This That and the Passport

Travel Inspiration

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No Pictures Please

Travel with Teens- How to get around the “I don't want my picture taken”

I carry my camera everywhere.  My children's lives are documented in the 78K picture library I have in my computer.  Family vacations were a perfect time to add to my collection- until recently. The teen years are punctuated by self-doubt and self-consciousness. In the age of social media “embarrassing pictures” can be the kiss of death- or so I am told.

However, I am going to continue taking pictures even as they will continue being Teens and since we all want to get along on vacation, we came up with two compromises and some creative ways of documenting our travels.

The compromises:

1. I don't post pictures without their approval- I think this is only fair, especially since we have a lot of people in common on social media.

2. I will take fewer pictures and get fewer complaints.



Siblings in London, EnglandLondon, England


Capturing the moments:

Trying to move away from the traditional everybody-stand-together-and-smile picture, I tried these different approaches. Keep in mind that I am not a professional photographer.  I take pictures on the run and usually not of people.  In fact, I seem to be an expert on "on the run photography". As much as I want to record our travels we are all more interested in getting to where we are going or taking in our surroundings. I don't carry a tripod or multiple lenses, these are just click and move on pictures.

Kids don't always have to be looking at the camera, or know you are taking their picture.  I think this is less intimidating and gave me more natural smiles.

Girl in Paris, FranceParis France


Killing time at Vienna airportVienna, Austria


Goof around in front of major landmarks- and maybe get in on the action.  Hand THEM the camera and see what they come up with.

Outside Shakespeare Theater, LondonLondon, England


Siblings in OlomoucOlomouc, Czech Republic


Look for water.  There is something about a refreshing fountain, it cools off, distracts and provides a great backdrop.

Photographing sisters in front of fountain, viennaVienna, Austria


Let them walk in front of you, sometimes their backs is all you need.

Walking down OlomoucOlomouc, Czech Republic


Vienna, AustriaVienna, Austria


Add some music! This particular day they were singing a show tune trying to fight severe jet lag and they just started to do this little jig!

Photographing fun in Split CroatiaSplit, Croatia


Let them pick a spot and get creative!  The picture below was possible thanks to a traffic jam on our side of the highway.  My daughter said she wanted a "nothingness picture". We jumped out of the car and got this one.

Getting creative while siting on an empty highway in ArizonaArizona, USA


Posing for pictures in Dubrovnik, CroatiaSplit, Croatia


My total copout: This is the "we don't want/fit/have someone to take a picture" picture option

Taking pictures of our feet on the path of the former Berlin WallBerlin, Germany


And last, but not least, let them show the LOVE!

Siblings posing in St Mark’s Square, VeniceVenice, Italy

Candid photo in Dresden, GermanyDresden, Germany

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