Travel and photography go hand in hand. So if you have a passion for both, you have probably made an effort to combine the two. However, this is not as easy as it may sound.
On a photography holiday, your ultimate goal is to achieve the perfect balance between enjoying your holiday and taking plenty of incredible photos. If you spend the majority of your time behind the camera, you may miss out on other important aspects of your trip like interacting with your travel companions and the locals. On the other hand, lots of amazing photo opportunities may pass you by if you are not that engaged with what’s going on around you.
The summer holidays are coming up. If you are serious about getting snap happy on your trip this year, this guide will provide you with important information on how to organise and prepare.
1. The first thing to think about is if you want to book a package photography holiday. On these organised trips, you and a group of other budding photographers travel to a photogenic destination, accompanied by a professional. One of the main benefits of these packages is that you will learn how to improve your skills in photography while on holiday. In addition, most of the organisation is done for you and you will get to meet other people with similar interests to you.
2. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the destination. Of course, there are locations around the world that are more aesthetically pleasing than others. However, when you know how to use a camera, and you’ve got an eye for a great photo, you can make anywhere and anything look beautiful. Some of the most exquisite photographs are taken of ugly or mundane objects or landscapes.
3. You should take some time to consider your kit. Do you have everything you need? The answer to this question will depend on how important the photography part of your holiday is to you. If you are taking it very seriously, you may wish to upgrade your camera and/or invest in some useful accessories. On the other hand, if you are keen to take plenty of photographs but can’t spend money on new equipment, then your handheld digital camera or smartphone will be just fine.
4. Give yourself plenty of time before you leave to check your kit is in working order. It would be terrible to turn up at your destination only to find that your DSLR is broken. If you suspect a problem, you may need to send it back to the manufacturer for repair.
5. Take great care to pack your camera and other photography equipment safely and securely. It is a good idea to remove the battery, just in case it switches on during transport and drains your battery. Make sure your equipment is well-cushioned either by a special camera case or with soft materials. You may wish to check if your travel insurance covers theft and damage to these items both in transit and while you are away.
6. If you can fit your camera in your hand luggage, this can be very handy. It means you can keep a close eye on it, and you won’t miss any photo opportunities that may come up while you are travelling.
7. Once you have arrived and your holiday is in full swing, it’s time to start getting snap happy! Try to remember to take your camera with you whenever you leave your accommodation. You may wish to carry it around your neck or wrist, or in your bag.
8. Make a note of the sights and attractions you definitely want to capture on camera. This may include monuments, buildings, bridges and landscapes. When you are visiting these sights, leave your camera where it is and firstly take it all in with your eyes. A photograph can only show and convey so much, but your eyes can explore the whole thing. Viewing it first also gives you the opportunity to work out how you can take the best photo.
9. When you begin to take photos, make sure you move around a lot. Take shots straight on, to the left, to the right, from above and from below. These will give you plenty of different and creative images. Don’t worry about taking too many photos. You may find you take twenty images of a building, but you are only happy with one or two of them.
10. When you are walking around your destination, this is a great time to take impromptu shots. Keep your eye out for little details, people and structures that catch your eye. Someone sipping a coffee, a bird sitting in an alcove or a lost item of jewellery on a cobbled street can all create wonderful photos.
11. Of course, you’ll want to mix your artistic shots with photos of you and your family enjoying yourselves. Posed shots are necessary but try to capture some natural images of your loved ones enjoy their holiday. These often turn out to be the most beautiful.
12. To prevent yourself spending too much time behind the camera and not enough time enjoying your holiday try to restrict your camera use. For example, if you are having dinner with your family, perhaps take a photo or two before or after the meal, and then put your camera away. Use the times when you are on your own to squeeze in some impromptu photos. Walking between attractions is also a good time to take photos as people tend to be happy to wander around quietly, taking in the sights and soaking up the atmosphere.
13. At the end of each day, have a look at the photos you’ve taken and remove any you are unhappy with to free up some space. However, avoid being too brutal. Images may not look that impressive on your small screen. However, when they are viewed on a larger screen, and perhaps edited slightly, they could look incredible.
As you can tell, there is a lot to take into account when you are planning a photography holiday. We hope you find this information helpful and we wish you a snap happy holiday!