7 Vacation Shooting Tips for Better Photo Books

7 Vacation Shooting Tips for Better Photo Books

How many times have you been overwhelmed by the number of pictures you took while traveling? Most of the time we take pictures without planning ahead for how we’re going to use them. Countless memorable vacations are taken and photography keepsake books are never made. Here are some things to keep in mind while shooting on the road. These tricks will help you narrow down your best images so that you can create a compelling and cherished photo book.

1) Think in Scene Pairs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are only a few eye-catching ways to display photos in albums and related pairs is among one of the strongest tactics.

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Shoot the same action, person, landmark, or event in a series of pairs – near/far, back/front, detail/scene.

2) Go Wide Angle

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Usually we think of books as having 1 photo on each page. Go for a spread across 2 pages. It is impactful and breaks up monotony.

3) No Captions Needed – Explain Your Experience Visually

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShow a process with a sequence of images that better define what is happening rather than relying on written explanations. Just 1 picture of an event might not be enough to explain what is happening – show detail in addition to context.

4) Create Your Own Traditions

Travel_Printing_BL_Alex_Huff-7A series of images framed the same way in different environments look great in print. Take them all on one trip or make it a tradition that lasts through years of traveling.

5) Orient Yourself and Your Viewer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou won’t remember as much as you think you will. Take pictures of maps, billboards, and other important information and include them in your books.

6) Mind Your History

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Dress up boring landmark shots by pairing them in print with old shots of the same spot – even better if your relatives walked the same paths.

7) Think in Collages

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Taking pictures of your food, the front of your hotel, or the room you are renting is boring but when composed with a collage in mind suddenly similar colors, interesting patterns/shapes, and leading lines guide you to transform mundane shots into beautiful keepsakes.

Want more travel photography tips? Check out these posts:

• Why the Sony RX100 III Point & Shoot is a Vacation Must-Have
• Serene Travel Photography with the Canon EOS-M
• 10 Carry On Friendly Photo and Video Accessories for Holiday Plane Travel
• Small Cameras with Big Impact: Traveling Light without Compromising Quality
• Adobe Lightroom Tips for Beginners: Merging a Travel Catalog with your Main Catalog

Not sure what to rent for your next trip? Here are some photo favorites:

Canon PowerShot D20: Waterproof up to 33′, this point-and-shoot is easy to use and can capture those underwater critters in 12.1 megapixels on a wide-angle lens.

Sony Alpha a7R Mirrorless Digital Camera: Sony has made a splash with this full frame, high megapixel mirrorless body. Get image quality that rivals the Nikon D800 in a body half the size.

GoPro HERO3+: The GoPro is well known for its practicality when shooting hard-to-capture events and places but now you can shoot stealthily in 4K.

Street Photography Package: Embrace your inner Cartier-Bresson and hit the road with a Leica M9, 34mm lens, and spare battery.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 Full Frame Compact Digital Camera: Full frame without the back pain, this compact fixed-lens gem delivers incredible image quality and is easy to operate.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens for Canon and Nikon DSLR Cameras: The new Art Series lenses from Sigma are designed specifically for capturing higher contrast images with greater color fidelity for fine art and casual shooters alike – perfect for eventual printing.

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Alexandria Huff's photography and lighting tutorials can be found on 500px and her blog. She is a Marketing Coordinator for BorrowLenses.com and also writes for SmugMug. She learned about lighting and teaching while modeling for photographers such as Joe McNally and has since gone on to teach lighting workshops of her own in San Francisco. See her chiaroscuro-style painterly portraits on her website.

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