Nov 18 2011
One of the vacation-planning decisions I put a lot of thought into is this: How am I going to capture our vacation memories?
It doesn’t sound like it should be difficult. Take a camera, snap some photos, and be done with it. Yet I always seem to be torn about exactly HOW to do just that. These are the thought processes that run through my head.
- I should take my pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera.
I have a decent little point-and-shoot digital camera. I carry it in my purse at all times, just in case some photography need should arise, and it’s known in my circle of friends that I always have a camera with me, because you just never know when you’ll need a picture. This little camera is lightweight, has a decent zoom on it, and a cool GPS feature that remembers where each photo was taken. It uses an SD card, which I can easily insert into a laptop for backing up and sharing photos along the way. It will also take video footage.
Although this is my go-to camera for day-to-day on-the-go shots, its photos aren’t as good as camera B (see below).
- I should take my digital SLR.
I have a nicer camera, a digital SLR. I’d be able to take nicer, more creative photos with it, for that “wow” factor. Since this is a special vacation for us, I should take the best photos I can to preserve those special memories.
This is a heavier camera, and while it has a decently comfortable strap, it would still weigh me down. It would require more cords and gadgets for downloading and charging than the little camera would. Would I end up lugging it along, and then leaving it behind when we’re walking a lot, or would I truly make good use of it?
- I should take both cameras.
After all, some days will be grab-a-quick-shot days where the little camera would be best, and others will be in locations where I’d want better photos.
Taking both requires double the number of cords and batteries and cards, and then there’s the question of how to safely stow the camera that isn’t currently in use.
- I should take as many photos as possible.
This is a vacation, a special time for us, so I should capture every moment that I can.
- I should take just a few photos.
Being behind the camera all the time means I’d get the memories stored away, but would it take away from my actual enjoyment of the trip?
- We should pose for a family photo at any place with a cheesy and ridiculously expensive photo spot.
In this way, I’m guaranteed to be in front of the camera once in a while. Seriously, my goal is to have my face in at least one photo on each vacation to prove that I was actually there, and sometimes this is difficult to accomplish.
No matter which approach I decide to use (and I’m leaning in one direction, but I’m curious to hear what your family-vacation photo strategy is), one thing’s for certain:
- I will sort, label, and put the best photos into an album when we return home.
I’m determined that my family’s digital memories aren’t stuck on a computer, never to be seen again, so after each vacation I use a digital program to create a printed photo album. My kids love to page through memories of vacations past and talk about places we’ve visited and things we’ve done together. These shared experiences are perhaps the best part of traveling as a family.
In the end, it seems like a petty decision to agonize over. I know that I’m blessed to have the resources to travel, and to have a choice in how to preserve our family’s memories. Like most parents, however, I want to make the most of the time I have with my family, and photos and memories are part of that time together, so I want to use what I have to full advantage, and to give these treasures to my children.
What’s your family vacation photo strategy? Please share in the comments.