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Carnets de Traverse, one of the most inspiring travel blogs

Carnets de Traverse, one of the most inspiring travel blogs

Posted by Escape and co. | 20th March 2017 | Portraits
Carnets de Traverse

Julie and Renaud are the founders of the blog Carnets de Traverse, a goldmine of travel inspirations and stunning photography.  Travel being part of our DNA, we have asked Renaud and Julie to tell us a bit more about their beautiful project. For those of you, like us, who like to sate their wanderlust, enjoy discovering new things and be surrounded by beauty, discover more below on Carnets de Traverse’s stunning work. They have recently been elected among the 100 photographers to follow worldwide, a great recognition!

WHAT IS CARNETS DE TRAVERSE AND HOW WAS IT BORN?

Renaud – Carnets de Traverse is a blog we have created, Julie and I, after having travelled together for 2 or 3 years. We met in an advertising agency in Paris. At that time, we both were artistic directors. We wanted to share some common passions: travel, photography but also literature and writing. Carnets de Travers has been a mean for us to mix and express these passions.

Carnets de Traverse

Mexico © Carnets de Traverse

WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN INSPIRATION SOURCES? 

Renaud – Our biggest inspiration comes from photography and art books, our book shelves are overloaded with them! We are big fans of Stephen Shore, David Hockney, Walker Evans, Ansel Adams, Saul Leiter, Garry Winogrand, Plossu or the Becher couple. Street photographers, anthropologists, famous landscapers, we like them all!

Litterature is also very important to us and a big source of inspiration for our work. Eugenio de Andrade from Portugal, Sei Shōnagon from Japan, Paul Bowles from Tangiers, Olav Hauge from Norway make us dream before, during and after our travels.

From the beginning, we have been attracted by the freedom which offers a blog. We could just try so many things without any constraints, write whatever pleased us, with our own style. This has been a fantastic way to express ourselves and experiment different things.

Carnets de Traverse

Utah © Carnets de Traverse

HOW HAVE YOU CREATED CARNETS DE TRAVERSE AND WHAT WERE THE DIFFERENT STEPS?

Renaud – Our first topics on the blog have been Finland, Amsterdam, Japan and Sumatra. We have been very lucky because our readers were enthusiastic from the start. They encouraged us which pushed us for the blog. We loved travelling so much and felt lucky to discover these beautiful places but most of all we liked to share them. Addresses, places of interest, sightseeing, our photographs have enabled us to share our passion.

We have picked our topics very naturally, according to our inspirations at that very moment. For us the most crucial thing is never to compromise on the quality of our shots. If we realise they are not up to our quality standards, it is definitely a no-go. This is what happened with Japan on which I have worked on for more than a year until our carnet was perfect.

Our previous jobs in advertising have enabled us to acquire a strong and precious experience in creation, content strategy and on brands in general. This is also why they come to us.

Carnets de Traverse

Arizona © Carnets de Traverse

HOW DO YOU PICK YOUR NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATIONS?

Renaud – We pick our next travels based on inspirations, films, photographs and what our hearts tell us. We also have commissioned work. We receive large amounts of requests from brands and feel very lucky to be able to pick the projects we most want to work on. Being able to live from our passion is just so amazing.

Carnets de Traverse

Mexico © Carnets de Traverse

HOW DO YOU FINANCE YOUR TRAVELS?

Renaud – Our travels finance us. We create content around them (photos, videos, texts etc.) and sell them to magasines, travel agencies, public organisations… We work very long hours, but always with pleasure and passion. If the pleasure is not there, than the quality of the work cannot be either.

Carnets de Traverse

Utah © Carnets de Traverse

HOW DO YOU WORK IN SITU?

Renaud – The first hours are decisive… We don’t talk much but get in touch with the location. From the outside, it may seem like we are very distant but we are very concentrated. We look for elements in the landscape which will trigger an emotion. We usually work with two Leica digital cameras and two focus, 28 and 50mm. We constantly exchange cameras and focus during the day until the editing at the end of the day. We select, sometimes through a painful process, 10 photographs out of 1000 or 1500…

One very important part of our carnets is to share addresses and itineraries with our readers so that those who have liked the photographs can get tips or even copy the whole itinerary (this happens more and more often!). It is therefore crucial for us to prepare our trip before and find secret spots, cool addresses, boathouses, hotels – any location which has personality. The selection process is fairly easy: what we like our readers will like!

Carnets de Traverse

Iceland © Carnets de Traverse

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

Our best memories are probably the first successes. The first time being published in a magazine, a book that we sign or the happiness when we received a message from Conde Nast who wanted to use our photographs. More recently, our project for Air France was just amazing. We had access to all the backstage of an airline, went xxx… We also have made very beautiful collaborations with Louis Vuitton, in Venice and Mexico! It is a big achievement to be able to work which such beautiful brands and very rewarding as well.

Our biggest obstacle is our freedom. We can easily spend much time hesitating, doubting and losing the focus in our editorial strategy. It is important to be confident and trust our choices – even though these ones might not be liked.

Carnets de Traverse

Arizona © Carnets de Traverse

WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE SOCIAL NETWORK?

Instagram is an amazing social network, the only one truly based on the quality of photographs. It is so great to be able to discover talents from the other end of the world. We like to add curated and personal texts, sometimes quotes. We also like Facebook but sharing our experiences on Instagram is a softer way to share.

The main drawback of Instagram is that it tends to standardise photography and put everyone with the same level. With the new algorithms and the “like dictatorship”, we could all end up posting the same thing: what is on trend… For us travel is not only about what is on trend so we post about what we like even if we might get less likes or lose followers.

Carnets de Traverse

Norway © Carnets de Traverse

ANY ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THEIR TRAVELS ON INSTAGRAM?

The most important thing is to be passionate, otherwise it is a waste of time… If passion and motivation are here, then the key is frequency and persistence. Stay true to yourselves and don’t fall into the trap of easy way-out. Your readership should be like you. And second be social – share, talk, give…

Carnets de Traverse

Colorado © Carnets de Traverse

FOLLOW CARNETS DE TRAVERSE AND GET YOUR DAILY DOSE OF INSPIRATION…

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