© 2013 photobookgirl

6 Fun Photo Ideas to Snap on Vacation



We’re all familiar with the standard tourist photos. The classic, “I was there” shots that fill our photo albums and the group shot where half of the family look like they’re bored out of their minds or not even looking at the camera. If you’re like me shooting thousands of photos, maybe your subjects are tired of the same old poses. Here’s six of my favorite photo ideas to liven up your photo taking (and your photo books)!

1) Strike a Funny Pose with a Structure

Why settle for a boring garden variety snapshot in front of a famous monument?

msn tourist photo

Photo credit: msn.com

See more hilarious tourist photos at msn.com and some more at this funny travel blog – the everywhereist.com

2) More Photo Trickery

Play with more surrealist poses. Here’s one of our favorites suggested by our guide when we visited Hobbiton (The Shire) in New Zealand on our honeymoon. Look I’m a hobbit!


3) Signage

For some reason, I love photographing interesting signs wherever I go, especially those overseas. Some are a dead giveaway for the location. Can you guess where these were taken?



I also advocate taking a snapshot of any narrative or plaques that you often see at historical monuments to help with your narratives or captions later on. Sometimes we’re so rushed that I don’t get to read them while we’re there and I actually like reading them later on (I’m a bit of a history geek.)


3) Food

I take photos of food pretty often, while home and on trips. Food is a huge part of travel for me as I’m sure it is for most folks. Sampling the “national dish” of a particular country is de rigueur so be sure to snap a shot of it.



To help me with my captions or narratives when I’m making my photo book, I try to get a menu or a business card to jog my memory. Or even just a photo of the menu.


4) Panorama shot

Prior to digital cameras, it was a bit of a pain to get panoramic shots developed but now, it’s so much easier to manage and print in a photo book. I did this shot the old fashioned way with two shots taken side by side. I used Photoshop to stitch them together, which worked amazingly well. I just needed to brighten the left side a touch. Because they didn’t line up as perfectly as I liked (just off by a smidge), I stretched the right side by a percent and the two lined up pretty well though not perfectly. Can you detect where the two are joined? Note that when I put this shot in my photo book, I didn’t need to do anything but put the left half on the left side of the spread and the right half on the right side of the shot, so no Photoshop necessary.


5) The Photoshoot

Want to look like a model? Just have your photo taken numerous times in succession, just like they do in a fashion photo shoot. Include all the shots when you go to lay them out just like a contact or proof sheet. I love to do this with group shots and I include all of them – even the ones where someone has his/her eyes closed. It’s just like a blooper reel and it can really show the subjects’ personalities. In my layouts, I sometimes emphasize the best one by making that one larger than the others.


6) Shadow Puppets

I don’t know how we got started doing this, but my husband and I have often shot our shadows while on vacation. I suppose it’s a way to take a photo together when no one is there to snap it. It’s become a tradition for us. We also try to incorporate shadows of other things in our photos too (like the palm tree) and also think about how other elements add to the context of the photo, like the shells in the second photo below.



How to lay them out

For maximum impact I often lay these types of photos together. They can also be laid out chronologically (day 1 itinerary, day 2 itinerary etc.) but I will usually also do one where they’re all together. For example this two-page spread of all the food you ate while on vacation really helps you figure out how many pounds you gained!


Below I used these frames to emphasize the “photo shoot” look – similar to photo booth strips.


Hope you found at least a few ideas to shoot on your next vacation (or at home)! Happy Photobooking!




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  1. Nadine
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 1:30 am | #

    love the Hobbit shot! how did you do that?
    and we take shadow photos too, but I love your shadow puppet heart. <3

    • photobookgirl
      Posted July 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm | #

      Hi Nadine, Yes – it’s one of our faves too. Basically my husband is closer to the photographer and I’m farther back and on a small hill. So the photographer has to tell my husband how high to raise his hand to make it appear that I’m standing on it. Just some easy eye trickery. I’ve tried similar shots to the one shown right above like you’re pushing a building or holding the moon in your hand or weird perspective stuff like that. It’s just to inject a little fun. You should try the heart one soon! 🙂

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