Tips for Photographing Villages

Author: Emily Lowrey

Taking village photos can be great fun! Each village has its own set of unique quirks, and there is so much to see when you walk around with your camera.

Here are some top tips for shooting village photography.

The Village Way of Life

Villages aren’t just interesting places to photograph, they are people’s homes.

  • And how do these people live?
  • Are there cobbled shortcuts to the local shop?
  • An old bench overlooking a beautiful view?

Maybe it’s a fishing village and a street corner stacked with fishing baskets.

Whatever it is, it’s your job as a photographer to seek out these interesting rituals and tell the story through your village photos.

Seeing the everyday hustle and bustle may mean getting up early and going for a walk, or having your camera at the ready while you’re exploring during the day.

Keep an eye out for anything that is different from your own life; anything that catches your eye.

village photos example 'village life' by Emily Lowrey Copyright 2021

Image by Emily Lowrey

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Village Photo Details

village photos example 'details in the village' by Emily Lowrey Copyright 2021

Image by Emily Lowrey

Details within a little hamlet can make wonderful village photos.

Unlike modern houses, which are usually built to be uniform, villages might be hundreds of years old, and every house might be different.

Keep a lookout for interesting architecture, doorknobs, and decorations — any little personal touch that might inspire you.

Just remember to be respectful of people’s property as you explore.

Think small scale; a windowsill, or a gnome in a garden.

Choose your compositions carefully and take in all the little details within a larger scene.

Shooting Villages From Afar

If possible, it’s great to take a step back and see the village from afar.

Often villages are nestled in a hillside, with dramatic landscapes around them.

Seeing them juxtaposed against land or sea can make for a brilliant photo.

Houses and cottages can seem so small against nature, and the colours will pop against a natural background.

It can also be a good excuse to go for a walk with your camera and see what else you can find along the way!

Think about juxtapositions and ways to show off the brilliance of the village from afar. If you can get high up, this can also make for a great scene.

village photos example 'shooting villages from afar' by Emily Lowrey Copyright 2021

Image by Emily Lowrey

village photos example 'framing the village' by Emily Lowrey Copyright 2021

Image by Emily Lowrey

Framing Your Village Photos

You may be here for a holiday or even a day trip, but it’s important to think of the village in terms of how you see it.

If you’re staying there overnight, what does it look like from your window or your front door?

If you’re there with family, also make sure to take some photos of them — or with them! — so you can all remember the time you shared there.

Think about framing. Use windows and doors to frame your scene and let the viewer virtually walk into the village with you.

Villages at Night

Generally speaking, villages are safe and quiet at night.

So it’s a great time to take out your camera — and possibly your tripod — and do some night time photography!

If you’re in a rural area, chances are there will be very little light pollution and you might even get to see the stars on a clear night.

You can experiment at night by showcasing how quiet and still the village is, and possibly take photos of places that you wouldn’t be able to in daylight when everything is busy.

If there is the odd car driving around, you could even experiment with light trails.

The juxtaposition between the light streaks and the old-time architecture can be really striking.

village photos example 'photographing villages at night' by Emily Lowrey Copyright 2021

Image by Emily Lowrey

Village Photos Summary

If you are visiting the village as part of a holiday, remember to enjoy your time there and not stay stuck behind a lens! At the same time though, there’s no harm in keeping your camera with you at all times, at the ready, because you never know what you might discover.

Similarly, if a village is quieter, you don’t want to be in the local’s faces all the time with your camera. Be respectful, and observant, and remember you are a guest in their village.

If you have take any photographs in villages, do share them with us in the iPhotography gallery! We’d love to take a look and give you some feedback!

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