Why are family holidays so difficult for photographers?

Having just returned from a family trip to New York I now find myself in the midst of a marathon culling process.  With over 800 shots to work through it is slow work and at the moment the thought of ever returning to New York is something that has been placed in the furthest recesses of my tiny brain. To be honest, with so many images to sort through I pretty much feel as if I am still there.

Looking up at the The One World Trade Centre

Family holidays can be a difficult balancing for any photography enthusiast.  The problem is that my wife (yes, she does usually come up with these things!) has a terrible habit of arranging fantastic holidays in locations that are amazing for photography – could any photographer with a love for the urban environment really resist the allure of New York?

Switching off the photography brain completely and just enjoy the time together as a family is very difficult.  There is always something to shoot and it can be very difficult to watch these opportunities slide by.  I mean, I don’t know if I will ever be in the place again so how could I repel the need to photograph it?   

In the build up to our trip I genuinely wrestled with the idea going camera free and relying solely on my smartphone.  It was only around a week before we departed that I relented and decided to take along my Fujifilm x-t2 with a couple of prime lenses (the 23mm f2 and 50mm f2).

It should come as no surprise that I am delighted to have caved in and took my camera.  Even this kit was limiting for me so I can only imagine how frustrated I would have been with only a phone to work with.  Nonetheless, I still managed to take over 800 photographs so I guess the gear I had worked well enough!

What is your experience of family holidays as a photographer?  Can you manage to completely switch off or, like me, do you find yourself ‘photography brain’ constantly on?