Lonely Planet Writer

Full time nomadic travel photographers reveal their favourite places in the world to capture

Elia and Naomi Locardi have spent the last seven years traveling and capturing images in some of the most beautiful cities and countries around the world.  In 2012, the couple from the United States became completely location independent, selling their possessions and setting out to travel and document their journey in images. 

They now describe themselves as full time “nomadic” professional travel photographers.  So far their work has taken them to over 55 countries, and the couple has flown over one million miles. Based on his travels, Elia put together his list of favourite places to photograph for Lonely Planet Travel News and offers some useful insights into getting the most out of a photography trip.

A photograph the couple took at twilight in the town of Manarola in Cinque Terre.
A photograph the couple took at twilight in the town of Manarola in Cinque Terre. Image by Elia and Naomi Locardi

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai
A breathtaking sunrise in Dubai as thick fog pours though the futuristic and beautiful city skyline. Image by Elia and Naomi Locardi
A textured twilight in Dubai, considered by many as one of the most extraordinary cityscapes in the world.
A textured twilight in Dubai, considered by many as one of the most extraordinary cityscapes in the world. Image by Elia and Naomi Locardi

“With its futuristic skyline, Dubai is one of my favourite places for architectural and cityscape photography. Gaining high access points during sunset and twilight can give you phenomenal views of the towers and streets. The best photography opportunities tend to happen between October and March, when the temperatures cool down and the clouds start to form. Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, the entire city can become engulfed in fog,” said Elia.

Kyoto, Japan

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The ancient streets of Kyoto seen by night. Image by Elia and Naomi Locardi
Warm sunlight shines through the extraordinary Sagano Bamboo Forest near Kyoto, Japan.
Warm sunlight shines through the extraordinary Sagano Bamboo Forest near Kyoto, Japan. Image by Elia and Naomi Locardi

“While Japan houses many beautiful and enchanting locations, Kyoto has a unique blend of both the old and the new. From the Sagano Bamboo Forest, to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, and Gion — the old Geisha district, this sprawling city is full of cultural delights that are sure to please even the seasoned traveller and photographer,” Elia told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Rome, Italy

“Very few cities in the world can compare to the feeling of walking the ancient cobblestoned streets of Rome. Being surrounded by this much history, art and culture is truly like nowhere else in world. This makes the Eternal City one of my favorite European destinations for photography.”

The timeless Imperial Forum in Rome, one of the most spectacular archaeological sights in the world. 
The timeless Imperial Forum in Rome, one of the most spectacular archaeological sights in the world.  Image by Elia and Naomi Locardi
The iconic Colosseum in Rome.
The iconic Colosseum in Rome. Image by Elia and Naomi Locardi

In a recent short film in collaboration with photography website company SmugMug, Elia and Naomi offered a behind the scenes glimpse into their unique way of life. The couple also shared a list of helpful hints and tips for any aspiring travel photographers wishing to get the most out of upcoming trips.


While being free to travel anywhere in the world is an exciting and rewarding lifestyle, it is does come with a unique set of challenges. “Things like staying connected, office set-up, or blogging. Our possessions are also severely limited, we don’t have a home so we have to travel with clothes for four seasons. Most of the time we sacrifice luxuries for the sake of maintaining this lifestyle,” Elia said.

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