Hello, future honeymooners!
Welcome back! This is part 2 of my installment on how to capture your honeymoon like a pro! In part 1 we talked all about the things you’ll need to bring with you in order to document your trip. Waterproof cases, action cameras, and selfie sticks all made the list. Today we’re going to pick up right where we left off! Now that you have all the things you need, it’s time to go out there and capture those memories!
Before we jump into the list of tips I want to make one overarching point: don’t overthink it! Yes, I’m going to give you a few tips for capturing great looking photos and videos, but at the end of the day, you want to ENJOY yourself. So, don’t sweat it! If you see something interesting, snap a photo. Don’t let the “rules” in your head hold you back from capturing something you find interesting. There really is no right or wrong here!
Here are some tips and tricks you can use to capture better photos on your honeymoon!
1) Protect Your Highlights!
When talking about photographs, you’ll hear people mention “highlights” and “shadows”. The highlights are the brightest parts of the image, and the shadows are the darkest parts. When you’re taking pictures, it’s always important to make sure that there is detail and information in the very bright parts of the image. This is most often in the sky area. If you ever try to take a photo of a bright sunset, you’ll notice you can either have the beach exposed properly, or the sky. But often not both. In the instances where you have to choose between the two, always choose the HIGHLIGHTS. There will often still be information in the shadow areas you can recover with editing…but if you shoot so your highlights are pure white with ZERO information, you can’t get that back. The best way to choose when shooting on a phone is to tap on the screen on the area you want to save. So in our sunset example, you’d want to tap on the sky to tell the phone to expose for that part of the image!
2) Mind Your Edges
One really simple tip you can implement to take better photos is to “mind your edges”. It’s really easy to focus on the center of the image where the action is when you’re taking a photo, but this can cause you to miss some things happening around the edges of the frame. Random light poles or trash cans can start poking in your photo without you even realizing it! Before you snap the photo, take a quick glance around the edges of the frame and make sure there are no distracting elements! Also, make sure you’re not cutting off anyones feet or toes ;)
3) Shoot for Variety
When you’re thinking about documenting your trip, a little variety will help you tell the story of the whole day, without having to take photos of EVERYTHING! When you’re taking photos of a specific activity try to think capture these things: beginning, middle and end & wide, medium and tight.
Let’s take snorkeling for instance. You want some shots from the beginning of the adventure, so maybe while you’re getting on the boat. Perfect. Look for a variety of shots: a wide shot of the whole marina, a medium shot of your boat itself, and a detail shot of the name of the boat or an anchor or something like that. Don’t forget to take a few photos of your significant other, and maybe a selfie ;)
Repeat this “process” for the middle (the actual snorkeling) and end parts of the trip (the boat ride back and sunset). Now you’ve covered the whole thing! You’ll end up with a bunch of different types of shots that will all help you remember a specific part of the day, and you only had to pull out your camera 3 times!
4) Don’t rush
I don’t know about you, but every time I pull out a camera in a busy place time seems to speed up. It feels like everyone is staring at you waiting for you to take your picture. Well, this just isn’t true! If you see something you want to take a photo of, take your time and don’t feel like you need to rush. You may NEVER be back in this place again in your life, so make sure to pause (stop walking) and frame up a good photo. Sure, you might look a little bit more like a tourist, but hey YOLO!
5) Avoid the Digital Zoom
If you’re shooting with your phone, you might find yourself in a situation where you want to get just a LITTLE closer. That cute iguana hanging on the tree outside your hotel window is just a little too small in the frame for your liking. Well, whatever you do, DON’T use your digital zoom! All you’re doing is cropping in on your sensor and losing image quality. It’s the exact same thing as if you took the photo with no zoom, and cropped it later in your computer. Except…your computer will do a better job of handling it. So, no matter what happens, don’t use digital zoom!
1) Shoot everything the same direction
With the rise in popularity of Snapchat and Instagram stories, more and more people are shooting “vertical video”, as opposed to traditional “horizontal video” like you’d see on TV or in the movies. As a filmmaker, this hurts my heart a little bit but I’ve honestly found myself guilty of this as well! I’m not here to debate if one is correct or not, but all I want to say is pick one way and stick to it. That way when you want to compile all your clips into an epic honeymoon movie later on, they’ll all go together! Pro tip! If you’re using a GoPro or action cam, they only shoot horizontally…so shoot your other video to match!
2) Think like Snapchat: 10-20 second clips are best!
When capturing video on a trip like this, you’re never going to want to watch back 3:35 of your new hubby applying sunscreen by the pool. Long clips take up a ton of memory, are a pain to sort through, and aren’t necessary! Instead try to shoot 10-20 seconds snippits, and use rule number #3 mentioned above about shooting for variety. The same technique will work for video!
3) Make sure you have enough memory
Video takes up WAY more space on your phone/camera than photos do! Make sure you have plenty of memory space if you plan to shoot some video. I suggest bringing your laptop and maybe an external hard drive if you plan to shoot a lot of video!
4) Save your Stories!
Even if you don’t plan on doing some real “videography”, a lot of people end up Snapping or Insta-storying their honeymoon! It’s a way of shooting video that you’re probably comfortable with already, which is great! Just make sure that you’re saving your story to your phone at the end of each day so you don’t lose it forever! I know plenty of people who have made great IG stories of their super fun vacation, and that was the ONLY documenting they did! But after 24 hrs it disappeared and they could never watch it again. Save those stories!
5) Action Cams = Rebels
Ok so if you have invested in a GoPro or other action cam…all of these rules go out the door…sort of. Action cameras fall into their own little category. You kind of need to do long takes, especially if you’re doing an activity that ties up your hands!
Some tips would be, stop and start new clips as much as possible. If you’re snorkeling for 20 minutes, you don’t really need a 20-minute clip of you snorkeling around. Again, you’re never going to want to sort through that! Start and stop when interesting things are happening!
It’s important to remember that the field of view on a GoPro is CRAZY WIDE. So, you can keep it much closer to you than you think and still be in the frame. It’s worth it to do a little practicing before you go so that you know about how far away from you the camera needs to be so you fill the frame!
Lastly, just get creative with it! The beauty of these cameras is that they are versatile, durable and tiny. Use that! Try putting the camera in unique places and get some unique angles. The sky is the limit with what you can do with it! Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Alright folks, I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful! I’m going to repeat myself, but don’t worry TOO much about these rules! Take these tips, go out there and have FUN with your new spouse. Enjoy yourselves, and use these tips to bring home some awesome memories!
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