Get insights from travel, lifestyle and adventure content creator, Mike Eloff. As a Sony Ambassador, he has travelled the world with his girlfriend and business partner Carlinn for The Palm Tribe. He is currently based in Cape Town and has been shooting full-time since 2014.

Mike Eloff lifestyle & travel photography.

What would you say makes your work stand out?

I try to make my content as unique as possible, always heading out to find new angles and perspectives on locations that have been shot a million times.

What is important to communicate about yourself (as a photographer) on social media?

I think it’s important to portray a good image of yourself on social media, not just through your images, but through your online persona too. If you make stories and you often feature in them, that’s your online persona right there, so make it a good one and people will love you for it.

Mike Eloff lifestyle & travel photography.
Mike Eloff lifestyle & travel photography.

What tips do you have for content creation on Instagram?

Try to be different and not follow the norm. Also, if you’re going to be uploading epic content to the gram, then be consistent and be sure to only upload your best work.

In your experience, which Instagram Reels are the most successful?

That would be telling ALL my secrets haha! To be honest, though, every person is different, but what worked for me is time-lapses.

Mike Eloff lifestyle & travel photography.

How do you choose time-lapse locations?

If you didn’t know, I am an avid long-distance trail runner, so I’m constantly out on the mountains enjoying the beautiful trails we have on offer in Cape Town. Every run is not only a “run” but I like to see these adventures as opportunities to find the best spots for photos and time-lapses too. Shhhhh, don’t tell too many people or I’m going to have more competition in my running races with all the new aspiring photographers trying to find new spots.

What equipment do you use for your time-lapses?

My Sony Alpha a7R IV mirrorless camera and Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens are my go-to for shooting time-lapses. As an additional option, I’ve also used my Sony ZV-1 digital camera. In terms of what you need for lapses though, make sure you have a camera, a tripod, an intervalometer (if your camera doesn’t have one built-in as most Sony cameras do) and a LOT of patience.

What is your favourite behind-the-scenes story?

This will have to be the story of how I got this time-lapse that went viral with just short of 1,000,000 views. I saw conditions were epic, so I asked my buddy Dylan (also known as @campsbaysunsets) who knows the mountain like the back of his hand to take me to a spot he’d been telling me about for ages. It was already 6 pm when we started our hike to the top of the mountain so we needed to blast our way up Kasteelspoort as fast as possible to make it in time for sunset. Needless to say, we both got PB’s (personal best) running up there with packs on our back. We also got PB’s on our way down because we were RACING to get back before the 11 pm curfew kicked in. I made it back to my house with 2 minutes to spare and a few blue lights in my rearview mirror that I didn’t need to worry about. It was well worth it for the time-lapse that I managed to create (check out his time-lapse here).

What tools do you use to edit your videos and photos for Instagram, Facebook and YouTube?

Adobe Lightroom, LRTimelapse and Final Cut Pro X.

Mike Eloff lifestyle & travel photography.

In your experience, how important is having a YouTube channel?

Although I have a YouTube channel, my hero platforms for sharing video content are IG and FB as these tend to get more views. It is, however, different for everyone.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to go into photography professionally?

Never stop learning new skills online and NEVER give up. There is a lot of competition out there, so make sure you stand out from the rest by doing something a little “different” to the norm.

To see more of Mike Eloff’s work, visit his website, or Facebook and Instagram pages.

Mike Eloff lifestyle & travel photography.