Imagine if there is one dream job you could have, what would that be? Ever since Ueli (@RunawayUeli) was a kid, he always dreamed of becoming a travel photographer.
Traveling to countries like Switzerland, Austria, Bali, Singapore, and many more Ueli is now living his dream traveling the world as a full-time photographer, but it wasn’t always that way.
In our interview with Ueli, he gives us a little glimpse into how he left his desk job to become a full-time photographer, what it takes to grow big on social media and tips for those who are dreaming of doing the same.
You recently left your job to pursue photography and traveling full time. Did you always aspire to be a full-time photographer? Was it hard making that leap?
I remember a 12-year-old Ueli looking into the National Geographic magazines, admiring the images, wanting to be one of the people behind the camera. Being a full-time photographer roaming around the world was always my dream, but I never really believed I could do it. I was afraid. Time passed and I started to realize that my time here is limited. What am I waiting for to make my dreams come true? That’s when I decided to quit my 7-5 job in the office. It’s not that difficult, you just have to do it. Now I believe that it’s better to fail than not to try and if you fail you can try again.
The question that everyone always wants to know the answer to is “How do you afford to travel?” Has Instagram helped you fulfill your full-time travel dreams, or is it something that you have been preparing for a while?
The question of the questions, haha. Well, before we finally quit our jobs in Switzerland, we had been saving for about two years for this adventure. Now we are using our savings to live our dream. Instagram has helped me to connect with a lot of amazing people all over the world.
Building an amazing Instagram account and name recognition like yours can take a lot of time and hard work. For somebody that is starting out, what are some tips that have helped you become successful on social media?
A lot of people don’t see the amount of invested time in an account with a big following. My advice to become successful on Instagram and other social media is to post regularly and have patience, a lot of patience. Chances are very little that you’ll grow to 10k followers overnight. Also, you should love what you do and have a passion for the kind of work you are sharing with the world. This keeps you motivated.
Consistency seems to work well on Instagram. In your opinion, is it better to perfect one type of theme or to diversify your work?
True, consistency works well on Instagram. People want to know what they can expect when they hit that follow button. That’s why I recommend you to find your niche and stick to it.
For somebody that is new to photography, what is one advice you would give them?
Go out there to take pictures as much as you can. That’s how you will train your eye and get better and better, picture by picture. The gear doesn’t matter at that point, take your cell phone. I believe everyone being in the photography business for some time would give you the same advice.
What is your go-to camera gear and equipment?
My favorite camera setup is a Sony A7II with a Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM lens, and a DJI Mavic Pro for those sweet views from above. But let me tell you again that gear doesn’t matter that much. Many of my pictures I could still take with my cell phone and you wouldn’t even notice on Instagram.
What has been your favorite location to photograph and why?
Sunrise at Matterhorn mountain in Zermatt, Switzerland. I was lucky to experience this moment two times during the past year. The moment when the first light hits the peak of this impressive mountain leaves you speechless. Goosebumps guaranteed.
What is next for RunawayUeli and your travel partner @RunawayRocio?
We are heading for two weeks to Chiang Mai, Thailand. We will be there for the Loy Krathong festival of lights, do some editing work and explore the surroundings of the city. After that, we’re off to Japan.
A huge thank you to Ueli for this awesome behind the scenes interview! Check out more of Ueli’s dreamy Instagram photos at @RunawayUeli