Hi everybody! My name is Lisa from Foodie in Paris and I’m back to give a few more photography tips on Teresa’s blog. Today I’m going to be talking about taking better travel photos on your next trip, no matter whether you have a fancy DSLR or just a regular point and shoot camera. I’m not a professional photographer myself and I am by no means showing National Geographic-style pictures here. The point of this post is to show you (no matter what your skill level is with a camera) how to tell a story with your vacation photos.
The Vacation: Italy and Morocco
I’m going to use two weekend trips to Italy and Morocco as an example (I live in Paris, so they’re both only a few hours away by plane). I went during late fall, so it was actually pretty easy to get photos without tourist backpacks getting in the way.
Capture the Main Attractions
Wherever you go, there will always be a landmark that the place is famous for – the Eiffel Tower, the Coliseum, etc. I like to search for photos on Pinterest and 500px to see how others have captured these famous sites. You obviously don’t want to copy someone else’s photo, but it will give you a good idea about where to stand and even what time of day has the best light. You’ll feel more prepared when you’re at the site and less stressed.
It’s tempting to just take photo of what’s directly in front of you, but in order to really tell a story with your vacations shots, it’s important to look around. If you’re standing high up, look down (or up). Find new ways to “frame” the scene with trees, doorways or gates.
Get the Details
While sweeping panoramas and wide angle shots are a great way to give a big picture view of the place, it’s the small details that add flavor to your trip. Every culture has its own cuisine, architecture and art – try to capture that throughout the trip. You may delete half the photos, but the other half will really add to your
Take Your Time
While I was in Cinque Terre, my friend and I decided to have a light dinner on a terrace overlooking on of the most picturesque villages. We stayed there for more than 4 hours (and unfortunately missed our train back, but it was so worth it!). The village looks beautiful, but completely different, during the day and night.
While you’re taking photos of famous landmarks, take a look around at your fellow travellers. You might get a fun “behind the scenes” shot.
When I walked onto the lawn near the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the first thing I noticed is the crowd of people taking the famous “holding up the tower” pose. It looks fine when everything is lined up in a photo but it’s hilarious when you see everyone from the side.
Later, when I was capturing the photos above in Cinque Terre, I noticed the row of people with their tripods that had the exact same idea as me.
Include the Local People
I won’t get into the ethics of photographing local people because it’s a very broad subject and there are a lot of excellent articles about this on the Internet. The main point is to be respectful and non-intrusive. Don’t forget the some people may not like getting their photo taken by a stranger (do you feel photogenic on the way to the grocery store?) If you’re lucky, you may find a friendly person who wants to show you something special, in this case his camel.
Remember Where you Stayed
Personally, I like taking photos of the places that I stay in a trip, no matter if it’s a fancy hotel or a dingy hostel. I like to take a few photos of nice details like an interesting doorway or a beautiful garden. It ties together your vacation photos so that you really feel like you’re back there when you look at your album later on.
Keep your Eyes Open
You never know when you might see something funny or meaningful. It may be a small detail in your hotel or something on a car zooming by. Try to keep you camera nearby and at the right settings so that you don’t miss an opportunity to capture the moments that you’ll laugh about when you get home.
Relive the Story
The nice thing about taking so many different types of photos during your vacation is that you can look back and relive those moments. There’s really no wrong or right way of doing it, as long as you get shots that are meaningful to you. Oh, and one more thing – don’t stress about taking photos during your trip, you are on vacation after all, so just relax and have fun.
Thank you so much to Lisa for coming back and sharing this fabulous post with us! I am so in love with all of her pictures, and they’re really fueling my desire to travel abroad (maybe her photos will have a similar effect on Chris!).
If you’d like to see more from Lisa, you can follow her here:
You can also check out her tips on Taking Your Photos to the Next Level, here.