On my last family trip to Disney World, I took only my Fuji X100T, a couple memory cards and 3 batteries. I didn’t even bring a camera bag! Why, as a photographer, would I travel so light?
Two reasons. First, it’s a family trip. So the whole point is to be present with my family. I want to remember being there and living the trip, not simply the process of documenting it. Lugging around a bag full of lenses and cameras would’ve kept me from my family.
Second, I wanted to show that you can still make great images from the simplest of equipment. The Fuji X100T is an extremely capable little camera. But it is a fixed focal length lens and it can’t be changed. So of course, there were shots I missed. And that’s ok.
In a world of endless camera equipment possibilities, limiting the options is quite liberating. These limitations allow a certain focus to develop on a trip. You soon learn to tune out all the “if only I had this lens…”, and begin only to see the shots suited to the selected constraints.
For extra credit, I shot just about everything in a black in white square format (think made for Instagram). Okay, I really shot in RAW + JPG mode, meaning the camera saved a black and white JPG file and a RAW file with all the color data. But the fact is that black and white JPGs that come out of the Fuji cameras are simply amazing. They need very little post processing, if any. The decision to go black and white was harder than the decision to take one simple (and light camera). Vivid colors are everywhere at Mickey’s. But again, leaving out colors allowed me to see things a little differently.
The result? It was a great trip with lots of memories. Now a Chicago resident, we no longer have the luxury of making a quarterly visit to Orlando, but within my own constraints, I believe I’ve put together a better story of images than in any previous visit.
Images you see here are all from the JPGs, with maybe a bump or two of contrast or exposure adjustment.
So enjoy your next big family vacation, whether you’re a pro photographer or just the designated family photographer. Give yourself a little self assignment or specific constraint for the trip and don’t stress about capturing every last hug from Mickey (he’ll be there next time, looking exactly the same).