Trips are awesome. Trips are important. Trips can change your life.
So you want to remember them, right? You want to remember everything you saw. You want to remember everything that was new, everything that was different. You want pictures of yourself in front of everything you saw that was new and different. That’s cool. You should take some expected pictures. You know what they are. A selfie. Your dinner. The tourist attractions. That’s part of the reason you went on the trip, so go ahead and take those. They’re fun and you can post them to instagram/facebook/twitter right away. Yay! All your friends will know you’re having a good time. Don’t go to Niagara Falls and not take a picture of yourself in front of Niagara Falls. Duh. You’ll kick yourself when you get home.
Don’t do that.
pass your camera to a nice-looking personSo why am I here talking about unexpected ways to photograph your trip? Because everyone knows the expected ways…so learn something new today! Your trip is a BIG DEAL and you should remember it, it should change you, become part of who you are. Do what you can to make that trip worth it.
Tip #1: Don’t take so many picturesUmmmm…what??? Yes, seriously. For real. Put the lens cap on, the camera away, iPhone into your pocket.
Be on your trip. Live the experience.
Look around you and take it all in. Smell the smells, taste the tastes and hear the sounds. Feel the vibe of the place you’re in. Talk to the people you’re with. Maybe even meet someone new. Then…after all that…then start snapping some photos. I’m not making this stuff up...here’s Real Scientific Research that says the same thing. Also watch this video link from the article which is so funny but true! You’ll remember your trip better by experiencing it than by photographing it.
Tip #2: Photograph one favourite in lots of waysWhat do you like best about your trip? What’s the one thing you really want to remember? Which moments do you hope you can re-capture afterwards? Pick one thing. One. Or two. Maybe it’s the people, the view from your hotel, the architecture, the season…
bikes and flowers in Old MontrealYou’ll remember being in that place more by capturing the subject several different ways and at multiple times, so keep your eye tuned and take one photo of it every day, in different lights, from different angles…stretch your creativity and add to your memories.
time standing still in Prince Edward CountyOK this part I’m making up and it’s my own personal opinion and experience. But as a bonus by-product of taking pictures this way you’ll become a better photographer. It’s a much-used method of teaching creative photography…shooting the same subject as many different ways as you can. There are some beautiful photos here that demonstrate the concept. Try it and see if you agree with me. Worst case scenario, you’ll come home with a series of photographs of something you love.
Tip #3: Photograph what you came home with
What do you pick up along the way as you’re traveling? Souvenirs? Maybe some gifts for family or friends. Tour books, clothes, food… Maybe gifts from those you were visiting? So when you’re back home and unpacking or you have a few free minutes, taking a good photo will remind you in a different way of some of the places you saw and what you did when you were there. And you won’t be using up your vacation time being behind the lens.
please don’t say you came home empty-handed
Food is kind of a big deal when I travel. I like eating. I like drinking. I like it when other people make my food and drinks and clean up after me, I won’t lie. So bringing home some foodie memories helps to keep the travel vibe happening after coming home. Coffee from here and mustard from here. Hmmm…that wine bottle appears to be empty already…it was from here.
bonus tip: you should read when you’re on vacationI love to check out the bookstores in other cities, the independent ones. I found a current copy of “Artful Blogging” magazine, and a fun photography inspiration book called “Shooting With Soul”. It’s awesome for lifestyle photography if that’s what you’re into. And a new paperback. I’ll imagine I’m in the small-town independent bookshop when I’m reading it.
We visited the cutest yarn shop. The lovely shop-girl convinced me that I could knit a pair of mittens (maybe two) before Christmas. She helped me get set up on Ravelry and search for a good pattern, guided me through choosing wool and needles and away I went. See…I already figured out how to cast on. If nothing else the ball of yarn will look really great in this teal colander I found in one of the kitchen shops.
See how taking the photos after we came back already helped me remember some of the best parts of our trip?
and that’s it for me…Thanks for hanging in there with me. Now over to you…what do you photograph when you travel, how do you keep your memories, what do you come home with? Tell me if you agree we are documenting way too much of our lives in this era.
Wishing you happy travels…