10 Travel Photography Tips for Family Vacations
10 Travel Photography Tips for Your Next Family Vacation
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A vacation trip with the whole family is truly one for the books. It is a great time to bond, have fun, experience new things, travel to new places, discover culture and food and what better way to remember these times than through photographs!
Documenting your family’s memorable trip and memories is a good way to be able to have something to look back after a few years. Photograph your kids’ silly faces and your husband imitating some great statue you came across. Oh, what fun this will bring to your future family gatherings. Here are some hassle-free photography tips to a picture perfect family vacation.
Travel Photography Tips 1 – Travel Light
Besides booking and packing, you need not bother bringing much camera gear just to capture great photos during a family trip. Utilize your packing space for your clothes and other necessities and just bring one trusty camera body and your preferred lens. Of course, you will need the help of a laptop so you could transfer your photos, free up some camera space and edit while on the road. Since you only have a camera body and one lens, you can fit all these in a light yet heavy-duty camera bag. By doing this, you lessen the burden of carrying unnecessary stuff since you have a family to look out for.
Travel Photography Tips 2 – Bring Extra Batteries and Storage
Being with the family makes you want to take a shot of every moment, from kitchen preparations to served meals, from famous streets and buildings to locals, your children running around to their first try at a delicacy, etc. Practicing this kind of shooting technique will consume a lot of memory. However, deleting photos is not an option.
Carrying an extra set of memory cards and batteries can back you up. Imagine shooting a family portrait after a long hike and your camera ran out of battery. Bringing an extra battery will revive your camera and get you a second chance at a picture-perfect family portrait.
Travel Photography Tips 3 – Plan Shoots
Photos from planned shoots will complement your small mementos and candid shots during the trips. Draft a concept before your vacation and as you explore the place, decide on a location on where you want your shoot to take place. You can shoot at different times of the day – whatever works for you. It is advantageous to shoot during the Golden Hour, the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset, is considered to be the best time to do a photo shoot.
Travel Photography Tips 4 – Capture the Uncaught and Savor the Moment
Keep your camera in an accessible storage to conveniently capture everything. If it serves you best, you can hang your camera right onto your neck for easier access. Most often, the unnoticed and littlest scenarios make the most impact on your trip. Successfully document your entire trip by including shots such as crossing the street, kids playing in the park, the first full meal of the trip, etc.
However, there are times that your family will appreciate more when you’re in the moment with them. Instances such as dining and just sitting on a park exchanging thoughts do not equate to holding your camera. Sometimes, doing this can distract other family members.
Travel Photography Tips 5 – Tell a Story
Photographing your family vacation needs to be holistic – from the airport, the train ride, arrival in the hotel to your last family dinner and your plane ride home. These things may seem a common documenting technique but including culture and interconnecting your experiences in the place will make your photos one of a kind. One way to document your experience is by photographing how you visualize the place the first time you land and how your family perceives it after weeks of staying. These techniques will show a variety of standpoint and will make the place more beautiful and remarkable.
Travel Photography Tips 6 – Replace Old Portraits
This kind of family vacation doesn’t happen several times a year so it is better to grab the chance to take the opportunity to snap an individual portrait of all your family members and the whole family as well. You can also photograph shots wherein family members interact with each other. Photograph a family member naturally so that the photos would communicate their personality and emotion at the moment.
Travel Photography Tips 7 – Showcase Emotion
Each family travel vacation opens a new set of emotion for each family member. These emotions can be ideally captured close-up. A close-up camera shot frames a person’s face in such a way that it becomes the focus of the whole shot. This kind of shots keep the emotions communicated when someone notices the photo since it reveals emotion and other details of the subject’s face.
Travel Photography Tips 8 – Vary Shots
Perspective in photography can give life and excitement to your photos. Vary your usual eye-level photos to create immediate impact and variety. An easy way of changing perspective is either by zooming in and out or moving your feet during the shoot. Another way to alter your standpoint is by capturing ground-leveled photos to give context and emphasis to the foreground and by going way above the normal eye-level to provide a sense of scale and accentuate your subject’s height and size. You can also create a sense of depth in capturing family vacation photos by including a foreground interest, framing the scene, exaggerating the scene with a wider angle, incorporating leading lines, and overlapping photo compositions.
Travel Photography Tips 9 – Include Everyone. Yes, you, too!
Being the photography enthusiast leaves you with one disadvantage – you get left out during group shots and worse, no individual photo. Do not let this happen. Learn to pass on the camera once in awhile in the trip. You can ask your sister, husband or child to take a photo of you. You can also try and approach a stranger to take a portrait of the whole family so that you’ll see yourself in the photo album. Who would want to get left out anyway?
Travel Photography Tips 10 – Wake up early and hit the sack late
Waking up earlier than usual can be a handful especially when you’re not a morning person. However, come to think of it, how often do you go on a vacation with the whole family and share viewing the sunrise? Waking up early has its pains and pleasures but capturing the perfect sunrise with your family by your side is priceless.
Staying up past your bedtime can be a challenge when you went on a tour the whole day. Your body craves nothing more but the feel of your bed and the comfort of your soft pillows. But going out and spending some quality time with your family while channeling your night photography skills will be promising.
Everyone has their own favorite camera gear and so do we! Here are a few of our favs!
The quick release padded strap is fantastic! It really gives you hands off when you need it and I love the padded strap. Cameras don’t seem heavy until you carry them for hours and hours!I have to admit I am a total sucker for a new bag. I love luggage, I love bags, I love pockets and zippers. Having said that…I love THIS camera bag! The padding velcros so you can change it to fit your camera pieces. Keeping everything separate keeps you organized AND keeps the stuff from clanking together. I feel relaxed about all the delicate equipment when I have this sort of padding.Dust happens! Rain happens! LLama snot happens! All sorts of crazy things happen when you travel and explore. Be ready to keep that camera lens clean so dust, rain and goat slobber don’t show up on your photos.Sometimes you want to be IN the photo, too! Love this package for cool ways to set the camera ‘just so’ and capture the whole family.Don’t forget the lipstick. No matter how little time to shower, no matter what the local water is doing to your hair, no matter what the local humidity or lack of humidity is doing to your skin…lipstick will perk you up and make your whole face brighter and prettier for a photo! A natural shade goes with anything.
Remember, you’ll look at these vacation photos for years and years to come. It is really worth taking a few moments to make sure they are fantastic!
Happy Travels and Photos,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist