6 Unique Photo Ideas to Use When You're On Vacation

6 Unique Photo Ideas to Use When You're On Vacation

Whether you are vacationing on holiday or just taking a  break from the grind, you don't have to be a professional travel photographer to get amazing shots. With a few tips and a dash of inspiration, you can capture memory-book-worthy shots that you'll love forever.

6 Unique Photo Ideas to Use When You're On Vacation

Whether you have a full-fledged digital SLR camera or you're snapping shots with your phone, these six unique photo ideas will help you create an amazingly memorable travel photo book.

1. Get a fresh perspective.

You don't have to align the horizon with the lines on your camera screen's grid every time. In fact, switching things up to share a new perspective. If you're visiting the city, for example, get some shots looking up from the base of a skyscraper or looking down at city streets. No big buildings? No problem - get higher than standard eye-level and get photos of your friends and family from above.

Pro tip: Use the camera's grid to put the subject of your photo in one-third of the frame, and don't put somebody's head in the bottom corner. Learn the Rule of Thirds and apply it!


2. Embrace the environment.

Start a snowball fight, toss piles of leaves - whatever it takes to immerse your photos' subjects in the environment. Action shots make some of the best photos.

Pro tip: If your camera or phone has a burst setting, you'll be able to sort through and pick out the best ones when it's time to put together a photo memory book.

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3. Search for creative landscapes.

Get great shots of landscapes and cityscapes like you normally would, but look for a fresh twist on an old favorite by snapping a photo of the reflection in your sunglasses or holding out a map in front of the camera with buildings or natural landscapes in the background.

Pro tip: Take photos of landmarks with your travel companions in them. They can be silly shots, like someone "holding up" the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or they can be serious shots of the people you care about staring in awe at the Eiffel Tower. Either way, having people in your landscapes and photos of landmarks makes them a little more special.

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4. Catch silhouettes at sunset.

If you miss the evening "golden hour" - that's the best natural light for capturing photos, and it occurs twice a day (an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset) - don't worry. Snap a few shots of silhouettes after the sun has already dipped below the horizon to compose beautifully contrasted photos.

Pro tip: Put the sunset behind your subject and focus your camera on the subject's outer edge. That way, you'll get perfect silhouettes without losing natural beauty.

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5. Take pictures of local cuisine.

Before you dive into that delectably colorful dish, prop a menu (logo side out) somewhere nearby and take a few pictures. Even better, get at table-level and snap a few photos of everyone in your party enjoying the local cuisine. Use your camera's portrait mode to focus on one person or even the food for extra-artful composition.

Pro tip: You'll get the best food shots if you sit near a window and take the photos from straight above. Don't center the dish on your screen; offset it with tableware or other items.

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6. Photograph local people and events.

Take pictures of the locals. Capture the things they do that are different from what you'd do, and if you can, find a local event or festival to go to. Immersing yourself in something that's totally foreign to you does more than create great photo ops - it creates an unforgettable vacation.

Pro tip: See if you can jump in photos with locals. It creates a richer experience for everyone (not to mention better pictures).

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Extra Tips for Great Vacation Photos

• Catch great moments from every step of your journey. Take photos of the pre-dawn hustle to the airport, the view from the car and all the people you see along the way. Don't be afraid to keep your camera out the whole time; it's how you'll weave the story of your trip when you relive it through a memory book later.

• Get in some of the pictures yourself, too. The person who's taking all the photos is usually left out, which doesn't create the complete story; make use of your camera's self-timer function to make sure you show up (at least occasionally) in all these great shots.

• Take candid shots. It's great to get group photos where everyone is perfectly posed, but candid photos are where most of the real magic happens. Whether the photos are silly or serene, it's important to snap photos of people just being themselves; that's what you want to remember most, anyway.

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• Go easy on the scenery without people. Try to put your travel companions (or yourself, if you're flying solo) in scenic shots so the photos are more interesting when you look back.

What Amazing Pictures Have You Come Up With on Vacation?

We'd love to hear your must-take photos when you're on vacation, so please share them in the comments below to inspire your fellow travelers. Or, if you've created a great Mixbook photo book, share a link in the comments so we can enjoy it, too!

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