It’s easy to go out on an otherwise well-planned vacation, take lots of photos, then come home… only to realize that every picture you took was that same old snapshot. I’ve done this. You’ve done this. We’ve all done this. When I travel now, I send myself on my trip with a few specific “themes” in mind. They are not complex, and ideally they fit with the place I am visiting, but when we get home my photos tend to have a couple more threads of intentionality running through them, tying them together into a cohesive collection. If that’s what you’re looking for, here are a five ideas to get you started from yet another “week of lists” list…
1 = Spy Something Architectural
The other day on Google+ someone was passing around a little photo-collage of interesting doors. Myself, I’ve snapped many collections of windows, bridges, or even interesting trash cans. Every place has a character and a style. Pick something architectural that stands out and take lots of photos of that.
2 = Play With Perspective
Get down low. Climb up high. Make it your mission to take a couple photos every day from a perspective that isn’t so… pedestrian. Getting on the ground and shooting the feet of milling crowds, snapping pics of a square from a high window, or pointing your view up into the air all add an unfamiliar interest to your photos.
3 = Interact with the Wildlife
No matter where you go there is going to be some nature. Even in big cities, you can find insects, birds, and pets. Include these fellows in your shots and tell the story of your vacation from their view: a fly perched on a park bench with a city-scape in the background is just really interesting to me, for example.
4 = Approach the Peoples
I’m a world-class introvert, but were I not I always kind of wish I had the tenacity to step up and ask people if I could snap their photos. Local folks are more than just scenery and can add a ton of flavour to your photos.
5 = Macro the Mundane
The world of close up photography is interesting in itself, but toss in the added uniqueness factor of being abroad and you have a great theme to spice up your vacation photos. Subjects that might seem mundane in a snapshot tend to pop when given the macro treatment, and with proper framing and composition for local context make awesome vacation photos.