Each year, millions of families hit the road, airport, trains or boats for family vacations, with most bringing a digital camera along to capture the memories. And each year, common rookie photog mistakes get made. Don’t let that be you. Here are some tips to make your pictures as cherished as your vacation memories.
Don’t forget the camera. Youve planned your route to the destination, and you’ve devised a pretty decent plan that resembles some sort of twisted personal tetris game for stuffing the luggage, kids, family dog and the suntan lotion in the car. Now, I know this may seem a little dumb, but pack the camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards and all the other fun stuff youll need for it AND put it in the car! Ill admit, Ive done this before. I had my camera bag all packed up and left it sitting in the house right next to the door.
Don’t forget the family. Vacation photos usually consist of having the family stand in front of some landmark, which is fine, but sometimes the family has to stand so far away to make sure you get the landmark in the background, even you cant figure out who is in the picture. Ive seen pictures where the photographer was so concerned with the big sign in the background, he didnt think about how his loved ones looked in the picture. All he got was their heads at the bottom. The picture looks more like some warning sign saying, Stay away or well cut off your heads than a nice vacation picture. Get closer to the family, and take a separate picture of the entire landmark. You can also have the family stand closer to you than the landmark (although passersby could walk behind them when you shoot).
Get candid. Not all the pictures have to be posed. I honestly feel candid shots of your family members in action make much better photos. Youre capturing your family member’s personality, who they are at that moment. Years from now you can look back at the photos and see how theyve changed.
Details. Details of an object can and sometimes be more interesting than of the whole object itself. If you come across a building that has a ton of detailing, take close up pictures of those details. Dont be afraid to get in there and get close! Dont freak out the security guard, though, or it might be a real short visit.
Get a new Perspective. Angles are a photographer’s friend. Not all pictures have to be straight on, eye level shots. Move around a little bit and check things out. You may find that the lighting is much better for the picture if you move 3 inches to your left and drop down 5 inches. Give your picture a totally new perspective on the subject.
Take a lot of Pictures..! One of the great things about digital cameras is that you can see the photos you take and delete them if you dont like them. People often set up an entire shot of the family, and then shoot one picture. How many times have you later realized someone’s eyes were closed or someone’s face was turned to the side? Don’t be stingy. Shoot several pictures and you have a better chance of getting a good image.