Taking good quality photographs while you’re on holiday is actually pretty challenging. Taking amazing holiday photos can be an incredibly difficult task. Why? Because when you’re on holiday the main aim is to relax and enjoy yourself, right?! But it’s a fantastic aspiration to reach beyond the average holiday “snap” and try to capture images that are more print-and-put-on-your-wall worthy! So, allow me to share my best tips to help you achieve that.
1 Look at the big picture…
Take a step back. Look at the whole building, the entire vista, the full landscape. Try to capture that in a way that shows the enormity of what you are seeing. Convey that sense of size and beauty in a wide shot.
2 But don’t forget about the details!
Don’t just grab that wide shot and move on. Look closer. Pick out the smaller details that people might not notice. A doorway, a painted wall, trees or a flower, the elephant strolling across your view. Get closer still, if you can. Look for the abstracts as well as thy defined features.
The point is, look at every aspect of what you’re seeing and capture both.
3 You can’t escape the crowds
By definition of travelling to a “tourist spot”, you’re going to see a lot of people. I love that notion people have of trying to capture a popular location without any people in it. It’s a grand one but pretty futile unless you’re prepared to visit the place before sunrise. So, learn to embrace people. Make them part of the shot. You might even make them a feature! At the end of the day, those people are there and part of the scene, so don’t be afraid to include them.
4 Angles, angles, angles
People forget that a simple step to the left or right can totally change the image they are looking to capture. The same goes for shooting lower to the ground or finding a higher vantage point. Angles make all the difference. So, try to think about what alternative angles you can use when taking your photographs!
5 Get the safe shot and then take some risks…
It’s easy to grab the straight-on shot and then move on. Especially if you don’t have much time and a lot to see. But do take a few extra minutes to think about ways you can capture those traditional shots uniquely. Interesting crops, environmental factors like birds flying across the scene or a vehicle passing at speed. Even under- or overexposing the image to make it something different. There are lots of ways you can bring the ‘art’ into your photographs.
6 Keep those horizons straight
It’s a rookie mistake I often see. A beautiful image spoiled by the sloping horizon. The good news is, this is something you can fix in your edits afterwards. But try to save yourself some extra work, if you can. Remember to keep your horizons straight as you shoot the image in the first place.
I say this knowing full well I can sometimes be the wonkiest photographer going! 😉
7 Remember what (and who) you’re capturing images for
You don’t take holiday photographs with the aim of them hanging in an exclusive gallery somewhere, do you? I certainly hope you don’t! Remember what I said earlier. The main aim of your trip is to enjoy some time with loved ones, to relax and enjoy your holiday. So don’t get caught up trying to get the ‘perfect’ shot because you think it’s going to make you rich and/or famous! Enjoy the trip first. And if you get a shot that wins you competitions or awards as a result, well then it’s a win-win situation, right?
8 Get photographs of you and your travel companions
Lots of people think that getting perfect holiday shots comes down to taking artistic, beautiful images of historical sites and picturesque views. But you shouldn’t neglect to get those typical shots of you and your travel companions too. After all, taking photographs of your trip is about collecting and collating memories. If you don’t have any images of you and your loved ones in that amazing place, what proof is there that you were ever actually there?
I won’t even roll my eyes if you take a selfie, I promise!
9 Don’t forget to put the camera down!
This might seem like an odd tip to put in when talking about taking photographs. But there’s a fine line between taking a bunch of great shots and being that person who never comes out from behind the camera.
You have to find the balance between capturing the image and enjoying the moment. It’s different for everyone and it’s not easy to figure out. I’m not going to lie. There are plenty of times I have got the balance wrong in the past.
But if you find your friends and family are groaning at you because you’ve said “Just one more shot!” yet again, then it’s time to put the camera down and spend some time with them and enjoying the holiday too.
There you have it, my top tips for taking amazing holiday photographs. Whatever your kit, wherever you’re travelling, try to remember these and you’ll come home with fantastic photos AND great memories too. You can’t do better than that.
Want to know how to help people relax in front of your camera? Why not sign up for my free download to find out how!