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Take photos just after sunrise and 'pretend to walk' for candid shots: Australian woman, 27, who quit her job to … – Daily Mail

Take photos just after sunrise and 'pretend to walk' for candid shots: Australian woman, 27, who quit her job to … – Daily Mail

  • Renee Hahnel, 27, travels full time with her husband and has been to 31 countries across five continents  
  • She is currently in the middle of visiting all 59 US national parks while travelling in a van with her beau  
  • She has shared some of the secrets behind her stunning, perfectly framed photos 
  • Renee says it’s important to capture photos just after sunrise and never takes photos at or around midday

Laura House For Daily Mail Australia

Renee Hahnel, the 27-year-old Australian photographer and blogger behind Renee Roaming, had her first big solo adventure when she went backpacking across South America at 19.

Since, she has travelled to 31 countries across five continents, worked as a speech therapist back in Melbourne and married her boyfriend of seven years, Matthew, who joins her on her travels.

Once she hit 100,000 followers, Renee and Matthew decided to travel full time, packed their things and took off.

The talented blogger, who is currently living in a van with her beau and on a mission to visit all 59 US national parks, boasts more than 220,000 followers on Instagram for her idyllic and perfectly framed wanderlust snaps.

Yosemite National Park: Renee Hahnel, the 27-year-old Australian photographer and blogger behind Renee Roaming , had her first big solo adventure when she went backpacking across South America at 19

Saguaro National Park and Lower Antelope Canyon: Since, she has travelled to 31 countries across five continents, worked as a speech therapist back in Melbourne and married her boyfriend of seven years, Matthew, who now joins her on her travels

‘My husband got into photography way before me and about two and a half years ago he got me my first camera,’ Renee told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘I learned to take and edit photos and I took my photography full time in August last year. That’s when we took up a nomadic lifestyle and ditched our 9-5 jobs.

‘If you told me two years ago that we’d be getting to travel to such amazing places for a living and earn a full time income while doing it I would have laughed. It’s just incredible.’ 

The pair make an income through a variety of different methods – from their photography and social media projects to travel-related projects, modelling and deals with outdoor gear companies. 

Virgin Islands National Park: ‘I learned to take and edit photos and I took my photography full time in August last year. That’s when we took up a nomadic lifestyle and ditched our 9-5 jobs,’ she said

Cypress Tree Tunnel, Seahaven: ‘If you told me two years ago that we’d be getting to travel to such amazing places for a living and earn a full time income while doing it I would have laughed. It’s just incredible,’ she said

How can you travel full time? 

Unless you are doing it for a living it is really hard as it’s expensive, but a good place to start is to explore where you live first. 

Start with places in your city, state or country and work really hard for it. 

We both had part time jobs in university to save up a lot of money to travel the world before it became a job.

Renee also revealed some of the secrets behind her enviable photographs – and they are surprisingly simple.

‘My main tip is to shoot when the light is perfect – I call it the “golden hour”,’ Renee said. 

‘Sunset or just after sunrise are the perfect times- we very very rarely take photos in the middle of the day because the light is far too harsh and there are lots of shadows,’ she said.

‘People look better in softer light.’

Another thing Renee suggested is including people in scenic shots for scale.  

‘Photos look so much better with people in them – you can see how big that waterfall really is or how huge that mountain is. It’s hard to tell the sheer size of landscapes without someone in the photo,’ she explained. 

Lake Powell: The talented blogger, who is currently living in a van with her beau and on a mission to visit all 59 US national parks, boasts more than 220,000 followers on Instagram for her idyllic and perfectly framed wanderlust snaps

Shenandoah National Park: ‘My main tip is to shoot when the light is perfect – I call it the “golden hour”,’ Renee said

Iceland and Oregon, US: ‘Sunset or just after sunrise are the perfect times- we very very rarely take photos in the middle of the day because the light is far too harsh and there are lots of shadows,’ she said

Renee also uses Photoshop and Lightroom to edit her photos and has Lightroom presets that she uses each time. 

Renee has also shared some of her favourite photo ‘tips and hacks’ on her blog – especially those to do with taking photos as a couple. 

And one of the most important things? Investing in a tripod. 

‘Nearly every photo you see in this article has been taken with a tripod. My husband and I are often the only people around when we travel, particularly if it’s at sunrise or sunset,’ she explained. 

Virgin Islands National Park: Renee also uses Photoshop and Lightroom to edit her photos and has Lightroom presets that she uses each time

Shenandoah National Park: When it comes to capturing candid moments, Renee says it’s important to be as ‘realistic as possible’

How do you know what to pack? 

I am constantly learning – it’s really hard. 

This seven month national park project was difficult as we are going to freezing places, really hot places, remote places and tropical places. 

My biggest tip is to be as minimal as possible. 

If I think I need four pairs of pants, I probably only need two. It gets stressful if you have too much. 

‘We simply set our tripod up at the distance and height we want to capture, attach our camera and snap away. Using a tripod also means you can take the exact photo you want and don’t have to rely on a stranger getting it wrong.’

Renee also keeps it simple with self-timer and a wireless remote control. 

‘My husband and I often take photos from quite far away and quickly realised how exhausting it is running from the camera and back with a 10 second timer! A wireless remote control shutter release is the perfect solution (make sure you buy one that works with your camera brand and model),’ she said. 

‘These allow you to click the remote when you are in position for a photo, rather than running back and forth.’

When it comes to capturing candid moments, Renee says it’s important to be as ‘realistic as possible’. 

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park: Renee and Matthew have so far visited 34 of 59 national parks and plan to finish their van adventure on the 29th of October

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park and Horseshoe Bend, Arizona: ‘Usually either my husband or I will stand in the frame while the other person sets up the shot. There is often lots of “move to your left, no not that much, step back”… but it’s worth it to get an amazing composition!’ She said

‘Usually either my husband or I will stand in the frame while the other person sets up the shot. There is often lots of “move to your left, no not that much, step back”… but it’s worth it to get an amazing composition!’ She said. 

‘Make sure you are the focus of the image and that you stand out against the background. We often position ourselves to be standing out against a lake or the sky so that detail isn’t lost to a busy background.’

She also suggests getting a candid walking or hiking shot by walking past the tripod or pretending to walk for a ‘really sharp’ result and trying different angles of every photo. 

Renee and Matthew have so far visited 34 of 59 national parks and plan to finish their van adventure on the 29th of October. 

North East Iceland and Horseshoe Bend, Arizona: ‘I have spent most of my earnings on experiences, but I still have a million more places I want to see and so many things to experience. So far it has been a challenging but amazing journey,’ she said

Afterwards, they plan on visiting a number of countries in Africa as well as Argentina and Greenland. 

Their favourite places so far have been Canada, the Virgin Islands, and of course, Australia – with Renee naming Tasmania as her favourite Australian location.

Since setting off on her adventures, Renee and Matthew haven’t looked back. 

‘I have spent most of my earnings on experiences, but I still have a million more places I want to see and so many things to experience. So far it has been a challenging but amazing journey,’ she said previously. 

‘Everyone has different passions and things that drive them throughout their life. For me it is the happiness of being at the summit of a mountain, of snowboarding in powder, of capturing that epic sunset, and experiencing the solitude of camping in the wilderness.’ 

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