A few months ago my old Creative Director announced that she was leaving the agency we both worked for at the time, selling everything and going off to explore the wide world with her super talented boyfriend Stevo. I’ve blogged about Stevo before, he’s the most amazing illustrator, you can check out his work here. When Chanel and Stevo left they started a blog and an Instagram account called How Far From Home, when I saw their accounts I was in serious awe of just how amazing the concept was/is!
As I mentioned the pair both led pretty stressful lives working for Johannesburg based agencies, when they could they would take breaks and explore South Africa, always taking the most beautiful photos of course. While we are at the 2014 Design Indaba, a first time for all of us we were lucky enough to hear a talk by Stefan’s Sagmeister, who believes in “creative sabbaticals,” you can watch him chat about his theory of time off below. Just as an aside is anyone else really attracted to Sagmeister?
So they took the a risk, sold everything, including a beautiful yellow chest that I bought and set out to explore the world. It still amazes me that they had the guts to do such an amazing thing, I think we could all take a few pages out of their very brave book.
The concept behind How Far from Home started with the need to tie everything together in one neat bow to make the whole trip feel like one story. How Far From Home literally tracks how far they have travelled, pushing them to go further to see more. It was also symbolic of why they decided to take the trip in the first place – to get out of the comfortable life they had set-up, and challenge themselves to push our creativity further.
Their next step was to find a visual device that would be the constant. They thought of the distance marking poles they place in popular sites, and decided on a chalkboard as it was simple to execute.
The last step was designing their logo – which as you can see they had quite a lot of fun with. The paper airplanes symbolise liberty, creativity, travel and craft – all themes that resonated with their creative journey. Match made in How Far From Home heaven!
Chanel and Stevo are still a little torn on if they would travel forever and ever:
“Yes, because we truly believe humans are curious creatures, and exploring and collecting memories should be our purpose.”
“No, because we’ve already named the four dogs we are going to get one day. We’ll need to ‘settle’ somewhere eventually. When and where is definitely the question, though.”
Try travel light
We’re trying to keep it light, traveling with only 5 lenses between us — 2 x 10-20mm, 1 x 40mm, 1 x 50mm and 1 x 70-200mm. We feel that keeps us covered for urban street photography, portraiture, dog photography, as well as landscape photography.
Don’t ditch the tripod
We have two tripods — a big one we keep for night shoots, and a small one that fits in the side pocket of our backpack (for impulse couple photos that don’t look like long-armed selfies).
Keep it clean (Chanel!)
We carry our lens cleaning kit with us everywhere — you simply never know when a Husky puppy might lick your camera, forcing you to clean the lens before the landscape shot you originally intended on shooting appears in front of you.
Cover it up
All our lenses are covered in UV filters — we’re not too concerned with the UV Rays, but rather treat the filters as lens insurance. It’s easy to replace the R300 filter; not so simple replacing the R7000 lens.
Take some time to smell the roses…puppies…each other
It’s very important to have a balance of photographing a place, and actually sitting down to enjoy it. We had one or two cases where we took tons of snaps, got back to our Airbnb and couldn’t even recall being there. We’ve learned now to enjoy first, photograph later. Your photographs will tell better stories when you get a sense for the place first.
Always carry snacks with you! A two-hour stroll might turn into a seven-hour night shoot. You wouldn’t want to have to leave your location for something silly like a meal. Photos first 🙂
Thanks for being such an inspiration guys, just as an added extra here are some illustrations by Chanel from their trip and some travel pics. All images used in this post were hand picked by Chanel and Stevo, please take care to credit them when sharing!