We have a few style requirements to help keep the vibe cheerful and welcoming:
Here are three styles we like to see:
The brighter, the better: We know the weather isn’t always going to be sunny, but if you could bump up your exposure a little, it’d make a huge difference. This sometimes means dropping down the contrast a little too if the exposure looks too sharp.
People: When selecting between a tent shot with a person and a tent shot without, upload the one with the person. Keep the poses natural and candid, as if your subject didn’t know you were taking their photo. Please note: We do not need portraits of close-ups of your friends/campers. We do love portraits of Hosts.
Keep it warm: We want Hipcamps to seem warm and inviting, so even if it’s a bit cloudy, feel free to bump up the warmth. Avoid dark, moody fade, high-clarity, and coolness in your processing style.
Here are three main things to avoid:
Black and white: Please keep all photos in color.
Only providing vertical images: Currently, horizontal photos display best on the site. That being said, we try to use mostly vertical images for our social feeds, so please provide a healthy mix of both vertical and horizontal shots. As a rule of thumb, we need at least one zoomed-out horizontal shot of wherever you are sleeping— your tent, yurt, cabin, etc., and 4 other horizontal photos of the Hipcamp that give a comprehensive overview of the amenities at the listing for us to display on the site.
Too moody: As much as we love the PNW vibes, we want to avoid anything that darkens your photos too drastically. That doesn’t mean we want things to be overexposed but adding unnecessary fade, clarity, mood, or darkness makes the property seem less inviting.
Failing to deliver the style of photos we request above could result in removal from the Field Scout program.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out a few of our favorite Field Scout trips here.
There are whole books—libraries, even—for this kind of thing, so we’ll try to keep it short.
These days, you can take some incredible photos with entry-level DSLRs (not including iPhones or point-and-shoots), so don’t stress if you can’t afford a fancy rig yet. However, if you are in the market for some new equipment, here’s what our top scouts are using now:
Body: Canon 5D Mark III + IV, Canon 6D, Nikon D750, Nikon D610
Lens: 50mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, (Sigma makes a great 35mm 1.4, for a lot less!)
Tripod: GorillaPod, Manfrotto 6534 Compact Action Tripod
Filters: Polarizing (cuts glare!), ND (improves quality of landscape shots and depth of field)
Bags: Peak Design Everyday Backpack ($260), PRVKE Series ($185), ONA Canvas packs ($300-$450)
1. Overview of where you’re sleeping (both horizontal and vertical oriented)
2. Surrounding landscape
3. People + activities
Check out our Field Scouting 101 page for more examples of these types of shots.
Note: A photo is almost always better when there’s a person in it. Photos with people are stronger at conveying your story/experience while allowing campers to really imagine themselves at the site. Keep in mind, there is a difference between portraiture and a photo with a person in it.
Being an outdoor photographer gets pricey. That’s why we try to help out our Field Scouts with gear discounts. Once you’ve completed your first trip, you can score discounts to brands like:
- Peak Design
- Goal Zero
- Topo Designs
Completed at least one trip and want access to the full list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breaking into the world of photography is just a matter of getting your work out there. Field Scouting is a great way to showcase your work and get connected to all kinds of outdoor brands. Through the Field Scout program, photographers have been able to score free gear from and work with brands like Eureka!, Peace Van Rentals, Poler, Topo Designs, Peak Design, and more. Have a particular brand you’ve always dreamed of shooting for? We’re always looking to expand our connections. Let us know the brand, and we’ll reach out about potential work.
Main photo by Kelly Sparks.