6 Steps to Better Travel Posing
Jordan and I have spent a lot of time traveling and taken a lot of photos. I don't know if we're exactly experts, but one things we're pretty good at is getting great posed shots while traveling, which is especially skillful when you realize I only have one pose -- smiling. On our last trip to Egypt I got the idea to share some of the things we picked up along the way and hopefully at least one of these ideas will help you next time you're out and about.
1. Pay attention to your clothes. Just like in regular posed shots, clothing can make a big difference. When packing for a trip take a minute to think about how you’ll look in the photos. I’m not saying to pack a fancy wardrobe (I traveled for a year with just a couple shirts), but choose a color that flatters you well and that will stand out or complement your surroundings.
If you do want to look stylish, but are concerned about space, I’d suggest packing a couple scarves so you can quickly change your outfit and add variety.
I wore the same shirt every day on our trip to Egypt.
But you don't notice because I distract you with scarves.
It's like a super power.
Also, keep in mind that accessories like your raincoat, umbrella and bag may end up being the star of every photo you're in. So choose wisely.
It rained every day we were in Paris. Luckily my umbrella and coat matched and brought color to what would have been drab photos.
2. Wait for your moment. You've probably experienced being somewhere just at the same time as everyone else. Trying to get a photo in these circumstances can be difficult and stressful. The thing to remember is to stop and wait. Enjoy the surroundings, people watch, and before too long you'll probably experience an ebb in the flow and a quiet moment will be yours to get the shot you want. Even in really busy places, just waiting a minute or two can be the difference between a great shot and a ho hum shot.
A minute either way and this shot would have had more tourists than just me.
3. Try a different angle. Sometimes the crowds are just too big to get that ideal photo. If that’s the case, try a different angle. Try getting up on a ledge and shooting up or down. Try moving your feet and walking around to the back or the side. You’d be surprised at how many people never make it past the entrance.
The front of Angkor War is always swarming with people, but in the back there is no one, and it looks just as cool back there.
This view going up minimizes the number of extra people in the photo with me.
Don't forget to look down as well.
Sometimes you just need to embrace the crowd: the Mona Lisa is more interesting in context.
4. Get the spacing right. When you’re trying to capture a monument or building, spacing is key. In my experience, people tend to stand exactly in the wrong place, getting photos which highlight neither the person, nor the background. Stand close, or stand far away, but try not to stand in the middle.
Okay photo. Neither me nor the background looks exciting.
This zoom is much better at focusing on my face and the view of Budapest behind me.
With me far away you can see the emptiness and size of this church in Zagreb.
5. Look beyond the typical travel backgrounds. When you’re out and about is the best time to find new and exciting backdrops for a great profile shot. Keep an eye out for graffiti, interesting walls, flowers, etc which may not be a well recognized landmark, but can make a terrific posed shot.
Jordan looks tough against this wall of chains.
This wall of graffiti makes a bright and colorful backdrop.
6. Embrace your inner tourist. The best advice I can give is don’t be embarrassed to stop and take a photo. Whether you've traveled far, or just down the road, photos are a giant reason why we remember special moments. Don’t be embarrassed to stop and get the shot you want. You can be pretty sure that no one is going to remember a lone tourist stopping for a photo, but for years after you will be able to remember that one moment.
I'm sure that guy in the background won't remember me from any other tourist who stopped to immortalize eating ice cream in the steps of ancient Egyptians.
I love digital scrapbooking. I also love to read and bake cookies. Especially while drinking tea. I've lived around the world, and love to travel, which is usually the theme of most of my scrapping projects.