If you follow travel accounts on Instagram, chances are, you’ve seen photographer Carley Rudd’s work. Carley Rudd, aka @carleyscamera has been recognized by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the top travel Instagram accounts to follow! She’s based in New York and LA, but of course, she travels the globe, camera in hand, capturing some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders and hotels everywhere from the Amalfi Coast to the Sahara Desert.
Her work has been featured in Condé Nast Traveller, Travel + Leisure, Afar, Suitcase Magazine, Tiny Atlas Quarterly, and more! Her great success as a nomadic travel photographer is inspiring to other aspiring creatives... and did we mention she’s an Outsite Member?
Read on to learn more about Carley!
How did you get your start as a travel photographer?
I’ve always been the girl with a camera and experiencing new places and cultures has always been important to me, so travel photography as a career was a natural fit. Although, I didn’t realize I could make this passion of mine into a full-time job until 4 years ago. I worked in advertising and PR for 6 years and anytime I wasn’t at my 9-5 job I was shooting for fun around my apartment in LA and taking road trips on the weekends to photograph new places.
I built up a portfolio and started sharing my work on Instagram and getting a lot of recognition and referrals through that. Brands started reaching out to work with me and that’s when I made the choice to give freelance photography a chance. I’ve never looked back.
Do you feel like there was any “big break” for you?
It took a lot of sacrifices and steady, consistent work to get to where I am today. I think my background in advertising, social media and PR was a huge help starting out. Knowing the importance of branding and understanding how to market yourself as a creative is invaluable. Networking and Instagram both played a key role in attracting new business. I understood how the social media world worked because I was developing Instagram strategies for other brands.
What’s your favorite destination you’ve photographed so far, and what’s one you would love to shoot but haven’t yet?
One of my favorite places I’ve ever visited and photographed was Sri Lanka. The small island country offers such a diverse landscape from lush mountains and waterfalls, to tropical beaches and secluded rivers. I’ll never forget hanging myself outside of a train to capture beautiful rolling hills covered with tea plantations or photographing wild elephants, rare birds and leopards on safari in Yala National Park.
As for new destinations… two places high on my list right now are Egypt and Japan. I would love to immerse myself in the culture of both of these destinations and capture the historical architecture, natural landscapes and local traditions.
Since you’re always on the go, what are your top tips for frequent travelers and nomads?
I have very little routine in my life right now and sometimes that can leave me feeling ungrounded. Yoga, meditation and spending time in nature have been a big help for that. I also try and maintain rituals on the road whether that’s writing in my journal, a daily skincare routine, or burning palo santo wood (I always travel with it!).
Do you have any essentials that you never travel without?
Of course! You’ll always find my iPhone, lavender oil, a journal and healthy snacks in my carry-on.
What advice do you have for aspiring travel photographers?
Shoot as often as you can and create a large body of work. Start by playing tourist in your own city and seek out new places to photograph. Challenge yourself to capture them with a new perspective and define your own unique aesthetic. Then, put your work out there. Post your photographs on Instagram and create a portfolio to share your work with potential clients. Don’t compare yourself to others, stay inspired and most importantly create and share work that you love.
What makes Outsite a great fit for you as a travel photographer?
I am traveling full time and my photography jobs bring me all over the world. Outsite has been a home away from home for me. I can always count on a them for the best affordable short or long-term stay, a clean comfortable bed, and an inspiring co-working space. The bonus has always been meeting other fun creatives during my stay.