Hello, Summer! Let this be the year you plan ahead to create a fabulous travel photo book that documents all the great fun you’re about to have. You’ll surely have lots of posed photos of family and friends with arms around each other, plus plenty of sunset shots, but why not inject some planned pics that make your vacation or travel photo album just a little more creative than the Joneses?!
Whether your summer vacation is a camping trip, a beachside getaway or a city escape, we’ve gathered lots of creative ideas for photos that might take just a little advance planning, but NO work – we promise.
Low-Light Campfire Try taking some great low-light photos around the campfire. Practice turning your camera settings to a low shutter speed to let in lots of light. Plan in advance to bring a small tripod so that you can capture all the fireside s’more-making and ghost-story-telling.
Tent Shadows Create a series of really cool tent-shadow photos by bringing a small lantern to hang from the apex of your tent’s interior. All you need is that source of light to create funny shadows that appear on the tent’s exterior – anything from a sweet embrace to kids practicing their shadow puppets.
Campsite Snugglefest Capture a family snugglefest by playing around with angles. Get low to the ground to get a shot like this one where the crisp morning light shines on gorgeous blonde bedheads. Extra credit for ensconcing your subjects in fabulous tartan blankets!
Human Sleeping Bags Gather your fellow campers for a head-to-toe sleeping-bag-suit shot. There’s something inherently funny about capturing anyone upright in their quilted cocoons. Extra credit for a breathtaking backdrop – it acts as the perfect awe-inspiring foil to such silliness.
Shadow Faces Gather a group of people and have them draw a funny face in the sand, then have them interlock arms and stand above the sand faces so it appears that their shadows have faces.
Sandwriting Draw your family name and the year in the sand, then decorate the sand-drawing with shells and other beachside treasures. Have family gather around the year for a toes-in-sand aerial shot. Or take your photo at an angle so you capture kids playing in the background.
Beach Photo Frame Bring a pretty carved-wood frame to the beach – and azure blue one looks particularly beautiful, we think. Bury a corner in the sand, then play around with capturing your subjects beyond.
Headless kids Bury one willing subject in the sand, then have another one pose just above to create the illusion of a headless kid!
Jumping sunsets There’s something magical about being at the beach during an amazing sunset. Play around with your camera settings to capture the supersaturated color in the background of leaping silhouettes.
Ocean Love Form the word “LOVE” YMCA-style right in the waves for a shot that may very well end up being your Christmas Card this year – in addition to the cover of your summer album!
Subway Love Make a habit of taking pictures of you and your significant other or friends holding hands on the overhead grips on subways. It’s a meme you can reproduce in subways, undergrounds and metros all over the world!
Feet Outstretched Create a series of photos where you and your significant other have your feet outstretched in front of you. Whether you’re riding a roller coaster or a ski lift – or you’re just lounging at the beach, the series is ideal for creating a really cool cover to provide a snapshot of all the fun inside your photo album.
Excited Guide A little like Subway Love or Feet Outstretched, the “excited guide” theme can be fun to do in a series. Simply make a habit of capturing your fearless leader taking you somewhere cool, then bring all the shots together for a fun series.
Umbrella Kiss Ask a passerby to capture a shot of you and your loved-one kissing beneath an umbrella. It’s another theme that can be played out in cities all over the world. Think of how cool it would be if, at your 30th wedding anniversary, you had three decades worth of pictures like this in one awesome album!
Cute Feet on Manhole Covers Another adorable meme is to snap shots of your feet – or those of your children – atop manhole covers in every city you visit. The brighter the shoes the better!
Kids On Big Staircases The grandeur of city staircases juxtaposed with the diminutive nature of kids – is there anything more adorable? Whether they pose exhausted and bedraggled or buoyant and silly, it’s a photo series you can pull off in any city the world over.
Bright Doors, Little Kids The play of light on a beautiful hidden door in a back alley is a photograph waiting to happen. The only way to make it better? Get kids in on the action. See what they do when set against a vibrant burst of color in an otherwise gray alley. Do they play with the shadows? Do they squat on the stoop? Do they pose Vogue-style? Whatever they do, capture the series on film with stop-action style.
Landmark Loveys This one’s as sweet as it is simple. Does your child have a tattered stuffy that they’ve loved to pieces and carry everywhere? Take photos of said lovey in famous places – perched atop the Liberty Bell or slumped in front of the Eiffel Tower. A little like Flat Stanley, only way cuter.
Happy Mixbooking! Happy fun playing with pictures!