Tips and Tricks for Your Study Abroad Photos
Three months in Croatia with visits to Germany, Austria, Greece, Slovenia, and Italy means that I have quite a few captured moments from my time abroad. I have over 3,000 photos and videos on my phone from those three months alone.
I naturally like to keep track of things that happen in my life through photos since I have a bad memory and low vision, so I often miss something in the moment that I can see in a picture or video. One of the ways I figure out what moments to capture as I go is based on photography principles of colors, framing, and subjects. That said, you don’t have to have a keen eye to know when there is potential for a good or memorable picture. I always try to take photos and videos highlighting the people I stayed with and enjoyed spending time with on top of the aesthetically pleasing ones because sometimes the smaller moments spark the most joy. I often take 2-8 shots of something and then go back through my phone and keep the best ones. Videos are a good option if you want to capture a full experience that cannot be contained in a simple photo.
Tip # 1: Once you have gotten into the groove of taking pictures and videos of things you would like to remember, it becomes a game of what to do with all of them. First, make sure your photos are organized into albums. You might think you’ll ‘totally remember’ what is what, but that is not usually the case. Organize your photos into cities/countries, months/weeks, categories (e.g. home, school, dinners, etc.), or something else that makes the most sense for your specific trip. If you’re unsure of the best photos to keep, it’s perfectly fine to keep them in one folder and sort through them later - but try to do so before the trip ends, or else you will fall into the trap of never actually doing it.
Tip #2: Back up everything. You never know what could happen. Even better, back them up while you are abroad in case something happens while you’re there. You can back up your photos to a physical hard drive or thumb drive or into a cloud service like google drive/photos. Just back it all up!
Tip # 3: Think about who you want to see the photos - are they just for you versus friends versus family versus the general public? There are a few different ways to share your photos and videos, depending on your intention. You could keep them for yourself to enjoy. You could keep them in a shared drive (as) privately (as possible), or share the adventures you have between you and select family and friends. You could do what my friends and I decided to do: creating travel social media, specifically on Instagram. Social media can work as a way to store your captured moments, share them with people (using privacy settings or even creating a personal archive), and to post videos and pictures in collections with each other. I suggest being cautious of not posting the exact location online if you are still there – it’s very important to remember your safety when sharing photos and locations online just in case.
Ultimately, how you choose to remember your trip abroad is up to you; remember these ideas when you think about how you want to capture those moments.
Myren Bobryk-Ozaki is a Communication major in the College of Liberal Arts and studied abroad in summer 2022 on the Summer Minor in Business program at RIT Croatia.