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Creating a Photo Shot List for Vacation

When I go on vacation I like to have an idea of what I want to photograph and where I want to go to help tell my story and create memories from my trip.

Why is this important?

When you think about what you want to shoot prior to going you are more likely to capture everything you want. You become intentional about what you want to capture. This will help to tell a better story. If you get to a location and you need some inspiration you can look at your list, start snapping away and then things will start to flow. This ensures you get the photographs you want because this may be the only time you are there and you want to remember all the moments.

What is a shot list?

A list of everything you want to capture on vacation and where you want to go. This includes the types of shots and locations. Here is an example of a shot list from the beach. Be specific but also have room for creativity because you never know the exact conditions.


South Beach shot list at sunset

  1. Waves crashing on the sand

  2. Waves in the water

  3. Sunglasses resting on the beach

  4. Me sitting on the sand looking at the water

  5. Sunset over the water

  6. Wildlife on the beach like a crab, bird or dolphin

  7. Toes in the sand

  8. Shells on the sand

Questions to ask yourself before creating your list

  1. What am I going to do with these photos?

  2. Why do I want to capture this location and memory?

  3. What are the must takes, the nice to have and the dream shots?

  4. How long will I be there?

  5. What time of day will I be there?

  6. What considerations do I need to know like tide levels?

  7. What angles do I want to capture?

  8. Will the area be crowded? Do I want people in the shot or not?

storm clouds on the beach in florida

All in all having a plan of what you want to capture can help you with a starting off point but you never know what you might capture like the big storm cloud pictured above. Be creative, have an open mind and have fun!


Read more about other vacation photos like my 50 Things to Photograph in Florida or my Family Vacation Tips.


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