After returning from Cuba, I was blown away by the gigabytes of pictures and videos I had captured. I couldn’t use my smartphone for data or calls on the island – massive roaming fees – so my smartphone was relegated to capturing my digital record of the journey.
I was inspired to reflect on how I could better capture and present the trip to family and friends. There’s no better feeling than wowing your friends with eye-popping images that inspire a healthy dose vacation-envy.
It’s All About People!
Static images of landmarks and natural wonders are great. But how much better are they when you’re in the shot? My favorite photos are the ones with me and the people I meet along the way posing in front of some epic waterfall or old-world villa.
Don’t get so wrapped up in capturing every passing sight that you forget to inject the human element into the frame.
Clear Your Cards Before Leaving Home
There’s nothing worse than grabbing your phone to snap a photo and instead of capturing a once in a lifetime shot, you’re left looking at a low storage warning. Humans take 1.2 trillion digital photos every year. At least some of those are duplicates or low-value, right?
Spend a few minutes deleting unnecessary photos, videos and unused apps while you’re waiting for your flight to depart. Thanks to cloud backups, you can delete with relative confidence.
If you really want to be ahead of the game, backup your phone’s hard drive to an external storage device before leaving. Then you’ll be able to start with an entire phone’s worth of storage space to capture your favorite moments.
Select your 20 favorite photos and spend time enhancing them
Smartphone cameras have come a long way. But you don’t need to be an expert in photoshop to take the images you capture to the next level.
You can learn how to change the background of a picture, and many other cool photo enhancing tricks pretty easily. I suggest picking 20 of your favorite photos because that will allow you to spend enough time making your content great, without sacrificing key moments in your journey.
Once you’re finished enhancing, it’s time to create a presentation that you can share with your friends and family – I personally use Facebook albums for this. Everyone knows how to use it to click through your journey. The existence of your grandmother’s cat photo albums proves I’m writing about this…
Be present. You don’t need to photograph everything!
There is truth to the saying: “If you look like your passport photo, it’s time for a vacation.” Travel should be something that ignites the soul and gives us space from the sources of stress in our daily life.
It’s easy to become so focused on taking photos and video, that we forget to be present, in the moment. You are half-way around the world. You are seeing something that most people will only see from their La-Z-Boy on the travel channel.
Give yourself the gift of putting down the camera every once and a while and taking it all in. Slow down, unplug and relax. The photos you do choose to take will be that much more impactful.
I hope you enjoy your upcoming trip. Take a moment to clear up space on your digital device ahead of time and commit to giving yourself the mental space to really soak up the experience.