Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Photographing a Vacation Without Annoying Your Family

Thanks Yen! I will keep this in mind next time as I love to photograph my family.

1.This is hard to deal with, so get ready because the first step is to leave your laptop, card readers and non-vacation paraphernalia at home. Take your cameras, cell phone and lots of film or memory cards, but leave the computer at home. Nothing is more irritating to family members than to watch you sort and edit your images during downtime. You are supposed to be relaxing, so leave the editing for when you get home. You will have a better vacation and so will they.

2. By all means, take pictures of the family. This is my wife and daughter years ago in Paris, a very important image for me. Know when to stop, however. One happy photo like this is worth a thousand forced smiles in front of monuments. The next vital rule you need to break is to NOT take your camera everywhere. You are not covering your vacation for “Newsweek” and you don’t need to lug your camera to every dinner and night out. I know we all learn to carry our cameras at all times, but for the sake of your family, leave it behind sometimes.

3. Plan your photography junkets. My wife likes to sleep longer than I do and early morning light IS the best. Plan to get up early and get to your photo target. Plan your target location the night before, so you can be efficient. Shoot until you are satisfied and bring some coffee and croissants back to the hotel room for you to enjoy as your spouse awakes. You get pictures of some local color and nobody gets hurt.

4. Make sure you get some images the family will like when you are out on your junkets. This will make them like your photography more when you make them look at the pictures. Take photographs that “describe” your location. This was taken at the famous Kukenhoff Gardens in Amsterdam. How could you go to Holland and not take pictures of tulips? If you are in the Midwest, photograph the cornfields; in Colorado take pictures of the mountains. Take pictures that will help you recall the fun you had on your vacation

5. Take the postcard pictures. Every location has some key sites that you must take just to remind yourself that you were there. In Paris it is the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame. In New York it is the city skyline. In this picture is Place de Armes in Montreal. These key sites will help you remember your trip, and if you go a lot of places you will have your own “postcard” pictures from around the world. It’s your vacation, so enjoy it. They are your memories, so record them carefully. Most of all, they are your family–so be kind and considerate.