Are you wanting to preserve fun memories of a trip with great travel photos, and share them with friends? Or are you a photography enthusiast who wants to capture the grand iconic shots for wall art? Do you want to remember the Eiffel tower or do you want to remember that YOU were AT the Eiffel tower?
There are a lot of things that can make a travel photo great, and admittedly, there are a lot of differing opinions about the subject as well.
This article is simply going to be about getting the shots that will put a smile on your face when you look at them years later and remember the fun you had on your trip.
1 – Taking Selfies
First, learn to take selfies with your phone before you leave for your trip. Make sure you can easily take them by yourself, or with a selfie stick so that you don’t waste a bunch of time while on your trip. This will also be a lot less annoying to other tourists.
Don’t dominate the shot with your faces. Do your best to get the location in the picture as well. Try to get your faces in the corners of the shot so people can see where you are. The best way to do this is to have the person with the longest arms hold the camera as far away from you as possible. Also, if the camera is held slightly higher than the people, it will make a more flattering shot.
And be aware of your surroundings. Don’t take selfies in dangerous locations or in the way of other tourists.
2 – Get Everyone in the Shot
Buy a small travel tripod. That way you can get everyone in the shot. With a tripod and a camera with a timer, you won’t leave anyone out.
It doesn’t matter if you have a smartphone or a camera, there are tripods for both.
We have a ton of old vacation pictures where Michelle took almost all of the photos so she is in very few of them. Most of the pictures are of me and our sons, and then a couple of her and the boys. But hardly any with all four of us in the same shot.
3 – Teach the Kids
Teach the kids to use the camera so that you get great “couple” shots. Even when our kids were younger and before we had smartphones we taught our kids to take pictures of Michelle & me at certain destinations.
Again, it would be good to teach your kids to do this before you leave on vacation. This way you can be more patient with them while they learn. Plus they won’t feel intimidated while on your trip.
Doing this will help you remember the fun you had with your spouse as well as the fun the kids had.
4 – Take Fun Shots
Don’t limit yourself to stiffly posed shots in front of a landmark. Be creative with your poses. A ‘pose’ isn’t limited to just standing in front of the camera with your hands at your side and smiling.
- Shake things up a bit to show you are having fun.
- Take a fun/goofy group photo then take one with nice smiles. Wait till you get home to see which one you really like the best.
- Imitate the pose of the statue that you are photographing
Shots like this are especially fun for the kids. It can even help us adults loosen up a bit and have more fun.
5 – Don’t Limit Yourself
It’s the digital age so take advantage of it. Take a couple of pictures to make sure you get a good one, but no more than 3 or 4. Any more than that and you begin to annoy the other tourists who waiting to take the same shot. Not to mention annoying the people in the picture.
When you get home just keep the best shots and delete the others. There is really no reason to keep 4 copies of the same shot.
6 – Don’t Go Overboard
Don’t take too many pictures. I know this sort of contradicts #5 but there are are two things I mean by this:
- One, nobody wants to see a picture of every meal you ate posted to Facebook or Instagram. And you probably won’t care about that shot two seconds after you take it anyway.
- Two, don’t spend so much time taking pictures that you forget to relax and enjoy where you’re at.
Before taking a picture, ask yourself this question; “Could this shot be wall worthy?” Many of us have that one wall of memories in our houses that is filled with pictures of good times.
Not all your shots are going to go on the wall, but just make sure that the possibility exists before taking the shot.
Also, make sure you also have times when you put your camera/phone away and enjoy your vacation. Don’t get so snap-happy that you are only seeing all of the sights through your camera or phone. Put it away for a while and just enjoy yourself.
Don’t waste your time worrying about how many “likes” your photos are getting on Facebook or Instagram. This is just a distraction that will detract from having a good time and enjoying where you are.
As a matter of fact, don’t waste your time uploading to Facebook or any other social media while you are on your trip. Wait till you get home and only post what is meaningful, not every meal you had.
Also, when you do upload your photos, be sure to put them in a Facebook album instead of in multiple posts so you don’t blow up the newsfeeds of all your friends.
Do you have any other memorable travel photo tips you’ve discovered? We’d love to have you share them with us! Please leave a comment below.