Capturing your family vacation is such a wonderful way to remember your experience. Whether you’re taking photos with your phone or camera, travel photography can be so much fun. It’s my favorite way to capture each moment and memory. As much as I love all of the Christmas ornaments I’ve brought home from my adventures, my photos have so much more meaning and tells such a wonderful story. I often wander around with my camera or phone to take photos of my surroundings.
Tips for travel photography
- Wake up early. If you’re traveling to a different time zone, take advantage in those early days of your trip. Rise with the sun and walk around with your camera. The streets are empty. The city starts to come to life. You get the opportunity to soak up your surroundings. Plus, the morning light is so soft. The hour after sunrise or before sunset – also known as “the Golden Hour” provides the best light for photography. If your travels are keeping you up at the latter part of the day, then stay up late. Night photography has it’s own stories to tell.
- Peruse the postcard stands. Okay, so this is cheating a little bit. Sometimes I don’t have time to sit down and do all of the research of places I want to see. At the very least, I look for the key spots. Walk over to the postcard stand and take a look at what scenes are on display. Now make it your own.
- Walk the other way. I tend to hit the tourist spots early and fast. Then I walk the other way. I love wandering the quieter neighborhoods. Not only do you get the chance to talk to more local people but you get away from the crowds. You also see more of daily life outside of the commercial areas. There’s beauty in getting lost in a city and the stories that stick with you come from those moments.
- Look for color. Color literally paints the scene. What colors do you see when you visit a new city? Is it the floral or the buildings? How blue is the sea? Capturing the color of the world around you will take you back to that moment. It also helps you hone in on details you may have otherwise missed.
- Engage your senses. What do you smell? What do you feel as you walk down the street? I walk a lot on my vacations. Often I’ll stop, take a deep breath and let my senses take over. Whatever my senses tell me, I try to capture in my camera. As I breathe in the air, what do I smell? Fresh bread from the local bakery? Is there a breeze in the air? Maybe I’ll take a shot of my daughter’s hair moving with the breeze as she walks beside me. The options are endless.
- Have a seat. This may take a little more patience. Find a cafe, a bench or a picturesque sidewalk and simply sit. Observe the world around you. Who are the characters? What are they doing? Photograph the story you see unfolding in front of you.
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Maryrose Serac is a Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer serving Northern California and worldwide. Available for engagements, wedding and lifestyle family portraits.