Creating engaging photos

by Linda Ledray


Traveling alone, I find it hard to get pictures that I want to look at more than once, and I am sure they bore my friends, so I have quit bringing them out to show, altogether. It seems like a waste of time and money, but I can’t just stop taking pictures. That just doesn’t seem right. I do want to have some memories. I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions? — Mary Ann E., Tulsa, OK


Pictures should be a way of capturing those special travel moments. Everyone has at least seen a picture of the Eiffel Tower, so you might not want to take another. Instead, consider taking a picture of the ice cream stand at the base of the tower, getting a shot of the little girl excited to get her ice cream cone. . . much like you were. You also could ask her parents to take a picture of the two of you with your treats. Pictures, especially of children, are a great way to interact with the local people and perhaps make a few friends.

You also could consider taking theme pictures. You will want to focus on something that you find of interest. One friend of mine takes doorways, another windows. Fences or barns might make unique themes; they give an interesting flavor of the country. You could get someone to take your picture in a doorway or looking out a window. You could even have a picture taken showing the back of your head and the view from your room.

The possibilities are unlimited. Be creative.

When you get home, you can pick your favorite one or two of the theme pictures from the trip and frame them. I would recommend selecting an area at home with enough space to display pictures for a few years to come, then buying a number of similar frames for the area, maybe eight or 10. If your pictures are all in the same type of frame, the photographs themselves will be the focus. You always can add pictures to your display as you travel, but you probably will not be able to find the same frame later.

You also could give up taking snapshots without giving up capturing your memories. Consider taking an art class before you leave home and drawing your favorite memories as you go. One woman I met drew a picture of a bird or flower she had seen at each place she stopped.

You could take small canvases or draw in a journal using any medium you choose. Before you decide what medium you want to take classes in, you should consider what supplies you will need for travel. Oil can be a little messy; pencil or chalk will be easier. But it is up to you to decide what you can manage.

Don’t give up bringing home some memory of those special moments. Especially when we are traveling alone, and don’t have a companion with whom to reminisce about the trip, these memories are very important.