August is here and for many that means the annual getaway has begun.
Thousands of people will sail, fly or drive away in search of sun, sea and sand or culture, countryside and cocktails and you can be sure that there will be plenty of holiday snaps to show when they return.
But while wonky selfies and those endless ‘legs on the sun lounger’ shots are fine for social media, how can you capture great photos that will really tell the story of your break?
As with most things, it’s important to be prepared. Check the batteries, bring spare batteries, check the memory card. Make sure you know how your camera works. And it really is worth bringing your proper camera rather than relying on your phone to take quick shots.
Consider what you want the images for. Are you planning to put together a scrapbook? Do you want to produce a collage of holiday images for your wall? Or do you want some happy family shots that you can frame and give as gifts?
Once you’ve decided, let this guide what you photograph. For a scrapbook, little details count so record the hotel room, the pool – anything that will help set the scene for your holiday. For a collage, think big – stunning scenery, instantly recognisable location shots and happy action photos work best. And if you want images of your family in a different location, then think about the positioning of the people for best effect.
Usually, when you are taking a portrait of someone, you want to try to fill the frame with their image, ie leave as little background as possible. But for a holiday shot, the location is key so it’s important to include that in the image. But how can you do that without ending up with a tiny dot of a person next to whatever landmark you have chosen?
First of all, position the shot so the landmark is to one side. Then you can place the person to the other side. Bring the person forward, nearer the camera and further away from the background object in order to fit it all in.
If you’re photographing a group of people, a triangle is a much more interesting shape to have them in than a line. This doesn’t mean they all need to adopt yoga poses, but rather that they should be positioned to form a triangle of some sort. You can do this by bringing some of the people forward, by changing the height of people using chairs or stairs or by arranging them in a triangle formation then using height to your advantage to take the shot from above.
Posed photos are useful to record who was there, but often the best images are the spontaneous ones that capture a moment in time – children playing in the pool, a walk in the woods or an early morning by the campfire. Don’t be afraid to shoot first and ask questions later – or in other words, press the button and see what you end up with!
You don’t need to travel halfway round the world to take great photos this summer – there is plenty going on in and around Herne Bay and plenty of beauty spots that are worth exploring. Have a look at our post on locations for inspiration, and feel free to share the results!