After coming back from our Florida vacation, I was very inspired to write an article composed of tips or suggestions to keep in mind when photographing your summer vacations. I am by no means a pro and have only been taking on photography for about 8 months now (hence my empty blog). However, I am just a sharing kind of person!
My husband, son, and two sisters headed out to Florida for 2 weeks this summer. OH Florida… OH dear Florida. Let me tell you, Florida is amazing. So beautiful, so peaceful, so…. oh so vacation worthy. So let’s just skip the small talk and let’s get to the point…
1. Stick with ONE lens
Yes this can be a TOUGH decision!! I went back and forth trying to decide what would be the best fit for my needs, or if I should take more than one. Let’s be HONEST… hauling around family, a big girl camera and lens gets hard to juggle, especially if you plan to visit those crowded attractions. I knew we would be going to attractions, with all the fancy scenery. I just knew I had to bring the 85 1.2L. That lens IS heavy enough! I will admit it was a big baby to carry around, so you will need to choose when to bring it into the best situations. Which leads me to tip 2….
2. You don’t need to take your camera everywhere!
This is something I didn’t even have to think twice about! Yes it is vacation! Yes you want to capture every awesome moment. Just know, it IS ok not to take your camera. HELLO! It’s vacation, even for you. Try to just enjoy the moments. Know when it’s a camera day, or when it is a time to spend time together. If it is really a memory to catch, take out your phone!
3. Don’t underestimate your smart phone
I have an iphone 5, and while it does not compare to a big girl camera… it still captures the moments. For example, we had a spare of the moment beach trip, and didn’t have my camera. The sun could not have been more beautiful that evening. I had some regrets about not bringing my camera, however my son was so sandy, full of water and wanted mommy to pick him up when he fell. I could not have been able to interact with him at the beach if I had my huge camera and lens wrapped around my neck, hoping it wouldn’t get sandy or wet. I broke out my iphone and snapped the beautiful sunset, and HECK they came out better than I thought!
4. Watch your settings.
For places like attractions where it is just too darn hot, and you want to ‘browse’ the shops to cool down, your lighting will be changing. When you walk into a shop, you will need to bump that iso up as the majority of those shops are dark! Another thing you will need to keep an eye out for is your white balance. Because we were changing lighting situations so often, I kept my white balance on auto. So the only settings I was really fiddling with were ISO and SS, giving me time to keep up with the family!
5. Location and landscaping shots.
Take those far away location shots! Even beautiful close-up location shots. They make for great storytelling boards.
6. Details. Details. Details.
Don’t forget to take some close-up detailed shots. Try to keep that in mind. While trying to take in the attractions, sometimes I forgot to just take in the little details. Once I was able to collect my cool trying not to pass out from heat exhaustion, I was able to just sit back and take in some details.
7. Get the shot!
I know sometimes we can be a little technical about the shots we are hoping to get. That’s ok! It’s also ok to just take the shot!! Here in this photo, I wanted to get Noah playing in the water at that exact moment and accidentally cut his foot off. While it’s not ‘technically correct’ it ended up being one of my favorite photos.
8. Lifestyle shots.
Don’t forget to take a few lifestyle shots! Even with the 85, I was able to capture the cutest moment of my husband and son dancing in the bathroom. I had caught some distortion laying the camera on the bed, and even framing from the bathroom door. Capture those great everyday moments, even in the hotel room.
While I was taking shots when we went to Universal Studios, I kept in mind the kind of story I wanted to tell. I knew how I wanted to document our day and tell our story. With that in mind, landmarks with text and writing were a perfect way for me to remember the areas our pictures were taken.
10… Shoot for black and white / Not everyone needs to be photographed
Again, through different areas of your sightseeing, there will be major lighting changes. There was an area at the aquarium that was super dark and showed only lighting through the glass. I knew right away that would have to be a black and white image, so that’s what I shot for! Also, not everyone is comfortable with being photographed all the time. That’s ok, and is best to keep the peace and respect their wishes. However, sometimes they are more than happy to be photographed at different angles, as shown below.
So that’s my top 10 tips for shooting your summer vacation, I really hope you enjoyed reading. I hope it at least helped one person!! Thank you for visiting my blog! If you have any questions, you are more than welcome to email me, or if you have any comments to leave, please feel free!!
Do you have any tips you would like to add? Just comment below!! (You can see a few more shots in my previous post)