My family left, they’ve given up waiting on me to take just one more photo and are already blocks ahead of me. I run down the street after them, but then I see something. I stop to snap a few more pics of whatever it was that caught my eye, the view, a small detail, a piece of art… This is essentially the scenario everywhere we go. Snap and run, snap and run…
Occasionally, they’ll wait and even willingly be in a photo, but for the most part I’ve given up trying to get them to pose for me, and instead have been focusing more on trying to get what my husband refers to as the “beauty shot.”
What is the Beauty Shot?
I know it’s different for everyone, but I always feel lucky if I come away from a destination with that one amazing photo. I used to think it had to be the most technically perfect shot, or agonize over trying to guess which picture would be the one that makes everyone go, ahhhh!, but now I realize that’s not the case at all.
For me the beauty shot is the one that stands out in my mind long after the trip has ended, the one that gets printed, the one that finally makes it on the wall. It could be a sign, a landscape, a doorway, bicycles, or even street art nothing is ineligible, but more importantly does the photo evoke feeling? Sometimes I’m surprised at what turns out to be THE Shot.
Is this the beauty shot?
Getting the Beauty Shot
How do I get that shot, if I’m always snapping on the go? It’s not easy, and I’ve definitely been lucky, but rather than relying on luck, I’ve found that signing up for photo tours has been a great way to ensure that I get at least a few great photos. Not only that, but joining a tours allows me to shoot in the early morning and at night, which are often the best times for capturing photos, but the worst times to be out alone.
Portland Photo Tour Company
Narrowing down what I want to photograph makes it easier to chose a tour. I really wanted to shoot Portland’s bridges, so when I discovered The Portland Photo Comapany’s Night Photography Tour, where the main focus was bridges and the city skyline I knew it was the perfect tour for me.
We met at the East Bank Esplanade just before dark and spent two hours photographing the bridges, skyline, and anything else that struck our fancy in the nearby vicinity.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s submarine made a lovely subject.
As did the red glow of the Museum’s neon sign.
Sadly the Tilikum Crossing Bridge wasn’t lit the evening of the tour, but still made for a beautiful sight.
I’m very happy with the photos I took away from the evening tour, but they probably aren’t the beauty shot from this destination. I loved these colorful umbrellas on the ceiling of Boxer Ramen, and stopped to take a photo even though it was too hot out for soup.
Though the jury is still out on my stay at the Ace Hotel, I did fancy the lobby, especially this vintage sign, and there was just something about the cup of coffee someone left behind…
I really fancied these stairs in the Portland Japanese Garden and spent quite a bit of time with them.
I was delighted to discover that this vintage sign we admired has quite a history. Originally hung in 1928, the Hung Far Low Chop Suey Cocktails sign is a remnant of a bygone era and a beloved city icon. By the way, Hung Far Low means “red flower restaurant” in Cantonese.
A classic example of snap and run, I’d hoped to see this Faith 47 piece, and finally stumbled across it just before we left town. It happened to be just around the corner from the Ace.
Walking along the river we saw the start of a triathlon in the Willamette River.
During our visit to the Rose City we took time to smell the roses and photograph them too.
The sun shinning upon our hotel room wall in the early hours of the morning meant no alarm clock necessary.
You might be interested in photo tours from other cities:
You might also be interested in: Two Days in Portland Oregon
Pin for later: