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Holiday pictures

Don't leave the basics of photography at home


The resulting photograph here will say
The resulting photograph here will say "I was here" and not much more. An album full of such pictures will quickly put any audience to sleep.

We have all seen travel pictures where the background is a famous or beautiful spot with someone’s traveling companion in the foreground, standing dead center in the frame. The message being conveyed by this type of picture is simply “Look where we were.” It is difficult to tell whether the subject of these pictures is meant to be the individual or the distinctive scenery because little design thought is given to placement of the elements. A stack of twenty or so pictures like this, showing the same people in different locales, makes for a dull holiday album, because the photos themselves lack design interest. Here is Marge standing in front of the coastal mountains; here is Marge with the city hall in the background; here is Marge at the Grand Canyon; and so on.

SOUVENIR SNAPSHOTS ARE AN EFFECTIVE SLEEPING PILL

Such photos are little more than souvenir snapshots, and a sure way to put your pictures’ viewers to sleep. The real pity is that exotic vacation spots often provide the opportunity to take interesting and exciting pictures, whereas mundane souvenir snapshots represent lost opportunities and a lack of imagination.

HOLIDAY PICTURES SHOULD ALSO BE GOOD PICTURES

You can still bring home pictures that not only serve as a reminder of your visit to an unusual or beautiful place, but that also have value themselves as well-crafted images. The basics of good composition should not be overlooked in any picture you take.

An interesting composition will make your viewers ask for more. If all your pictures look like snapshots, with little thought for content other than to say
An interesting composition will make your viewers ask for more. If all your pictures look like snapshots, with little thought for content other than to say "Here's where we were," why bother taking them? Create interest and make good pictures instead.

To capture interest, the picture’s message should be more than “Look where we were.” A picture that says, for instance, “Look what we did here; isn’t this fun?” or "Look at what we saw; isn't it interesting?" or that evokes a mood of joy, serenity or solitude in an attractive composition will delight your viewers and make them want to see the next one while they reward you with compliments.

Tastefully including your travel companions (family members and friends) in your compositions will not only lend personality to your pictures, but will also personalize them.

By looking for opportunities to be creative, by following the guidelines of good picture-taking presented on this site, and by sprinkling variety throughout the subjects you photograph, you can make captivating holiday pictures that stir fond memories instead of everyday souvenir snapshots.

If you come across artwork or see a museum display that you particularly like, take a picture to serve as a reminder. You don't need to have someone pose in front of it for it to be interesting.
If you come across artwork or see a museum display that you particularly like, take a picture to serve as a reminder. You don't need to have someone pose in front of it for it to be interesting.

A happy child playing in the Hawaiian sand can say more about the relaxed holiday you had than any picture of a frequently photographed and familiar vista.
A happy child playing in the Hawaiian sand can say more about the relaxed holiday you had than any picture of a frequently photographed and familiar vista.

 
Further information...
Photography at the seaside
Holiday season pictures to be mailed
Film for your vacation