10 Family Vacation Photo Tips

by Linette

I love photography, and I’ve been studying and learning over the last few years and soaking in every photography tip I can get my hands on. I’m not a professional photographer, but I have learned a thing or two and a few tricks I’d love to share. I really enjoy photographing my own family, especially when they’re doing something I want to remember in the future, like vacations, sports outings, band concerts, and other special moments in time.

family vacation photos

Today I want to share some of the family vacation photo tips I’ve learned through the years. I’ve learned these things from trial and error. I’m hoping I can save someone else a little frustration, or help you along the learning curve with these tips. I’m sure there are more tips and tricks to be shared. If you have some of your own, definitely feel free to share in the comments! We’d love to hear them.

1. Know your camera ahead of time. Many times we’re tempted to buy that brand new camera right before vacation. You’re better off to use the trusty old camera you’ve had for a while. If you’re not familiar with the settings of your camera, take some time before vacation to learn the settings and buttons on your camera. If not you’ll be trying to capture that perfect shot, but you may not know how to zoom in, or adjust your settings for the lighting.

2. Take plenty of photos. Don’t just take one photo of your child and their mammoth sand castle, take several different photos. Then if that first shot turns out blurry, or unfocused you have a couple more to choose from and the moment isn’t lost.

3. Catch the action. Don’t pose every photo. Instead of posing your family in front of the monument, catch them in the act of engaging or checking out the monument, or attraction. Capture the wonder and joy on their faces as they’re exploring.

4. A little posing never hurts. It also doesn’t hurt to ask someone to capture your family in a fantastic location, or with a fabulous background. Hand off your camera to someone else you trust and ask them to capture a family portrait.

5. Be safe! Be aware of your surroundings, for your safety and for the safety of your family. Don’t let your kids get themselves into an unsafe situation, just to get that perfect shot. The same goes to you, make sure you’re not backing yourself over the edge of a porch, or into someone laying on their beach chair. Been there done that, and it’s not a fun situation!

6. Make sure you have extra camera batteries, memory cards, or film. If you’re camera has a rechargeable battery, make sure it’s fully charged each day before you head out.

7. If you’re composing a family portrait or keepsake shot of the children watch out for fabulous backgrounds, or once in a lifetime scenery for the backdrop of your photos.

8. Pay attention to your lighting. Photos often look best when you have early morning or evening light. The over head lighting in the middle of the day can be harsher. If you have to take photos in the middle of the day, you may want to see if you can find a shady spot.

9. Don’t be afraid to try some special effects on your photos. Sometimes a photo that isn’t all that exciting in color can look fabulous in black and white. Sometimes brightening the edges, or adding another effect can make an ordinary photo extraordinary.

10. Take your photos from different angles if you can. This ties back to number 2. If you find an interesting shot, you should try to take the photo from different angles. Snap several photos from different points of view if possible. Get down low, up high, straight on, at an angle, whatever works with your subject.

Those are my favorite family vacation photo tips. If you have some of your own, I’d love to hear them! Feel free to share.

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Jessica Para July 7, 2013 - 1:40 am

I really like your photo taking tips. My favorite is to take plenty of photos and occasionally have them pose for shots. I did this last year at Cedar Point and will do it again this year. We are also adding the Cleveland Metro Park Zoo to the list of summer family vacation time. My kids love animals and I like them to see how they interact with humans. I am hoping to get some posed pictures of the kids near the animals habitats but of course that might be tricky. If a animal does something they want to see it so they stop focusing on the picture taking. Crossing my fingers it works a bit better this time around :).

angelia medlin October 4, 2013 - 11:31 pm

I am a photo addict. My family always makes fun on how many pictures i take when we go anywhere. I love looking back on the photos and remembering all the fun times. I especially love your ideas with taking many pictures with different backgrounds, keeping in mind using some props and not just the usual stuff. I guess I try to think out of the box so to speak. I will continue clicking until I cant click no more.

Bethany January 15, 2014 - 1:29 pm

As a Consultant for a photo album company and an avid amateur photographer, I always encourage my friends, family and customers to do most of these things. Thanks for putting them all in one place. Our next step is to do something with the best of all the photos we take. Put them into a safe album to enjoy forever!

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