Ah, summer. It's that time of year when most travel plans are made and many of us hit the open road, catch a flight to a tropical destination, or cruise around our own towns to create staycation adventures. Whether you are traveling near or far, you will want to remember the places you've been and the people you were with. Here are five tips to capture these elements, photographically speaking: 1. Get the typical shot, then do something different. Capture the places you travel to by focusing on smaller, unique angles or details. Sure, you will want to snap a shot of the span of the Golden Gate Bridge if traveling to San Francisco this summer. After you do this, take a walk underneath the bridge at Fort Point and take a detail shot of the steel beams or the waves crashing against the wall.
2. If you see a crowd, go in the opposite direction. I still remember visiting the Grand Canyon on several occasions when I lived in Arizona. There were always large groups of people congregating in one area all trying to capture the same photo of the big hole in the ground. Find a less populated spot and change your viewpoint for a less crowded location...and a more unique capture.
3. Hand the kids the camera. You will be amazed at the things your kids will notice and capture when you hand them the camera. It also gives them a sense of pride in being able to help document the places you go. 4. Don't fall victim to the Evidence Shot. You know the shots I'm talking about. It's a beautiful sunset on the beach and you want everyone to know you were at this scenic spot. Unfortunately, the shot is taken so far back to incorporate so much of the scene that you/your subjects are the size of your pinky finger. While this type of shot proves you were there (hence the name, Evidence Shot), why not take a more compelling photo - or two? The first one can be the gorgeous scenery and the second one can be a more close up shot of your subjects with the backdrop still in the frame but acting as a secondary element.
In the photo below, I get lost underneath a large hotel sign (the Evidence Shot!), while my preferred way to remember this awesome hotel was by the bright colors and decor. 5. Get the photos off your phone/camera/computer and P R I N T them! I am as guilty as you. I have thousands of personal photos sitting on hard drives. They quietly sit there, waiting to be printed into gorgeous prints for my walls, or into keepsake albums we can flip through over the years and remember these special trips and adventures. The problem is that I haven't developed a good system (yet!) for staying on top of my personal photos. When you have a detailed system of how to handle your photo collections, it is way less daunting to sort your images into ones you want to do something with and ones that can remain living on hard drives.
The process you use can vary, but in general you want a system that allows you to sort and cull your images down, then separate out the ones you want to do something with. You can start with categories such as SMALL PRINTS, LARGE PRINTS, ALBUMS, PRINTS FOR FAMILY, and so on. One word about albums: if you keep your album design simple (no fancy fonts, random colored pages or other bells and whistles), they will have a more timeless look...not to mention they will take you less time to create!