Travel Tips

Why You Should Take Non-Posed Pictures

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Do you ever get the feeling that all your trip pictures look the same? “This is So & so & family in front of a tall building.” “This is just So & so in front of a very similar historic building” “This is me next to the famous restaurant.”

Posed pictures can be great (except for the plastic-looking one below), but rarely capture the moment.

Keri and Jeanne after a mileage run to SFO and a trip to the wineries.

I’ve found some of the best pictures that I’ve taken or been in are the ones where someone was just idly snapping random pictures. You get a lot of bad ones (so make sure people are deleting those) but you can also get great pix that fully communicate the moment without needing context or a caption.

I was reminded of this over the weekend when a wonderful couple I met on my trip to Barrow, sent me some of the photos they’d taken on our tour. I’d been able to get others to take posed photos of me with my camera, but they best captured my trip with pictures taken when I wasn’t looking.

Here are two of my favorites, not because they’re in any way flattering, because they documented the parts of the trip that stood out the most to me.

The first was in the restaurant before our tour started. I was on my smart phone frantically trying to figure out how to salvage the trip and find a place to stay in Anchorage (and not tear up in public).

DSC_0047 (550x461)

The other was seconds after I’d been trying to photograph my suede boot as close to the Arctic Ocean as possible when a really big wave came rolling in.

Barrow Alaska Arctic Ocean wave

I really wish I could afford to have a newspaper photographer follow me around on some of my trips so I could have lots of frame-worthy photos with friends and family. But until then, I’ll just keep hoping that my traveling companions take random as well as posed pictures and I’ll do the same for them!

What’s been your best “accidental” trip photo?

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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