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Why Most Travelers Are Shutterbugs

Updated on March 21, 2012

"Why are most travelers shutterbugs?"

When I saw this question asked in the HubPages answer section, my mind was flooded with reasons why I, personally, take copious amounts of photos when I travel. I love to take pictures wherever I am and whatever I'm doing, but when I travel I can take hundreds of pictures a day. That may sound crazy to some people, but I know there will other people who completely understand, and who would be right there next to me clicking away. Why? Read on to find out some of my reasons.

I'm the one in the light blue jacket, and my childhood best friend is to the right. This picture was taken 11 years ago, but whenever I look at it, I remember the unbelievable excitement and joy I felt at being there.
I'm the one in the light blue jacket, and my childhood best friend is to the right. This picture was taken 11 years ago, but whenever I look at it, I remember the unbelievable excitement and joy I felt at being there. | Source

Preserving special memories

One of my main reasons for taking pictures anytime, but especially while traveling, is to preserve memories. Sometimes when you're traveling, you see and do and hear so much that it becomes jumbled in your brain, and you forget the finer details of certain places or events.

I know some people wonder if a person can truly enjoy an experience if they're always looking through a lens, but I know I can. I always make sure to take things in and enjoy each moment; taking pictures doesn't detract from a moment for me, it adds to it. I know that when I get home, I'll be able to look at those pictures and feel a flood of memories come back. I take pictures of everything from scenery to landmarks to attractions to people, and everything else in between. I don't want to forget a single moment of a special trip.

I also enjoy being in the pictures myself, and having my travel companions in the pictures. Not only does it help in remembering the fun times you had, but it's almost like 'Hey look, I was really there!'

Pictures for projects

Another reason some people like to take photographs while traveling is for projects. It used to be that photos would be put in a box or an album, and brought out once in awhile to relive the memories or share with others, but now that most cameras are digital, you can upload your pictures and share them with people all over the world on social media sites. You can turn your pictures into graphics with sayings, layers, different colours, animations, and all kinds of other amazing things. As an amateur graphic designer myself, I'm always looking for cool things to do with my photos.

Scrapbooking is a popular use for travel pictures.
Scrapbooking is a popular use for travel pictures. | Source

Scrapbooks: Scrapbooking is a very popular hobby for many people. You can collect not only pictures, but also tokens from trips to add to your scrapbooks - plane and train tickets, menus, napkins, vouchers into museums or attractions, etc. Photos are, of course, the star of most scrapbooks, and you can add your favorites along with captions or funny sayings.

School projects and art projects for kids: Children are always doing projects for school, whether it's a report on a certain country or an art project about their favorite vacation. Pictures can come in handy for these things so they don't have to use magazine photos or pictures found online.

Work: For business people or professional writers who do any sort of travel pieces, it's nice to have your own photographs to add a personal touch to your articles or reports. Not only are you able to talk about the subject of the picture with firsthand knowledge, but you also don't have to worry about copyright infringement, because you took the photos yourself.

Gifts: Looking for a great, thoughtful gift for a travel companion? Make them a collage or scrapbook of your trip, or frame a few exceptional photos. You can also have pictures imprinted on just about any surface - mouse pads, aprons, t-shirts, mugs, keychains - and those all make great gifts. If you take profressional-quality pictures and have friends who are artsy, you could turn some of your best shots into black and white or sepia prints, have them framed, and give them as gifts.

Someday when you're old and gray...

I'm known in my family as the photographer. I almost always have a camera in my hand at family gatherings, special events, and on trips. My family has accepted this fact about me, and even though they sometimes tease me (in a good natured way), I know they appreciate it.

There's no guarantee that all of us will be around forever. I think maybe part of my slightly obsessive need to capture memories on film is because my dad died when I was ten, and I don't have many pictures of him. I'd give anything for just a few more photographs of him - smiling, laughing, doing the things he enjoyed doing.

For years, I've said to my sister-in-law, "Someday, when you're old and gray and can barely remember what you did yesterday, you'll thank me for taking all these pictures." I have pictures of every family trip we've ever taken, even when it was just a short day trip.

On my Grama's 99th birthday, I made a collage of photos for her and all the guests at her party to enjoy.
On my Grama's 99th birthday, I made a collage of photos for her and all the guests at her party to enjoy. | Source

My Grama was a beautiful, photogenic woman. She was also one of my best friends, and when she died in August 2011, I was so glad I'd taken dozens and dozens of pictures of her. I was always looking for an excuse to take a photograph of her, and now I'm thankful I did. On the days I miss her most, I can take out those pictures and see her gorgeous red-lipped smile, her snow-white hair, and her stunning blue eyes, and I can actually hear her voice in my head and remember all the amazing times we had together.

She and my Poppy did quite a bit of traveling before I was born, and I have all the pictures and postcards they collected from all these amazing places I've never been, but would like to go someday. Through these old black and white photos, I'm able to live vicariously. Every once in awhile, I would take an album to my Grama in the nursing home, and we'd go through them and she'd tell me about her travels. I know the pictures helped jog her memory of those long-ago trips, and those special bonding moments are extra precious to me now. It would have been amazing to simply hear the stories, but by seeing the pictures she took, I could imagine it all even more clearly.

As you can see, there are many reasons people become shutterbugs while traveling. Some people just simply enjoy taking photos. Others want the pictures as a form of proof that they've been somewhere. There are people who think ahead and plan out scrapbooks or other projects for hobbies, school, or work. And others still just want something to hold onto and go back to, and photographs are perfect for that.

Other travel-related hubs

I'm hoping to add to my collection of travel hubs very soon, but so far I've written two travel-related pieces that you might be interested in checking out.

Three Days in Paris: The name says it all! When I was 17, I spent three days in Paris, France, and in this hub, I share my experiences.

Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum, Niagara Falls - Fun for the Whole Family: Niagara Falls is one of my favorite travel destinations. There's so much to see and do there, and Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum is just one of my favorite places!

To snap or not to snap?

Do you take pictures while traveling?

See results

What are your reasons?

What about you - do you become a shutterbug when you travel? What are your reasons? Are you able to take pictures and still enjoy the experience? If you rarely or never take pictures while traveling, how come? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 5 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I am a shutterbug because of quality and safety concerns.

      Quality is also a derivative of quantity. More pictures you take, greater is the probability of taking that one awesome shot you were aspiring to take.

      Having experienced loss of cameras on two occasions due canoe mishaps, the saviors have been cameras carried by other members of my family. My family of 4 always travels with 3 cameras changing hands all the time. This means if a camera or a memory card is lost during an outing, pictures are still coming from two other cameras.

      So yes, while I am not a shutter bug, my family put together definitely is :-)

      This was an excellent hub. One more reason not to be guilty of being a shutter bug.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      My cannon camera has been sitting idle for too long a time. I have recently taken a big breath and decided to learn how to use it. My primary motivation? Wanting to use more of my own photos on my hubs. Your hub came along at just the right time. Thanks for what I have learned which will earn you a big vote up!

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 5 years ago from Thailand

      I was pleasantly surprised when I found this hub in my feed. I had asked this question some time back because I found this trigger-happy trait of travelers fascinating. Thanks SweetMarie83 for taking time to answer my question with a hub. Yes, I sort of understand your point of view. Happy traveling and snapping. Voted up and interesting.

    • SweetMarie83 profile image

      Marie Landry 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks so much for the comments, everyone, and for sharing your reasons for and love of taking travel pictures!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Great reasons--- the memories. My Mom and dad traveled the world for several years-- her scrapbooks, especially the personal pictures always made me feel that I was there with her. She relived the memories often and had 15 large scrapbooks. After they both passed away, I took most of the personal photos and put them into one huge book to remember some of their happiest times on earth.

    • TheInspiredLife profile image

      TheInspiredLife 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I am right there with you...and voting this up! I love taking pictures, but it is a necessity when traveling somewhere new.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      I am a photographer and I love to travel, this means that whenever I am in a new place with a new culture and tons of different things stimulating my senses, the photographer in me activates and starts to thrive. This doesn´t mean that I do not pay attention to the real life experience; on the contrary, it makes it even richer and more fulfilling, even more enjoyable for the future (when I can use the pictures and feel the excitement all over again). I also use the travel photographs I take for many of my hubs.

    • Keith Worth profile image

      Keith Worth 5 years ago

      100%, I control the vote. Although I probably wouldn't take any pictures it not for the camera built in my phone.

      Good hub, I sorta understand shutterbugs now.