For most of us, getting paid to travel the world sounds like a dream come true. But for Orion Lafuente, it’s just another (awesome) day at the office.
As a professional tourist, Orion photographs GetYourGuide tours all around the globe. From Paris to Rome, Istanbul and beyond, he spends his day shooting the most picture-perfect sights in each destination. We spoke to Orion about what it’s like to have the best job in the world.
What does a typical day look like?
Every tour is different. Today I went on a 360-degree tour of Barcelona, traveling by land, sea, and air. You get to see so many perspectives in such a short span of time. I live in Barcelona, but I’ve never seen the city from the air before so it was a pretty great experience.
The other week I went to Montserrat. It has beautiful views, amazing rock formations — to me it’s like the Vatican of Catalonia! I’ve probably been there 20 times but I never get tired. I don’t know why, but I just feel so good there.
How often do you travel?
It really depends, but sometimes it can get pretty hectic. A few years ago I went to Italy to shoot 59 tours in 52 days. It was super intense, but I saw so many beautiful places. Rome, Florence, Pisa, Pompeii… you name it.
What’s your favorite part of the experience?
The people I remember the most are the guides because they’re really fun, interesting people with a lot of knowledge. When a tour has a great guide, it changes the experience completely.
What’s the difference between you and other travelers?
The difference? I take more photos! When I do the tours, I book them just like a regular person so they’re as authentic as possible. I try to blend in and go incognito so people booking them can get a real reflection of what the experience is actually like.
Do you ever get bored?
After 239 tours, I still get as excited as I did the first time. It never gets boring. For me, each tour is a new challenge. I want to give the best of myself and my work — to do that, you need to push yourself all the time.
You see a lot of tours! What’s your opinion on tourism in general?
Well, Barcelona is doing really well with tourism and the numbers keep growing. It’s a really good thing for the world, I think. As long as people are respectful to the locals and act like they’re in their own home, it’s a very positive thing.
How do you find the best shots?
First of all, I’m looking for the right lighting and composition. Then, I wait for the best moments: for something unexpected to happen. You can’t predict when — you just have to wait for the magic to come your way. It always does.
What’s your advice for aspiring photographers?
Take a lot of photos, build a portfolio, and have a lot of passion for what you do. You need a lot of courage and commitment to make things happen. Oh, and also get a good pair of shoes. Taking great photos involves a lot of walking.
So… where to next?
I’d like to spend more time in Asia: Taiwan, China, the Philippines — but I love Europe, too. People think they need to go really far to see great places but we have so much right here. Take Italy, for example. Beautiful seaside, historical places, lots of culture… and of course, the food.
To find out more about Orion, watch the video below.