How To Take Honeymoon Photos Like A Pro!

Your honeymoon promises to be the holiday experience of a lifetime, so no doubt you’re hoping to capture some gorgeous photos during your romantic escape, to treasure for years to come.

Perth wedding and lifestyle photographer Angela Higgins has won the hearts of many loved-up couples with her light filled, timeless photography style and her genuine passion for capturing a couple’s special day.

Also a keen traveller, Angela is often jetting off to far-flung destinations, camera in hand, and it goes without saying that her travel photography is equally as stunning!

So what better person to ask to share top tips to make your honeymoon photos sparkle? From selecting the perfect lens, to editing on-the-go, Angela’s tips will help you create a honeymoon album you will love!

Firstly, let’s talk about camera gear essentials for taking great holiday snaps. Are there any particular items to purchase or pack to really make your photos pop?

My priority when travelling is to choose minimal gear to be able to travel light. My travel photography is usually 80 per cent details and 20 per cent landscapes so I don’t need a wide lens – my travel gear go-to is a 50mm 1.4 lens attached to my Canon 5D Mark III body.

If you aren’t sure what you want to photograph, a zoom lens (24-70 is ideal) is great to attach to your DSLR however a point-and-shoot like my Fuji X1000 is great to throw around my neck to capture more candid moments. In addition to the camera, don’t forget lots of memory cards and your battery charger!

Taking photos while travelling means often snapping away pretty quickly and without a lot of preparation – you are on your honeymoon after all! What are your top tips for taking great travel photos ‘on the fly’? 

My advice to getting great photos with little effort is to be very well acquainted with your camera and how light works. The better you know it, the faster you’ll be able to change the settings and focus and shoot instead of telling people to “Wait, lemme just figure this out!” Spend time before your honeymoon using the camera as much as you can in different situations, such as bright light, sunset light, night time, and experiment so you can confidently document your trip.

If you can photograph in manual mode, definitely try to learn it as many tours don’t allow you to photograph with flash.

If you’re only taking your phone on your honeymoon, what tips do you have for taking the best photos?

Despite all of my professional gear, some of my favourite photos are taken on my phone. The camera capabilities are so good for travel photography and it is much less cumbersome than a camera. My tips for the best photos on your phone are to always wipe your camera lens beforehand and to move your feet rather than using the zoom of your phone. You will get a better angle and the resolution will be much better and you can crop it later if needed.

Using the in-built grid on your iPhone also allows you to use the rule of thirds to compose your image pleasingly. With this concept, when you take a photograph you try to put points of interest (where you want the viewer’s eye to be drawn to) at one of the four points where the lines intersect or along the lines themselves. On an iPhone you can turn on the grid at Settings > Photos & Camera > Grid.

Unless you’re going on safari, chances are you won’t be rising at dawn or timing your activities for golden hour! What technical tips can you share to help loved-up travellers get the best photos in less than ideal conditions?

Embrace the moment with a few hacks:

a. If you are shooting manually on digital or film in full sun use the Sunny 16 rule.
b. Try to keep the subject in the foreground in the same lighting as the background – especially for those photos when you’re trying to capture a landscape behind people. For example, don’t stand under the palm tree on the sunny beach, stand in the sun.
c. Avoid your subject looking into the sun to prevent squinting and shadows. Unless you’re on a beach where you can put on your best shades and you’re set!

Apart from happy photos of each other, what tips do you have for really capturing the essence of your destination in terms of details or subject matter?

I naturally gravitate towards details to help tell a story. A cup of coffee in a restaurant. A bowl of fresh fruit. A cluster of palm trees and blue skies. A table of food that represents where you are in the world. Farmers markets.

It is true that a picture tells a thousand words and when you start to put together your photographs as a collection, these details will help tell a story in addition to your landscape photos and make things a little more interesting when you share them with friends and family.

Photographing things such as language (ie, street signs), currency, tickets, decor, your accommodation, the locals and of course food, are great ways to document a location but it is important to also have context. Keep them in situ rather than being isolated. When we were in Paris last year, spring had just broken so I made a point to photograph the brightly coloured fruit and tree blossoms that were everywhere.

Can you share some simple editing tips for those hoping to give their snaps a little extra sparkle? 

When editing on your phone, my preference is ‘less is best’. Using Instagram’s in-built editing is great with your favourite filter reduced to 20 per cent or so and then a little more brightness, less shadow and less highlights. That is all you need!

Post honeymoon, it’s time to sort, store and display those treasured images. Any tips on photo storage or creating a gorgeous photo album? 

This is the tough part. Firstly, download all your images and select your favourites and avoid duplicates, out of focus/unflattering images, etc. Once you’ve chosen your favourites you will have a couple of stand outs that you might like to print or even more that would be great to be printed in a travel album or uploaded as a Facebook album. Use a service like Artifact Uprising or Momento to easily create an album of your travels. Make sure you back up to a cloud service or create a physical hard drive back up just in case!

What are some of the most romantic, photogenic and memorable places you have been to? (Including your own honeymoon!)

My own honeymoon started before our wedding as we had a destination wedding in New Zealand. New Zealand is a photographer’s paradise and some of my favourite memories were from the days leading up to and following our wedding, as our family flew in from around the world.

We also loved traveling to Lyon and the Beaujolais and were fortunate to have some friends show us around and experience it as a local (Lyon is actually known as the food capital of France!) and the scenery was to die for.

We recently celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary in Paris and it couldn’t have been more perfect! It’s the most romantic city in the world and a photographer’s paradise.

Any other honeymoon travel tips?

When traveling with your camera gear, avoid using camera bags as it can make you a target for thieves. My preference is a bag that has a double purpose of holding my purse, maps and personal items plus my camera, but looks like a normal bag. My favourite travel option is an ONA bag or my Louis Vuitton tote.

And Angela’s final tip? “Don’t forget, sometimes the most memorable moments are the ones that I didn’t photograph so remember to just stop and breathe and experience the beautiful location you’ve traveled to.”

All images by Angela Higgins

Ms Chinoiserie Says: Beautiful photography! Some fabulous tips about capturing those special moments – particularly about which filters to use and getting some wonderful detail shots!

About Anika: I’m a freelance writer with a love of weddings and creatively styled events. I have a penchant for pretty stationery and perfectly put together cheese plates, and a never-ending sense of wanderlust!