When did holidays become less about quality time and experiences and more about ensuring you’ve shared a checklist of brag-worthy photos with your social media audience. We are all increasingly guilty whether we realise it or not.
Modern holidays take place in an open world with more lines of communication than ever before. They thrive on social media and revel in the ever-evolving art of exhibitionism. Thanks to our now rampant addiction to Facebook and Instagram, the formula for the perfect holiday has mutated.
And it’s one that becomes uglier with each step back. First comes the shock and mild disgust that nature has allowed this to happen, then comes the realisation that you had a hand in developing the habitat for it to flourish in. And, finally the guilt sets in when you realise you weren’t in the moment, even for a second.
There was a time before camera phones when the only holiday snaps we had, or even cared to capture were group shots at dinner, vistas from the hotel room and awkward pictures of yourself standing in front of local landmarks taken by a passing fellow tourist.
There was certainly very little inclination to photograph the food, no desire to share images of the hotel decor, and selfies were only employed if you were fancy enough to own a camera with a self-timer.
Meanwhile, action shots were completely out of the question unless you went disposable.
Today advancements in technology are allowing us to capture holidays from a plethora of enticing new angles. Combine this with the prevailing vice-grip of social media which demands that we share our holiday instantly, and the pH level of holiday photography quickly turns acidic. The original motives of escape and leisure are drowning in a toxic mixture of vanity and over sharing.
A closely guarded insta-secret, the genetic makeup of this holiday DNA is somewhat of a mystery to social media plebeians such as myself. However, after much analysis I’ve deduced the following method for social-media-meets-travel success.
Holiday bragging rights require effort and candour as detailed in my (tongue firmly in cheek) step by step guide. Follow this and you’re to be commended on your time, investment and the photograph disruption of any moment of significant authenticity. And even if you’d never dream of following such a gauche guide – I’d hazard a guess that you have many of these shots in your holiday image arsenal!
❤️ 📸with thanks to Emily and Sophie for help with some of the photos 📸❤️
The “looking anywhere but the camera” shot
It’s all about showing how little you care to have your picture taken, a laugh in the face of the likely effort behind hiking to your destination, finding hour shot and setting up your tripod and timer.
The action shot
No album complete without the jumping action shot. If jumping isn’t your things, you can probably stretch to an “arms in the air” shot.
The “lost in nature, taking it all in from a distance” shot
Other people ruin things, including pictures. Even the most ‘has been’ I destinations can be made less crowded and more special in the middle of the night or when the suns setting or rising.
The “local child” shot
These are strangers children which can be challenging to capture without seeming dodgy. Avoid controversy by keeping your caption fact based and never include yourself in the shot. A quick reference to National Geographic and you’re an official anthropologist.
The “back of your head” shot
Holding a hand with hike partner behind their back is optional. Symmetry is desirable and a background of beauty and or interest is obligatory.
The “silhouette at sunset or sunrise” shot
Note: A good yoga pose gets extra style points.
The “feet first, ambience” shot
Note: Because knees look like hot dogs, stretch those legs but make sure you have a decent pedicure for barefoot exposure (this is a life tip in general).
Your caption should share something you’ve done or are about to do as relaxing on holiday is so rarely exciting.
The “hotel decor”
Note: if not a hotel this can be a shot of wherever you’re camped for the holiday, but only if it’s Design Folio worthy.
The ‘hotel bathroom’ shot
Can you imagine taking a photograph of a hotel bathroom prior to social media? I bet if you search your albums from the times when we actually created albums, you won’t find one. Now you can barely find one without! Kind of weird and kind of hard not to do when you find a gorgeous one.
The “aeroplane window” shot
Note: A simple, popular and harmless shot for any holidaymaker, regardless of destination. Will help build a ‘story line’ around your trip. Use as the first and last pics of the series of holiday snaps.
The “flower market” shot
Not much to say about this. The flowers can be bright or rustic.
The “cocktails” shot
The modern traveller simply must photograph their delicious (looking) cocktails or mocktails. In fact, choose your drinks based on their prettiness and photogenic attributes. Extra points if you go to the effort of positioning the drinks to incorporate beach view or similar.
The “dangerous hanging from a cliff” shot
This gets maximum points and offers maximum comment and social media interaction value. The shot of holiday dreams. Very rare.
The “making hearts out of hands” shot
So cliché but so sweet…
Sunset on its own shot
You haven’t been on a holiday if you haven’t photographed a beauty of a sunset.
Extra points if you’re sunbathing on the edge of an infinity pool or in a hammock.
The “on a swing in an idyllic location shot”
A real babe of a shot. Similar to “hanging from a cliff” in content value. Another rare gem and you’ll be rewarded in online interaction accordingly!