Land­schafts­fo­to­grafie & Fami­li­en­ur­laub auf einen Nenner bringen

As a hobby land­scape photo­grapher, it’s not easy when it comes to holi­days. We would like to spend much more time travel­ling or pursuing our passion for nature photo­graphy on holiday. On the one hand, we usually have a main job and only have a limited number of holiday days available, or the family would like to travel to comple­tely diffe­rent desti­na­tions than we have planned for photography.

But holi­days are also leisure time and hobbies are some­thing you do in your spare time, so it’s legi­ti­mate to want to go photo­graphy, isn’t it? I think so. To help you out with this mess, and to save you from a family quarrel, I’ve put toge­ther some tips on how you can combine a holiday and the hobby of land­scape photo­graphy without the family having to cut back and maybe still get some port­folio-ready pictures.

This article is also available as a video. So if reading is too tedious for you, the YouTube video is linked below.

1. learn to compromise

You want to be a land­scape photo­grapher in the moun­tains, but your family wants to go to the beach? Time for a compro­mise. Pick an area where the moun­tains and the sea are not far apart, so that you can maybe go to the moun­tains or at least to some inte­res­ting hills quite quickly for photo excur­sions and lie on the beach with your family during the day. For example, maybe Mallorca, Madeira, Azores, Sardinia and so on.…

Also, beau­tiful scenery can be found on the beach, so keep an open mind. Go with the family’s wishes, but try to help deter­mine the desti­na­tion so there’s some­thing for ever­yone. And don’t be disap­pointed if your family doesn’t really want to go to the High­lands of Iceland.

2. during the day, time belongs to the family

One thing should be clear to you from the start. The time of day when the light is not ideal for land­scape photo­graphy belongs to the family without excep­tion. It is almost impos­sible to take a land­scape photo­graph worthy of a port­folio during this time.

At most, take a small set with you for family pictures or repor­tage, that’s it. Other­wise, take care of your family and enjoy your time toge­ther with them. That has to be your conces­sion, but hopefully it shouldn’t be too diffi­cult for you in general.
As “horse-trading”, you nego­tiate that you can still take your full set with you on holiday. So tripod, filters, lenses, camera, whatever you need.

If you are driving your own car, this should gene­rally not be a problem. If you are flying far away, think carefully in advance about what you really need and, if neces­sary, book a sepa­rate piece of hand luggage for the flight. Under no circum­s­tances do cameras and lenses belong in your suit­case! Who knows when and where it will arrive.

3. prepare twice as inten­si­vely for the holiday

Scout out the loca­tions at the holiday desti­na­tion online in advance. Do this via photo plat­forms, hash­tags, Google, and anything else you can think of. Save these loca­tions so that you also have access to them on holiday. Maybe you can find out in advance at what time of day or in what weather the loca­tions are most photo­genic. Make a note of ever­y­thing. Look for as many photo spots as you can find.

But be aware that you can’t and won’t take all the pictures you set your mind to. Every holiday is too short for that, for sure.

It is also important to be prepared for excur­sions with the family, in addi­tion to your rese­arch work for your desti­na­tion photos. Be well informed and try to know what is available locally in the region that is suitable for the family. Espe­ci­ally if your family is more active. Look for inte­res­ting places, view­points, offers for children and so on. If you have some­thing up your sleeve at all times for both your family and your photo­graphy, you will be the boss or the lady of the situa­tion at all times.

4. try to find accom­mo­da­tion where the photo loca­tion density is highest

For us, plan­ning a holiday usually goes like this: My wife wants to go to a certain country. If it really doesn’t offer anything photo­gra­phi­cally, which is not very often the case, I suggest a similar area or country. We usually agree on some­thing that we think will make a nice family holiday, because that’s the main point. On the side, I make sure that I still find some­thing to photo­graph locally.

Since my wife more or less dictates the desti­na­tion, I specify the region, that’s the compro­mise. So I quickly rese­arch where the land­scape is impres­sive or where I hope to find photo loca­tions. For an over­view, travel blogs or websites of other nature and land­scape photo­graphers are often enough. Google helps to find the right sites.

But as a compro­mise, I also make sure that there is ever­y­thing the family imagines, if possible. Like a beach nearby, to stay with this example. Some­times it becomes a road-trip-light, with diffe­rent accom­mo­da­tions, but 2–3 nights per accom­mo­da­tion, when we realise that there is a lot to discover and it doesn’t make sense to always start from one place.

Again, my wife gets to choose the accom­mo­da­tion. Of course, we both always have a veto on every decision, at any time, but that way we still get to our final travel plans quickly and effi­ci­ently. It has to be said, however, that neither of us is that picky about where we stay.

5. use local family time and trips to scout locations 

If we are then on holiday locally, the day is usually spent not only by the pool or on the beach. We are quite active and want to see and expe­ri­ence a lot. During the day, there might be some­thing that is photo­gra­phi­cally exci­ting for you and enter­tai­ning for the family at the same time. If the family is happy, you might have a few minutes for photo­graphy. Other­wise, as I said, don’t use these daytime excur­sions for photo­graphy, but for getting to know the loca­tions and scou­ting with your eyes.

Is there anything inte­res­ting to photo­graph here, a special motif, special fore­grounds or details? Is this spot more suitable for sunrise, i.e. in the morning, or for sunset, i.e. in the evening? Also look for spots as close as possible to your accom­mo­da­tion. You can then visit these spon­ta­neously and at rela­tively short notice, should photo­gra­phic weather and great light arise.

6. go early in the morning or at night to take photos when the family is still asleep.

In my eyes, the ideal time for land­scape photo­graphy is often in the morning. It’s the same on holiday. The whole world is still asleep and you have the spots to yourself. Your family will also want to sleep in on holiday, so that’s your advan­tage. In summer, use the time until the family is awake for your photo excursions.

It’s diffe­rent if you want to go to a sunset spot, for example. On holiday, your children may be awake a little longer than in ever­yday life. Your wife also doesn’t want to be left alone in the evening. After all, you are on holiday toge­ther. So think of some­thing. Prepare a small “event”, for example a picnic at the loca­tion and enjoy the sunset toge­ther and take a few pictures along the way or let your camera take a timel­apse of the sunset while you toast the beau­tiful holiday with your wife in your arms.

If you have lost a lot of sleep due to your photo excur­sions, you may have the oppor­tu­nity to take a short siesta on the beach at midday, other­wise you should defi­ni­tely consider the next point.

7. don’t go every day!

Remember, you are on holiday. Don’t go out every day. That can cause resent­ment, and your holiday is there so that you can recover. Physi­cally and mentally. If the time is right and the weather is good, then set off with deter­mi­na­tion and don’t try to find some­thing to photo­graph. That never works.

So be well prepared. You probably have more spots than you can go to. That’s normal and shouldn’t dampen your spirits. Pick the best spots that suit the weather you find and you might come back home with a port­folio shot or two as well as some great holiday pictures.

8. bring buns!

Oh yes — you almost forgot the most important tip — when you come back from taking photos in the morning, bring some bread rolls with you. Ever­yone will be happy and no one will be angry with you for snea­king out of the house at night.

I hope with these tips you will be able to plan your family holiday and pursue your hobby of land­scape photo­graphy on the side. Do you have any other ideas that could be helpful for plan­ning? Then feel free to post them in the comm­ents! If you now feel better prepared to manage your holiday with family and hobby, feel free to sign up for the news­letter or follow me on any of my social media chan­nels. Thank you for your support!

I say ciao until next time and have a nice holiday!

Video of the BLOG post (in German Language)

I’ve also put all the points toge­ther in a video, feel free to watch it and give feed­back if you liked it!

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