Last week I went to Ibiza to shoot a wedding, and as it was the 5th wedding I’d shot that week, I took a few days off to relax, travel and explore. I last went to Ibiza on an 18-30s holiday with a group of lads (14 years ago!), so I was definitely hoping for a different experience from the island this time! We explored the inland lemon groves, hidden beaches and stayed on a laid back hippy farm with 5 cats and 2 dogs. It was amazing. Here are a few shots! (We’ll get to the honeymoon photo tips don’t worry!)
I love taking photos on holiday – it was how I got into photography. The most fun part of travel photography for me is exploring new places, seeing how the locals live and trying to create something different to everyone else.
It was when I was taking a photo of the sunset in Ibiza that I realised that I was the only one creating a silhouette of all the other people taking sunset photos and selfies – everyone else was just shooting the sun – a sunset photo that could literally be anywhere.
Then I took a step back to put the scene into even more context – I was in a bar called Sunset Ashram watching the people down below (including a couple having a super awkward cringe photoshoot) and wanted to create an image that showed a sense of place, feeling, people:
It got me thinking about writing a blog post about honeymoon travel photography so my couples can go away on holiday and take beautiful, unique photos. So here’s are a few tips to create awesome photos on your honeymoon!
1. Composition is everything. Think about what you include in the scene, make it interesting, visually balanced. Frame the subject to draw the eye in. Wait for the right moment – if you have an awesome composition, wait for the right subject to enter.
This church is perfectly framed by the trees, drawing the eye in.
2. Be aware of what’s in your frame – don’t chop off heads, feet, tops of things. Also try not to leave lots of unnecessary space in the frame – make sure everything contributes to the image and balances nicely. Alternatively, negative space is an artistic tool that uses blank space in a photo creatively.
- 3. Use lines, shapes, patterns and shadows. This is a great way to see more when you visit a new place. Look around you. What shadows do you see? Any interesting ones? Any cool patterns forming from things around you? Also, lines are a great way to draw the viewer to the subject. In photography circles we call them “leading lines” to draw the eye to the spot you want the viewer to look at.
4. Like with the Ibiza sunset, put the scene into context. Show where you are, add some details. Try stepping back, getting closer, including people in the scene. 5. Shoot people. Here is a backstreet in Ibiza Town where three local ladies were hanging out chatting while their laundry dried in the breeze. This snapshot of local life tells more of a story than a photo of a beach that could be anywhere.
Below is a little girl brushing her doll’s hair. I took a few photos of this scene – getting closer and closer – but I prefer the one without her face, as it leaves something to the imagination and makes it a bit more obscure and intriguing. Every photo I took included the whole street and the women walking away and the laundry, as it all adds to the scene. Without those elements the photo wouldn’t be as interesting. Allow the viewer’s eye to move around the scene constantly spotting new things.
6. Inject humour. This might not be a technically perfect photo, but it shows real life, and is amusing to look at
7. Tell a story – take photos of each other doing everyday things, rather than posed shots. They’re so much more interesting and certainly unique.
8. Silhouettes rock. The key to a silhouette is underexposure – your camera’s auto settings will automatically lift the exposure of the trees (making the trees and sky brighter). To underexpose, set your camera on manual and make the shutter speed faster until the photo looks right.
This photo of the milky way was taken with the camera on the ground so I could get the trees in to add context – a sense of place. The settings were a high iso and slow shutter speed of several seconds – I think this photo was around 15-30 seconds. Set the camera in place (I used magazines to tilt the camera up), press the shutter and don’t move the camera while it’s taking the photo.
9. Use a slow shutter to show water movement. Put the camera in manual and change the shutter speed to around half a second. Hold the camera very still – rest it on something if you can.
10. Use light creatively – look for bright spots and interesting shadows
11. Get up early – you’ll get the best light, no tourists and special moments happen at sunrise as a village wakes up.
12. Play with reflections
13. Use the weather to your advantage. Have you woken up to a rainy day? Don’t hide in the hotel bar, get excited about the opportunity to take awesome creative photos!
14. Get down – getting lower down gives your photo a different perspective and can make the scene change completely.
15. When sharing your holiday photos, curate them carefully. This means choosing the best photos without lots of similar ones and only showing those. This will give each image more impact than subjecting your friends to 20 photos of a cocktail.
Most importantly, enjoy taking photos!