The Line Between Photography and Vacation

I drew it- BOLD!

When we were planning our recent Florida vacation with Dad, Shelby asked, "Are you going to bring your camera?"


"Why not? Are you sure?"

As photographers, we tend to live life with a camera in our face. Although it has allowed me to slow down and find the beauty in the ordinary, photography while on vacation isn't so relaxing.

Last year when Shelby and I went to Florida, I lugged my 20lb+ camera bag through security and schlepped it across Blue Spring State Park, NASA, Siesta Key Beach, and more. My laptop also made the trip down so I could post photos later in the evening. (Because there's no button on my camera that links to Facebook.)

The reality was I either didn't take many pictures, or we were so tired in the evening that I never processed them. All that extra weight for nothing.

There were a few beautiful pictures I've since posted, but many times I had to stop what we were doing and take time to compose the shot and adjust my light settings. This year I decided to draw a fine line between photography and vacation by leaving my camera at home. Whether you fully commit as I did or are trying to draw a bolder line between photography and vacation, read on. You can do it!


How To Enjoy Your Vacation as a Photographer Without Being a Photographer


Use What You've Got- As photographers, we're well aware that the camera does not take good pictures, we do. Utilize your knowledge of light and composition as well as your mad editing skills and give iPhoneography (or Androidography) a try. I took a few beautiful photos on my iPhone I felt confident enough to post to my professional Instagram. And I didn't need to export them to my computer, upload to Lightroom, fiddle with them, export to desktop, then upload to social media. Whew! If you bring a simple point and shoot or cell phone you can still capture the moment without being captive to it. 

Enjoy The Moment- Instead of analyzing your surroundings admire them. Oftentimes I tend to look for shots instead of spending time with my family or friends who joined me on vacation. Without a camera, no conversations will be interrupted by a seagull who flew over the sunset at just the right moment- and you'll be able to fully enjoy watching him fly.

Relish In Convenience- Without the extra weight of a camera and laptop, you will breeze through security and save time fumbling for the rental car keys that slid below your 70-200mm. Your shoulders will also thank you.

Pleasure, Not Business- If photography is what you do for a living, you'll understand that it does shift from a passion to a job at times. My main reason for taking a vacation from my camera was frankly because I was sick of it. Wedding season, yo.

It's hard to leave your camera at home if you're a photographer going on vacation, but it's necessary to take time away from what we do for a living. The line between photography and vacation could be limiting your equipment, only using it on certain days, or leaving it home completely.

I'd love to hear from you! Would you leave your camera at home while on vacation? Which lens can you not live without while traveling? Tell me all about your photo travel tips in the comments below.


Meg BrownComment