Travel Photography: Think Beyond the POSTCARD!


Spring has arrived and with that comes summer travel plans. Whether you are off to see the Eiffel Tower, The Grand Canyon, or just visiting family in a different part of the country, I know you will bring a camera of some kind to capture the special moments and scenery. Here are some simple photo tips to help you bring that extra drama and excitement to your travel photos.

THINK BEYOND THE POSTCARD! Everyone loves a pretty scene, but try and make it more personal and fun. Pose your loved ones in a creative way in a beautiful setting. Try different angles. Show them interacting with a scene, such as looking away from the camera instead of into it. Shoot action shots of your kids if possible. When shooting landscapes, try to have something in the foreground like a person or a tree. Also, be aware of the light. The time of day can make a huge difference in your photography. Early morning and late afternoon is usually best for scenes as well as people. Use shadows and silhouettes in a creative and interesting way.

TELL A STORY! Again, make it personal. If you are visiting your great grandmother you have not seen in a long while, take photos not only of her but her rooms, furniture, her collected knick-knacks, etc., If she is a knitter, take close ups of her hands in action. If you are visiting a large city, try your hand at street photography by catching people in action, eating outside, crossing streets, or shopping in outdoor markets. When dining, if the food looks amazing, shoot a photo of it from close up and use different angles. Turn off that flash! Use natural light if possible such as near a window. When shooting landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, get close up details of the bolts, railings, girders, or anything else that illustrates your story. Be creative.

THINK THEMES! If you are visiting the woods, in addition to the panoramic vistas at overlooks, take detailed shots of the bark of the trees, the leaves on the branches or on the ground as well as any animals that may be on the scene. If in the city, shoot colorful backgrounds such as murals or colorful entrance doors. Look for patterns, they are everywhere. Use frames such as doorways and archways. Shoot a series of windows and include interesting details. Include signs in your photography such as when at an outdoor market.

THINK PHOTO BOOKS! Creating a photo book is the best way to preserve and share your memories. Along with using photos of your travels in the book, try scanning things you collected such as ticket stubs, receipts, leaves, or anything that helps tell your story. Using all of the above techniques will help you create amazing personalized photo books you can share with your family and friends. They make great gifts, too.

Happy shooting and happy travels!