The best souvenir of a great trip is a collection of your photos. They have the power to rewind time, reminding you of the amazing sights and beautiful scenery you saw, the delicious meals you experienced, and the interesting people you met along the way. In an instant, all the memories come rushing back.
So what makes your personal pictures different than the iconic images captured in the professional photos you see online on websites or in brochures? If you wanted a photo of the Eiffel Tower, couldn’t you just buy a postcard?
There’s something special about telling your own story. Taking your own photo of the Eiffel Tower has much more meaning than having a perfect postcard image—and even better, a photo with you in front of the Eiffel tower! We all have unique stories to share, and, lucky for us, we all have cameras in our pockets!
Now you can share your stories with the world easier than ever. So, with just a few tips and tricks, you can better capture your own great adventures.
POINT OF VIEW
An important step in telling your unique travel story is to share your unique point of view. Are you a foodie, always snapping pics of the art you eat? Maybe you’re an adrenaline addict, often on the backseat of a motorbike or perhaps riding an elephant through the jungle? Maybe you’re interested in history and architecture, taking tours of famous buildings and landmarks? Whatever you’re into, show us! We want to see your unique point of view!
One type of shot is called a POV shot, which stands for “point of view”. This is a photo of exactly what your eyes see. Maybe that’s a shot of your feet in the sand as the waves crash onto the shore, or a shot of a delicious meal from above. Can you imagine yourself back here, in this moment? Of course! Show us what you see!
Another trick to capturing your own adventure is to collect a variety of shots. Mix it up. Get smiling shots of people mixed with memorable candid moments. Collect individual shots, group shots and selfies! Think big: picture wide shots of vast landscapes where people look like ants. Think small: imagine colorful close-ups of flowers, seeing the detail of the pollen and the butterflies that pass by. Capture the action—seeing riders barrel down the trail on mountain bike or on snowboard! Be creative!
I love to capture moments along the journey. The long car ride, the view from the airplane—it’s all part of the adventure. I often find myself purposefully including elements people usually try to avoid. If I wanted a perfect picture of the mountain, I would get out of the car, or I press my camera right up to the airplane window and get a clean shot of the view. On the other hand, when you see the side mirror of the car or the airplane window frame in the shot, you know where I am! You can almost feel the wind in your hair as if you leaned out the car window yourself. You can almost hear the sound of the plane. Sometimes, what’s better than having a clean perfect picture, is having an image that tells a story, all in one shot!
Right now, selfies are all the rage! Thanks to front-facing cameras and flip screens, it is easier than ever! No more guessing, am I in the frame? In general, point your face towards the light so your face looks great. Then, take note of what’s in the background. A traditional Korean palace? The ocean? Let’s see where you are! A quick tip before you hit the shutter, once you frame up the shot, move your eyes from the LCD screen and look directly at the camera lens. Lock eyes with it! That subtle change of gaze helps you connect with your viewers. You wouldn’t have a conversation with someone and stare at their ear. In that same vein, don’t take a picture and stare at the screen. Make eye contact.
In the game of selfies, long arms are king, so you’re not stuck with super close close-ups! If you weren’t blessed with a long wingspan, definitely invest in a selfie stick. You can use it on self-timer mode or buy a neato Bluetooth remote for your camera phone to snap to your heart’s content.
If someone else captures the moment on their camera, sometimes it’s fun to take a picture of the picture. It’s no substitute for having the original high quality image, but this technique adds a unique element to your photo.
No matter where your adventures take you, never leave your camera at home! Often, the best memories and the best photos happen when you least expect it. Sometimes you think you’re just going out to dinner, but then on the way there, you pass through a cool neighborhood and discover an amazing mural on the side of a building. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your camera? Always have your camera at an arms’ length so you can capture the stories that unfold right in front of you.
With a camera in hand and pen behind her ear, Juliana Broste, is a freelance travel video journalist, always ready to capture the moment. Her filmmaking adventures have taken her across the globe. Come along for the adventure and follow “TravelingJules” on: