Raleigh Portrait Photographer for Creative Small Businesses

7 Vacation Photography Tips for Newlyweds

Matt and I haven't been on vacation in 2 years, so we took advantage of some time off between jobs for me, and Matt's relaxed grad school summer, and took a road trip up to Pennsylvania to visit his grandparents.

7 vacation photography tips for newlyweds

On the way, we stopped in North Carolina and stayed in a darling little cottage retreat and spent a day touring the Biltmore. On the way back, we made a pit-stop in West Virgina to try our hand at Glamping -- which, I've discovered, is too much like camping, and I'm a big baby when it comes to insects.

A Little Birdfeeder at Clearfield Cottage in NC

Sometimes I get asked about how I took certain photos when we travel, so I thought I'd compile a list of things I keep in mind when bringing my camera on trips:

1. Bring a tripod and wireless remote

Vacation Photography Tip: Bring a tripod and wireless remote on road trips

A lot of times, there's not a lot of circumstances for someone to take a photo of you and the people you're traveling with, so bring a tripod and wireless camera remote. I wanted this view of us on the bridge, but it would have been a crazy hike to get from the camera to the bridge AND pose if I used the camera's self timer. I used an affordable wireless remote to take the shot.

2. Make impromptu stops between destinations

Vacation Photo Tips: make impromptu stops between destinations

Now's your chance. When you have children, stops between destinations are often necessary stops that require food and bathroom breaks. I know there's families in which everyone is agreeably willing to stop for a view, but that's not always the case. When it's just the two of you, make a point to stop at scenic viewing areas early in the morning, or around sunset. The lighting will lend interesting moods to your photographs.

3. Capture details you can't bring home

Vacation Photo Tips: Capture the details you can't take home with you

...Like animal friends you make on your travels, or the way morning light comes through the window at breakfast.

4. Photograph the mundane

Vacation Photo Tip: Photograph the mundane

Not every moment is going to be a breathtaking view or edge-of-your-seat moment. When we made it to Matt's grandparents' house, we agreed to help them clear out their garden boxes and plant their summer vegetable crops. A lot of our work days were threatened with rain and so the rolling thunder clouds and the seemingly-mindless task of spraying weed killer in the above picture remind us of the weather and the work we did and the bond we developed with Matt's grandparents.

5. Take each other's photo

Vacation Photography Tips: Take Each Other's Photo

Usually there's always one person in a relationship that takes the majority of the photos, so make sure you switch camera duty off frequently. I like to take time on our trips to take nice portraits of us individually. It's ok to not always have to be in the photo with each other.

6. Offer to take another couple's photo

photo of us by a stranger

When you're traveling as a couple, you start to notice other couples trying to take "selfies" and failing miserably. Offer to take their photo for them, and chances are, they'll take a photo of you guys too. Just keep in mind that not everyone's a photographer, so you may not get ideal-lighting-stranger-free-straight-on photos. That's ok. Be grateful, say thank you, and edit when you get home.

Vacation Photo Tips: Offer to take another couple's photo

7. Think in Black and White

Vacation Photo Tip: Think in black and white

Sometimes, a photograph can be more visually appealing in black and white. Sometimes, you can't really control your lighting situation. We were really limited in lighting for this photo (we were sleeping in a barn loft), and so I had no way to light us from the front. A self-timer, purposeful posing with our profiles, and romantic string lights lent us a great opportunity to take a silhouetted portrait at our last stop before heading home.

Bonus Tip: Print and display your photographs

Bonus Vacation Photography Tips: print and display your photographs

We bought this collage frame a few months before our trip, and it was sitting empty for far too long. When you're going to choose photos for a collage like this, pick images with similar colors so they'll coordinate together.