Vertical versus horizontal
Take a moment to think about what you are trying to capture before pressing the button. Is the scene causing you to naturally look up and down, or from left to right? Determining that will help you decide how you should hold the camera. Nothing is less appealing to the eye that seeing a landmark or landscape in an unnatural angle. If you are uncertain which is best, be safe and try snapping a photo both vertically and horizontally, and then choose which is best for the image later. You can always delete a photo, but you can’t go back and retake it.
Pay attention to detail
When you’re shooting almost anything that isn’t landscape, it is important that you pay close attention to details. Avoid clutter, unnecessary people or litter by simply changing the tilt of the camera. Don’t be afraid to stage things in your photo if you think a public object, or whatever, would look better moved slightly to the left (as long as touching it wouldn’t be illegal and you replace it when you’re done). Make images more personal by including your personal belongings, travel documents or whatever as props in chairs or on tables.
Don’t miss the moment waiting
I can’t tell you how many times I would miss a great image because I’d wait for the perfect picture. For instance, I would position my camera and myself at the perfect angle and wait until a man walked out of the frame. But instead of that man walking out of the frame, an entire group of people would enter. My tour guide would be moving on, and I would be out of luck. I’ve learned to just snap! And if after that snap a better opportunity comes along, I can simply snap again. But if I wait and miss the moment all together, I can’t get it back. Having a not perfect picture is better than not having the picture at all.
Ask a stranger
This suggestion might sound a little intimidating, but I personally have never been told no when I asked a stranger for help. So often, the person behind the camera is left out of the pictures and it isn’t noticed until you’re back home going through all of the images. Avoid not having yourself in photos by asking strangers to quickly snap a picture. Set everything up, including the angle you want, so that all the person has to do is press the button once or twice. More often than not, the person will simply ask you to return the favor, and then everyone’s happy and photographed!
Take a picture of everything
Nothing is worse than returning home from a trip, explaining something memorable and having nothing to use as reference. As I stated earlier, you can always delete pictures, but you can’t create a picture you don’t have. If there is anything you see that interests you, snap a photo. It’s that simple. That street sign, or local kid, or crazy architecture might seem insignificant while you’re on your trip, but it’s those things that you’ll remember when you return. My personal motto: If it makes you look twice, snap the picture!
Megan Pinckney (@shadesofpinck) is a retired beauty queen turned lifestyle blogger who loves exploring the world and writing about it.