10 Ways to Get Creative with Your Vacation Photos
Summer has come to an end and that means a lot of families are taking their annual fall break vacations or holiday vacations for the winter. We do one family trip in the spring and every summer we go to Ocean City, NJ. This year was an exception and we took the girls to Iceland and Paris in July instead. It was very crowded (think 1+ hour wait even with ‘fast track’ tickets) and made me remember the reason why we don’t travel in July (all those people!) but we did have a lovely time.
I wanted to do something a bit different on this trip in terms of photos – I wanted to create images that captured stories, images that felt natural and fresh – even more so than images I usually create; I wanted to produce photos that were attention grabbing and different.
I decided not to use my old trusted Canon (I LOVE that camera but it is so heavy to be lugging around all over the place) and instead brought my new favorite – Fujifilm Xt-2. I brought 3 lenses with me but ended up using the kit lens (18-55) most of the time. This in itself made me think a bit more creatively because usually I travel with at least two lenses and I was limited by what this lens allowed me to do.
So how do you stay ‘fresh’ on vacation and make images that are still ‘you’ and capture your family, but that are different and creative? I looked through the images I took and put together a list – my Top Ten Tips on How to Produce Creative Images on Vacation. I illustrated it with pictures from our trip – because who would not want to see pictures of my adorable kids, right?
Without further ado, I present to you (in no particular order) my Top Ten Tops for Staying Creative While on Vacation!
Tip 1: Do a Shutter Drag
Shutter drag is always fun to do! It might be a bit challenging doing it on vacation without a tripod but can definitely be managed – you either need to find a surface to hold your camera or take a deep breath and hold very very still. You also need to instruct your subjects to hold as still as they can. We were at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris (it is one of my top 3 favorite museums in the world – that’s why you will see a few more images from this museum here) and I wanted to capture the chaos and craziness of what it felt like being there at the height of tourist season in July. I asked my girls to ‘freeze’, closed down my aperture, set shutter speed to 1/2 of a second, steadied myself, took a deep breath (I’ve read that taking a deep breath before pressing your shutter helps to hold the camera steady) and took this image.
Tip 2: Shoot from Unusual Angles
Instead of taking pictures straight on or from above, try shooting from below. Here I got down on the ground (the white pants I was wearing that day were not happy about that!) and took a picture of my girls being ‘a bit’ excited about going to the Eiffel Tower – with the tower in the background.
Tip 3: Shoot Through Stuff
I’ve always loved photographing through things – it is super easy to do, frames your subject nicely (and I LOVE framing my subjects) and makes your images more interesting. Try it!
Tip 4: Use Reflections
Can I say how much I love reflections? I think they always make images a tiny bit more interesting. Look for reflections wherever you are – be it a reflection in a mirror, window or a puddle! We were waiting in a cafe for the rain to pass and the girls were standing by a glass door. I asked one of my girls to stick her head out … she did and I captured this image. I love her expression, being able to see both of them in a reflection, and at the same time seeing busy waiters inside – I think it captures Paris cafe culture pretty well.
Tip 5: Use Leading Lines
Using leading lines is not terribly creative or inventive but you should try to look for leading lines in a new way. Here we were going up a spiral staircase to the top of Arch de Triumph; I waited till the staircase was relatively empty and asked one of my girls to peek at me from the top.
Tip 6: Look for Light
Always always always be on the lookout for beautiful light. We were heading out of Sacré-Cœur, after a long day of sightseeing, and I put my camera down. Just then my husband turned around and pointed out this amazing stream of light coming through the window. No matter how tired I was I could not go past it without taking a picture so I asked one of my girls to try to ‘catch’ that beam of light.
Tip 7: Shoot Through Glass
Shooting through glass can provide very interesting images. We were looking at the statue of ‘Small Dancer Aged 14’ at the Musée d’Orsay; this statue is enclosed in a glass case and I asked my girls to go on the side of the case opposite of me. I thought that seeing them through the glass with the statue in the foreground would create an interesting image.
Tip 8: Play Around with Framing
I love to frame my subjects in unusual ways. In this image, one of my girls was reading to my husband a few interesting facts about Paris, and my other girl (aka “Little Monkey”) was running around. I thought it would be fun to have her ‘frame’ them and the result of that is this image. Then again – I like any types of ‘frames’ and doorways always work very well!
Tip 9: Create Silhouettes
Do you know that you can create beautiful silhouette any time of the day – not just at sunrise and sunset? We were inside the Musée d’Orsay (in case you are wondering – we did other stuff than spend all our time at this museum) looking at Paris through this giant clock, and I asked my girls to stand by the clock. I thought it would be interesting to ‘frame’ the city by the clock and create silhouette of my girls against the background of the city.
Tip 10: Let Go of Perfection
Sometimes you need to let go of perfection to be able to capture a perfect moment. This image is not technically perfect – the top of the horse is cut off and the other one is peaking through behind my daughter’s head. For me, it is imperfectly perfect because it captures this amazing moment of my daughter interacting with an Icelandic horse – messy hair and all!
napcp contributor meet Lena Antaramian
About the Contributor: Lena Antaramian is an award-winning photographer located in Bergen County, New Jersey. She specializes in children and family portraiture and excels at capturing quiet moments, tender connections, toothy grins, belly laughs and all in between!
Your 2018 BNECP FinalistsOur judges spent time getting to know each and every one of the 20 semifinalists and have chosen the top six photographers for NAPCP’s 2018 Best New Emerging Child Photographer! Your 2018 Best New Emerging Child Photographer finalists are here and we couldn’t be more excited to share these awesome artists with you all! From […]
June 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Lena Antaramian!This month’s issue of Inspired features Lena Antaramian of Live Love Laugh Photos! Click here to read Lena’s exclusive interview, see all of the Semifinalists in the Best New Emerging Child Photographer Contest, and see which photos we have featured this month from our June hashtag on Instagram. Print your copy of Inspired straight from […]
BNECP Semifinalists!We are so excited to present to you our 2018 Best New Emerging Child Photographer semifinalists! NAPCP is looking for our industry’s most awesome up-and-coming artists. Thank you for helping the photographers below make it to the next round of our contest. These child and family photographers will now be judged by our esteemed panel […]
Free Printable – Summer Rules!School is out (or almost out) for summer! Are your children officially on summer break or do you have a few days left? As excited as the NAPCP team members are to have a more relaxed schedule and maybe even sleep in, summer can be a bit intimidating, too. We all do a little better […]
We are so delighted that you are here. The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is an association whose mission is to promote and support the artistry and integrity of professional child photographers. To accomplish this mission, NAPCP provides the most comprehensive resources for its members, bringing together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their skills, their artistry, and their businesses.
NAPCP.com (formally pronounced "NAP-C-P") is a place where professional child photographers can come and connect, learn, teach, aspire and grow. It is also a valuable resource for parents who are looking for a professional child photographer in their area, and want to be inspired and educated about our specialized industry.
June 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Lena Antaramian!
This month’s issue of Inspired features Lena Antaramian of Live Love Laugh Photos! Click here to read Lena’s exclusive interview, see all of the Semifinalists in the Best New Emerging Child Photographer Contest, and see which photos we have featured this month from our June hashtag on Instagram. Print your copy of Inspired straight from […]
May 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Marena Rudy!
This month’s issue of Inspired features Marena Rudy of Marena Beck Photography! Click here to read Marena’s exclusive interview, learn all about our upcoming contests and events, and see which photos we have featured this month from our May hashtag on Instagram. Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with […]
April 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring 2017 NAPCP Ambassadors!
This month’s issue of Inspired features NAPCP’s 2017 Ambassadors! Click here to read their interviews, find out who’s who for 2018, craft positively perfect paper flowers for Mother’s Day, and see which photos we have featured this month from #napcp on Instagram. Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with […]
March 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Tina Krafts!
This month’s issue of Inspired features Tina Krafts of Tina Krafts Photography! Click here to read Tina’s exclusive interview, find out how you can get all the materials from the Summit in the NAPCP Store and see which photos we have featured this month from our March hashtag on Instagram. Print your copy of Inspired […]
The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com