Balancing the family vacation and photography
Photography is a lonely art. It is best practiced when you have time and light. But doesn’t it seem that it is only on vacation that we have time and light AND a mind that is more relaxed and open?
Travel or vacation photos are a source of great memories and inspiration. They offer an opportunity for a change of scenery, a different pace in which to create, and hopefully the time to follow one’s instincts or interests. However, when on a family vacation – with significant others, perhaps a child or two in tow- how can you have your own creative agenda and meet the expectations of the family?
There are several ways to do this. One is to include the family in the photos. Have children play on playground equipment, play hide and seek in a park, or treat them to a banana split – all can lead to new picture ideas. Have a significant other read in the park, or run up the hill and follow with your camera. Have family members shop in the street market and photograph them while they barter or deal with a new currency. Or send them off on their own to allow you time to do your own photographing and exploring your photographic curiosities. Place a time limit on yourself. Tell the family, “ I will meet you in 90 minutes”. Then go off, but be sure to be back on time. Perhaps they might like a day on their own to explore maritime museums or to go sailing while you prefer dry land. You can also get up extra early and go out for an hour on your own as the sun rises for that special light or go out after dark and wander an hour while the family stays put in their campsite or hotel room. Finally there are photos to be made while wandering with the family. Have your camera with you, but keep in mind that your priority is being with your family in your new environment. Include them in pictures or ask them to pose a certain way for you. They may tire of that but while they sip a cold drink, try different exercises. Can you make an abstract photo from that scene? Can you record that break as a journalist might? Or make it a graphic image?
Enclosed are two photographs made on vacation with family. One was made while a traveling companion was just around the corner, and one was inclusive on a walk.
The first photo: Domme afternoon, was taken in the small town of Domme in the Dordogne region of France. It was taken with a Panasonic DMC-TZ3 with the color set for sepia tone. My vacation partner was around the corner and this town seemed to cry out for sepia.
The second photo was taken in Vitrac another small town in the Dordogne region of France. This photo includes my travel partner who gets tired of posing and being asked to move this way or that way; here she could just enjoy the walk in the woods. She is included, but not as a collaborator. This photo was also taken with the Panasonic DMC-TZ3 with the color mode set to black and white.