I’ve just got back off a family holiday –
I’m walking down a quaint street in a Cornish village with a camera bag slung over my shoulder, a rucksack on my back with kids stuff in, a beach shelter in one hand and fishing nets in the other… definately not a photography holiday I hear you say!
Beautiful scenery all around me, and loads of photo opportunities but with 2 kids and a husband in tow I’m not getting a lot of chances to stop and get my camera out?
So how do you satisfy that urge to take photos of these great opportunities on a family holiday and still have everyone talk to you?
Here’s some tips that I use (and yes everyone is still talking to me!):
1. Remember you’re on a family holiday
May be obvious, but it’s easy to get carried away! You’re not on a photography holiday, so stakeouts for sunrise and sunset and stopping every 5 minutes to jump out and take a photo are not going to happen (without blood shed!). So when you’re driving past that perfect vista and can’t stop, take a deep breath and count to ten…. No, but seriously, look at it as photography doesn’t fit into what you’re doing at that moment then you’ll get a chance another day…
2. Give everyone a camera
If you can’t beat them, get them to join you! If everyone’s snapping away then they wont get bored.
I give them my old cameras, so my husbands got my old Canon 450D, and the kids have got some old point and shoots.
Even if it’s just a camera on an old mobile phone, make sure everyone has a camera then they can all join in the fun.
3. Choose your bag wisely
What I really want is Mary Poppins’ magic carpet bag that holds everything but the kitchen sink! But in reality I need my camera bag to be dual purpose when I’m on holiday, it has to carry my camera, plus accessories. But also be my handbag as well, so phone, purse, keys and anything I’m given to carry by the kids… I’ve tried a separate handbag and camera bag, but I find it’s just too much and I like to simplify things as much as possible.
4. Don’t forget the people you’re with
Although I love taking landscapes etc I don’t forget that I’m here for memories with my family, and I like to make sure I capture those moments as well – whether they want to or not!
Or just be ready to put your camera away altogether and concentrate on what you’re doing as a family (hard for photographers to do!).
5. Balance your time
I try to balance my time between family and the odd (planned) escape on my own for some more peaceful shooting. I managed to sneak away to shoot some local gig rowing, and also did some night photography one night.
I don’t have a timetabled plan of activities or anything when I’m on holiday. But I have done some research of places we may like to go, and make sure we all get to go places we enjoy. It has to be flexible though, as lets face it everything is weather dependent (especially in the UK). And I’ll consider places I’d like to go for photography in that process, and that gives me a good idea beforehand of what will work and what will have to wait for that photography holiday!
7. Don’t forget the details
If I’ve got the chance to walk around with my camera then I’ll take it (in other words not the days we went to the beach!). Focus in on the details as you’re walking around and you’ll be surprised how much will suddenly catch your eye. And can then be captured without too much disruption to what’s going on.
8. Relax and have fun
Don’t forget you’re on holiday and you need to relax, rest and recharge your batteries…
So here’s to happy family holidays with lots of great shots.
Let me know your tips in the comments for shooting on a family holiday…