Vacations are where we turn moments into memories: breathtaking natural vistas, historical architecture and the carefully packed outfits for one’s arrival on the scene. It can be disheartening, however, when photographs from your trip don’t reflect the quality of your memories. Use these tips to create mementos that will last happily splashed against your walls at home.
Aim for golden hours
Harsh overhead lighting from the midday sun can result in squinting eyes, greasy foreheads and harsh shadows. The best hours of the day for photography are around sunrise and sunset. During these so-called “golden hours,” the sun’s sidelong glance helps to create warm, romantic and universally flattering conditions for photography. If there is a particularly photo-worthy site on the agenda, it may be worth scheduling around these hours to make the most of it.
Interact with your surroundings
Place yourself thoroughly within the context of your revelry by interacting with your surroundings. Peek out from a shadow or palace yourself in a sunbeam. Lean against a column or reach out towards a tree branch. This technique brings photos to life and helps capture tactile memories in print as opposed to the standard standing shot.
To avoid having an album full of the same repeated standing group shots or the typical faces-seated-around-a-table shot, add movement and interaction to your composition. Subjects like a piggyback ride, a bottle of wine passed hand to hand or a whisper into someone’s ear capture more of the emotion of a moment and help bring the story of a vacationer’s journey to life.
Simplify the subject
While it is natural to want to capture the coastline and the palm trees and the fruit vendors and the classic cars all at once, too many subjects competing for attention can turn photos into a muddled mess. Instead, capturing these things individually with intention can alleviate this tension. Zooming in close to savor a small detail can also achieve this effect, whether it be ornate iron works, a flower of local flora or a particularly cheeky gargoyle.
Practice at home
If you’re not comfortable in front of a camera in your day to day life, there is nothing about being on vacation that will cause that to magically change. Figuring out which poses, angles and expressions are best for you can help you fill the frame with a figure you love. Photographer and Tiktok icon David Suh offers handy tips for masculine poses, as they can be more limited in range than feminine ones.
This story was originally published July 21, 2022 6:00 AM.