You’re ready for adventure! You have your suitcases packed, your destination booked, the best travel insurance, and your camera ready to go. But don’t make the mistake of taking terrible vacation photos! We took the time to interview top photographers to get their absolute best tips on taking unforgettable photography. And don’t worry, you won’t need to spend thousands on camera gear.
Whatever you do, take your camera everywhere you go. Years from now you will have your memories and your photos of this trip. Bring your camera to the beach, the hotel, on the train, or the boat. Talk to your travel planner about your destination. You may need to pack extras like waterproof cases and bags.
Avoid typical “say cheese” types of photos with awkward fake smiles. Make photos engaging by telling a story. Document key moments of your trip like a shot from the aeroplane, meeting the local guides for the first time, or your first time tasting exotic cuisine. Shoot from life, like your kids interacting with local wildlife or your spouse taking in a sunset on the beach. Thankfully with digital photography, you can take dozens of photos quickly. Snap pictures during the entire trip.
Don’t forget striking landscapes while you travel. Enjoying the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, or busy London? Enjoy taking several scenic shots. However, avoid overdoing the scenic picture-taking. Instead, shoot a few beautiful scenes, then spend the rest of the time taking candid shots of your travel companions and local culture. You want photos that help you remember your experiences, not just a pretty shot that you can find on a postcard.
If you have a larger budget, rent or buy better camera gear. You can shoot incredible imagery with a phone camera or a simple point-and-shoot camera. Some locations, like underwater snorkelling or poorly lit scenes at night, will need better gear for the right shot. You can look at renting locally to keep your costs down. Try different lenses to get the best image, or experiment using the back button to focus and create sharper photos (especially when shooting people or objects in motion).
Want an opportunity to shoot a hundred unique photos? Attend a local festival. Discover the local culture. Enjoy music, food, and dance. Shoot photos of unique meals and share on social media. Don’t just sit with your camera. Get involved and be a part of the scene! If you don’t have a travelling companion to shoot photos of you, use the self-timer function or a selfie stick to ensure you have memories of you enjoying your vacation.
Travelling through Italy, China, Greece, or other destinations with incredible architecture? Enjoy shooting intriguing interior architectural spaces. Cathedrals, catacombs, pyramids, ancient castles – all of these make interesting subjects. Adjust the ISO for dark spaces to take in details like a mural in a medieval church. Use a portable tripod for dark spaces. Catch the tiniest of details with careful planning.
If possible, change your vantage point. For example, shoot the cityscape from a rooftop restaurant for an unforgettable high angle shot. Or come up close from a low angle to help wildlife truly seem larger than life. Use reflections and mirrors for unique shots. Capture your travelling companion’s reflections in the Great Lakes of North America or the mirrored image of a local bazaar through a store window. Shadows make interesting contrasting imagery, such as the shadows of a caravan crossing the sand dunes.
In the end, you want to experiment with each shot. Fill up your camera with memories, places, and people that you will never forget. Make each image unique, special. You don’t need expensive camera gear to get the perfect shot.