Recently I had the pleasure of traveling to Maryland to speak at a workshop for photographers. With my two kids at home I don’t travel as much as I did pre-children, and the locations are not as exotic. The workshop was held at the stunning Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, MD (where much of the movie, The Wedding Crashers, was filmed) and it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed. And I was there solo so I had a chance to really enjoy my room.
Do you remember the last time you took a vacation and entered your room only to be brought to tears of joy? That was me when I entered into my room. It was a suite complete with a fireplace in the living room, water view, and a magic TV that came out of a chest at the press of a button. I entered the room and immediately felt the stress of day-to-day life melt away.
I think all too often when we travel we get wrapped up in the sight-seeing and touring of our destination so we forget to also photograph our rooms. But frequently it is the room that acts as our anchor, our landing pad, our retreat. If you rent a beach house in Galveston for a weekend, the house is not only where you sleep, but where you share meals and create memories. It is such an essential part of your travel but is often overlooked when you pull your camera out.
Next time you travel I recommend you try something different. Before you get your bags out and unpack, take out your camera and document the space as you see it for the first time. It will be clean and fresh and your best memory. Try taking a picture from the doorway to remember what you saw when you first entered your room or vacation house. Take pictures from different angles in your room, getting into the corners so you can see more of your room in front of you. Open the curtains and blinds to let in more natural light.
Consider as you tour your temporary home…are there elements that really stand out to you? Make sure you capture those too. In my case, the bathroom of my room was like walking into a spa. It had heated floors, beautiful hardware, and a giant tub I felt I could swim in. That was something that stood out to me so I make sure I took pictures in there too.
Finally, if your room has a stellar view, make sure you capture that too. If the view is best at a certain time of day, make the effort to take your picture at that time of day. In my case, my waterfront view was best at sunrise so I made a special effort to remember to open the curtains to capture that sunrise view.
Remember that your pictures will tell the story of your vacation. Let your location and room inspire you to capture images that will remind you for years to come of your trip.