Juggle your time cleverly
When you travel with other people; whether it be your family, friends or significant other, it can be tricky to find the time to take pictures. This is especially the case on a family holiday: if you disappear to take pictures, your partner is literally left holding the baby!
There are a few ways that to make sure that you get time to take pictures without offending your travelling companions. One of the best ways is to trade time. If you are on a family holiday, then swap time with your partner. Give them some time to indulge in their passion, whether it be a cookery course, adrenaline sports or simply chilling on their own by the pool. In return, you get to goof off and shoot some photographs without feeling guilty.
If you’re really organized then you could try to schedule your day off for something special, such as a local festival. These can be a fantastic opportunity to photograph any destination, giving you the chance to take culture-filled portraits as well as some iconic images of your destination. Festivals are often the time when a place comes alive, and when the pictures that you see on all of those postcard stands are usually taken. One free day at a festival can give you the best shots from an entire trip.
Another good way to keep any travel companions onside is to shoot their holiday and their experience too. If you only take pictures for yourself, your hobby will be seen as a selfish act; if your pictures are relevant to them and their holiday, then they will see the benefit of having a camera-toting enthusiast along!
There can be a lot of dead time on holiday. If your partner likes a lie-in in the mornings, you might be able to slip out of the room, photograph the sunrise, and still be back before they wake up. You will have to make sure not to wake them up when you leave, but you could slip out to the beach, or even off to a good sunrise point on a city break, and be back with coffee and croissants before you’re even missed.
The final thing that will help, if you are trying to combine photography with your holiday, is to learn how to work fast. The biggest gripe of non-photographers isn’t how many pictures you shoot, but how long each one takes! Before you head off on holiday, practise with your camera to speed things up. Get more familiar with your
settings, and learn how to calculate exposures and set the focus quickly. Also, stop and think about your subject before you start shooting. Work out what is significant about the subject for you, and how you will approach it before you even raise the camera to your eye. Then the actual shooting can be drastically reduced; and your travel companions will feel less inconvenienced. Speeding up this process, and reducing the time the camera is up to your eye, will help your photography too – especially if you are shooting street scenes. Essentially, the less that your photography affects your travel companions, the more photography you will be able to get away with, without causing discord.
ABOVE LEFT Trade time with your fellow travellers so that they can indulge in their passions in return for letting you out and about to shoot local sights and sounds
LEFT Document your travelling companions’ holiday and they’ll likely view your photography with more patience – you could even make a photo book (see right)
Slip out at sunrise to capture some great golden-hour shots and be back in time for breakfast!
Check what is going on in the locality – a festival offers a myriad of wonderful photo ops in a short space of time