Feast your eyes on today’s guest post, coming to us from a young photographer who has a special place in my heart. Lots of helpful info, too, sure to improve your own skills when you take your next family vacation.
Documenting our family travels is one of my favorite things! It’s always sad coming home from a fun trip, but re-living those beach or mountain days through my many photographs makes it a little easier. Below, I will outline a few simple steps to getting travel photos you will enjoy looking at again and again for years to come.
Taking Landscape Photos
Point and shoot. Landscapes can be the simplest, most breathtaking photos you take on your travels. You will want to remember what the mountains in the East, the crashing waves, or the view from your balcony looked like. Don’t overthink these photos, just make sure your camera settings are correct (or even set on Auto, for those of you who aren’t quite familiar with your camera’s settings yet!), and shoot away! I always like to get shots of the places we stay, too, especially if they are adorable Airbnb’s or fancy hotels.
Using a wide-angle lens (18mm in this photo) will give you the widest perspective of your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to get locals in your photos to add perspective.
Taking Family Photos
The self-timer setting on your camera is your friend! When we were in Iceland, we would go miles without seeing anyone, so our only option was to set the camera on a tripod and take a photo with the self-timer. This setting is built in to most cameras, so make sure you familiarize yourself with it before you leave town. It often requires a tripod of some sort, but if you don’t have one, you can try to find something taller and stable on which to set your camera.
Asking people to take your photo can be risky and awkward, but I say go for it! You will definitely end up with blurry, out of focus photos every now and again, but you will sometimes end up with really great photos that were worth the risk! I have all of my settings already set and ready to go before I even approach someone to ask them to take our photo. Then, I explain that they just look in the viewfinder, make sure the tiny square they see in it is focused on our faces, and then press that big black button! If the picture ends up horrible, I just say thanks and wait for someone else to come by and I ask them! 😉 It’s up to you and what you feel comfortable with! Also, I like to ask them if I can take their photo with their camera as a thank you!
Share the camera. Take pictures of your family as you travel, but don’t forget to give someone else the camera for a bit so that there are photos of you, too!
Taking Photos of The “Locals”
Traveling is more than about seeing pretty sites and taking selfies with your family. I always want to remember what the locals looked and acted like. Unless they are far away from you, always ask them if you can take their photo. If it is a woman (since I am a woman), I usually start with a compliment, like “I love your bright colors and pretty dress!” then politely ask if you may take their picture. This usually works, but if they say “no thank you,” then no problem!
I asked this man if I could take his photo and he said “Of course!” So as I was taking it, I asked him about what he was playing, etc. to give us something to chat about so he didn’t feel like a landmark or inanimate object. I was sincerely interested in him as a person and wanted to make him feel special.
These two aren’t necessarily “locals”, but they were so fun and having the best time on our flight to Hawaii, I just asked them if I could take their photo! I wanted to remember them and capture their joy!
Taking Photos of The Details
What kind of food did you eat? What did the trees look like? How about those tiny plants that you saw everywhere? Capturing the little details of your travel destinations is often an afterthought, but something that people hearing about your visit will want to know.
Shave (not “shaved”!) Ice is huge in Hawaii. Of course, we got this almost every day while we were there since it was so delicious!
Of course, when you travel with your family you want to capture those smiles and special moments enjoyed together. But capturing a little bit about the location and the people you’ll come across will truly enhance your family’s memories of the experience, as well.
No matter where you travel – around the globe or just across the State – incorporating some of these ideas will guarantee your photographs bring back more than just sweet memories for everyone 🙂
You can find more of Julia’s lovely photos on her website, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @leggybirdphotos.
Want to up your photo game? Take advantage of this free webinar TODAY to pick up a tip or two for yourself – and make your family travel photos extra-special!
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You can follow her on Instagram, too @leggybird
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- 4 Essentials For the Ultimate Family Travel Photos – February 21, 2017