Travelling is an exciting experience, even months after when you’re home skimming through your travel’s photo album. But your photo collection will look boring if you only took run-in-the-mill touristy photos that look like postcards you can easily get at airports and bookstores.
Here are some things you should avoid as a photographer when travelling so you can end up with an exciting photo collection of your trip to view for years to come:
1. Not having enough information.
This can be a fatal mistake. When you’re about to travel, especially when travelling abroad, you should always fill yourself up with useful information about your destination. Say where you’re going has beautiful natural landscapes; without proper research, you may end up leaving your wide lens that would otherwise be essential to your trip.
2. Excessive cameras and accessories.
Carrying a different array of lenses with your camera, such as a wide, telephoto, fisheye, or even tilt-shift lenses may make you feel secure in the fact that you’ll have the necessary lens for any type of condition you might face. But actually, carrying heavy artillery in your travels will bog you down and make you enjoy your travel experience less. Besides, these lenses aren’t cheap and by carrying them all, you’ll be vulnerable to theft because you’ll stick out with your oversized bag.
3. Photographing mundane things.
When travelling, minimize your taking of photographs that doesn’t depict the distinct environment you’re in. Say you’re travelling to Indonesia’s Bali Island; don’t busy yourself with photographing your cup of coffee, a pot of flowers, sand in the beach, or your hotel room. Focus your photography on depicting distinct elements of your surroundings, such as iconic buildings, traditional markets, traditional clothing, or the local architecture of the area.
4. Not creating a photo series.
There’s nothing wrong with taking single photographs of places you go, but wouldn’t your photos be more meaningful if there’s a series to tell a more complete story? For example, if you’re in a traditional market, start by taking a photo of the atmosphere, then a portrait of the seller, another of the goods sold there, and one of the people conducting transactions. Those photos will make up a series that tells a colorful tale to their viewers.
5. Not having some locals in your photographs.
Take yourself away from tourist traps to get photos of the feel of the locals, not just photos of you with other tourists. Take photos of farmers tending their fields, people in the local traditional clothing, and children running about.
6. Stiff family photos.
“Everyone get close together, smile, and say cheese!” and you’ll get a run-in-the-mill stiff family photo, standing stiff in front of a tourist object wearing stiff smiles. Try instead taking more lively family photos. Try photographing your family in action, like your children playing with the locals, your spouse shopping at a local shop and interacting with the shopkeepers. The story of your travels will become a well-kept memory and you’ll be able to more easily recollect the exact feelings you felt during those frames.
7. Fast food joints.
So you’ve travelled halfway across to world to end up in another fast food joints that’s available around your own neighborhood back home? Rethink your culinary choices while you’re travelling. Try all the new gastronomy experiences your destination has to offer and practice your food photography. Always try to request a table near a window, turn off your camera’s flash, and take photos of your exotic meal with the natural lighting provided. And of course, don’t forget to savor every bit after!
8. Taking photographs that look like postcard photos.
Experiment with your objects and angles so your photos don’t look like postcard photos you can buy for a dollar at a gift shop.