The Secrets to Getting Great Family Vacation Photos

When you are getting ready to embark on a fun vacation, there are so many things that you need to pack and, of course, when you start packing, it’s not just about choosing the right clothes or essentials, but it can be about packing the things to create amazing memories while you are there.

These days, the concept of taking photos just involves us getting our phones out, but if you are looking to create amazing memories for your family, photos are undoubtedly one of the best ways to do it.

But how can you get amazing family vacation photos? Here are a few things that you need to bear in mind.

The Secrets to Getting Great Family Vacation Photos

Choose the Right Gear

While you may have a great camera on your phone, you’ve got to remember that you need to choose something that will suit your activities. When it comes to choosing the right camera, your phone can only go so far.

A good picture doesn’t just rely on a professional-looking camera, but if you really want to create amazing shots, you need the right equipment. You may have a DSLR camera, but if you don’t know how to use it, this is going to be a waste of time. 

Additionally, you need to think about the scenarios that you want to set up for amazing images. You can take amazing selfies, but they will always look like selfies!

So instead, if you are thinking about creating a sweeping image of yourself and your loved ones, you’ve got to think about the extra equipment that can help. We’re not just talking about tripods here, but you’ve got to think about the right lens and some additional accessories, such as a remote.

But if you want to go one step further again, you may want to invest in a drone such as the DJI Mini 3, which will inevitably help create fantastic images. While you may choose the right gear, you’ve got to learn how to use it!

Get Inspiration

Family photos can either be set up or they can be impulsive. But the fact is that it’s a good idea to get some inspiration about a place before you head there.

Because if you are looking for an amazing backdrop to an image, you’ve got to think about it in terms of the context of the location itself. 

Naturally, going to somewhere like the Grand Canyon is going to lend itself to a far more epic shot, or if you are going into the Catacombs of Paris, there are going to be far more intimate shots.

If you are looking for inspiration, there are plenty of family photography blogs out there. Look at what these families have done and you can always use their sense of composition or style and apply it to your own.

Of course, you can always go through Instagram and Pinterest to get some inspiration as well!

Understand Composition

You’ve got the right equipment, you know how to use it, and you have found the best locations for amazing shots, what next? In order to do it properly, you have got to understand some of the basics of composition. 

There’s a lot to bear in mind here, so it can become a bit overwhelming and potentially technical, but one of the most important principles that you’ve to remember is the “rule of thirds.” You will always divide a picture into three, horizontally and vertically, which will create four lines and four intersection points.

When it comes to the general composition of a shot, you should never frame it to the main subject in the picture but it needs to go on one of these intersection points.

Even if you don’t get to frame it properly when you’re taking the photo, you can always change it afterward by cropping the image. 

Additionally, another thing that makes the composition more interesting is symmetry. You can use symmetry to make pictures more interesting and eye-catching by using anything that’s available.

You can easily create a whole new dimension to your image by using symmetrical lines like train tracks or lines in buildings or doors. Symmetry is a wonderful way to make something more interesting.

No one’s ever going to comment on the satisfying nature of a symmetrical picture, but this is one of those things that can creep into the subconscious. 

Finally, one of the basics of composition is keeping body parts in shot. You can do portraits like a close-up, but if you start to go wide, you should never lose body parts like the feet or hands.

This is why it’s never a good idea to ask strangers to take pictures because you will always find that each photo will suffer from “vacation photo-itis.”

You should also think about what should be in your shot and what shouldn’t. Because if you are trying to get an amazing shot with a picture-perfect background, if there is something in the background that can distract attention, it’s not going to make for a memorable image.

The Secrets to Getting Great Family Vacation Photos

To Set Up or Not Set Up Your Shot?

One of the biggest dilemmas you will always have when you are taking family photos is whether you want to set up an image or have a candid “in-the-moment” shot, and there are benefits to having both. Because when you are considering the overall theme of a vacation, the photo can communicate so much.

You may want to get great action shots of the kids because this will immediately bring back to mind how adventurous that vacation was, so when taking pictures of the kids, it’s those in-the-moment shots that will last forever.

But if you want to get those amazing candid images, you’ve got to be ready! Make sure you have your camera on you with a strap that goes over your shoulder. 

It’s also important to remember that when we’re talking about candid images, you can snap away regardless of the emotions they are feeling. Whether they are sad, happy, or angry, you may want to consider all of the emotions and moments that were not as fun as you wanted.

But also, when you start to consider the other side of the equation, including setting up the shots, you may have a tough time trying to get the kids to listen. You may have the perfect image in your head, in which case, you will need to tell the children where to stand and what they should do.

Because if you want a couple of amazing images to send back to everyone at home, being able to coach them can help in these scenarios.

Being Creative

Creativity doesn’t just involve setting up the right image; you’ve got to think about the entire image, the mise-en-scene.

So you may want to start thinking about a few additional components. These would include the lighting but also choosing the best clothes so nobody clashes in terms of color. 

When we’re talking about lighting, it’s so important to get into the habit of looking for the light in our surroundings. You can play with the light by creating silhouettes by pointing the camera directly into the sun, but you can also change the settings of the camera, such as the aperture or shutter speed. 

One of the biggest mistakes many people make when they’re taking very detailed pictures is that they accidentally create harsh shadows.

It’s important to consider how the light is going to create an amazing image. And when we’re talking about family photos and ensuring everyone is lit well, such a little thing that makes a big difference is wearing some bright clothes.

You want the family to stand out in the image rather than the background taking all of the credit!

Edit and Tweak Your Pictures

Finally, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of editing your pictures afterward. If you think that a great family photo is about capturing the image as it is, you can do a lot more to improve your skills as a photographer, which includes getting into the habit of post-production.

While a lot needs to happen in the moment, you can make little tweaks, which will naturally make for a far more exciting image. 

When it comes to editing your photos, the better the quality of the camera, the more you can do. You can have a program like Adobe Lightroom for editing, but the fact is that if you really want to make simple tweaks you can easily just crop images.

But there are also apps like Photo Editor that make the process of editing simple and straightforward. It can take a while to become a picture-perfect editor, but there are plenty of resources out there online to get you started.

From YouTube tutorials to courses, you can learn every little thing.

Family photos can be a nightmare to get right. Some family photos look like no one’s having fun, whereas others can be poorly taken.

But if you want to get some great family vacation shots, some of these aspects can make a massive difference to the quality of each shot and create an amazing memory.

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