Guest Post: 10 Tips for Taking Emotional Photos When You Travel

Today's post is from my new friend Kelli Gardener of Groom And Style (photography by me). Enjoy!

Taking photos when you travel can be incredibly rewarding. However, even when you think you’ve captured the perfect moment, the impact can be lost when you review them. Many amateur photographers fall foul of this and end up discouraged. But worry not! Our top 10 tips for taking emotion-filled photos when you travel can help:  

Get in Close

Groom & Style have an excellent guide on how to make the most of your camera. One of their top tips is to get in close to your subject, filling the field of view. This tighter composition means that the most important and impactful aspects are at the center of your shot.

Take Candid Shots

Nothing captures emotion better than a well-timed candid shot. If your subject is unaware that they have a camera pointed at them, their reaction and expression will be far more natural.

There’s a bit of skill involved in capturing good candids, but they can be really effective at portraying the feelings you encounter when travelling.

Express Personality

You need to think about composition when you’re taking travel photographs. What exactly is it that you want your photos to portray? Ideally, you should be bringing out all the character and personality of your subject, even if it’s something inanimate.

When you show your photos off, you want people to be gripped by what they’re seeing. It’s up to you to frame the interesting aspects of your surroundings.

Take Your Time

The temptation can be to rush your shots when you’re on the move. This will often result in an underwhelming picture that doesn’t do the scene justice. Don’t be afraid to take your time.

Take some test shots to make sure your camera settings are correct, and then make adjustments as necessary. If you have a tripod, take the time to set it up, particularly if the lighting isn’t great.

Show Something Unique

If you’re visiting touristy spots, it’s likely that everyone will be taking pictures of the same few scenes. Although there’s nothing wrong with doing the same, capturing true emotion means looking for the lesser-seen.

Try to find something unique about the landmarks or tourist spots you visit; they can say a lot more about your trip than generic pictures.

Consider Your Lighting

Even if your eyes can see something interesting, your camera might not be able to. Think about the lighting of your piece when you’re taking photos. Avoid too much contrast and shooting into the sun.  

The right lighting can make for the perfect shot. 

Move Around

Even at the most popular tourist spots, there will be a lot to see. Make sure that you move around the scene and take in some different views and angles when you’re shooting, you might just capture something breathtaking and emotive.

Try Different Perspectives

If the terrain allows it, try getting above or below your subject. These different perspectives can help to capture the various emotions and moods of a scene, and again will often be less generic than other travelers’ shots.

Choose Your Lens

The right lens can go a long way toward capturing the essence of your subject, and you should choose accordingly. A 50mm lens can be perfect for taking portraits, while a 16mm or 28mm is the ideal choice for landscapes.

Rise Early

In order to capture a location at its most serene, you should try aiming for the dawn light. Most places will be quieter, meaning you can uncover the essence and personality of a location at its calmest.

FamilyEmily LapishComment