Tips for Taking Great Family Vacation Photos

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A family vacation is an experience that is just about always captured on film (or today, on SD cards) to preserve memories for long after the vacation comes to an end. If you’ve ever taken a holiday, looked back on the photos, then noticed that most of them were really all the same, you’re not alone! Too many people are caught in the trap of lining everyone up, counting to three, and clicking the camera as everyone puts on their posed grins.
There are a few things wrong with taking the traditional posed photos: You end up with 100 of the same photo, these photos don’t tell a story, and you’re missing from the photos (unless you lugged a tripod with you on vacation and used the timer feature). Here are some things to keep in mind to help you break free from the mundane vacation photos and enter the world of family photography at its best:

Tips for Amazing Vacation Photos of the Family

1.Get in the photos! Whether you have a passer-by take a photo or you use a selfie stick, you need to be in at least some of the photos! There will always be someone missing from family photos if you’re the one holding the camera all the time. Don’t hide behind it; get out in front of the camera any way you can, as often as you can, and you and your family will treasure vacation photos all the more when no one is missing from them.

2.Expect the unexpected. You don’t have to line everything up and pose everything all the time. This is exactly what creates those 100 photos that look all the same. Capture candid moments that aren’t planned, aren’t rehearsed, and aren’t “made to be perfect.” You will be amazed at the moments you’re able to capture when you hop off the mundane train and start being more spontaneous with the camera’s shutter button.

3.Look for natural frames. Use doors, windows, and anything else similar to use as frames for the people in your photos. You can take the photos with the people off-center too, in order to capture some of the surroundings. Using the environment as much as possible will help capture photos that tell a story, not just photos that provide evidence of where people were at a certain point in time.

4.Try different angles, heights, and points of view. You don’t always have to stand and take photos at eye level. Think about it – that’s how people view the world every day. Instead, try different viewpoints to make your photos interesting and unique. Get lower to the ground, or climb up and point the camera down. It’s an easy way to make an ordinary family vacation photo pretty extraordinary.

5.Don’t always settle for color.In some cases, black and white can add quite a dramatic flair to photos. In addition, having photos either taken in black and white or post-processed in black and white tend to give them an air of timelessness, adding emotion to a photo’s story that color just cannot seem to capture. While black and white may not be suitable for every photo, those that are of people, and not of landscapes, often make great “candidates” to be in black and white.

6.Pay attention to your backgrounds – always. Don’t get caught up in wondering how much background to include in a photo or how much to zoom in to cut out some background; there is a simple rule-of-thumb for backgrounds: If it adds to the story of your photo, zoom out to capture more of the background. If the background would not add to the photo’s story at all, get in closer to your subjects and bypass excessive backgrounds.

7.Look for leading lines. This can become one of your favorite ways to liven up the photos taken of your family vacation. Use tree lines, sidewalks, streets, train tracks, fences, and similar things to draw the viewer’s eyes to the people in the photo.

8.Add some color. Add a pop of color to your photos by making sure you get something in the shot that stands out and adds to your photo’s story. If you’re at a park, get a bright ball or a balloon for someone to hold for some photos. This type of thing works very well if you’re in an area that has a lot of the same color in it – most specifically, if you are outdoors. Parks, forests, fields, and similar areas contain a lot of one or two specific colors. Don’t be afraid to liven things up a bit out there with a pop of color!

When it comes to taking great family vacation photos, one essential thing to keep in mind is to just let go and have fun. Don’t worry about having everyone line up exactly, don’t worry about having the perfect smiles, and don’t worry about having everything just perfect for every shot. It’s when you start capturing spur-of-the-moment shots that you’ll realize that this is what really


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