In the Spotlight - Ajay Sood (Travelure), who lives with the goal of building a lure for Travel




In our popular series "In the Spotlight" , we bring you another inspiring interview with Mr. Ajay Sood, who runs a Travel Blog called Travelure and brings new life to places through his photographs. Without saying much, let's hear about him in his own words...
Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic

In our popular series "In the Spotlight" , we bring you another inspiring interview with Mr. Ajay Sood, who runs a Travel Blog called Travelure and brings new life to places through his photographs. Without saying much, let's hear about him in his own words...



1. About you: Tell us about yourself     I was born in Nagpur but was brought up in Ludhiana. For most part, I studied in Ludhiana - did my graduation and post-graduation in English from SD Government College. For my MBA, I spent two years in Patiala. After that, for 27 long years, I worked in the Marketing Communications industry (Advertising, MarCom, Direct Marketing) for agencies like Ogilvy (erstwhile O&M), Lowe (earlier name - Lintas), Rediffusion, etc. During this first innings, I worked in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.
Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari

1. About you: Tell us about yourself 

I was born in Nagpur but was brought up in Ludhiana. For most part, I studied in Ludhiana - did my graduation and post-graduation in English from SD Government College. For my MBA, I spent two years in Patiala. After that, for 27 long years, I worked in the Marketing Communications industry (Advertising, MarCom, Direct Marketing) for agencies like Ogilvy (erstwhile O&M), Lowe (earlier name - Lintas), Rediffusion, etc. During this first innings, I worked in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. 



2.  Your Photography/Travel experience: Tell us since when you've been taking pictures or started exploring places. When did you start taking photography/Travel seriously?      In 2010, upon turning 50, I hung up my corporate boots and started doing photography professionally. As many others, I too started with fashion and food photography, but soon realised it was keeping me more indoors than outdoors. So, after 8-9 months of staying indoors, I decided to start doing travel photography. Basically, I merged my two passions (travel & photography) and turned that into my profession.
Bell Cave, Israel




2.  Your Photography/Travel experience: Tell us since when you've been taking pictures or started exploring places. When did you start taking photography/Travel seriously?  



In 2010, upon turning 50, I hung up my corporate boots and started doing photography professionally. As many others, I too started with fashion and food photography, but soon realised it was keeping me more indoors than outdoors. So, after 8-9 months of staying indoors, I decided to start doing travel photography. Basically, I merged my two passions (travel & photography) and turned that into my profession. 


3. How did you started your Travel Blogging and what are some of the main things you cherish in this journey?      That is the time when I started writing for travel and photography publications regularly. Around the same time, I also started travel blogging. My blog started as a centralised space for aggregating my published travel stories.
Demoiselles Cranes, Khichan, Rajasthan

3. How did you started your Travel Blogging and what are some of the main things you cherish in this journey?  

That is the time when I started writing for travel and photography publications regularly. Around the same time, I also started travel blogging. My blog started as a centralised space for aggregating my published travel stories.


In all my travel stories and travel images, the sole objective that drives me is to build a lure for travel amongst my readers and viewers. This made me adopt the cyber alias 'Travelure'. Today, that alias is what I am known by in most social media vehicles, e.g. Facebook, Twitter (over there, @Travelure was not available, so I had to settle for @TheTravelure), Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Over the last 7 years, my humble endeavour of making destinations desirable has taken me to over 35 countries and over 200 cities.
Times Square, NYC, USA

In all my travel stories and travel images, the sole objective that drives me is to build a lure for travel amongst my readers and viewers. This made me adopt the cyber alias 'Travelure'. Today, that alias is what I am known by in most social media vehicles, e.g. Facebook, Twitter (over there, @Travelure was not available, so I had to settle for @TheTravelure), Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Over the last 7 years, my humble endeavour of making destinations desirable has taken me to over 35 countries and over 200 cities. 


Somewhere along this second innings of mine, I also turned into a photo-educator. Besides having conducted multiple workshops for brands like Nikon, SanDisk, Asian Photography, Hoya, National Geographic, etc., I was also a Canon PhotoMentor for a couple of years. Today, I speak on travel and architectural photography globally - mainly in TBEX conferences (TBEX = Travel Blogger Exchange). In fact, in July 2018, I will be speaking on 'The Seven Deadly Sins of Travel Photography' in TBEX Europe 2018 (Ostrava, Czech Republic).
Oculus Transportation Hub, NYC, USA

Somewhere along this second innings of mine, I also turned into a photo-educator. Besides having conducted multiple workshops for brands like Nikon, SanDisk, Asian Photography, Hoya, National Geographic, etc., I was also a Canon PhotoMentor for a couple of years. Today, I speak on travel and architectural photography globally - mainly in TBEX conferences (TBEX = Travel Blogger Exchange). In fact, in July 2018, I will be speaking on 'The Seven Deadly Sins of Travel Photography' in TBEX Europe 2018 (Ostrava, Czech Republic).

4. What's keeping you excited about Travel Blogging Journey?      My newest love is visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites. Over the last few years, I have already visited 86 UNESCO sites, and in July, I am planning to add 7 more during my Czech Republic/Austria/Hungry trip.
Dressing up Buddha at Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

4. What's keeping you excited about Travel Blogging Journey?  



My newest love is visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites. Over the last few years, I have already visited 86 UNESCO sites, and in July, I am planning to add 7 more during my Czech Republic/Austria/Hungry trip.


As a travel photographer/blogger, I have also won a few contests and picked up a few awards. The more notable contest wins have been Cox & Kings' GrabYourDream (winning this got me an all-expenses paid 8-day trip to Israel) and National Geographic Traveller's GetOutThere Photo Essay contest (the grand prize was a 4-day 'Learn Surfing' trip to Mulki - India's Surfing Capital). A couple of important awards I won were 2016 OSM (Outlook Social Media) Photographer of the Year and 2018 Photoblogger of the Year (awarded by Gujarat Tourism and ICIT).    Besides these awards, I have also been featured as a MasterCraftsman in Asian Photography and Smart Photography – India’s leading photography magazines.
Safdarjung Tomb, Delhi

As a travel photographer/blogger, I have also won a few contests and picked up a few awards. The more notable contest wins have been Cox & Kings' GrabYourDream (winning this got me an all-expenses paid 8-day trip to Israel) and National Geographic Traveller's GetOutThere Photo Essay contest (the grand prize was a 4-day 'Learn Surfing' trip to Mulki - India's Surfing Capital). A couple of important awards I won were 2016 OSM (Outlook Social Media) Photographer of the Year and 2018 Photoblogger of the Year (awarded by Gujarat Tourism and ICIT).

Besides these awards, I have also been featured as a MasterCraftsman in Asian Photography and Smart Photography – India’s leading photography magazines.


5. Can you please share about the Photography gears you use?      All along, I have been a Canon user. My current go-to camera is an EOS 5D Mark III and my walk-about lens is an EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM. For my architectural photography, I use a tilt-shift lens (TS-E 17mm f/4 L) to control perspective distortion.
Eifel Tower, Paris, France

5. Can you please share about the Photography gears you use?  

All along, I have been a Canon user. My current go-to camera is an EOS 5D Mark III and my walk-about lens is an EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM. For my architectural photography, I use a tilt-shift lens (TS-E 17mm f/4 L) to control perspective distortion. 



I also possess a Fujifilm X-T10 with an 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS lens. This mirrorless camera had to be bought as my entire camera bag (equipment worth ~$12,000) was stolen in Stockholm and I was visiting 3-4 cities in Sweden and another 3-4 cities in the Netherlands.
Snowmobiles, Langjökull Glacier, Iceland

I also possess a Fujifilm X-T10 with an 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS lens. This mirrorless camera had to be bought as my entire camera bag (equipment worth ~$12,000) was stolen in Stockholm and I was visiting 3-4 cities in Sweden and another 3-4 cities in the Netherlands.

Very recently, I bought a Point & Shoot Leica (Leica V-Lux Typ 114). Since I am not a specialist wildlife photographer, this particular camera accords me the luxury of an ultra-high zoom that is needed for my wildlife travels. Its zoom range is a stupendous 25-400mm (35mm camera equivalent).    These days, since the content trend is favouring video, I have also acquired a Zhiyun Smooth4 gimbal for my iPhone 7Plus. This acquisition has added some bit of professionalism to my videos. While talking of videos, even my YouTube channel is 'Travelure'.
Tiger cubs at a watering hole, Ranthambore, Rajasthan

Very recently, I bought a Point & Shoot Leica (Leica V-Lux Typ 114). Since I am not a specialist wildlife photographer, this particular camera accords me the luxury of an ultra-high zoom that is needed for my wildlife travels. Its zoom range is a stupendous 25-400mm (35mm camera equivalent).

These days, since the content trend is favouring video, I have also acquired a Zhiyun Smooth4 gimbal for my iPhone 7Plus. This acquisition has added some bit of professionalism to my videos. While talking of videos, even my YouTube channel is 'Travelure'.


6. What piece of advice do you wish to give to aspiring/budding photographers/bloggers, fans, and readers of the post?     Ever since I started Travel Photography, my automaton corporate travels that used to revolve around hotels, offices, restaurants, and some commonplace points of interest, have transformed. I have turned into an explorer. I now travel with a heightened childlike curiosity keen on exploring the unexplored and discovering the undiscovered.     These days, every new place inspires me to make images that have a strong potential to make that destination a tourism magnet. I have realised the key to that is my own personality trait of 'not being easily satisfied'. I continue to shoot any and every place till the perfectionist in me is totally convinced that I have got the right shot.
Fisherman cleaning his net, Pong Dam, Himachal Pradesh

6. What piece of advice do you wish to give to aspiring/budding photographers/bloggers, fans, and readers of the post? 

Ever since I started Travel Photography, my automaton corporate travels that used to revolve around hotels, offices, restaurants, and some commonplace points of interest, have transformed. I have turned into an explorer. I now travel with a heightened childlike curiosity keen on exploring the unexplored and discovering the undiscovered. 

These days, every new place inspires me to make images that have a strong potential to make that destination a tourism magnet. I have realised the key to that is my own personality trait of 'not being easily satisfied'. I continue to shoot any and every place till the perfectionist in me is totally convinced that I have got the right shot.

It has not been an easy journey. I had a dual task of making a name in travel photography and in travel blogging - the latter was necessary as it helps subsidise/monetise my travels. From acquiring the right camera gear (it required some hit and trial) to creating a robust blog (it needed new skills - from social media to SEO), this journey has been full of learning. But, to tell you the truth, I have enjoyed every bit of it!
Soccer lover kids, Lombok, Indonesia

It has not been an easy journey. I had a dual task of making a name in travel photography and in travel blogging - the latter was necessary as it helps subsidise/monetise my travels. From acquiring the right camera gear (it required some hit and trial) to creating a robust blog (it needed new skills - from social media to SEO), this journey has been full of learning. But, to tell you the truth, I have enjoyed every bit of it!


In conclusion, I would give you one important tip. If you want to pursue travel photography as a profession, please think and behave like an entrepreneur. Just as an entrepreneur would invest time, money and energy in his business, you need to do the same. It is like building any other business - invest first, and returns will come later. If you remember this one thing, you will not only remain focussed, but will have total peace of mind.
State Historical Museum, Red Square, Moscow, Russia


In conclusion, I would give you one important tip. If you want to pursue travel photography as a profession, please think and behave like an entrepreneur. Just as an entrepreneur would invest time, money and energy in his business, you need to do the same. It is like building any other business - invest first, and returns will come later. If you remember this one thing, you will not only remain focussed, but will have total peace of mind.


To know more about Ajay Sood ( Travelure ), do check out -    http://www.travelure.in/  https://www.facebook.com/Travelure/  https://plus.google.com/+TravelureInPix  https://www.instagram.com/travelure/  https://twitter.com/TheTravelure
Museum of Natural History, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA

To know more about Ajay Sood ( Travelure ), do check out -



https://twitter.com/TheTravelure

If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling -


  1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter
  2. Use dustbins. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.
  3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.
  4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.
  5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite

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