How to Take Great Vacation Photos



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.




Take Selfies

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.


Download Frequently

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 (, 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.


Share it

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.



Enjoy your vacation.  Take imperfect photos because even imperfect photos capture memories that will last forever.





To see more of our Asheville vacation, check out our Facebook page.  To see more of our professional work check out our website.


Enjoy capturing your moments!
Tiana and Thomas Kubik, TK Photography


    • amandasimkin says

      As one of the best photographers in the city of Chicago, they definitely know their way around the camera…and then some! 🙂

  1. Jenn says

    What a great post. These are great tips. I love to travel, but sometimes get lost in the details. Also, I adore your photos.

  2. Becky says

    I am always looking for tips on how to take better photos so thank you for this post!! Simple, yet effective tips that I can implement!!

  3. Reginia Cordell says

    I love being behind the camera. Capturing great moments is important to me when I’m traveling. Backing up your photos is key because like you’ve mentioned, something can go wrong or foul with the equipment. I have a DSLR but sometimes it’s just too heavy to handle while traveling.

    • Tiana Kubik says

      Reginia, it is a MAJOR difference between Thomas and me. I always want the fastest, simplest way to get the photo and he always wants the way that will get us the best photo. Perhaps it gives us good balance in the long run.

  4. Maria says

    Great photos! My concern always is carrying the camera around, and spending too much time taking photos rather than enjoying the moment. But having the photos is worth it later.

    • Tiana Kubik- TK Photography says

      It is a tough balance. I actually struggle with this all the time. Remember when our parents couldn’t capture EVERY.SINGLE. cute thing we did??? What did they do? I have to try to not have my son walk around with my camera in his face all day. I just want to record everything he says and does so that I never for get it…but then I feel like I am sacrificing a moment in order to capture a moment.

  5. Alicia Quintanar says

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing! I especially love the reminder to take selfies! As a mom I am often left out of photos but taking selfies is a nice little reminder that I was there too 🙂

  6. Liz Mays says

    I’m a big fan of the candid shot that captures the emotions of the people in that moment. It’s fun to experiment and play around with pics.

  7. Kirstie says

    I love all the photos you’ve included! I’ve taken some great scenery shots in my travels but don’t quite have the people shots down yet. I’ll keep these in mind!

  8. Elizabeth O. says

    I love your photos, especially the selfies. I am not good at taking selfies. You guys had so much fun.

  9. Joann Woolley says

    I’m dying to take a photography workshop! You captured some great moments on vacation. It looks like your little boy is quite the ham… so is my son ; ) It makes for a great subject.

  10. Angelic Sinova says

    I love, love, LOVE your photography! I got my first DSLR camera back in October and I’m STILL finding out just exactly how to capture the perfect shot. Love this tips <3

  11. Jaime Nicole says

    I’m the same way – I’m a “retired” wedding photographer and I hate taking expensive equipment with me on vacation – although I’m starting to do it more as I get further away from being a working photographer.

      • Tiana Kubik- TK Photography says

        This is where the “dabble in editing” part is usefull. The article is a mix of cell phone and DSLR. Running them through some light editing really helped make the cell phone pictures a bit better. I actually just upgraded my phone form a Samsung S4 to an S6 because I wanted better quality photos. HUGE difference!

  12. Angie says

    Fun post with some great tips! I like how she recommended researching photo op spots. I will definitely be doing this in the future!

  13. CourtneyLynne says

    Great post!!!! I have so many friends that are clueless on how to take good pictures. They didn’t ever wanna believe it really isn’t that hard!

  14. rosemary palmer says

    Don’t like selfies and just got a new selfie stick in a goody bag last week. I never know which way to look. Love great vacation photos. Relive memories all the time from them.

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