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Let’s be honest. We all get a little crazy with photos when going on vacation. Not all of us? Well, at least a majority. Here’s how my vacation looked just few years ago.

Seconds after getting on the plane I took my phone or a camera out and started taking pics of everything around me, producing hundreds of noisy, blurry, out of focus photos that noone wile ever want to see.

Hello! We're here! In the middle of nowhere.

The real craze however usually started right after I arrived at the destination. I absolutely needed to have a pic of the hotel lobby, a panoramic photo of the view from our hotel room, a selfie in the bathroom mirror was also a must-have. And let’s not forget about the #foodporn pic of the hotel dinner. And it all happened during the very first 15 minutes after arrival.

The weather is perfect. We spend most of the time drinking ice cold beer at the beach. It's good.

Every night I used to come back to the hotel room with two pounds of beach sand in my trunks and few hundreds of photos taken that day. What kind of photos? Well, for instance there were 47 pics of the same bottle of wine taken from different angles. I wish they were at least decent photos. But they weren’t. 45 of them were really bad.

Great people, awesome view. The party continues.

That was me just a few years ago. An amateur photographer on vacation. Thinking I could take photos and the more I took the better. I took 400-600 pics every day. Most of them were the same. Identically poor. When I got back from my 2013 vacation, after a very strict selection I still had around 900 photos left. And for what?

Watching the sunset. Getting romantic. Not always drunk.

To remember more? To show them to friends or maybe to kids in the future? Remember how you felt the last time one of your friends said „Let me show you my vacation photos” and then opened a 24GB folder on their laptop? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Noone wants to see all those photos, including the person who took them.

Actually we were a bit drunk most of the time.

Few months ago me and my wife decided to print only 36 photos from every trip we take. Each of us choose 18 pics. 36 photos is more than enough to illustrate pretty much every 1-2 week trip. And what’s more, noone will die of boredom while browsing those photos.

A view from our room. Just to have a proof that we haven't been sleeping in tents.

When was the last time you were holding a photo? I don’t mean holding a tablet or a phone with photo displayed on the screen? I mean a real, printed (or developed) photo. I mean paper you can touch and leave a fingerprint on it. We print our photos on a thick, ultra-matte paper. Every person who gets to see those pics says „Wow, that’s different”.

And it takes minutes to browse them, not hours. Isn't it better when people ask "Do you have more of those?" instead of "Do we have to see all of them?"

Breathtaking view is a must-have in every vacation photo album.

After our last trip to Zakynthos, Greece I took it even further. Since I started my first 365 project, I’ve been publishing just one photo every day. This limitation makes me think more about what I want to keep from that day. It makes me think more when I actually take a photo. And finally - it makes me take less photos.

Just a little bit of #foodporn

During that 8-days trip I published 8 photos, and you know what? It turned out that it’s enough. Every single one of these photos perfectly illustrates each day. I don’t need gigabytes of images of waves crashing over a rocky beach.

In those 8 photos you can see that we were in a beutiful place, with great people. It was fun, the views were breathtaking and the food was delicious. What more could you want from your vacation photos?

„Less is more” and „Quality over quantity” may seem cliché. But here’s the challenge. Next time you go on vacation, or even a short trip - take less photos. You won’t kill your shutter, you’ll save some disk space, you’ll frame your photos more carefully... and none of your friends will die of boredom.


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  • Joost van Halm

    @Paweł you nailed it in this article. I recognize a lot of what you describe. I too have been downsizing on my last climbing trip, placing the sport above photography. Sometimes it's a pity because as we progress we also dream up nice scenes to shoot on our destination and it takes time and prep to realize such a vision. I am about to go on vacation in a few days and I am already looking for gear I can leave at home instead of take with me. This time I will be using shots for my 365 and will take more pictures during the day, but will try to do so with a focus on quality. Also I want to do more 'cinematic'-style shooting, so concentrating on a scene instead of just blasting away is a good idea.

    • tigg

      Just revisited this article. Thinking my 290 photos from 5 days in Italy is not so bad.

      • Paweł Kadysz

        Surprisingly low number. And I believe most of those photos are actually good, am I right? I came back from a sailing trip yesterday. I also took around 300 pics in 4 days (not including those for timelapses). Normally, that number would've been at least 3x higher. But now I kind of see the picture before I take it and know whether it is worth taking or not.

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      Pawel from Tookapic

      Hi, I’m happy to help you with any tookapic subject, however, before you send me a message, please look at Help section where you can find answers for most questions.

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