When traveling so often and with so much on my agenda, it can be challenging to create unique and constant content. It’s important for my followers and I that I not only capture and share my experiences, but also embrace the experience. A professional camera, gear, and lenses can get pricey, and simply too much to carry when traveling. But there’s good news! You don’t have to have a professional quality camera, or a refined set of skills to successfully and creatively capture your experience! Here are my top tips for documenting your adventure, with nothing but the iPhone your pocket.
1. Take At Least One Picture, Every Where You Go
It’s so easy when you’re traveling to get lost in the sights of the place. With a strict schedule, trying to go from shoot to meeting, to restaurant and back again, it can get a bit hectic, and easy to forget to document all of the experiences. If you’re in Venice, it may be tempting only to take pic on the bridges or in front of St. Marks Square, but sometimes just a pic frolicking through the streets or… is a better capture. I encourage you not to wait for the “perfect shot,” or the “classic shot” but to just take one or two in each new place in your itinerary. It’s those seemingly random shots in seemingly less popular places that sometimes end up being the best captures. Even if it is just a selfie, and not the best quality photo you will capture on your travels, make sure you snap a pic of your entire journey, your future self will thank you!
2. Take Your Time to Compose
A properly framed photo is key. When curating content for a blog and Instagram, it’s important to pay attention to what’s in your frame. When you see the right shot, take your time, compose it properly, then snap. Always remember the rule of thirds; I even put the grid on my camera screen to help me be mindful of this. It’s often easy to just snap something real quick, whether it be that you are at a restaurant and your food looks delicious, and you just want to dig in. Or maybe you are strolling along the streets with friends and everyone else is at a quicker pace, and you want to keep up. Whatever it is, stop! Take your time. Look at what is actually in the frame. Move your coffee and croissant around to stage the perfect photo (yea, your mouth may be watering), take a few steps back to snap a pic of that building (you’ll catch up with your friends) and you will be happy with one well-composed shot to share with the world.
3. Play with different apps
When you are not shooting with a professional camera, it may be challenging to play with settings or capture exactly what it is you see. This can be frustrating, but don’t fret! Sometimes all it takes is a different app to get the look you want. I often take photos on my Snapchat, and then download them to my phone because I find they are much brighter. I also use VSCO cam app from time to time and a few editing soft wares. There are no rules when it comes to your own personal style.
4. Quality over Quantity
When traveling to a new place, it can feel as if the streets are glittering with gold, the people are fascinating, and the food is more delicious looking and tasting than anything you have ever experienced. It can be tempting to hold down that burst button, quickly snapping everything you see. Although I urge you to take many, many photos, it can be deceiving to be taking so many pictures that you miss the experience, or that you default on having so many that you become convinced what you have is fine. In my opinion, it is better to take your time to take the shot you are proud of, look at it, maybe even play with an edit a little to be sure it goes with the look you’re aiming for. Then, move on to enjoy the experience and take in the sights without a phone in front of your face.
5. Get Inspired & Get Creative
When traveling to a new place, I like to check out the other Instagram and Pinterest photos of people who have been there before me. There are many creative and talented photographers that can inspire the inner artist in you. There is no harm in looking at other people’s ideas, and trying something similar. Even if you attempt a perfect replica, your photo will look different and have its personal touch. Sometimes, just looking at another person’s photo will get the ball rolling with a new way to capture the scene. Don’t be afraid to get wacky and creative, and try something completely out of the box.
6. Embrace the Candids
I always want the content I share to be as authentic as possible. I try to ensure that the experience I have is the experience I share. It is important to remember that those unposed, unfiltered moments that occur when you’re not trying too hard to be posed or perfect are often the most honest and enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to look away from the camera, and gaze up at your scene, or snap a few pics while you’re laughing with friends or walking down the road. Documenting your adventure is more than taking a perfect pic to share on Instagram, it’s about telling a story about what you experienced. People can sense when you’re capturing the pure joy and emotion and wonder you felt at that moment, and often times, this is achieved better through a candid than any posed photo.