Got a summer vacation planned? Don’t forget to pack your camera! Your travels will no doubt provide all kinds of unique photo opportunities you won’t find at home. It’s easy enough to point and shoot, but if you really want to take your vacation photos to the next level, we recommend you follow these travel photography tips from our LDExperts in the Photolab.
Choose your Camera Wisely
While they certainly take great photos, carrying around a large DSLR camera on vacation can be bulky and cumbersome. In some cases, it can also make you a target for pickpockets. Or if you’re into candid street photography, a large camera can make it difficult to capture your subjects in their natural state without them spotting you. For any or all of these reasons, you may want to consider taking a mirrorless camera on your travels instead. Mirrorless cameras are far smaller in size than their DSLR counterparts, meaning they are more portable, lighter and less obvious when carrying them on vacation – yet they will still help you take high-quality shots.
If you find those still too large, you can always opt for a compact point-and-shoot camera, or even just use your phone! If you decide on using the latter, you’ll also be able to order prints of your photos on-the-go using our London Drugs Photolab App (for iOS and Android): a nice added bonus!
Carry a Tripod & Timer
If you do want to take some posed pictures on your vacation, our LDExperts recommend taking along a small tripod and self-timer. This way, everyone on your trip can be in the photo! This works great for groups or if you’re travelling alone. Selfie sticks are a favourite amongst lots of travellers, but they often can’t capture as much of the scene, as you’re limited by the length of your arms and the length of the stick. With a small tripod like these flexible ones from Joby, you can wrap the tripod’s legs around something nearby like a fence post or street sign to stabilize your camera. Then just use your camera’s self timer or a remote to activate the shutter!
Create your Vacation Story
Rather than capturing a random smattering of photos while on your vacation, try to tell the story of your trip with photos. For instance, start with capturing your journey to your destination (did you take a plane? Train? Automobile?). It could be as simple as a shot of the plane’s wing from your window seat, or a photo with your suitcase, ready to catch the train. Once you’re at your vacation destination, make sure to capture photos of each of the places you visit, and the people you meet, to help tell your story. After your trip, you’ll be able to piece together your vacation story in the form of a high-quality photo book.
Notate Your Favourite Places
Sometimes it can be hard to recall the names of streets, towns, shops and restaurants you encountered on vacation once you return home. To avoid that, make a point of taking photos of street signs and storefronts so that you can easily recall the names. These can also be important parts of your photographic storytelling! In fact, if you’re planning on creating a photo book with your vacation photos, you’ll be able to notate those details using our customizable photo book templates.
Compose Your Shots
While the advent of digital photography has been a blessing in many ways, it can also be to our detriment. Unlike film photography, which forces us to be more intentional with our shots, with digital photography, there is sometimes less time spent on composing one good photo – after all, you can take 100 more in the blink of an eye! Try to slow down and think about your shot. See if there is anything interesting to use as a focal point: a bright pop of colour, an interesting person, or a unique object. It will help elevate your shot from an average photo to something of beauty.
Think Big…and Small
While wide, establishing shots of your surroundings are important to help tell the story of your vacation, it’s also worth thinking about capturing the smaller details too. It could be anything from small souvenirs in a market, to sizzling skewers at a street food stall.
Get Photos of your Food
While we’re not encouraging you to spend so long taking photos of your food that it gets cold, taking snapshots of your culinary adventures while vacationing can make for some great photos. Not only will they make your mouth water long after you’ve arrived back home, but you’ll also have a visual diary of all the incredible dishes you tried on your trip. In fact, if you capture enough foodie shots, you could create a whole foodie photo book by the end of your trip!
Opt for Candids
There is a place for posed photos in your vacation album, but if we’re being honest, it’s the candid shots that are usually our favourites. It’s those shots that truly showcase the fun, experiential moments you’ve had on vacation. If you’re travelling with friends, family or a significant other, try capturing them in the element. It could be something as simple as a photo of them enjoying some R&R at the beach, or it could be a more complex action shot of them parasailing. Best case scenario, you’re travelling with people who are willing to snap some candids of you too!
Try a Different Perspective
We’ve all seen the same photo of the world’s most iconic buildings and landscapes over and over again. Why not capture them from a different perspective – like this photo of the Eiffel Tower in Paris? It shows a unique aspect of the building’s intricate structure, and creates a far more intriguing shot than the standard landscape photo of the well-known tower. Imagine how incredible a shot like this would look like as an enlargement!
Stroll around the area and pinpoint some unique spots to shoot from before deciding on what perspective you want to capture – it could be right below your subject, or far, far above it. Even a reflection in a puddle could offer a unique perspective.
Follow these pro tips while on vacation, and you’ll definitely be proud of your photos when you return home! If you need a little help with how to best showcase your vacation photos, come visit our LDExperts in the Photolab. Or if you already know exactly how you want to showcase your vacation photos, you can submit your order online, or using our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android.