Secrets to Great Vacation Photography

beach umbrella

Vacations are great for resting and relaxing, but many people also make their vacations a time to see and do special things.

A family trip might be all about sightseeing in the national parks, or a retired couple might be on a trip to scout out antiques or unique roadside attractions. This all means that any vacation is a good time to take photographs.

The thing about many vacation photographs is that they tend to be of the “standard” or “stock” variety. For example, the family standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon or the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. While such iconic images can make for a nice addition to the family album, it is a good idea to really aim for some truly great photographs of a vacation as well.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to try to be the next Ansel Adams if you are going on a trip to Yosemite, but it does mean that you should think about the vacation as a way of making your own distinctive and high-quality photographic venture.

The first thing to do is forget the traditional poses. Instead of positioning the family on the edge of the Grand Canyon, take a different approach? Why not head down into the canyon and take an image of everyone waving down into it instead? Or why not try individual silhouette photographs of each person against the familiar backdrop of the canyon?

Stepping away from the traditional or ordinary usually results in great images. Of course many people get excellent vacation photographs by “downsizing”.

This usually means looking at very specific details rather than an enormous scene. For instance, instead of taking a photograph of the entire beach, why not click some shots of the family’s footprints in the sand, or a photograph of someone crouched down to collect shells along the shore?

There is that old saying about it being “all in the details” and this is where innovative and memorable vacation photographs can occur. Unique road signs, unusual groups of buildings, funny farm animals and even the flower beds in front of the rest stop are all perfect memories to gather during a vacation.

Remember, however, that the point of all of the photographs is to record your memories, which means YOU have to be a part of it as well. This is where your camera’s automatic timer can come in handy and allow you to be part of every almost every photograph you take.


Editors note: Amy not only regularly contributes to this site, but also publishes a very highly regarded monthly digital photography eZine – packed with powerful photography secrets and accompanied by video tutorials. Highly Recommended!

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