What Not to Do When Taking Photographs While Traveling

by Michael Schacht

For your next travel vacation, you and your friends have finally decided on one of the most breathtaking places on earth – Maldives! You’re getting excited to see all the beaches, the local scenery, and experience the food there. It’s your first time to go to Maldives, and as much as possible, you want to cherish the moments (even when you’re back home) by capturing them all in pictures. You want souvenirs from your trip while making sure that your friends online know how much fun you’d had there – and what better way to do of both of these than through pictures, right?

It’s no question that taking pictures when traveling is a requirement. There are instances when you only get to visit a destination once in your life, so you’ll want something to remember your trip. You probably already know what to do when you get there (take pictures, obviously!) but do you know what not do when taking pictures during your travel? Read on to know more:

Don’t buy a big camera for the sake of it

Sure, not everyone can have the chance to go to that amazing travel destination, and people will understand why you’re always taking snaps of everything you see there. But do not forget that you’re also traveling, not just collecting pictures. If you already have a smartphone which takes good photos, good for you. You don’t have to purchase anything anymore because you’re set for your trip. If you’re leaning towards buying a new DSLR camera just for the sake of the trip, don’t bother. You might end up buying a bulky, expensive camera which will either get wet from the beach or strain your neck because of its weight. You can opt for a more portable, lightweight and waterproof camera instead–everybody loves to see an underwater shot once in awhile! This will give you mobility, allowing you take pictures anywhere without worrying about your camera.

Don’t forget to photograph popular attractions

It may sound like a bore because you’re probably tired of getting into large crowds, but don’t forget to take pictures of famous attractions. These are the places you want to remember and scenery you may never see again. There will be some locations which are full of people so don’t be scared to rub elbows with them. Although you’ll be at the same place as everyone else, don’t forget to be unique in the shots, and do not copy what you usually see on the internet or how people generally pose around these locations.

Don’t go overboard with your flash

If you’re fond of taking pictures with the locals, always be considerate with your flash. You don’t want camera flashes blasting all over your face so why would you do it to others? Yep, the golden rule applies here. When taking pictures with other people, ask permission from them first and always make sure that the flash is appropriately set. Treating them right during the shot can even gain you friends–and that’s something to talk about when you travel back home. If you’re planning to take pictures of the local scenery at night, especially in food markets or evening pubs, be discreet about your flash. You want to have fun while you’re on vacation so be considerate of other people around you that are doing just that.

Don’t be scared to take A LOT of photos

If your next travel vacation is your dream vacation, don’t be afraid to take a lot of photos. Go ahead and take pictures of the locals, the tourist attractions, the food and the culture that they have (and you can also add a few selfies every once in awhile). Since your camera or smartphone is no longer working on film, take all the time you need to take pictures in different angles or during different times of the day. You want to have a lot of pictures, while making sure that you take the best shots. You’ll never regret having too many pictures because you’ll want to look back on all the good memories you had here.

Don’t disregard small details

When traveling, do not forget to take photos of even the smallest details. You can take photos of how a vendor cooks the local dishes, or how intricate the prints are in their dining area. Details like these matter in capturing not only the scenery but also the “experience” as a tourist. You want to remember everything on the trip, and the smallest details will help you.

Don’t forget to have fun

The reason why you’ve planned this trip is probably to unwind, have fun or have a change of scenery. While you’re on the trip, don’t forget to do all of that. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! While you’re thinking that taking photos will be a beautiful remembrance, don’t be so wrapped up in the process. Be sure to take the time to explore and look around. Don’t compromise your time being there only to take pictures. Sure, it’s a priority but it’s not your only priority. Remember to bathe in the moment and bask in the experience.

In conclusion

Taking pictures during vacations is no longer a luxury, but a necessity–just ask people like the best Chicago portrait photographer–the photos from your travels will provide many benefits for years to come. However, there will be things to help you take good photos while traveling, and also some to avoid. Ultimately, you want to create a balance of taking good pictures without compromising your travel.

About the Author

Michael SchachtMichael Schacht is a portrait photographer and photography educator based in Chicago Illinois. As owner/operator of 312 Elements Headshot Photography located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, Michael oversees the day to day operations and has had the opportunity to photograph thousands of corporate professionals over the last decade. Through his direction, attention to detail, and people skills, he’s helped these clients to craft a narrative around their personal brand. It’s his belief that the headshot is the modern dad business card and that a better headshot is essential for a better career.   Michael, his wife Meghan and his two daughters reside in Tinley Park Illinois where he is a community leader and active participant in the local business sector. Michael studied business at Ball State university and photography with world renowned headshot photographer, Peter Hurley. It was Hurley that trained Michael in the art of human expression. Michael is now a Headshot Crew certified Mentor and active member of the Headshot Crew community where he was named one of the top 20 headshot photographers in the world.

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