Summertime means days out, (mostly) sunny weekends and, of course, holiday photos. Photos are often the most important mementos we bring back from holiday, so why wouldn’t we want them to be perfect? Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your holiday snaps.
Take Your Time
The most common trap we all fall into when it comes to holiday photos is taking them too fast, usually because we want to spend more time enjoying our holiday in person rather than viewing it from a lens, so we take a quick snap, set the scene and put the camera away until the next photo opportunity. Sometimes it’s because we want something to wow the people we show the photos to after the holiday, and other times it’s simply because we don’t want to miss a moment. But taking photos doesn’t have to take you out of the moment – it can be a part of it.
Think about taking a photo of a bright sunset streaking the sky. Would taking a quick snap really do the scene justice? Throwaway photos like this often end up being the ones we show to people and say it looked even better in person. But is that ever the reaction we want?
Thinking about the composition of your photo only means you’re seeing the object of it from more than one perspective and admiring it even more than you usually would. Use photos to create the moment.
Photos of family or friends can also have a little more life if the shots are candid rather than posed. A picture of a group laughing round a table, walking along the beach or looking up in wonder while sightseeing are all great examples. Try photographing these more relaxed moments rather than having people pose for a photo, and capture the moment without taking anyone out of it. For a little more on taking candid shots, have a look at our last blog entry!
Sometimes the time of day is crucial in how a photo turns out. Imagine a photo taken at midday versus a photo taken just before dusk when the sun is low in the sky – assuming you’re holidaying in a sunny location, which will produce the best shadows? The lighting in the first will be very bright and overpowering, whereas in the second will create more of an atmosphere, interesting low lighting and depth.
It can also affect people’s expressions – a photo of someone squinting in the midday sun may not be exactly what they’d like to look back on! Turning their backs to the sun will only mean they appear to be a shadowy silhouette with the light behind them. But taking the same photo later in the day when the sun has moved lower in the sky will let them smile wide-eyed into the camera, or look way into the distance without the blinding light getting in the way.
Keep these tips in mind on your next holiday and come back with cleverly composed and timed photos that take you right back to your travels.