black, Female Engineers Have The Key To Perfectly Curated Travel Content
Gifted, talented, and fashionable all the time, engineers and entrepreneurs Breenae Washington and Porsha Key have been breaking the internet with their impactful travel content. When they’re not working as professional engineers, the ladies are moving as individual powerhouses changing the playing field for black, women content creators online.
Washington, who was recently featured on Fox’s Domino Masters, is opening doors for more girls of color to enter the STEM industry through her organization the STEAM Queens. Meanwhile, Key is transforming the way women everywhere feel in clothes with her brand La Femme Rebelle Clothing. Together, the two ladies are forces in their industries and creating perfectly curated travel content for followers around the world to enjoy.
Travel Noire sat down with Washington and Key to get their secret to creating amazing travel content. The ladies share their gems to making content that is resonating, impactful, and sure to garner you the exposure you’re looking for.
1. Don’t forget your tripod
Tripods as a godsend when shooting travel content, whether you’re alone or traveling with a friend. On their recent trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Washington and Key felt limited in their content shooting because they didn’t have a tripod.
“We didn’t a ton of pictures together because we had to constantly keep switching so I think bringing a tripod is a good idea,” Key said.
The ladies highly recommend having a tripod because it makes life easier when traveling. It also will keep you from bugging your travel companions to take your photo so you’ll never miss a shot.
2. Find your shooting locations in advance
Washington said that when shooting travel content it is always a good idea to pre scout your locations before arriving at your destination. This research can be done by searching Instagram hashtags, reading blog posts about the destination, or by asking others who’ve visited where they captured their best photos.
“We do a lot of preplanning and figuring out at least milestones that we want to hit,” Washington said. “Although, when we travel, we don’t necessarily stick to a strict schedule but we do have those mile markers for places that we know would be great for content.”
She also said content creators can get ahead of the curve by contacting the local venues and restaurants they plan on visiting to let them know they will be shooting content to see if they want to collaborate.
“Sometimes you can get a lot better shot when you have cooperation from the actual place because they’re vested,” Washington said. “They know you’re going to share it. They’re going to share it on their platform, which gives you more reach, and it’s just building a partnership which is what you ultimately want when creating content.”
Washington encourages travel content creators not to be afraid to have those conversations about collaboration and partnerships that could propel their brands forward.
3. Pay homage to the local places
As content creators, it can be easy to get caught up in shooting at the popular, tourist attractions in your destination. However, Washington and Key warn against this and encourage creatives to tap in with the local scenery instead.
“You’ll see some of those Instagram-worthy places get all the attention but people also want to discover new hidden gems,” Washington said.
Don’t be afraid to introduce your audience to something new when filming travel content. It may gain you more engagement than the typical tourist highlights.
4. Collaborate with local photographers
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Accidentally board your plane without your tripod? These ladies say that is the perfect time to work with local photographers in the destination you’re visiting. While visiting Paris, Washington connected with local photographers to shoot content.
“They’re looking for work and in a lot of these tourist destinations a lot of their work comes from tourist traveling who want to shoot travel content,” she said.
Washington suggests safely doing your research on photographers before reaching out. Local photographers also can help you find the best locations for shooting beautiful content.
5. Plan your wardrobe
Key says planning your wardrobe is another key component of curating beautiful travel content. It’s important that your clothing matches the vibe you want to set in your photo and video content. She also recommends tagging the brands you’re wearing in your online content to garner even more exposure.
“Finding ways to tag businesses is also another really cool way to be featured in other places,” Key said.
By tagging these businesses, you can further build bridges for collaboration and partnerships as well as potentially be featured on that brand’s social media platforms.
6. Figure out the best time of day to shoot
A big part of planning out your travel content is figuring out the best time of day to shoot. Washington and Key both agree this takes discipline as the best natural light comes in the early morning hours. This will require you to wake up and get to locations before large crowds of tourists roll in.
“There’s no better lighting than direct sunlight,” Key said.
For nighttime shooting, Washington suggests making sure you have the proper equipment and camera settings enabled to capture the best shot. Some tripods come with an attached photography light and, for dire situations, Key says you can also use the flashlight on a friend’s phone for adequate lighting.
“For those occasions when it may be darker, you always want to check your camera setting to make sure you’re using the best features for night view,” Washington said.
7. Don’t forget about b-roll footage
Although it can be tempting, and comfortable, to stick with selfies, Washington and Key say to make sure you don’t forget about b-roll footage for your Instagram reels and Tiktok videos.
“Those snapshots are really awesome for me because it paints a picture of what you’re doing,” Key said. “It’s not all selfies.”
The ladies said this footage is what truly draws the attention of your audience because they want to experience the destination. In between selfies, capture some footage of your surroundings in nature, at restaurants, and at different attractions to really take your online audience on your travel journey.
8. Don't forget about the destination
Capturing b-roll footage is a great way to engage more with the destination you’re visiting. As travel content creators, it can be easy to get lost in fashion or highlight personal attributes. However, the ladies suggest focusing more on the destination than on yourself.
“Travel content more specifically is more about the destination,” Washington said.
They also said this type of footage is vital for visual travel content so be sure to keep that in mind.
9. Bring a clicker/shutter
Like the tripod, a clicker is another very important device that Washington and Key say will help take your travel content to the next level. Clickers, sometimes called shutters, are great because they allow you to get multiple shots while shooting alone.
“If I have a clicker or my tripod, I can prop it up against something and take as many content shots as I want,” Washington said. “You don’t have to be dependent on somebody else or ruin somebody else’s vibe who might not be in the mood to do content but you can still make sure you get the shots you want.”
10. Remember to clean your camera lens
Although it may seem simple, Key says a lot of creatives don’t capture good travel content because they don’t clean their camera lens. Daily use of cell phones can cause lenses to get dirty and smudged over time. Before shooting any content, take some time to carefully wipe off your phone lens to get the best, clear shot.