5 Tips for Photographing Your Vacation

Over the past few years I’ve spent quite a lot of time photographing the Context cities, whether it be for the images you find on our website or for personal pleasure. Fantastic images can be one of the greatest souvenirs you can give yourself, especially with how easy it can be to create photo books of your digital images. In the spirit of sharing some advice on how to capture your vacation memories, here are some lists of tips and resources for inspiration.

Tips for Photographing Your Vacation



Do you have any travel images that exemplify these rules? Or, do you have rules of your own? Write your rules in the comments section and send along your images with the rule they exemplify to jessica@contexttravel.com and we’ll create a slideshow in the post of the best photographs.

1. Get low and use your angles. Some of the best shots come when you actually crouch down and get lower than your sight line. Experiment with interesting angles and positions and you’ll be surprised what can emerge.

Baptistry - Florence
Baptistry – Florence
2. Light. Nothing is more important in taking your images from B-level to A-level. Early morning or dusk are the best for getting the sort of golden light that photographers crave, but of course that’s not always possible when you are out in the city all day. During the mid-day sun look for areas of light and shade to give contrast to your images.

View from the Highline
Highline – NYC
3. No flash. As we all know, flash is not allowed in most museums for the very reason that it damages the artwork, but in general, I try to steer clear of using flash. Setting your camera to a high film speed, using a low f-stop, and low shutter speed (plus a steady hand or tripod), are all tricks that can be used to get great shots without the washed out look that a standard flash can often give. When indoors note sources of ambient and natural light and use them to help light your photos.

Tate Modern - London
Tate Modern – London
4. Street photography. It can often be easy to get caught up in photographing friends and family, as well as artworks and architecture, but candid shots can often provide memories of that intangible “feel” that each city has. Whether it be street performer, market vendors, or the barista at the corner bar, getting these sort of images will round out your vacation memories. (Of course, it’s a good idea to be polite and ask permission to photograph people, you’d be surprised at the nice conversations it can often lead to).

Street Market – Paris
5. Shoot a lot and shoot often. Any professional photographer will tell you that you need to shoot a lot to get a great image. Now, this doesn’t mean to click aimlessly, but most cameras have a continuous shooting setting that will allow you to take multiple photos with the click of one button. This is especially useful when taking action shots or candid images. I use this technique to shoot three images in a row with typically one of the three coming out as the perfect image. Note that this is also why extra memory cards are essential.

Architecture of New York
Docent – NYC