How to make your vacation and travel photos more unique and creative
National and international travel restrictions have eased and more photographers can travel for their leisure. But, besides practicing landscape or wildlife photography, are there ways to create less predictable vacation photographs that still showcase your vision and creativity?
For the most part, if a photographer plans to take photos while on vacation, they tend to set aside time to do so and will focus on certain genres such as wildlife, scenery, or architecture. After filming is finished, photographic equipment usually returns to the suitcase and is rarely taken out for everyday memories with family and friends, especially if the photographer has a smartphone that can lean on impromptu photographs. .
However, there are ways in which photographers, regardless of their expertise and genre specialty, can add a touch of creativity to liven up their vacation memories. Not only will this create a unique vacation gallery for friends and family, but it will also stimulate creativity and strengthen the passion for photography.
Use light equipment
Equipment that is comfortable, light and easy to carry is a big motivator to get the camera out. Dealing with a bulky camera or a lot of lens choices will not encourage anyone to carry their gear while exploring an area, visiting cafes and restaurants, or taking tours and experiences.
It can be tempting to go for a larger pro-grade camera and lens combination, but it often means the discomfort of having to carry it around all day. It may also mean that the photographer will prevail over whether it is worth taking their camera for a day, depending on the activity planned and the risk involved. This is even more common if it is a camera used for the professional work of the photographer.
Instead, a compact camera that can fit in a small bag or be comfortably carried over a neck or shoulder strap will do. A bonus point: the smaller cameras won’t attract as much attention and are easier to maintain while on the go.
Adopt unique compositions
Interestingly composed images will give any vacation gallery a more vibrant feel. Shooting directly at eye level is something most vacationers do, however, as photographers have an abundance of creativity and vision under their belt, it’s worth using it during vacation photos as well.
Just looking up is one of the easiest ways to spice up a gallery with something different. For example, photographers can photograph parts of a building, such as their hotel or a cafe they are visiting, in combination with nearby trees, an umbrella, or any other detail that brings back memories of that day.
Likewise, shots that cover vast expanses of land, water or sky can add to the sense of peace and tranquility that has been felt while on vacation. In images like these, the composition is more concerned with which parts of the frame should be excluded to create a pleasing shot than with which parts should be included.
Photos like these also make great wall prints that can remind photographers of their vacations for years to come, combining personal memories with photographic skills.
Don’t overlook the small details
It’s not often that the little details make the difference when photographing travel and vacations. However, it is these details that make memories special and personal, more than more generic images of tourist attractions, monuments and other points of interest.
The little details that catch a photographer’s attention will have sentimental significance that may not convey the same emotions to others, but they will still contribute to a more diverse photo gallery of the experience. It could be details like a cup of coffee reminiscent of engaging conversations with friends that day, an interesting feature on a wall that gets noticed every day when leaving the hotel, or perhaps pebbles underfoot on a particularly sunny and relaxing day.
Include family and friends
It’s not all about the environment, however. Equally important is making memories with your friends and family, and as such, they are also worth photographing. It doesn’t have to be a traditional photo of someone posing in front of a tourist spot, as most travelers will have a lot of them, taken by others or as a selfie.
Not posing your friends and family will result in natural images that show them having fun instead of asking for a particular pose or a fake smile. In the same way that family documentary photographers work, friends and family can be captured as they engage in activities or blend in with the surroundings.
Don’t forget to include yourself
Being the only photographer in a family or circle of friends can come at a cost. Often times, photographers tend to stay behind the camera and not get a lot of pictures of themselves, if any. Don’t hesitate to give your camera to the people you’re on vacation with and let them take some pictures of you. It only takes a brief moment to set up the camera, so all they need to do is dial and press the shutter button.
But that doesn’t mean you have to rely on others, especially if you’re traveling alone and don’t want to hand your camera away to a stranger. You can still include photos of yourself, captured as shadows or in shop, cafe, and gallery reflections.
If you feel comfortable enough in your surroundings, set your camera on a timer. For selfies, it can be helpful to bring a compact and easy-to-carry tripod or you can use whatever you have at your disposal when shooting. It can be a window sill, a table, or the camera can be placed on the floor and supported by a phone or wallet to face up.
Trying out some of these tips on your next vacation will help you create an interesting gallery that you and others will enjoy viewing for years to come.