You’re all set. You’ve done your background research, you have your itinerary in hand and you’re on your way, ready to shoot. What are some ways you can come back with more memorable vacation photographs?
Make the commitment to get in some photos yourself. If you’re the designated photographer, it’s so easy to forget to include yourself in pictures. Make it a rule to have yourself in pictures at least 3 times during the day, no matter what your agenda holds for that day. It’s popular now for people to do self-portraits with their cell phones, so if you’re alone and have the capability, don’t be shy about photographing yourself in public. It’s quite acceptable nowadays. 🙂
If you’re traveling with others, have them take pictures of you at different junctures. Be sure to have yourself photographed with your own camera so you’ll have quick and easy access to the pictures, and not have to depend on someone to send them to you. To be included with your family or group, find a trustworthy passerby to take the photo.
If you’re vacationing with children, and they know how to use the camera, give them the opportunity to exercise their creativity. Let them photograph you, and give them creative license to do the photo as they like.
Include people in photos for added interest. Yes, we do like to capture the beauty of landmarks and beautiful scenery in a pristine state, unmarred by human presence. However, make it a point to let people be a part of your photos, as well. Having people in pictures can make them more interesting.
Add some local flavor by striking up a conversation with a local–a street artist, a restaurant worker, a park ranger. Ask them about what they do. Tell them a little about yourself and your visit and ask if you may photograph them. If you‘re warm and friendly, and let them know it’s part of your trip memories, most people won’t mind.
Capture people doing things in the photos. This goes with family members. Do more than pictures just standing around in front of an attraction. Help them fit naturally into the picture by having them do something.
Create your own take-away. The souvenir business is big as visitors like to take home mementos of the places they’ve been. Shops are brimming with items begging you to take them home–t-shirts, mugs, glossy picture books, key chains, etc.
Create some images as your souvenirs. Is there something that reminds you of pleasant memories? Emotions? An added bonus is these are souvenirs you can share with others through using them for greeting cards and other photo gifts.
This image of a man feeding birds, taken on my trip to France, captured feelings of tranquility for me. I gave framed copies to my friends as gifts.
Use rules of composition. Create more eye-catching images by using the compositional techniques of rule of thirds and leading lines. Here’s an added little something to watch out for: if you’re photographing a landscape or an expanse of ocean be careful to keep your horizon line straight.
Because the horizon line is not straight, the ocean appears to be sliding off on the right.
Also, for added impact, place the horizon line slightly lower or higher, instead of directly in the middle of the image.
Horizon line in middle of image
Horizon line is in lower- third of frame creates a more interesting image