top tips

10 Top Tips for Holiday Photography

Holiday Photography Tips

Everyone loves taking photographs on holiday, but so often are disappointed with the results. Here are my top clicking tips to make sure the pictures you bring home are true to your memories.

1. When photographing landscapes, think about the composition. Photographs of landscapes look better when there is something in the foreground – like a tree, for example, to frame the shot – something in the mid ground – such as a boat or an animal – and something in the background. This helps the eye to “travel” through the photograph to the different points of interest.

Travel Photography

El Teide, Tenerife ~ Here, the tree on the left forms a frame for the peak in the distance, its branches pointing in the direction your eye naturally travels through the image. On the right, the curve of the rock draws the eye into the picture and the interesting cloud patterns emphasise the shape of the rocks in the distance

2. Consider the light. They say the “best” time to take a landscape photograph is during one of the “golden hours” – just after sunrise and at sunset. However, if you don’t want to return to that beautiful view and it’s midday, look for where the light falls. Bright sunlight will bleach out areas of the image that you might want to show, so move around until you’re happy with the position of the available light and shade in your scene.

Holiday Photography

You can’t do anything about the position of the sun, but you can move yourself to a point where the light is pleasing

3. Think about your angles. If you take every shot from a standing position, you won’t get much variety inyour images. Try climbing on a bench or fence, crouching, or even lying down to get some interesting perspectives.

look for interesting, shadows and angles and new perspectives

look for interesting, shadows and angles and new perspectives

4. Notice details. We tend to snap away at “big” scenes, but little details, like the pattern of cobbles, post boxes, or a decorative feature on a building can make interesting items in the foreground of a scene, or in their own right.

Jo Blackwell Photography

Little details set the scene

5. Look for shapes and colours. Especially in a city, look at the geometry of the buildings and how they relate to each other. Strong shapes can make for interesting photographs. Bright splashes of colour will make your photographs “pop”, especially when set against an urban background.

Holiday Photography

Look out for splashes of colour and interesting shapes

6. When photographing people, check the position of the sun. If you have the sun behind you, as was the convention, you will make your subjects squint and have harsh, unflattering light on their faces. Far better to angle them so that the sun is coming slightly from the side.

Travel Photographer

Watch where light falls on people’s faces

7. Look for open shade. For portraits, find a bus shelter or doorway to pose them in – even a tree, so long as there’s not too much dappled light on their faces. Ask them to move forward until the light is just right (too far inside and it will be too dark). Flat, even light is generally the most flattering.

Portraits on location

Look for “open shade” for the most flattering light. A step further back and Beth would be in darkness. A step forward and the sun would cast harsh shadows across her face and make her squint

8. When photographing your children, don’t make them smile! At least, not always. Try to snap a toddler playing in the sand (remembering to move around them until the light is good) or absorbed with their ice cream. Think about capturing “moments” rather than faces. It’s those little expressions, ways of standing, hugs and laughter that we will remember when our children are grown and to have photographs capturing those is priceless. Don’t forget to take pictures from behind too – you’ll forget what that little curl at the back of your son’s neck looked like, or your daughter’s habit of walking with her hands linked behind her back.

Photographing children

9. Be in the frame! Don’t forget to let someone else take the camera once in a while – you should exist in your holiday photographs too! Don’t be that parent who, when you pass away, your children can’t find a photograph of you.

Travel Photographer

Don’t forget to BE in some of your holiday photographs!

10. Leave your camera behind. Sometimes, the best camera is in the mind’s eye. Not every beautiful scene will make a good photograph, and you need to be present some of the time. The camera can form a barrier between you and your companions, so don’t miss their company – and your holiday – by viewing it all through a lens!

Any thoughts? I hope these tips help you to make the most of your holiday photography. Above all, enjoy it!

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