How to take portraits during holiday

  • More photographs are taken on holiday than at any other time. Obviously there is an incentive to get good shots of family or friends, not to mention new and interesting buildings and scenes.

  • There are few points to remember before setting off – make sure that all equipment is in working order and that any batteries are fresh or fully charged. For a beach holiday, take a plastic bag to protect the camera from sand as it can ruin lenses. If any gets on the front element, blow it off – cleaning the lens with cloth would have the same effect as sandpapering it.

  • Bright sunlight can cast deep and unattractive shadows under people’s eyes so it is important to think about lighting equipment such as electronic flash. Flash can be used to fill in these shadows. Another solution is to use a reflector to throw light back onto the subject’s face. At the seaside there are vast areas that reflect light, and it is easy to be misled when trying to take the right exposure value. If possible take exposure reading from a neutral area.

  • Look out for spontaneous shots. Candid shots, even of total strangers, can make a good picture – competitions have been won by such pictures so be prepared for that instant shot.

  • Wherever the scene of the holiday, it is likely that there will be some event such as a fair or festival. These provide local color, and should be sued to advantage. They can include information about customs and traditions which adds an air of authenticity and situation to the shot.

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