This article is written by guest contributor, Jessica Walters.

It’s normal to come home from any holiday with a few pictures, but a dedicated photography holiday can be one of the most inspiring and creative experiences of your life. No matter what you like to photograph, you can find a place to challenge and develop your skills – and return home with some memories which will never fade.

Image courtesy of Jean-Pierre Brungs

THE NATURAL WORLD

Head to any national park and you’ll find natural wonders around every corner, just waiting to have their photo snapped. The amazing geology of the Grand Canyon is a great example of this – the colors, shapes, and rock formations are like nothing else on earth. It’s an immensely popular destination, so getting out early – or staying up for the sunset – and picking some of the lesser-worn trails is a good idea.

Image courtesy of Laura Colquitt – Grand Canyon

Extreme climates and the animals which live in them, present the ultimate photographic challenge. The soaring peaks and icy shores of Alaska make a fantastic canvas, and they’re home to bears, moose, bison, and many species of whale. The changes in light level and angle during the summer and winter can make for some dramatic scenes.

Image courtesy of Azer Koculu – Alaska

If you’re not keen on the cold, try basking in the African sun with a photography safari. With hundreds of different animals to glimpse in the wide, open plains and golden sand dunes, you’ll be spoilt for choice, and it’s much more responsible to hunt with your lens than a rifle. Visits to local markets and villages are also a good idea. The crafts and produce come in every color, pattern, and texture imaginable, and provide great practice for dynamic photography.

Image courtesy of Bram Vranckx – Africa

PEOPLE AND PLACES

There is equal beauty to be found in the urban environment, and busy centers of population make for great photographic destinations. Street scenes and bustling markets can help to capture the essence of the people and place, especially when they’re wildly different from what you’re used to at home. Try cities like Prague, which has a great mix of medieval and neoclassic architecture, vibrant people, and beautiful old buildings.  Walking the crooked narrow, cobble-stone streets and alleys of Prague’s Old Town, one can feel the heat radiating from the cobble-stones during summertime.

Image courtesy of Daria Depriakhina – Czech Republic

The sharp edges and modern materials of sleek skyscrapers can create some amazing shots, especially if you can compose a contrast with a city’s historic side. Most European capitals will give you a great mix of both, but try somewhere off the beaten track like Budapest or Dubrovnik, Croatia for authentic charm. Wherever you end up, always keep your camera ready for that special moment.

Image courtesy of Pedro Pinera Buendia – Budapest