Date: January 16, 2024

The 2024 WorldStrides Canada Photo & Video Contest has begun! If you’re preparing to head out on tour and interested in nabbing one of our sixteen Grand Prizes (a $250 Amazon e-gift card) or a Monthly Prize (a $25 e-gift card to Tim Hortons or Amazon), we’ve put together our top tips for capturing those memorable moments.

Tip #1: Pick Your Moment(s)

While almost everything about travelling can be exciting, you can usually tell when those truly photo-perfect moments are about to arrive. If you’re about to explore a new cultural site with your group or dig into a delicious local dinner or take in a performance, take a moment to pull out your phone or camera! At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with capturing photos and videos of you, your fellow participants, your Program Leader, and your Tour Director that showcase your destination’s unique landscape or culture.

Tip #2: Move in Close

A common photographer mistake is staying too far away from your subject. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal! Your goal is to fill most of the picture with the subject you’re snapping. And while zoom can be a great feature, you usually get a much better, sharper photo if you physically move closer to your subject.

Tip #3: Play with Angles

Even when you’re trying to photograph a huge monument or picturesque landscape, challenge yourself to explore creative angles. Walk towards one corner of the monument and take a picture of the entire façade from there or kneel down to capture a portrait of someone with something taller in the background behind them. You can even try turning your phone upside down and propping it against something on the ground to elongate your photo of something tall. Most phone cameras also have 0.5x zoom as an option to really get the whole picture!  

Tip #4: Use Flash Outdoors

It may seem counterintuitive, but using flash on a bright day outside will even out any harsh shadows on subjects close to you. This is especially helpful when photographing people from a near-distance.

Tip #5: Find a Simple Background

If you can, see if you can photograph subjects against a relatively simple background. This makes the overall shot less busy, showcasing your subject even more. Also take the time to make sure there aren’t any goofy background elements like trees or poles poking out of people’s heads.

Tip #6: Use the Rule of Thirds

When you pull up the photo and video app on your phone, you probably see a grid of three horizontal and three vertical lines. Use these to help you apply the Rule of Thirds! Basically, move the main subject of your photo from the middle of your shot to one side, inside one of those vertical lines. This automatically gives your image more depth and liveliness. You might have to adjust the focus settings here, too, because cameras usually focus on whatever is in the centre.

Did you recently return from your 2024 tour? Submit your best shots by June 30, 2024 for a chance to win!