Does that ever work for you?
It usually does not result in composed, smiling faces looking at the camera for me. I think the mere suggestion of standing still may actually induce the sudden need to wiggle and make any facial expression other than a smile.
When I got my first DSLR camera, I took a lot of photos hoping to get lucky with at least one good one. Now, I have a different approach: I take thoughtful photos to capture the moments and then put the camera away. I take less photos but better quality photos.
It’s simple: I don’t try to get a lot of posed photos.
Let’s take the “say cheese” scenario as an example. You want your family to look at the camera and smile, all at once. A seemingly simple task. However, you’ve probably been greeted with grimaces rather than natural smiles and grumbles instead of agreeable responses.
Not the pretty picture you envisioned.
Here are some ideas for better vacation photos that will be easier to capture than a turbo-charged toddler who just ate a cup of vanilla ice cream…
In my photography journey, I find capturing the details are as much a part of the story as the people. And the details, like food and scenery, don’t roll their eyes and exclaim, “not again!!”
Also, from a visual perspective, the details can really accent a photo album to make it a really outstanding, aesthetically pleasing piece in addition to being a memory book.
A photo doesn’t have to feature smiling faces to accurately capture the memory.
I love the one above of breakfast. It’s not one I’d put in a monogrammed silver frame on a side table in our living room, but it is a snapshot of the everyday that will soon change. If you’re a mom, you know babies turn into kindergartners in about 1/125 of a second. I’d love to freeze time, but as that’s not currently a possibility, my camera will just have freeze the action so I can reminisce later.
Am I super dee duper Peter T Hooper annoying when I bust out my camera in a restaurant? A little. But I try to make it quick and non-intrusive. I’m aware taking too many photos can detract from reality. There’s no sense in spending your vacation behind the lens.
Snap, and put it away.
It’s a creative challenge to capture those details, and they still capture a memory. The scallops featured in the picture at the top, for instance, transport me back to The Market Place brunch and the happy conversation I enjoyed with my family.
Taking pictures of the location identifiers like this Tube World sign may not be a picture you’d like to frame, but it certainly fits in the overall story you’re documenting, whether you intend to post an album on Facebook or print a photo book.
I love this post about capturing the moments of your children – and I love how she points out that she can remember the memories of each photo, which is why she makes a point to take photos. Yes. I loved watching my son and dad tubing and am so glad I was able to get pictures and video of it.
Posed photos are excellent and frame-worthy, but the ones that encompass the whole scene can really bring back memories. I love this one above of my dad and son – I was actually taking these photos for work to promote a resort my company manages, but I ended up with a candid picture that totally captures their fun morning together.
21 easy Ideas for better vacation photos
These details will help tell your story and add visual interest in between the standard posed grip and grins.
Pretend to be a bystander and snap photos without asking anyone to look. The candid shots may not be frame worthy but they will capture your memories more than the ones you posed.
Do what the Fashion Bloggers do & find a pretty, uncluttered background for a family shot.
Go for the wide angle shot to capture the whole scene.
Snap a photo of your food if it’s pretty.
Take a picture of the restaurant menu – it’s a great way to visually document the places you visited.
Take pictures of signs and other location identifiers.
Keep your eye out for color and patterns.
Get a street shot. Frame with the side of a building.
Take an action shot of your vacation activities – focus on the background to capture the blurry movement.
Look up. Snap.
Observe the architecture. Take pictures of the details. I liked the one of the Biltmore – it’s just part of the building but you can see the
Move. Get at least two different perspectives.
Play around with your shutter speed to capture motion – freeze it and show the blur.
Do you have a fixed lens? If you don’t, pretend like you do and move around rather than use your zoom.
Take a picture of a local travel guide – it’s a great shot to set up your vacation album because it names the destination.
Hand the camera to someone else. Get in front of the camera. At least once a day.
Find the good light: bright sunlight creates harsh shadows. Get to the shade, and you’ll be amazed by the difference.
Vacations are about togetherness. Capturing the downtime – like breakfast and hanging out in your condo – still adds to the story of your trip.
Find something pretty and get a close up shot. Flowers, leaves, acorns, spanish moss – anything naturally unique to the destination can make a pretty and artsy photograph.
While out shopping, take pictures of the local tourist-y objects with the destination’s name on it. These are great for albums! (And cheaper than actually buying the items.)
Play around with your depth of field, and focus on an object in front with the people in the background blurry.
What are your favorite tips and pictures to take while you’re on vacation? Comment below!