Are you planning a trip this summer? There is nothing I love more than the combo of traveling and taking pictures. The past two summers I accompanied my husband to Italy on cycling trips with ABCycle. While he cycled I made my way across Abruzzo and Sicily with camera in hand. The year prior I made a trip to Berlin with my good friend photographer Philip Shalam. We wandered the streets day and night making pictures. While it’s difficult to explain the sense of joy and wonderment these trips gave to me I want to share some images; and tell you my secrets for making your best images on vacation too.
5 Ways to Make Your Best Vacation Pictures
1. Shoot at the magic hours of sunrise and before sunset. In the summer sunset hours may be anywhere from 6-9 pm so make sure you are ready to go as soon as the sun starts to get low in the sky and the light becomes more golden. While I never made a sunrise on any of my vacations here are some of my favorite sunset hour shots.
2. Change your perspective. Instead of looking straight ahead all the time take a pause. Look up and look down. This gives you the opportunity to make the ordinary EXTRAORDINARY almost every single time. I always am looking for the opportunity to get above my subject or get a view from higher up. Maybe it’s because I’m only 5 feet tall. If I can’t get higher I look up, which has also yielded some cool results!
View from a rooftop in Abruzzo.
A fun perspective for a group shot.
Looking up on a colorful office building in Berlin.
3. Always include signage. It gives your images a sense of place and helps to narrate your story.
Here we were visiting the small town where my husband’s mother was born. We found a sign with her maiden name. So cool.
Quintessential Rome. Dog drinking from fountain.
At a local Dolceria in Sicily, incredible chocolates and this smile. Had to have both.
This man came up to my husband and started shooting the shit in Italian. That’s how Sicilian my guy looks.
4. Look for the action, or make some action! Instead of posed static shots look for your travel companions in action. This makes your images come alive.
Cyclist’s in action!
Me making some action on the roadside for the perfect pic!
5. Last but not least- my favorite part of traveling, EATING without cooking or cleaning! Simplicity makes these tell your best story. Clear the background, take the shot from above, or a before and after.
The best coffee. So I focused on it alone. No background just me and my morning love.
This was our morning stop in Berlin, shot from above. Second breakfast or morning snack? Call it what you like, I’m there.
A fun before and after in Rome. I can still taste every bite.
Hope these help you tell your travel story better this summer and happy shooting! Please feel free to comment if you have any questions or send me your best travel photos. I’d love to hear from you.