Social media is more accessible than ever, and our phones are always within easy reach, but it’s not always easy to make your travel photos amazing. I find myself constantly snapping pictures on my phone, editing, filtering, sending, sharing, you name it, it’s so easy these days. When we’re on vacation, I make a point of taking my camera with me (much to my husband’s chagrin since he carries it most of the time), because it provides me with many other features I just can’t get from a phone.
Everyone wants to capture their vacation memories on film, but how do we make those actual experiences translate to the images that are produced? Here are some tips for creating some amazing travel photos:
1. Pay attention to details
It drives my family crazy, but I am always adjusting the setting for each photo. Is there a sign behind them? Is someone’s hand blocking out another’s face? Is the food on the plate sitting just so? Yes, totally neurotic, but it works.
2. Make time for seeking out photo opportunities
In the early morning, the light is softer. In the early evening, the light is warmer. This will definitely effect the look of your photography. If there is something particular you want to capture, say a sunrise, or sunset, beach scene, or monument, make time to capture it in all its glory. I was completely enamored by the beauty of Stockholm’s Old Town and woke up early to capture some of these photos with my eldest son by my side. We had a wonderful time exploring the streets by ourselves.
3. Change it up, variety is important
Nobody wants to have vacation photos that are 100% landscape photography or famous sights (yawn), so be sure to take pictures of yourself and loved ones as well. Look at things from a different perspective, don’t always take a shot from the front, go underneath, shoot from the top down, be creative!
4. Seek out the unusual, go off the beaten path
You can find some pretty amazing things when you leave the life of a tourist and look behind the scenes. We have discovered some beautiful hidden beaches, amazing wildlife, and friendly locals just by stepping out of our comfort zone. Do it and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
5. Hand the camera over to the kids
If you don’t have kids, hand the camera to your traveling companions. Do anything to get yourself in the photos and find a different point of view. These pictures may end up being the ones you treasure the most!
6. Don’t be afraid to use apps like Instagram and Camera+ to edit your photos
I don’t really use Instagram in real time (I do value my privacy a bit), but I use it when I return from vacation. I love using the Rise and Valencia filters to edit on Instagram, but I really love playing around with Camera+. There are just so many filters and options to explore and the app is free, so why not try it out?
7. When you get home from vacation, use sites like PicMonkey to edit your photos
PicMonkey is a free photo editor that allows you to crop, add filters, add text, touch up pictures, make collages, you name it. It really seems to do everything. There’s a basic package and a Royale package. I have the Royale which allows access to every editing tool and I think it’s worth every penny. It can truly make your vacation photos stellar.