As a photographer, you should plan out your day and your route when traveling from client to client. Putting a plan into place helps you get to your clients on time and keeps you from getting lost or appearing otherwise unprofessional.
Your plan should allow for some downtime between shoots, whether that downtime is to accommodate travel time or…nature’s calling.
That’s right. Part of a photographer’s schedule requires time for life’s necessities. You need to allow yourself time to eat, rest, and, yes, use the restroom. Learning how to find a restroom can prevent you from being uncomfortable during a shoot. But where are the best restrooms?
The obvious answer for where to find a restroom is a building open to the public. These locations may not have the grandest or freshest restrooms, but they’re better than nothing and, more importantly, available to the public.
Look for places that don’t require admission tickets or appointments to enter. Places like libraries, public transport stations, hospitals, and colleges are all likely to offer unimpeded access to their restrooms.
Retail and Grocery Stores
Retail and grocery stores also offer free access to their restrooms. Most importantly, a store’s restrooms are often located close to the entrance and exit, which is a lifesaver when you really have to go.
Stopping at a store to use its restroom also allows you the opportunity to buy a quick snack or make sure you’re staying hydrated. Store restrooms are generally close to the checkout lanes, so snag a cold drink or some trail mix to keep yourself hydrated and energized throughout the rest of your day.
Restaurants, Coffee Shops, and Cafes
Your success using the restroom at a restaurant, coffee shop, or cafe is hit-or-miss. Since these are private establishments, they may require you to purchase something prior to giving you access to the restroom. In other cases, you may be granted access to the restroom, though it’s still frowned upon to not buy anything before or after you go.
This, of course, isn’t true for all restaurants and coffee shops. Starbucks has recently changed its policy to allow all members of the public to use its locations’ restrooms without requiring the purchase of a coffee or food item.
Still, photographers lead busy lives, so it’s not too difficult to talk yourself into buying a coffee to use the restroom.
Download a Restroom-Finding App
Photographers aren’t the only professionals who need to find restrooms while on-the-go. The need to find clean and accessible restrooms has spawned a plethora of helpful apps.
Using a restroom-finding app is as simple as ordering an Uber or shopping online. They display the:
- Available restrooms in a given area
- Type of location the restroom is located in
- User ratings about the state and condition of the restroom
If you’re traveling to clients in an unfamiliar location, download a restroom-finding app. If nature calls between shoots, you’ll at least have some idea of where you can find a clean restroom.
Prepare for the Worst
Photographers should always be prepared for the unexpected. While that often means coming prepared with the right gear and equipment, you should also pack a few toiletries alongside your gear.
After all, have you ever rushed to the restroom only to discover there’s no toilet paper? What about a lack of soap or something to dry your hands with?
Stuff a roll or two of toilet paper and some travel-sized soap in your bags. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Find the Best Restrooms While Traveling
Photographers travel a lot. It’s part of the job, after all. By equipping yourself with the knowledge of where the best restrooms can be found, you’ll avoid having to shoot while uncomfortable — or worse. Use these tips to find the best restrooms when nature comes calling.