Not-so-fun little fact: I wrote this blog post a few days ago, ended up needing to restart my computer– forgot to save, rebooted– and it was gone. GOOOD Times. Let’s hope this version is better than the one I lost?!
Joey and I LOVE to travel. And as a photographer- and just as an excited traveler in general- I love to document it. I’m absolutely a tourist- and I don’t mind it the least bit. Actually, you could probably say that I act like a tourist even when we aren’t traveling– I am camera happy most days, and proud of it!
Through our travels- I’ve learned a bit about how best to document travel- mostly through mishaps on my partSo I thought it might be fun to share ten tips for photographing travels and vacations…this is for both photographers and non-photographers alike! Maybe not all people like to travel– but I would bet that most people like to at least vacation, so hopefully at least one of these tips is helpful to you!
1. Don’t be afraid to be a Tourist:
I fully embrace this title, and you should too! You need to give yourself permission to be a tourist. When I close my eyes and think of a tourist- I often picture a traveler with binoculars, a Hawaiian shirt, and fanny pack…but it doesn’t have to be that way! (Unless of course, that’s your style). Every day is precious- and travels are adventures! Preserve those memories, and embrace your inner tourist!
2. Tell a Story:
Stories have a beginning, middle, and an end…and so do your travels and vacations. Document them as if you are telling a story…Photograph your airport waitings, your packing, etc. Don’t forget the beginning and the end!
3. Stories lie in the Details:
All good stories are made up the sometimes seemingly minute details…don’t forget to photograph them! Some examples may include: the currency if your traveling internationally, your outfit for the day, your transportation, your food, etc.
4. Capture life:
This may seem like a huge DUH- but, you’d be surprised how easy this is to forget. In many destinations– the scenery becomes the priority to capture. Don’t forget to capture LIFE in that scenery- and no I don’t just mean pose in front of an iconic building or gorgeous vista- capture life as it’s HAPPENING- candid moments are some of the most beautiful photographs! In the same way- capture candids of the life around you- some of my favorite photos are of local vendors selling their goods in street markets- or children in the Dominican Republic running towards me. Capture life as it’s happening around you.
5. Ask a kind stranger to take YOUR picture:
Oh goodness, I kick myself SO much for this one. While in London- I didn’t hardly ever ask strangers to take a picture of the two of us together- we have a few from our wonderful friend, Ilaria while we were visiting Greenwich for the day, and we are SO grateful for those! I only wish we had more in front of other iconic parts of London! So friends, please ask a kind stranger to take your picture! You won’t regret it
6. Don’t overpack, but don’t underpack either:
Consider where you are traveling, and pack your camera equipment accordingly- and make sure you have wide angle capabilities to capture grand vistas and amazing architecture! In London the widest lens I brought was a 50 mm…which didn’t always quite cut it when it came to the amazing architecture that surrounded us. At one point I had a 24-70mm lens, but sold it thinking I wouldn’t use it often. KICKING MYSELF! It would’ve been a great travel lens! Now I travel with my 50 and my 35 mm– a wonderful portrait lens, and a good wider-angle lens will serve you well!
7. Backpacks and camera straps:
This is mostly preference- but whenever we are out for a long day of exploring- I VERY much prefer to carry a backpack with my equipment, than a purse. Backpacks distribute weight better, for me- and leave me less sore at the end of the day…some photographers prefer to carry a camera purse- which I do on wedding days, but backpacks, for me, are much more comfortable.
Ah camera straps– I’ve never used a strap on my camera…I know, I know…I should, but I’m much more comfortable shooting without one. BUT- when traveling- it’s a must (and something I really actually need to do)…When you’re exploring a crowded place- you can’t be too safe with your equipment, a camera strap adds a little bit more security– and can prevent you from dropping. (preaching to myself here guys).
8. Extra Batteries and Memory:
Just trust me. BRING extra batteries and memory cards- there’s nothing worse than running out of either. Along the same lines– don’t forget your battery charger…and make sure you have the adapters necessary when traveling abroad!
9. External Hard drives:
Whenever we are traveling, and actually whenever we’re home too…I import all my pictures onto a 2 TB external, and do all my editing straight from the external, and also back them up on another 2 TB external. Consider bringing hard drives to back-up your photos- actually, don’t consider…DO IT.
10. Stop being a Tourist:
I know, I told you to embrace your inner tourist…but at the same time, you need to let it go every once in a while. Put the camera down from time to time, relax and rest! Don’t be too heavily concerned on capturing, that you forget to simply enjoy
Hope these few tips prove at least somewhat helpful in your future travels!
I would LOVE to hear from you all- what are YOUR best tips for photographing your travel and vacations?!
** P.S. If you entered the Tax Day Giveaway yesterday- the winner was randomly chosen via both your comments and comments on instagram. Head over to my instagram (@photosbysarahbeth) for the winner announcement!