The Polite Travel Photographer—How to Capture Memories Without Going Overboard

Travel of all types offers rich experiences for you and those traveling with you.  When it’s time to capture your experiences, you can simply reach for your smart phone or digital camera. Whether you’re a savvy photographer with a top-of-the-line DSLR camera, or a smart-phone-only user, the goal is the same.  Your goal is to produce quality images and videos that represent the very best of your vacation memories as well as make a photo book afterward. 

Before you set out, carry these basic etiquette tips. Here are six tips on how to remain proper while photographing your family’s adventures:

  • Choose open space over high traffic areas. Standing in the direct line of site of a major landmark may not be an appropriate place to stage a family photo. Like the hundreds of other tourists around you, you want that iconic photo; however, when you insist on remaining too long to stage your perfect snapshot, you’re preventing those around you from enjoying and photographing their own experiences.


  • Think twice about using a selfie-stick. Those oh-so-trendy selfie sticks may seem like a good idea, but many attractions now ban them because they pose a safety hazard.  The selfie stick safety hazard is similar to a skier holding their skies on their shoulder.  When the skier turns around, those heavy sticks with blades bump the oblivious passerby probably still learning to walk in ski boots. The selfie stick has raised similar safety issues, and especially at theme parks with dense foot traffic and long lines.


  • Ask whether your camera is invited. Some places and times are not appropriate for taking photos. In some cases, the act of taking a photo may distract yourself and others from experiencing rare moments including religious and familial events like those at formal dinners, performances, or tours in temples and museums. 


  • Help wanted! If your strategy is to ask a patron or person walking by to take a photo of your family, have your camera set and ready for immediate use.  The person assisting you will appreciate your urgency and preparedness. Plus, setting up quickly may buy you an extra minute with them to take a few extra shots (in case someone blinks). 


  • Be prepared to carry and hold your own camera bag. Avoid using extra seats at crowded venues like public transportation to hold your bag. 


  • Finally, aim to create and capture natural vacation photos. Let the experiences drive your picture taking efforts, and not the other way around.  Wait and seize key windows of time to capture a few smiles.  Pause until the crowds have cleared a bit and when your party is likely most receptive to your camera. Your party’s natural posture and position will shine through in your photos. 

As the pioneering creators of the first photo video book maker, InMotion Albums encourages you to capture tour travel chronicles while never forgetting the basic rules of etiquette.  If you want more travel photo book ideas, stay turned via our blog and newsletter to discover how we’ll transform the way you capture those special memories.