If you’ve followed me on Instagram for a while, you’ll notice that I LOVE posting photos from my vacations. It’s a unique way for me to show the versatility of my brand and photography style, but ultimately it’s a way for me to connect with all of you! I don’t consider myself to be a professional travel photographer by any means, but after a few adventures with my camera (and a great travel partner), here are just a few tips I’ve found work really well when trying to capture a heavily-trafficked vacation spot.
- Take your time! More than anything, it is SO important to be patient. Oftentimes when you visit an iconic photo spot, there are dozens of people in your way trying to grab the same frame. Chances are, they aren’t trying to shoot for perfection but just for a memory that they were there; they’ll be in and out in a minute. Take your time and compose your shot and after a few minutes, the crowds may clear where you have a few key seconds to take it.
Sometimes you might have to use a little bit of photoshop to erase some stragglers, but if all else fails…
- Change your perspective. Some of my favorite photos have been because I simply changed my perspective. Take this one at Mormon Row just outside of Grand Teton National Park. There were about a dozen people walking around the buildings all taking photos of the mountains, barn, houses, and buffalo, and while I could (and did) end up getting the standard old shot of the mountain range, barn, and what-have-you, my favorite photo from this location was one I just took of the range as it was reflected in a puddle of still, brown, murky water. I probably looked really strange to all of the other folks around me, but at the end of the day I walked home with a unique take on a cliche scene.
- Focus on the details. In some cases, it’s really difficult to get an entire scene in your frame without either (1) losing the focus or, (2) making it look cluttered. In this case, I LOVE just capturing snippets or details of full scenes. Sometimes the small details are more beautiful and inspiring than the whole. Sometimes. In any case, taking your time and really focusing on capturing the details means that you take more time to enjoy the scene. It makes you craft each frame with more intentionality than just snapping away at the whole. Some of my most favorite vacation photos come from taking this detail-oriented approach!
- Layer your frames. One of the techniques that I love incorporating into my work is layering because I really think it helps to provide some context for the scene. It also creates more depth for frames that might otherwise be boring or over-photographed.
- Hand the camera off to your travel buddy! As Andrew and I have traveled more together, he has taken an interest in wanting to learn more about photography (internal squealing). Some of the most memorable shots from our trips have actually been taken by Andrew!