How to Take Memorable Vacation Shots

Learn how to get the most memorable shots on your vacation from professional photographer Luke Ballard in this Howcast video.

When travelling, it’s always everyone’s goal to come home with photographs that just highlight the destination they;’ve gone to. There are several ways of doing that. You don’t need, firstly, to try and fit in the entire landmark to highlight that you were there. For example, the entire Eiffel tower to show you were in Paris, or the entire Statue of Liberty to show that you were in New York. Little elements of the landmark, with other things going on in the street, can really make that, really make that sort of pop.

You’ll notice here, for example, in New Orleans, the jazz player is kind of iconic, and beignets, the doughnut type pastry, are very iconic New Orleans as well. One of the key things I like to do, uh, when photographing out on vacation, is make sure I’m going places when no one else is there, so very early in the morning or staying there after sunset and in to the evening. You’ll notice on this next photo, that definitely it’s sunrise. The pier over Montauk, just really trying to show that dilapidated, decrepit, falling apart pier, where the fishermen still go out and take their polls. But doing it first thing at sunrise so I was getting those beautiful colors that are very, very Hamptons. But staying there a bit later, as well, is also the way to go.

You know, getting that sunset from just around the corner and really trying to highlight the fact that I’m on the beach without necessarily getting the entire beach or the sweeping landscape. Just coming in on one small detail. For example, here, the lifeguard chair. Going back to New Orleans, like I said, it’s good to get some of that street in. And, for me, street performers are always a treat to photograph when I’m traveling. In New Orleans, the fire eater in this little alley way, Pirate’s Alley, beside the Cathedral, really, for me, highlighted just that street culture of New Orleans. So when you’re traveling, just remember, you don’t need to fit in the entire Statue of Liberty or the entire Eiffel tower to get a memorable photo. Some of it’s happening right in front of you.