The next time you travel, think “outside the postcard” and create your own iconic images, your own stories and memories. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
1- Include signage in you pictures. The name and price of the fruits and vegetables at farmer’s market written in the local language, creatively painted store signs, a newsstand featuring local papers, even the city street signs will give your images a lively sense of place.
2- Include people in your frames. Try to feature local people rather than tourists. Folks buying their daily paper, selecting flowers at the market or having coffee at the outdoor cafe. And if you have the time for doing some street photography, pick a spot and wait a bit. Something interesting will surely happen and a story will unfold for you to capture and take home. The human element always adds interest to your images.
3- Create a photo story with a handful of frames. Start by taking a wide shot of an antique market to set the stage, then shoot a few close-ups of items for sale, people exchanging money, children laughing, the old fellow smoking a pipe. These are the travel images that will make your photo album more memorable and more unique. They can also be an interesting montage if displayed on your walls back home.
4- Avoid repetitive family group shots in front of landmarks. Instead, take action shots of your kids eating the end of fresh baguette in France or your husband playing bocce ball with the locals in Italy. Those are the pictures you’ll cherish for years to come. They will evoke your travel stories and fun memories, making you smile every time you open the photo album.
5- Resist taking those traditional postcard shots. When visiting a famous landmark such as the Eiffel Tower, try shooting a different perspective. Take close ups of the metal beams and the bolts. Photograph repeated patterns. Be creative and tell a story! Shooting lots of architectural details will nicely compliment any traditional picture of those famous landmarks in your photo album.
6- Practice your food photography on location. Get a table by a window at the restaurant, and turn off that awful flash. Shoot the local cuisine. Then enjoy your meal! These images will help bring back the tastes and smells of your vacation like no other.
7- Pick a theme or two each day and feel free to change your theme if you discover something more interesting. So, if you are shooting architectural details in Rome and the perfect street scene catches your attention, by all means, shoot that, too.
8- Be a gear minimalist when traveling. Carry just one camera and one lens because that perfect shot will inevitably happen while you are switching lens, and you’ll miss it. Every time you change your lens outdoors, dust gets on the sensor and possibly ruin that next great image. Travel light and use only the 50mm lens all day? You have feet and they make a great zoom!
Happy travels and bring back some killer images!