When you go on vacation, you want to remember what made it so special. That’s why taking photos is so important. But if you are the person who posts endless shots of people in front of landmarks on Facebook, you are not giving the world anything new. When you’re on vacation, the opportunity to spend quality time with yourself, family, and friends are available. The key to a good photo is to take a better one. People will want to see your photos if they’re great.
Here’s one of the most relaxing, carefree beach moments we captured this year at the Grand Strand in Portland, Oregon.
(Yeah, we know — it looks like we went to Pinewood Studios…)
Our photos are different because we do not take them every single day. In fact, our job requirement is to put together 20% fewer photo uploads than we did the week before. We work backward from what has popular online (and what will get clicked on most). Of our 123 photo uploads in June, only about a dozen received clicks (about a 15% click-through rate). We enjoy our job (we do get to write about marketing stuff I guess?) but realize we have more than our share of great photos.
Consistency is important. We are repeating the same photo several times each week with our legal team, family and friends (and of course with our food delivery customers). To repeat the same photo without gaining traction in the SERPs takes a bit of luck. Luckily for us, 2015 was a year of great timing, especially when it came to staging.
We stuck to a very specific set of photos each week and each day. One day we were at the Grand Strand, a historic 18th century lighthouse, which overlooks the Willamette River. The next day we took the Willamette River with our dog for a morning hike. So, while weather permitting, we submitted a new photo every single day.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your vacation:
Try other family or friend groups. They may have a different schedule.
Slightly varied scenery works well. The sun is low in the evening when this photo was taken, but it rises slowly over the trees and gradually sets as the day goes on. It is not quite daytime, but it is very different than the day before.
Take nearly all of your photos with your smartphone (or your own phone). Smartphone cameras are fantastic these days and can typically shoot in bright conditions, even in colors. There are many apps you can use to take great photos.
Take multiple photos. User fatigue will occur if you take the same photo repeatedly.
Stop at interesting places. You want to capture every aspect of your trip. Resist the urge to snap a photo every few feet — your friends and family will get annoyed.
Use zoom (if appropriate). You will be amazed how many things you can see from a distance.
Tools for the job include services like
Snapzu, which do facial recognition mobile archiving; A BETTER-THAN-SOCIAL-CLICK-WHY-WERE-YOU-VIDEO-APPRECIATED Snapzu Contacts; and WhatsApp. These apps are free or have a free option. There is also a community of local and professional photographers on Instagram with lots of creative comping.
Since mobile is the most talked about digital medium these days, it’s a good idea to know that this medium works. Because of this, we included videos in this snapshot list of tools that you can use to take better photos, which you never know what happens while you are away.
1. A BETTER-THAN-SOCIAL-CLICK-WHY-WERE-YOU-VIDEO-APPRECIATED
This app is used to simply upload the photos or videos that you take. You never know when some genius from your network is going to post old One piece photos on his Orgclick page.
This app does all you “video” postings automatically, which is a great advantage of this program. Have you ever accidentally uploaded many videos to your Facebook account and complained about them being uploaded incorrectly? This app prevents that problem. If your family member decides to post something on YouTube and doesn’t seem to be capable of a decent video, the uploader app knows and makes all the calls to your family.
2. A BETTER-THAN-SOCIAL-CLICK-WHY-WERE-YOU-VIDEO-APPRECIATED
This program is like Facebook’s Contacts app. Being familiar with the app means you can begin calling and texting celebrities, current and past employers, close friends, and great photo sources on the fly. If your extended family members or professional network contacts are not busy and live in the same area as your vacation home, these calls will be much more frequent.
3. GOOGLE DOODLE PHOTOS
Google Ice Cream is a social network for business and pleasure. You can recreate your dog photos and stream your meals at the touch of a mouse. Nearby people can watch your ice cream creations immediately after they arrive in your inbox.
Of course, this is just a text interface so you can see something you want to create visually. It works like a CAPTCHA. You have to look twice to find something you want to copy and paste so you can determine if the recipient’s intended action is to look at the photo or to make a comment and leave a review.
If you’re having an event with a party of ten people without a lot of advance notice, this is a very good option if the number of attendees is lower than a traditional post.