Over the years I have had several photo trips and assignments where it was just me. These kinds of trips afford me the luxury of shooting all day, and sometimes all night, without having to worry about anyone else. However, when I am with my family, it's a different story.
Over these past six days, our family has been touring through cities in Germany and Austria. We have had a great time together and at the same time, I have been able to create some images I love. It certainly has been a juggling act, and a few times my wife has had to reel me in, but overall everyone is having a great time.
Over these past few days I have been thinking about keys to making sure you enjoy family vacations while also being able to create stunning images along the way. Here are 5 ideas I came up with. I would love to hear what you have learned as well so feel free to leave comments below.
- Discuss expectations: Make sure you are clear on what your wife, husband and/or kids are expecting. Also, take time to think through what unspoken hopes or expectations you may have for shooting. By talking ahead of time and each day, you are much more likely to avoid problems.
- Get up early and stay up late: I love early morning or late evening photo walks, partly because the light is so good, but also because my family members are all in bed. This allows me to get and create images without taking away from family time.
- Seize downtime: There are going to be times where everyone is shopping, sitting down for a moment or just doing something else. I use these moments to create images while others are resting. Before I take off I talk to my family about where I am going and that I will be back quickly and then I make sure I come back when I said I would.
- Do your homework before: I am not just talking about studying up on where you are going, how others have shot things or when the sun comes up and sets. I am also speaking about knowing how to change the settings on your camera without looking away or what the keys are to creating great images and not just good ones. If you do this kind of work, you will be able to create incredible images quickly, efficiently and consistently.
- Remember to enjoy the journey: The reality is whether you are with your family or by yourself, there are always going to be shots you miss or things you don't get to do. Instead of getting upset over this, just remember to celebrate the shots you do get, makes notes for next time and just enjoy the journey.
Finally, here are some images I have made over the last few days, enjoy.