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Shut up and Shoot!

She yanked the camera out of my hand and started snapping pics of anything and everything. I had clearly forgotten that this was a vacation, not a photo assignment.

As a photographer, travelling brings many new opportunities and will often refresh the creative mojo. Sometimes though a vacation is just a vacation!

The year of our tenth anniversary, there was a tradeshow in Amsterdam that I have always wanted to attend. Wanting to be the hero, I suggested that we go to Europe for the occasion. My wife is a graphic designer and lover of all things fashion and casually suggested that, if we are already in Europe, she wanted to visit Paris. Me being a history buff, I responded that if she got Paris, I wanted Normandy. The deal was struck.

Our plan was to spend 3 nights in Amsterdam, 4 nights in Paris, and the last week we would travel by rental car all around Normandy. Our Normandy hotel was right on the beach where the temporary Mulberry Harbour was constructed to ferry men and supplies into the fight to retake Europe in 1944. I’m thinking to myself that not only did I make out like a bandit on the deal, but I was going to make a fortune selling my photos on stock photography sites. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After just two days in Amsterdam, my wife was so fed up with me looking for the perfect angle, the sun in just the right position, and a clear shot, she snapped and grabbed the camera. Yes, I had clearly forgotten that this was not photo assignment. We were there to have fun and see sites that we may never have the opportunity to see again. To illustrate how my way of thinking came around, we shot about 300 images in Amsterdam (the red light district was an eye opener), about 600 in Paris, and from our time in Normandy approximately 1,500 photos.

Did I sell any of the images? Sure I made a few bucks, nothing to write home about. We get so much enjoyment out of streaming the photos to the big screen TV and reminiscing about every aspect of that trip, that I wish I had gone into the trip with my wife’s mindset – we were on vacation and our photos should remind us of the incredible time we had.

We were hoping to make it to Italy for our 15th and to take our teenage daughter with us, now that she is old enough to appreciate the history of Europe. That trip is still in our plans and I am sure I’ll be snapping photos like a fool who just bought his first camera. Thank goodness for digital!

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