My name is Rob Schanz. I’m 24 years old, live in San Francisco, and I’m a contracted photographer for an internationally touring chamber orchestra. Roughly every two months, I embark on a trip with them for about two weeks. The destinations range from Mallorca, Spain, to Helsinki, Finland. We stay in some of the most beautiful hotels, wine and dine in some of the most amazing restaurants, and play in some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world. From parties at the Ritz to Michelin-rated dinners, it’s very safe to say my life is ‘out of the ordinary’ during those two-week trips.
Sounds glamorous right? Now that you know one side of it, let me explain the other: Factor in 14-hour workdays, shooting hours of video footage and photos daily, minimal sleep each night, 24-hour travel days, losing credit cards, losing equipment, and jet lag, all while trying to maintain a relationship at home. This is really what it’s like to tour the world with classical musicians. Combine these two elements and you’ve created an unforgettable, at times seemingly regrettable, once-in-a-lifetime gig.
To learn more about what it takes to make a living as a travel photographer,check out the curricula at MatadorU.