How to Photograph Your Next Road Trip
The season hasn’t gone just yet but I’m already anticipating the nostalgia as we enter the last few weeks of these lazy hot summer days. I think we all feel it...the end of a season and a sudden spark compels us to wander just One. Last. Time. Around this time, a year ago, we embarked on a challenging journey that landed us from the breezy salty ocean air of Hermosa Beach, California to the mountainous ranges and crisp heat of Denver, Colorado. With a 3-month old baby in tow, rather than keeping it simple by taking a flight we decided to throw our inhibitions to the pavement and put our wheels to the road. We knew it’d be a challenge but we also knew it would be full memories and adventure. Each and every hour was entirely ours and I was sure to capture every bit of it. I look back on these photos today and remember everything I felt every mile of the way and I know these captured memories will be with me for the rest of my life. Today, I wanted to share with you 7 tips on how to document your next road trip from beginning to end:
1) Capture the beginning: When we first started cleaning out our apartment in California and packing for our roadtrip, I remember feeling nervous, anxious, scared, but mostly excited for new beginnings. I wanted to remember this moment so we took a family photo in our empty apartment just minutes before saying goodbye to it forever. The empty walls and weathered flooring in the photo expressed the instability, vacancy and inconsistency in that very moment but it also shows our comfort and feeling of consistency because we had each other--I had my husband, baby June, and dog callie, I knew everything would be okay and that is how I will always remember this moment. Before your road trip, capture the moment, what you were feeling at the time, and focus on your surroundings to tell your story.
2) Fine the Golden Hour: Our road trip took a total of seven days and we planned all our stops, visit, and overnight stays around the golden hour. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, it’s basically the hour before sunset (or sunrise) and is most optimal lighting wise for outdoor photos. During this hour, the sun partially disappears into the horizon and side lighting creates a golden glow. Sometimes you may have a particular subject in mind, or you may want to capture just the sunrise itself. Taking time to compose your image beforehand can allow you to get creative when the light peaks.
3) Welcome candid moments: Posed and well thought out images are great but sometimes you want to free yourself and the subject and capture memories that are real and unfolding as you’re making them. When you’re building a campfire, hiking a trail, or in my case witnessing your daughter’s first ever pool experience with dad, capture those memories.
4) Put it on self-timer: Landscape photos and photos of your loved ones are amazing but be sure to include yourself in the photos! Some of my favorite images are selftimed ones because it shows us whole. This might take a couple of tries so forewarn everyone involved and have fun with it!
5) Capture movement: If you’re going to be traveling, some of the best images to describe movement is...well movement! Whether it’s photos of your kids, your husband, or your furry animals, prepare your camera settings and let it all unfold in front of you.
6) Scale your images: This is especially important during road trips because most likely you’ll be driving through mountainous ranges, bodies of water, populated areas and desolate areas. To get a better dimension of these moments, frame a person, vehicle, building within a surrounding landscape.
7) Take Note of the Stops: Document the cute divey diners, retro coffee shops, heck maybe even the gas station. These are all a part of your road trip memories too.
8) Capture the end: When you document your travels, you want to remember the beginning, but you also want to remember the end. The trip was an exciting time full of stories, emotions, and memories that you’ll capture along the way. How did it all end? What were you feeling? This is where you focus again on your surroundings and emotions.
Thanks for stopping by and reading!