Travel and Learn Photography with the Slow Travel Photography Experience

WELCOME TO THE SLOW TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE

The Slow Travel Photography Experience (STPE) is a different proposal, an authentic project, adventurous, socially committed, real and human. Forget about the classic organized tours, rigid and expensive, with your guide, your driver, your hotels booked and your itinerary completely fixed. Open your eyes to the Slow Photographic Travel Experience, what you have been looking for.

If you are an adventurous person looking for unusual destinations and wanting to improve your photographic abilities and knowledge, we should be travelling together. And it could be just you and me. I am Juan Alberto Casado, freelance documentary photographer for the last 6 years and specialized in out of the beaten track destinations. I will teach you everything I know: how to approach people to get the kind of documentary photography I do for my project, how to take the most of your camera or how I travel in complicated areas so one day you could do it alone. I will be your travel and photography coach.

No matter the age, the physical condition or the photographic level you have, in this journey I will try to solve the doubts that arise and teach my own way of working documentary photography. My trips are for all audiences. Moreover, with your contribution you will also help me to continue with The Road Provides project, aimed at reducing stereotypes and intercultural prejudices. You will be an important part of it and your presence will help to spread the project goals and extend it as much as possible.

THE KEYS TO STPE

MY COMMITMENT

CONDITIONS

PRICE

NEXT DESTINATIONS

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THE KEYS

The keys to the Slow Travel Photography Experience are: documentary photography, slow travel, out of the beaten track, flexibility, immersive and collaborative travel.

  • Documentary photography:
    We will travel in small groups, maximum three people and I, because otherwise it is not possible to do good documentary photography: social immersion requires a low profile, approach the local people humbly and do not intimidate them with a clash of cameras. I will offer both theoretical lessons (for those who need them) and the practical part. How to approach people and establish the bases to make a good documentary photograph: a natural, full of life, spontaneous and emotional photography. You will learn tricks to get the best and most creative perspectives based on my experience; you will know what are the most common errors that are usually committed in this type of photography, bearing in mind countries, cultures, religions or social behaviours; you will see the most and the least favourable situations to catch the best photo, the best ways to find the best photo with the least effort, the do’s and dont’s. And you will see how I do it in real life, because my project is not interrupted in these trips you can see me take some of the portraits that will become part of The Road Provides. You will learn with facts and then you will practice and receive my feedback on the spot. I will also review your previous work and give you advice before and during the trip.
  • Personalized:
    You can travel my way or I can travel your way. Whatever you prefer: the level of comfort you choose. You can travel alone with me and thus have absolutely personalized advice and receive lessons in photography exclusively for you. Although you can also join one or two more people and share expenses. Before starting the trip we will talk about the itinerary that you want to follow and the highlights that you want to visit, and about that sketch we will start our journey always open to improvisation.
  • Slow travel:
    Why is it different from any other kind of travel? Because out there what you find are organized tours with a price settled from the beginning, a predeterminated itinerary, everything booked in advance, large groups, local guides who take you ONLY to touristic spots, everything in a rush, with no time for improvisation or adventure. Not possibilities of getting lost. Boring. We are going to do slow travel. It doesn’t necessarly mean that we will travel low cost, because we can adapt to your comfort needs. It means that we will travel independently and in a different way. Of course we will visit the highlights of every destination, but the main objective of the trip is not to only “visit”, but to discover it, to deeply get to know it, to enjoy it, and to integrate into it and with its people. For this it is imperative not to be in a hurry: to choose a destination that is feasible to know well in the days available to us, not to set strict goals and dare to improvise. The central idea is, in conclusion, to integrate in the society that we want to discover instead of looking at it as the one who contemplates a showcase.
  • Out of the beaten track:
    I normally travel to unusual destinations mixed with a bit of the highlights of every area. For instance, I might go to Kenya for safari but then I take 3 or 4 days just to wander around on my own to know Maasai villages out of the tourist circuit. If you check the countries I have travelled to in the last years, you will find out that many of them are even “no-go” tourist areas (places not recommended by the Foreign Offices of developed countries). But believe me when I tell you that most of them are safe and, indeed, they could be the best travel destinations. Cheaper prices, less tourists, more authentic places. Those are the best places for documentary photography, too. We can travel to this kind of unusual destinations o to more common destinations as well, but always trying to delve into its more genuine side. Anyway, you can also make me a proposition about what places do you want to visit. If you want to travel countries out of the beaten track but you don’t have experience in that kind of environments, or you have never traveled alone and want to travel with somebody with experience first, this is your oportunity.
  • Immersive:
    It is not propaganda, it is the actual thing: there are several ways of travelling, and ours is going to be the immersive one. We will share time and interact with local people, as we won’t be a huge tourist group with guide and driver leading us everywhere, running from one place to another taking pictures at full speed, like headless chickens. No, our idea is something much more genuine. We will visit the highlithgs of each place, but we will also get into the houses of local people, we will share local food and drinks, we will use public transportation (sometimes it is more confortable than others, but it is the best way to know local floks). It will require time, it will require improvisation, it will require certain adrenaline and adventure. Sometimes it could bring unexpected obstacles that we will face, overcome, and remember forever. Memories that will put a smile on our faces for the rest of our lives.
  • Collaborative:
    You will be part of the team. You won’t be travelling with me, but we will be travelling together. There is an important difference. I won’t be your “guide” as traditionally you might understand it. We want to avoid guides as much as possible. The guide should be a little help, not a life preserver. Its usefulness is that we do not get completely lost, but slow travel asks: and why not? We will leave aside the map to walk only guided by impulses or by the advice of local people, as it is the best way to deeply know our destination. I will probably know a lot about the places we are visiting, but I won’t know all the dates, all the museums or all the historicals facts. We will learn together, you will research as well on your own, we will discover the world as we go and your role is active and important. I can take care of things all the time: getting a taxi, looking for hotels, asking around for the best place to eat… But the great idea is that you will learn to do so too, if you want. I want you to be part of it, not just a visitor travelling inside a bubble of security with everything done and settled beforehand. You will spread your wings with my help, and eventually you will learn to travel on your own and make quality documentary photography by yourself. Meanwhile, I will always be there backing you.
  • Flexibility:
    You do not have to pay the trip in advance. You pay on a daily basis once you are enjoying the trip. That allows you total flexibility to cancel, shorten or lengthen the trip at any time without any cost or concern. You can also decide what to visit and what not, and together we will trace the best possible route to know the country as best as possible.
slow travel photography
These are me and a Uyghur man I met in the Muslim part of China. He took me and one of my travel mates to the local mosque, introduced us to the Imam and showed us the place
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MY COMMITMENT

Commitment as photographer:

  • Mentoring: During the trip, my advice will be constant and, based on real practice, you will see how fast your photography gives a great leap forward in quality. You will also check how I do it in real life, because my project is not interrupted during these trips you will be able to see me taking some of the portraits that later will become part of The Road Provides.
  • Photography assessment: Before the trip I will analyze in depth 20 of your photographs and I will guide you on aspects to improve or study.
  • Photo editing class with Adobe Lightroom: Bring your laptop to the trip and we will reserve some hours to edit the photos that you do, helping you to find your own style, showing you some editing tricks.
  • Before the trip you will also get all kind of recommendations on photographic equipment.

Committment as traveller:

  • I will be your travelling companion, much better than a simple guide: we will travel together, and travel in the most authentic and immersive way I know, exactly as I have done for the last six years. We will visit the highlights of every place, but I will try my best to seek for authentic experiences and places out of the beaten track. Think of me not like a person who is willing to finish soon and go home to rest: I also want to find the best experiences and take the best photos.
  • Mentoring: If you have never travelled to places outside the tourist circuit or if you are afraid to travel alone because you have never done it, with me you will learn what is necessary to lose that fear. I’ll be your personal travel coach.
  • You can count with my travelling experience in more than 70 nations of the world to support you for everything you need, both before and during the trip. I speak Spanish, English and Mandarin, the 3 most spoken languages in the world, so you can trust me: I will try to make this trip an unforgettable experience for all of us.
  • The lowest cost possible for the STPE, for being it a non-profit initiative. You won’t find anything like this for this price. The total cost of the trip will depend on your needs and how much money do you want to expend: it is totally up to you, you won’t be charged a fixed price for hotels, transportation, guides and so on, as travel agencies do. We will pay things along the way, which is always cheaper.
  • Before the trip you will also get all kind of recommendations on travel equipment and whatever else you might need: flight reservation, travel guides, what to bring and what to buy…
Showing the photo I just took him
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CONDITIONS

  • Expenses:
    Everyone pays for their own expenses. My way of travelling is quite afordable but at the same time I always look for enough comfort, to my standards. The average cost of my kind of travel varies from country to country, but it is typically between $25 and $35 USD per day. But I will adapt to your preferences, we can find more or less economical accommodations: dorms, shared rooms among us or single rooms for each. We will not necessarily sleep in the same place, as each may have different needs for comfort and price, but we will always try to be as close as possible if not in the same room. The same thing happens, for example, if you want to eat at McDonald’s and I prefer to eat at a local restaurant next door: no one is obliged to follow the other, total freedom to choose.
  • Independence:
    We travel together, but we are both independent. This is not a work contract with fixed rules. You are free to cancel the trip at any time without any added cost if you are not satisfied with what I offer: you can continue traveling on your own, look for another guide or return home if you wish. I am also free, under exceptional circumstances, to choose whether it is sensible or not to go to a place for safety, time or money reasons. In those cases you simply would not have to pay me the expenses of the day in question.
  • Daily Activity Schedule:
    From dawn time to 8:00 pm each day. After that hour I will be free to do my personal work tasks and you will be free also to do what you wish. Anyway, many days we will continue out on the streets after 08:00 pm and it won’t be a problem at all, but I need to state it here to keep some time for me if I need it. If, for example, you want to party one night, I do not necessarily have to accompany you (although I will probably do it).
  • Extraordinary activities:
    One of the characteristics of this trip is flexibility, so that the activities to be performed can be chosen by you at any time. For example, if we travel to Uganda and you want to do chimpanzee tracking (which costs from $150 to $210 USD), I will accompany you to the starting place and wait for you there, but I will not necessarily do the activity with you. I will always accompany you to whatever you decide to do, although not always do it with you (I need to take care of my savings). In any case, everyone will pay for their activities.
  • On arrival:
    I will pick you up at the airport and we will go to the hotel, which will be previously booked for me if we agreed so. At the hotel you will pay for the second day of travel (the first day of travel is the day of arrival at the airport, which is included within the reservation). From then on, the daily expenses will be paid daily, preferably in the morning.
  • About the costs:
    It is important to note that the low costs of the Slow Travel Photography Experience are due to the fact that it is a non-profit project. You are not paying a salary, it is a support and an aid to compensate my expenses while travelling, as well as the cost and risk of loss of the photographic equipment that I carry with me. Therefore, I am not a paid worker, but you are helping me with the expenses so that I can accompany you and teach you everything I know. You will also help me to continue with The Road Provides project, aimed at reducing stereotypes and intercultural prejudices, and also for these trips to help spread the project and extend it as much as possible.
Engaging with locals, even if you don’t share the same language, is all an experience. Only after that you can get the best documentary photography
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PRICE

  • STPE Option 1
  • STPE Option 2 
The Option 1 of the Slow Travel Photography Experience is to join me during my trip, wherever I am in that moment (see Next Destinations to know more).

  • One person: $40 USD per day
  • Two persons: $25 USD per day each
  • Three persons: $20 USD per day each

It is needed a $50 USD of reservation (it is a not refundable donation), which will be made prior to the start of the Slow Travel Photography Experience and includes in exchange:

      • Pick up at the airport of arrival*
      • Pre-trip advice on photographic and travel material to be acquired
      • Pre-trip professional photographic analysis+advice of up to 20 of your photographs
      • Previous organization of the trip with you (cost, itinerary, activities…)
      • The rest of the day after arrival to the airpot

* (cost of the transportation to the city not included, everyone pays its part)

Once you book your flight and you set the day of your arrival, I will plan accordingly to be there, wherever it is, on time to pick you up. I will modify my plans to adapt to your schedule.

The Option 2 of the Slow Travel Photography Experience is to propose me a destination and a date.

You (no matter if you are 1, 2, 3 or more in this case), will have to book my flight. We will search together for the best and cheapest flight possible, and once it is booked it will work as the reservation/donation. No need of the $50 USD. It includes:

  • Pick up at the airport of arrival*
  • Pre-trip advice on photographic and travel material to be acquired
  • Pre-trip professional photographic analysis+advice of up to 20 of your photographs
  • Previous organization of the trip with you (cost, itinerary, activities…)
  • The rest of the day after arrival to the airpot

* (cost of the transportation to the city not included, everyone pays its part)

Then, same daily conditions as in “Option 1” applies:

  • One person: $40 USD per day
  • Two persons: $25 USD per day each
  • Three persons: $20 USD per day each
  • Four people or more: $15 USD per day each

BOOK NOW!

The prices include everything: the daily fee of the STPE, hotel, transportation, food… it is stimated thinking on an average country and an average travel standard. Prices will depend on the country and your expected level of confort.
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NEXT DESTINATIONS

COUNTRY
TIME FRAME
Romania
April
Moldova
May
Ukraine
May/June
Belarus
June
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
June/July
Russia
July
Mongolia
August
China
August/September
North Korea
September
Taiwan
September/October
Vietnam
October
South East Asia
October/November/December
Countries still to decide

 

If you want to visit any of these countries but the dates don’t suit you, contact me and I can try to move the dates to coordinate with you (if nobody else already booked during your desired timeframe).

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