How to Take the Perfect Holiday Snap
When there are so many beautiful photos online it can be very tempting to think that everyone else has a whole photography team working with them to create these beautiful profiles. It might surprise you that with just a few simple tips and tricks it is so easy to fill your photo albums with beautiful travel photography. Here are my top tips on how to take the perfect holiday snap.
Prep is so important
The easiest way to make sure you have a perfect holiday snap is to make sure you take the right equipment for the right occasion! There are so many different types of camera that you can use while you travel. Some keep it simple and use their mobile but others take a DSLR and a lot of kit to capture the perfect shot. In this post, I will try and cover the key tips no matter what gear you are using.
- Make sure you have lots of storage space for your photos on your phone. Clear out all your old content so you can keep shooting without running out of space.
- Carry a portable charger so you don’t get caught out. There is nothing worse than missing out on the perfect shot because your phone died 10 minutes earlier.
- Have you phone on the right setting. If you’re inside think about using flash or if you want to post directly into Instagram have that in mind before you start.
For a DSLR you need to be willing to carry the different lenses to shoot different subjects. Make sure that you have the right lens on the camera for the photo you want to take. You don’t want to miss that special moment!
- For portraits you will want to use a prime lens. 50mm lens is my preference for these shots.
- For landscapes you will need a wide angle lens. A 24-105mm lens will give you a nice range.
- Wildlife photography is an art form that takes skill and plenty of patience. What I would always recommend is buying or renting a specific lens if you are planning a trip focusing on wildlife. The better the range, the more chance you have of getting sharp, movement free images. I would personally recommend a 200-500mm lens for taking wildlife photos whilst on safari.
Finally, always check your settings! If you want to photograph wildlife or sporting action make sure you are on a fast shutter speed and have the camera on burst mode. This will help you take that perfect shot. Obviously the rules are there for a reason. They help you take nice photos. But once you know the rules try breaking them to figure out your own sense of style.
Do your research on your destination
If you want the perfect holiday snap then doing your research is absolutely vital. To reach your goal, you need to know the right location, the right time and the right angle. Here’s how you can start planning ahead.
When it comes to picking the right location it is always best if you are able to visit the location in advance. But with travel photography that’s not always possible. When you get to your location think about where the best vantage points are. You want to be able to get your shot without the crowds or an ugly crane in the background.
Picking the right time is also really important as getting the right light is vital when taking photos. Sometimes it is worth waking up early to catch the morning light even if it does mean a couple less hours in bed. Sunset and sunrise give you an opportunity to make you photo stand out and you might make it to the viewpoint before the crowds!
Finally think about getting the right angle. This can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Sometimes just shooting from the hip, kneeling down or walking closer to the subject can really help give you an advantage and make your photo stand out.
What is the end goal? Instagram? Photo Album?
Why are you taking this photograph? I know it seems like a silly question but it can help you answer some of the questions we have already discussed. It can help you take the perfect holiday snap if you think about where you want to have these pictures in the long term. For example, when I am shooting for the blog I make sure to take plenty of landscapes of every restaurant and viewpoint that we visit.
If you are shooting for Instagram you should change the format of the camera to square to make sure you are getting everything you want into the frame. There is nothing worse than coming to Instagram and realising it crops out the best bits of your photo.
If you want to make a photo album, sometimes I try to take a series of images that will work as a tryptic (a series of three photos). This will help to make the page more interesting and tell a story.
We also take loads of selfies because we want to have lovely memories of our holiday. You really don’t have to think about these but if I know it’s for my feed or the blog I make sure I take the time to remove any obstructions from the frame.
If you are new to photography or you want to go from newbie to pro then check out our guide on camera settings for a more in-depth run through of how to use your camera for different occasions and what the settings really mean.