Let’s face it: parenting children of a particular age might make it challenging to pursue a pastime (newborn to school-age). A good example is photography. The difficulties of traveling with kids are another factor that makes vacation photography seem like an insurmountable undertaking. Many folks I’ve met have admitted to giving up photography as a result of these difficulties. Since purchasing a DSLR to capture better pictures of my newborn, I have been actively involved in photography. I’ve never even experienced taking images in any other way. In this essay, I’ll discuss some of the methods I was able to get through the aforementioned difficulties and share pictures from a recent family trip to Italy.
- Have a Supportive Partner. The first thing is to make sure you have a supporting partner, and I cannot emphasize this enough. Every time you snap a photo, you are removing yourself from the family, which forces someone else to fill in for you. I’m not sure what to advise you if you don’t have that other than to think about pursuing a career in something more family-friendly, like, say, cooking. You may still have a chance to get this portion right if you haven’t already made a commitment to someone. For extra protection, I’d advise them to include a phrase in their vows that reads, “in sickness and in health, and even when you completely ignore me on our ideal vacation because you are preoccupied with shooting pictures…”
- Shoot at Sunrise. Moving on to some more useful topics now. Everyone is aware that sunrise and sunset are frequently the ideal times for photography. And while family time is typically designated for the evening during travel, sunrise is not. While everyone is asleep, you can sneak out and take some leisurely, thoughtful pictures in beautiful light.
- Keep it Light. Typically, this will be a zoom. Make certain it is small and lightweight. I adore shooting with prime lenses, but when weight and time are at a premium, it’s just not feasible to haul around all that gear and switch lenses when out in the field. In this regard, the Nikkor 24-120 f/4G VR has shown to be effective for me. I occasionally choose the Nikkor 70-200 f/4G VR when the situation calls for it or just to mix things up. Both are excellent solutions for vacation photography that are lightweight and small.
- Find a Golden Lens. Leave the tripod at home, turn up the ISO, and get familiar with de-noising. It goes without saying that we all want to take the clearest and sharpest pictures we can, but there are often times when a tripod bag or a diaper bag is the better option. The golden lens was stated earlier. It is extremely beneficial if it supports some form of picture stabilization and has a large aperture.
- Go with a High Resolution Sensor. Pick a high resolution sensor, 5. Use a camera with a high resolution sensor if at all possible. When the youngster is dragging you by the shirt toward the gelato cart, it is difficult to focus on that composition. You’ll have more chances to address framing problems in the post-processing stage.
- Use a Camera Clip. Use a camera clip, in 6. For me, this one has completely changed the game. I work with Peak Design. I am aware that there are other choices available. My upper body is freed up to perform all the various parenting-related tasks when I have the camera on my belt. Even carrying a baby carrier allowed me to shoot some pictures (remember to tune up that VR). If I had been carrying my camera around my neck, none of the three photos below would have been possible.
- Keep Your Priorities Straight. Family comes first, then travel, then photography. When visiting a stunning location, make sure to take it all in with your family before taking advantage of any opportunities to shoot some pictures. This is easier said than done, and I am aware that I occasionally struggle since my natural inclination is to photograph the scene first before moving on to the next steps. Actually, there are times when it is the best course of action because it is simpler to concentrate on everything else once the photography is done.
- Stock Up on Memory Cards and Don’t be Afraid to Bracket. Increasing the sample size is typically the greatest method to make the statistics work in your favor when you’re pressed for time. Bracketing improves your chances of getting a usable shot when you don’t have the time to thoroughly examine the histogram or image preview to determine if you got the shot or not.
- Sharpen Up Post-Processing Skills. Working on your post-processing abilities will enable you to make up for the many concessions you would have had to make when shooting, especially when doing so in intense midday sunlight or in cloudy settings.
- Keep Camera Gear Clean. Before you go on your trip, thoroughly clean your camera equipment, especially the sensor. Once you’re out there, it could be challenging to take care of things. Additionally, attempting to eliminate those dust specks during post-processing can cost you a lot of time that you don’t have.
- Don’t Make the Perfect the Enemy of the Good. The truth is that I can’t, thus I miss 90% of the images that I really want to take. How many times have I missed a wonderful sunset or scenery because it’s dinner time with family or because it would make the trip more difficult for the family? The 10% I do get, though, are typically good enough to keep me intrigued and to keep my creative juices going when I use the methods described here.
The joys of family, travel, and photography can occasionally conflict with one another. All three can come together with the right concessions in order for that delight to expand and for one to have the best of both worlds. I’m hoping that the advice I’ve provided here may enable others to experience some of that enchanted sensation.
Learn more: How to Avoid Blurry Photos