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Holiday photography

Family photography, Gloucestershire


In this weeks blog, Issy has some tips to help with your holiday photography, have fun.

It’s summer at last which means one thing… a holiday. I know that I have been [not so patiently] waiting for the summer holidays, longing for the feeling of the sand between my toes, salty skin and the warmth of the sun. So if you’re jetting off to somewhere hot, or staying in the rather grey Britain, you will need to know how to capture your holiday. Here is a list of tips and tricks on how to capture your holiday perfectly, no matter where it may be. 

1. Watch the Weather 

Taking holiday photos in dynamic weather provides enjoyable intrigue, atmosphere and even texture to your shots. For example, a rainstorm will give you interesting light effects that are ideal for dramatic snapshots. The dark clouds and patches of clear sky will create large visual contrast in your pictures, making for a surreal and almost mythical picture.

This is why you should track and study the weather patterns of your destination before you go and once you are there. This tactic of using the ever changing weather means that no matter where you are you can capture some amazing holiday photos. Interesting weather aspects can be things such as rain storms, heavy winds or sunsets. Also, try to incorporate broken clouds, overcast days and partial sun, as they can turn a regularly photographed area into one with a highly unique perspective because often these weather types are shied away from.

2. Don’t Ignore the Details

Conventional holiday photos are always of big objects or of a whole scene but it can be much more rewarding to shoot small instead! It’s always tempting to take photos of beautiful things like a gigantic mountain, yet these shots can often end up looking flat and plain. So many elements will be fighting for your viewers attention they’ll become confused and disinterested in your work, with nothing to draw them into the picture!

Therefore, go macro. By all means take the large shot of the mountain but after go small. Incorporate the little details by capturing the small animals near by, the surrounding textures of the bark or rocks around you, and even the petals of flowers.

3. Use People to Help Demonstrate Scale

 Scale is more important than you think. It helps to give viewers a better perspective of how big or small your subject is. Often when on holiday we become infuriated by the many people littering our photos but in fact they can be of more use to you than you might originally think. They can help to demonstrate the size of your subject in relation to the universally comparable size of a normal human. 

If you have friends and family with you use them. Instead of having your friends and family simply stand in front of a landmark, rather boringly, try posing them in more interesting formations. You could have them stand right in the middle of a scene or put them beside a huge object to show its sense of scale.

4. Adapt to Shooting at Night

When on holiday the normal weekday body clock goes out the window and so you will probably find yourself having a few late nights. So don’t miss an opportunity to shoot later, just adapt to shooting at night. By doing so you can capture some mesmerising low light shots and not miss out on those once-in-a-lifetime photographs.

On holiday its unlikely you will have access to all your usual equipment so to combat this, familiarise yourself with long exposure photography prior to leaving. If you are going to take any additional equipment then take a tripod with you to allow yourself longer shutter speeds to capture the little light there is around.

6. Storytelling 101

The saying that a picture says a thousand words is particularly strong when you put together a series of pictures to tell a real story. The people, places and environments you encounter on holiday are ideal for this purpose and so it is a great idea to capture a series of pictures.

For instance, you could take a wide shot of a scene just to set the mood. Then, you could home in on the details by taking some close-up shots that accentuate individual elements in their own right. When all the photos are combined together the viewer will be transported to this place, as the photos will help to build it in all its glory.

7. Mind Your Shutter Speed!

Holidays = movement, its pretty much a given and a sin to ignore. Whether it’s the tranquil bus ride through the countryside or some kids playing at the beach, motion is ever-present. If you fail to take the time to think about your shutter speed, your holiday pictures will be a bit of a let-down to say the least.

So if you’re taking a photo where there is a lot of action and you want to capture it all, go for a fast shutter speed to make everything nice and crisp. Although, if you are not worried about the details then go for a slightly slower shutter speed to emphasis the movement within the shot. However, if you do this then make sure it looks intentional and not just like a setting mishap, which might mean going for a more extreme blurring effect. 

8.Great Holiday Photos Don’t Shoot Themselves

Yes your on Holiday, and even though it may be well-deserved, that doesn’t mean you have to become lazy when it comes to photography. After all, who wants to come back home with mediocre travel pictures that don’t successfully capture the highlights of their trip?! So remember the above tips and take the time to go out and search for moments to capture.

Armed with these tips I am sure you will return form your holiday with some amazing holiday photos…. So what are you waiting for? Get shooting!

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If you are looking to have summertime memories captured, please contact me for more information.


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