Photo Tip Friday: Photographing People when you Travel

Welcome back to Photo Tip Friday. This week we are going to cover a very important part of travel photography; People.

I love this quote from Tim Cahill: “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” To me travel is not just about where we go but more about the people I meet along the way. That is why being able to capture people within a destination in the most effective way can be another step that can elevate your photography.

Tips for Photographing People when you Travel

There are many different things to take into consideration when photographing people like composition and Depth of Field,  but I have found that from following 3 simple rules you can come away with travel portraits that you can be proud to display.

1. Fill the Frame

Travel Photo tip: Fill the frame

This will allow you to really make a connection with the viewer as well as drawing them into the scene. Filling the frame can be accomplished in one of two ways. Get close and personal or by using a zoom lens. For me I like to get close. It lets me talk and get to know the person that I am photographing. This also allows me to get permission and a more natural looking portrait. That is not to say that I have not used my zoom lens. Walking in a market or on the street is a great time to zoom in on a subject.


2. Choose your Background


I have seen so many photographs of people ruined by background distractions. Even if it is out of focus you must pay attention to what is behind the subject. A colour or an object sticking out of the top of ones head is something I see often. It is usually just a matter of adjusting your shooting angle and it can be avoided. Also try and relate what is in the background with the subject in the frame, it will add context to the photograph .So before you press the shutter button, look past the subject and into the background. Your viewers will appreciate it.


3. Look for the Light

Travel Photo Tip: Look for the Light

Travel Photo Tip: Look for the Light

Soft light is what you want when photographing people. That cloudy day or diffused light coming through the window is flattering when shooting a portrait. Hard light is, well, too harsh. It usually accentuates unwanted features. Try to avoid shooting at high noon as the light is very “toppy” causing unflattering shadows. Wait until later in the afternoon or get up early in the morning to catch the best light. Train yourself to look for the best lighting conditions and remember, when the clouds roll in don’t put away your camera, this is the perfect time to photograph some people.


 Insider Tip: Place the subject in a brightly lit position against a dark background. This will make them stand out in the frame.

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