People take photos to bring home as much as possible from their holiday. Photos are their pride and joy. It’s one of the reasons that made social media a huge success. We like to keep beautiful memories and share them with our friends. But not everyone is a natural talent in photography. Besides, on an ordinary holiday, you don’t have time to wait for the perfect moment of the day, good weather and light. You can, however, take good snapshots using just a few tricks.
#1- Choose the Proper Camera
There are so many types of camepras that one can be easily confused. Which one is better: DSLR, mirrorless, compact or a phone’s camera? Well, it all depends on how much time you spend on taking photos. If you are a professional photographer you know by now what type of camera you have to use. If you are an amateur photographer you will probably want an easy smart camera to work with. It will be both challenging and playful and will make you take your time for each picture. Also, if you travel a lot, you may want to check some portable point and shoot cameras for travelers. These will save loads of space in your luggage and money in your pocket while giving you very professional photos.
But if you just want snapshots from your holiday it’s best to choose a compact camera, easy to use. This means that you don’t have to think about settings or spend more than 2 minutes on each photo. The camera will be small and light and will do all the hard work. All you have to do is learn how to use it, and it’s preferable to learn before going on holiday.
#2- Don’t Forget the Landscape
Since you are on holiday, it is best to focus on your surroundings. Observe nature, cities, people, architecture, landscapes. Those are your pictures’ subjects, so pay attention to them. Holiday photos must catch the beautiful or interesting places that you visit, not just your face. Put in a picture more of the landscape and less of you. This doesn’t mean that you won’t appear in any picture. Try to frame everything together. There is a rule of three in photography: split a picture into three equal parts and put the focus of the lines between them.
Basically, it means do not put everything in the center. This can give you ideas: put yourself on the side and let the landscape fill the photo; let landscapes have a major role (on the focused lines). Be creative! You’ll find for sure the best solution for you. Just don’t bring home only selfies.
#3- Challenge Yourself
Don’t shoot from exactly the same angles as everyone. They all touch Julietta’s bronze statue in Verona (the statue actually shines from so much touching). They all try to hold the Tower of Pisa. Be different! Make your own photos. It’s your holiday after all. If it is too crowded, come early in the morning. If you can’t make it to the front, make a profile.
If you like just one detail, take a photo of that. Make your own authentic postcards, don’t imitate. The beauty of a photograph is the story it tells. If everybody tells the same story, there will be no charm left. It doesn’t matter if you don’t comply with standards. Actually, it is best not to do it. Every artist is unique.
#4- Don’t Stage Your Photos
Because it is easier to take a snapshot when everybody stands still, we usually put people in frames manually. You stay here, you stay there. Everybody smiles. The best photos with people are the ones nobody knows you are taken. You don’t photograph models or actors, so there are a lot of chances they are shy, rigid or just not photogenic. If you catch them without notice, they will be natural and relaxed.
Try to catch them with emotion, smelling a flower, admiring a beautiful building, make them part of the landscape. Again, a story is the best snapshot you can take. It doesn’t matter that the face is not visible. Gestures, a profile, sometimes just the grace of a step make them more alive than anything else.
#5- Make Use of Lightning (Know Your Camera & Surroundings)
No camera in the world will let you escape messing with the light. There are just 2 rules and it’s best to know them. First, if you are not a professional, don’t take photos in the dark. Even the small compact cameras (that have functions to prevent camera motions) have bad performances when it’s too dark. Even if the camera has a flash (it will only light for a couple of meters and will darken everything else).
Try it for yourself, but don’t have too many expectations. Second, don’t take photos with a powerful source of light in front of you. The camera will try to adapt to the light and darken everything in front of it.
#6- Make Repetitive Photos
Some bad photos are good photos. Some good photos are bad photos. You don’t have time to review each snapshot after you took it. Make more photos of every moment. You’ll decide later what stays and what goes. It is important not to lose the moment.
#7- Open Your Eyes and Mind
When you are in a place for the first time, you will be overwhelmed. So much new and fascinating stuff is around you. Take your nose out of the touristic guide and look. Just look. Open your eyes as well as your heart and take mental snapshots first. Then use your camera to take home the best of what you see. It can be a fence, a window, a street commercial, something to eat, a dog, a cloud or a mountain. Don’t look just through the glass of the camera. Use your eyes and your heart first.