Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bringing interest to the obligatory “we were there” pictures

You know the ones. You visit the mountains or the rocky beach or the untamed wilderness and you line up everyone to stand in a group to look straight into the camera with whatever gorgeous scenery you can still squeeze into the frame behind them. The result is usually a little too much of each (loved ones and scenery) and not enough of either.

When traveling, I’ll usually take one of the above-mentioned shots just to make those who insist on that type of thing happy. Then I’ll go to work creating an environmental portrait of each person who came along. We didn’t come to the place to stand in front of it; we came to see it, to experience it, to interact with it. So that’s the way I want to depict us. I will take candid or loosely posed pictures of people interacting with the environment, not standing stock-still in front of it.

I’ll take photos that show more environment than person, then switch to show more person than environment, leaving just enough clues as to where we were. I also follow some of the other tips I've mentioned on this blog (change your altitude, get out of the center, etc.). What I’ll wind up with is a good variety of interesting shots that then become excellent fodder for scrapbooking (for my wife), or in my case, photo blogging.

These are some photos of the ladies in my life (wife and daughters) along the Lake Michigan shoreline in northern Wisconsin. They give a good sense of the places we visited as well as the special people in my life who visited there. And they're a lot more interesting than if they had stood stock-still in front of the camera.

Photographs © 2007 James Jordan. Click on pictures to enlarge.

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