Souvenir Photography

Creativity Beyond Limits – Souvenir Photography

A photographer on holiday is never really going to stop taking pictures. But instead of photographing weddings, official events, commercials, stock photos or news, the photographer on holiday takes pictures of anything he or she likes. Travel photography was born when photographers decided to never go back to their regular jobs. But inside travel photography, there is a small section dedicated to souvenirs. Yes, we all like to cover the fridge with magnets, but souvenirs are more than that. A photographic souvenir is a picture of an iconic place or object. It will bring back memories and will completely tell a story from your journey. Like a postcard, but with a personal touch. It’s easy to photograph a landmark or an object, but it is very difficult to put the story inside. Here are some tips to get the most out of your souvenirs.

Get inspired

Some say that a photographer needs only a good camera and a good eye. But inspiration often comes after long times of reading, learning, and studying. Famous photographers are always a good way of expanding your horizon. In the world of souvenirs, Michael Hughes is a good teacher. Since 1999 he’s been working at a series of pictures called “Souvenirs”. He is using small souvenirs, postcards, and everything that comes at hand to compose incredible and meaningful pictures. “My photography seeks to disturb the process of narration within the individual by introducing elements which require a resetting of the habitual processes of thought.”, says Michael Hughes.

Find the essence

Not every cheap plastic toy can be called a souvenir. Find the essence of the places you are visiting. Look up the entire story, read the history books, and understand people’s way of life. In a souvenir, there is much of the place you are but is also much of your own story. A souvenir is made to be a part of your memory. So combine local charm with your own experience and the result with definitely be unique and beautiful.

Be creative

Creative effect lenses are great when you are shooting souvenirs. They give you a playful gear to play with. Taking pictures of meaningful objects usually means you want to blur the background. You can do this by using a shallow depth of field (large aperture, slow shutter speed), but using a creative lens give you more freedom. You can also improve your pictures by shooting from unusual angles, by rotating the camera arbitrary or by using calculated perspectives. Don’t follow the usual path (holding the sun in your hand, supporting the Tower of Pisa etc.). Find your own voice. The Russian photographer Murad Osmann has been photographing his girlfriend in famous places all around the world. But he doesn’t use the conventional portrait composition. Instead, he photographs her from behind, while he holds her hand and both of them admire the view. Make your own souvenirs!

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