Thanks to Tiana and Thomas from TK Photography for taking the time to share their tips on how to take great vacation photos. I can’t wait to try out these tips during my blogging break!
“How do I take better photos of my child?” is a question that we constantly hear as we work with families. Recently we went on vacation to North Carolina and we thought that we would tackle this question in the context of being on vacation or out and about with your little ones. Read on as we explore how to capture the best memories so that they can be preserved and relived for years to come.
The images in this piece are created using both our “professional” DSLR camera and from my cell phone. It is important for everyone to understand that you DON’T need a fancy camera to capture photos of your family. Investing in a quality camera is a priority for us since taking photos is our business, but let’s be honest. When traveling with kids you have a TON of other things to carry and I simply I refuse to add a bulky and fragile piece of equipment to the 100 things that I am already carrying while on vacation. Whereas my husband greatly prefers to shoot with a “real camera”—the beauty of compromise, huh?
For more information on Equipment, you can visit the TK Photography blog.
As you are planning your activities for your vacation, conduct a simple and quick Google search of images from the locations you plan on visiting to see how others have captured these spots. It is inspiring to see the potential each location has. I actually chose a cool sculpture garden for us to visit because it looked like it could be a lot of fun for photos. We also took advantage of those who came before us and visited many of the gorgeous spots they also captured during their trips.
Capture the Moment
On vacation, we really focus on capturing memories. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t looking to get a few shots where our son is looking at the camera, however. It just means that we try to avoid stopping the moment or altering it in order to get a perfect image. We try to capture many more moments of us enjoying what we are doing. We also take lots of scenery images to remember the places that we visit.
In order to get our son to look at the camera, we engage with him. Instead of “come here and stand up and smile.” We ask him questions about what he is doing or help him create a story around what he is experiencing. More often than not he will at least look up at us once as part of the conversation and once is all we need to take the shot.
I know there are people out there who turn the nose at selfies…but that’s not us. Personally, I LOVE them! I love taking them. I love seeing them. Selfies are the answer to the age old problem of how to get the photographer in the picture. We are always telling moms (and dads) to get in the picture so that their children can remember them. A selfie is the fastest and most convenient way to accomplish this. Have fun with them! Snuggle up your loved ones and snap away! There are a lot of great angles and ways to make selfies more memorably and more fun to take.
We ALWAYS download and back up client photos frequently to ensure that our work and our clients’ wonderful family moments are safely preserved. Unfortunately we slacked on this when it came to personal photos. We recently made a change and now back up our cell phone photos automatically to Dropbox and download our DSLR camera at least every night. It might sound like it takes up a ton of time, but it is time well spent.
Additionally, we back up all of our photos to a cloud based server while on vacation (dropbox.com, icloud, or Amazon Cloud). This is because at any moment your computer, phone or camera can be broken, lost or stolen. At home this may not be a huge deal since you can just revisit the playground again another day to get photos. However, on vacation you are capturing once in a lifetime moments. If you camera gets stolen, will you be able to go back and capture you child’s first Disney visit or first time in the mountains? Probably not. Take the time to back it up and rest assured.
Dabble in Editing
While editing is not necessary, it can be fun and often can take an image from being blah to being one of your favorites. Mac computers have software that allows you to edit images, as well as Lightroom and Photoshop for those who want more professional editing abilities. However, for quick edits on cell phone pictures, check your phone’s manual or use Instagram to edit an image. Even if you do not plan on posting it, you can add tilt shift, tints, and a variety of filters. Then just save the image to your phone’s storage.
Once you have captured great memories and photos of your vacation, don’t just let them sit on a hard drive. Share them! Put them on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, print them out, create slideshows, design books. Enjoy those memories and put them in places where you will re-live them over and over again.
LET IT GO
Enjoy your vacation. Take imperfect photos because even imperfect photos capture memories that will last forever.