How to Take the Best Photos of your RV
Traveling in an RV provides many opportunities for camping in beautiful locations. Whether it be a state park, a Harvest Host location, a city campground, or a national park, there are thousands of stunning places all over North America just waiting for you to book your next vacation. One of the best ways to commemorate a life changing campsite is by taking a photo. Many RVers love to have a collection of photos of their RV against awe-inspiring backdrops across the country, and these photos are commonly shared across social media channels, inspiring others to venture out in their RVs and shoot some photos. But what to do when it seems like your RV photos aren’t turning out as nicely as the images you had in mind when taking them? Follow along for simple tips to help you take the best possible photos of your RV to remember each lovely campsite and share with friends and family.
1. Find a nice backdrop or landscape
This tip is a bit obvious, but a nice photo of your RV starts with a nice background for the photo. If you are taking a photo of a pretty campsite, then you likely already have a nice backdrop in place. If you are wanting to take some photos of your RV, then be sure to plan out a nice location for the photos. Popular RV photo backdrops often include mountains, vineyards, desert, rivers, forests, farmlands, and so much more. The more epic the backdrop, the more epic the photos.
2. Minimize background noise in the photo
Once you have selected a backdrop, you will want to remove any clutter or distractions from the setting. Anything that will take attention away from the subject of the photo (the RV) should be moved to a different location until after the photos have been taken. This includes trash cans, additional vehicles, and camp equipment (chairs and tables are okay but tools, workbenches, and other clutter should probably be moved if possible). Relocating unnecessary items will make for a cleaner, more minimal photo with a clearer subject.
3. Try different angles
The angle at which your photo is taken plays a big factor in the overall quality of how it turns out. There are endless possibilities when it comes to angles. Photos can be taken from in front of the RV, beside it, behind it, or at a distance. Keep the surroundings and background in mind when choosing the angle for your photos. You wouldn’t want to cut off the peaks of a mountain or cut a forest treeline in half. Be sure to keep the angle of your photo in mind for best results.
4. Follow the rule of thirds
When taking a photo, it is best to keep the rule of thirds in mind. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it essentially suggests that the subject of a photo should only take up about one-third of the photo. Additional open space creates more interest and draw the viewer’s eye to the subject of the photo more directly. It also allows for plenty of room in the photo to feature the beautiful background location.
5. Shoot with quality, natural lighting
Any time you are snapping a photo, lighting should be your main priority. Lighting has the power to make or break a photo, so good lighting is absolutely essential to the quality of the finished product. You should aim to take the best photo you can before any edits are to be made. To find the best lighting for your photos, follow these simple rules:
- Avoid shooting at midday. Midday sun can be very harsh and often blows out certain parts of a photo, while washing out other parts.
- Shoot your photos in the warm morning light or glowy evening light. Sure, you can shoot photos at other times of the day, and they will turn out nice. But many of the best photos are taken at golden hour, sunrise, or sunset. There’s just something about dramatic lighting that leads to amazing pictures.
- Don’t use your flash. Flash photography is necessary in some indoor photos, but if you are shooting pictures of your RV from the outdoors, it’s best to just wait for nice, natural lighting.
- Use your camera’s settings. If you are shooting on a DSLR, try using the photography settings instead of the auto setting. This allows you to adjust the photo and control the lighting situation to match your preferences, making for the best possible photograph.
6. Edit your photos
Editing allows photographers to control factors that were out of their control when the photos were taken. This includes lighting, details, texture, colors, shadows, and so much more. When editing your photos, it is best to only adjust elements of the photo that really need it. Remember that natural photos often look best, so don’t overly edit your photos. Simply tweak the parts that need touch-ups, and save the final results. Then, you can print and display your photos, or share them with friends and family.
No vacation is complete without fun photos, and photos of your RV and its beautiful campsites will commemorate your adventures long after they are over. Be sure to follow these simple tips to take the best overall photos of your RV. Don’t forget to share your favorites on social media to inspire other RVers and show where you’ve been.
Do you like to take photos of your RV? Do you have any tips to add? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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A few considerations to address:
Rule of thirds: Show a grid superimposed on an image. (Your example does not follow the rule of thirds!)
Natural Lighting: Always be cognizant of shadows and backlighting. Both can be used in good ways but can also ruin a photo.
I’d also like to see a section devoted to urban photos or photos where one needs to pull off the side of the road to use a bridge, building, or natural structure as a backdrop.
How does one position an RV? How to get close, and maneuver in traffic? How to deal with a perfect backdrop that spontaneously appears during a journey?
A few examples:
. Getting close to a state capital building or a monument
. How to position safely off the side of the road to get that vista shot (expanse of a bridge, water, mountains, cityscape, etc)