I am recently (okay, not that recently, but I’m trying to make it sound like I’m on top of this sort of thing) back from a gorgeous tropical vacation: lucky me! I’m sure many of you, like me, have wondered about the best way to capture the amazing family memories you’ve created when taking a break in another location. As I ponder putting our vacation memories into album form, in today’s post, I’m discussing the 3 distinct types of images I capture when travelling, and showing you how they complement each other to create pages and albums that help to re-create that sense of exploring a new place.
Taking the pictures
1. Capture details: make sure to take photos of the details that strike as you being the elements that help you to recognise that place. Think the skyline, the trees, the colours, the shop windows. Details doesn’t necessarily mean close-ups, either. It simply means including in your story some images that aren’t grand sweeping landscapes, and aren’t lovely smiling faces, but rather simple shots of the essence of where you are. I’ve included an obvious, but still gorgeous, example here: morning light streaming through beautiful palm trees. This evokes for me that warmth and feeling of stepping out into the tropical heat in the morning.
2. Capture landscapes: this one’s easy, and pretty self explanatory. Try to think of capturing an image that shows everything you can see when you’re standing in an amazing place. Don’t forget that shooting in the early morning or late afternoon/early evening will give you amazing light.
3. Capture yourselves in the environment: again, pretty self explanatory. One point to note though is that you can try to free yourself from the pressure to take the here-we-are-standing-in-front-of-this-thing photo. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for that photo, but you may find it liberating to try other approaches. Here’s a few techniques I try to help me branch out:
- when I have my detail and landscape shots, I know that I already have the context for my shots of my family, so I feel happy to simply take a good photo of them, without worrying about where they are at that moment or capturing what’s behind them. For example, the image below was taken alongside several others that show the beach and surroundings, so I was happy simple to capture this image in the early morning light, without much other context. To make this work, it helps to shoot in batches. So, take at least 4 or 5 images from each setting, including photos of you and your family as well as other types of photo.
- Think wide and way way back! I take lots of images like the one below that are essentially landscapes, only with our family in them!
- Take doing photos rather than posing photos. In the image below I probably could have stopped the subjects and got them to turn around and smile for the camera, but this kind of shot gives you a good documentary-style sense of people enjoying themselves: to borrow a real scrapbooker’s turn of phrase, it’s a moment captured!
Putting it together in a page
I find that balancing Details, Landscapes and People shots in my pages and albums works really well for my form of storytelling. That said, in the layout below, I have actually used two ‘people’ shots. However, as I used some of the techniques I outlined above, I think this page gives you a real sense of the landscape anyway. In an album, I would place this alongside either a grid page with lots of photos from this particular setting, or alongside a full page photo of the landscape. Full page images are so powerful and as scrapbookers we sometimes tend to overlook them because we’re so excited about designing a page around our amazing photos. Grids (think pocket page templates) are a great idea for vacation albums too if you’re planning to get one printed, as they’re a simple way to a) finish an album quickly or b) use the “other” photos that you didn’t get around to scrapbooking another way or couldn’t work out how to use.
So that’s it! I hope this gives you some food for thought as you plan a vacation or scan back through some family memories from a previous holiday!
Make sure you check out our August challenge series in the forum that’s full of ideas for exploration this month. If this has motivated you to scrap some of your travel memories, our Explore Through The Lens challenge starts August 28.
About the author: Kathryn Wilson shares her 1920s New Zealand home with her husband, her sweet baby boy, a wauzer, and a cavoodle. She is a photographer, and both a digital and hybrid pocket scrapbooker, who has lots of DIY projects she should probably be working on right now.