No matter how many photos we snap at OMG-gorgeous destinations, we're left with a couple Insta-worthy photos from hundreds. So we contacted our friends, the photo gurus at JP Teaches Photo to give us some pointers to help take our vacation mementos from personal reminders to envy-inducing glamor shots. From getting the light right to framing like a pro, the team at JP Teaches Photo has the tips you need to make your travel album stand out. Want to learn more? Enroll in an intensive photo courses on their website.
What Are Your Top Three Tips For Getting Started With Photography?
Photography IS light—so that's the best place to begin. Locate the exposure or brightness setting on your camera or phone. Start to adjust the brightness level and notice how it impacts different visual elements: contrast, color saturation, detail, clarity, mood, focal points and more.
Second, consider framing. Do you always shoot with the subject dead center? Try moving shooting slightly off center or leave some negative space between the subject and the edge of the frame.
Third, shoot LOTS. Shoot more than you think you should. Then shoot more. Then keep shooting. See how many creative ways you can photograph the same subject. Once your camera starts to feel like an extension of your hand, you're getting somewhere!
What Elements Do You Look For In A Quality Photo?
The way a photographer uses and manipulates light is the first thing we notice. We also pay attention to sharpness and detail—is the photo in focus? How do the colors look? Are they highly saturated or washed out? Did the photographer make that choice on purpose or did it happen by chance? When someone has taken their time to get a shot, we can tell.
What Is The Biggest Misconception About Travel Photography? Or That Beginners Have About Photography In General?
The biggest misconception is that a camera's automatic mode is designed to take shots that look like what your eyes see. Your camera is a machine; it can't see the nuances the human eye can. Auto mode brings in an "average" amount of light based on the tones of the scene you're photographing.
If you've got a camera that includes P or Program Mode, switch to that one and start to make some adjustments, such as how much light your camera lets in. For beginners, P mode is the most accessible place to learning.
What Do You Enjoy Taking Photos Of When You Travel?
Interesting textures, plants, patterns, noticing where the buildings in a city create symmetry or asymmetry. The people! Local culture and food, beautiful landscapes and water that don't exist where we live. Those once in a lifetime shots that you can only get in that particular place. And of course....selfies (in front of all those landmarks).
What's Your Dream Destination To Take Photos Of?
[At JP Teaches Photo] we have a running joke that we'll know we've truly 'made it' once we own a Greek Island...dream big! We think the idea of lounging on the beach near those clear blue waters, sipping fabulous cocktails and practicing Greek sounds incredible. JP is actually half Greek, so there's a bit of heritage tied in too. Anywhere warm and sunny (but maybe without the humidity of NYC).