I’m not sure where my door fascination began, but I distinctly remember being in Greece a few years ago and noticing that every house had a different front door design. That’s when I started taking pictures of doors.
Why doors? Well. I suppose they are the first impression you get from a home or building. In a street full of similar terrace houses, each door is different giving you a glimpse into the personality of the owner. They also let you look back in time with different historical styles.
After that Greece trip, I was looking at my photos at home and was a bit disappointed. They were ok but I hadn’t taken as many as I thought I had. I remember feeling a bit awkward taking some of door photos.
My sneaky photo taking attempts meant some shots were blurry and not very well framed.
So on our next trip to Italy I decided to create a more formal photo series of doors. I decided I would stand directly in front of the door for every photo. I would also frame each shot so that I captured the whole door but not much else.
With this in mind, I explored every little village and town for the most interesting doors, and what was behind them. It became a game that Mr Romance also joined in with. When we were travelling with his parents for a week, they thought it was very odd but they soon joined in and kept spotting amazing doors for me to shoot.
With the same passion as a collector, I created a photo series I called ‘Doors of Tuscany’.
Back at home after that trip, I loved looking through all my photos and created a coffee table book of all the images.
Looking for detail makes you more stylistically aware. At first I would shoot every door I saw, but then I started to choose only the more unique and unusual doors to shoot. The more worn and aged, the better too.
I’ve also broadened my series and taken a series of Doors of New York, Provence and Paris. In fact I can’t stop taking pictures of doors wherever I am.
What creating a photo series has taught me
- By constantly taking photos, my photography skills have improved every trip and I am refining my style with every shot.
- I’m also becoming more comfortable taking photos in the street, and it has taught me the patience to wait for that perfect shot instead of clicking and just walking away.
- Focusing in on one detail has had this amazing effect where I began to notice more around me than ever before. You see the beauty in the ordinary.
Do you want to start your own travel photo series? Here are some ideas to get you started:
Travel photography series ideas
- Doors – of course, my favourite
- Windows – I have started shooting these now too, as there are so many beautiful windows and architectural details
- Signs – I love fonts and you can create a series of different signs and graphics that you see
- Cafes / bars – Where do the locals hang out? Create a series of the shopfronts or bars that you discover in your travels
- Drinks – Take a photo of the different coffees, juices and cocktails you try as you travel
- Breakfasts – Similarly, take a snapshot of your breakfast each day that you travel
- Transport – Planes, trains and automobiles – capture how you travel and how the locals travel
- You – take a photo of yourself in the same pose every where you go. My tip is to take these photos in landscape so you can create a short film with them when you get home!
The great thing with each of these themes is that they don’t have to be limited to your travels. Start seeing the beauty in your own neighbourhood. Walk a different way home and try a new café. You’ll be surprised at what you discover just a few minutes from where you live.
Have you ever created a travel photography series?