How many times have you spent an incredible amount of time and money just getting to a place, only to find afterwards that you only have a few blurry photos to share when you get back home?
Hiring a vacation photographer is a growing trend at the moment, however for those traveling on a tight budget, here is the next best thing! Tips and advice from Vacation Photographers at TripShooter about how to take an amazing holiday photo.
Look at the light
A scene can go from ordinary to extraordinary depending on the time of day that you’re taking a photo. Although if you’re in a tour group it may be hard to decide the times of day that you’ll be visiting certain places, if you’ve got the choice, aim for mornings or evenings when the light will be richer and the shadows less.
Not perfect weather conditions? Look at the light around you – really look at it. The shadows, the highlights. Are there certain things around you that are softening the light, making it dreamy. Is it raining? Will you get reflections and light from things that glisten? By paying attention to the light, you’ll be able to turn that snapshot into a work of art.
Go with what you find
I was doing a photo session in London recently, and we’d wanted to take a photo with the couple and Big Ben. Only problem? About ten thousand seagulls swooping around between the couple and the backdrop. Luckily the couple were not scared of birds, and so we decided to work with it. They stood right in the middle of that squawking, feathery storm. And you know what? The photos were twice as amazing. Sometimes you might have an idea in your head about what would make a great photo in a place, but when you get there things aren’t as you imagined. No worries! Go with it, and you’ll get a much more interesting – and probably also authentic – vacation photo.
Be ready for all weather
This is a bit of a continuation on the previous theme, but don’t be dismal if your day isn’t all sunshine and roses. Umbrellas and wellies make great props, as do sunglasses, hats and scarves. Remember, the aim is to remember the moment, and moments are always changing. That’s why you’ll have an amazing photo later to remember them by.
Be prepared to explore
Sometimes just getting off the beaten track a little can make all the difference. We’ve already discussed it in respect of getting great photos with the Eiffel Tower. The problem with being at tourist attractions is not just that you don’t get a unique photo, but more importantly that there will probably be tens or hundreds of people just like you, cluttering up your shot. Taking the sideways and alleys and always looking around you might result in amazing little finds. A good example of this is Montmartre in Paris, where a little exploration can treat you to breathtaking unexpected views over Paris. Or the photo below, where an ugly tunnel in one direction turned into an iconic lovers nook, looking the other way.
Play with the objects around you
While it’s nice to play it straight when you take a photo of someone in a café, a phone box or a car, looking through the glass gives you the opportunity to play with what’s reflected around and frame your shot with local colour. Mirrors are also great for reflecting scenes, and the frame itself can speak volumes about the place. My favourite? Puddles. There are usually a few of them in Europe, and their irregular contours can often invoke the beautifully creative in you.
Movement is amazing in vacation photos. It gives the subject the chance to interact with their surroundings, and can be playful and even puzzling. The biggest question I always get as a photographer is how I took the photo below (from a vacation to Shanghai). The answer is, there were no special pulleys or fancy effects. The subject just – jumped. A moment in time became frozen for much longer. Other things that can take a photo from bland to wow include running, dancing, or (yes, even) rolling. Let’s clarify that last one was definitely for kids, but they had a lot of fun!
Have you taken beautiful vacation photos you want to share? Connect with us on Facebook and we’ll show the world.