Today, it seems no holiday is complete without maxed-out memory space and at least a dozen Instagram posts. Photography is an integral part of the holiday experience; allowing us to capture and treasure the good times we’ve had.
Naturally, you want these snaps to look the best they can, especially if they’re going to hang in the house or fill your Facebook feed. To help you get the most out of your getaway shots, we’ve enlisted the advice of six online photography experts.
Read on to find out how to boost your camera credentials.
Vicki Knights says…
One of the UK’s leading family and child photographers, Vicki Knights is an expert when it comes to teaching busy parents to take great photos of their own children. Here she gives us a few pointers, but you can find out more from her online photography course over at photographyforbusyparents.com.
Avoid the midday sun. One of the best ways to make your photos look more professional, is to make sure that you’re shooting in the right light. When on holiday, try shooting first thing in the morning or last thing in the day instead, when the light is much softer and more flattering. The hour just after sunrise or before sunset is known as the ‘golden hour’ in photography, and for good reason.
Get in the shade. If you do need to shoot when the sun is overhead, the best thing you can do is seek out shade. Shade creates beautiful light to shoot in. I know it seems a strange thing to do on a sunny beach day, but believe me, the results will surprise you.
Travel Mad Mum says…
Travel Mad Mum firmly believes that getting out there and seeing the world should never be off limits to new parents. Over at her website, you can find a wealth of travel advice tailor-made for families, and follow her as she country-hops with the little ones in tow. Naturally, she knows how to take some great family holiday snaps.
Set the camera to burst. When taking pictures on our phone or camera, we sometimes set it to burst to really capture the moment. We’ve found this particularly useful in the past for getting the perfect photo of kids. Though you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of memory space first.
Bring a selfie stick. Yes, they were once a ‘cringeworthy’ piece of equipment. But they really do have their benefits. Travel Mad Dad all too often ends up on the other side of the camera, so it’s nice to get the whole family in some shots with the help of the stick. Alternatively, you can always ask someone to help.
They don’t have to look at the camera. Your subjects don’t need to face you. Some of our most popular photos are of our little one going about her business, oblivious to the camera.
Bob Books say…
Over at Bobbooks.co.uk, you can transform your favourite travel and family photographs into beautiful, printed photo books. With their service, you needn’t be a photography or design expert to bag yourself an elegant and professional coffee-table book that’s packed full of memories. Here, they give us a couple of pointers to help those snaps look the best they can.
Seize the moment. Stop worrying about having everyone in shot, or dragging people from the pool for picture time. You’re bound to have much more success if you simply see a moment that’s worth capturing and go for it! Toddlers are tricky to pin down and babies are unpredictable, so it’s better to seize the moment.
Don’t force it. It’s no good trying to get a tired, hungry or fussy baby or toddler to sit still and look charming. Make sure you take pictures throughout the day, rather than setting up a ‘photo session’.
iPhone Photography School says…
iPhone Photography School are helping make quality photography more accessible than ever. With their tutorials, you can learn to take prize-winning images using nothing more than the device that lives in your pocket. Here’s what they recommend for travel photography newbies.
Apply the rule of thirds. Having good composition is crucial, so keep that in mind while you’re taking travel photos. It seems natural to place the subject of your image at the centre, but this is almost always a mistake. Instead, place your focus a third of the way into your shot, either vertically or horizontally.
Capture memories. Don’t get too carried away with looking for the perfect shot; not every snap you take needs to be Instagram-ideal. Don’t hesitate to take photos of meals, hotel rooms and views; even if the lighting isn’t that great.
Travel and Destinations say…
Over at travelanddestinations.com, you’ll find tons of tips to help you travel easier and smarter. There’s everything from city break guides to adventure holiday ideas, plus you’ll also find advice on topics like social media and photography. Here are a couple of their tips to get you going.
Get to the landmarks before everyone else does. Try and explore the popular parts of a city or resort, especially the old and historic areas, in the morning before most of the tourists arrive. Doing so will allow you to take clean images without too many people and distractions.
Look at the water. To make images more interesting watch out for reflections in puddles or still water, such as in water features, rivers and lakes. Such images do very well on social media.
Use a long exposure at night. A long exposure will often be an exposure time of between one second to 30 seconds. You should also use a tripod, keep your ISO low at around 100 and use a timer or cable release to get the best quality shot.
iPhotographyCourse.com is one of the world’s leading online photography courses. It allows you to pick up a great range of skills, across 18 easy-to-follow modules, at a pace that suits you. Here’s what they recommend to get the ball rolling while you’re away.
Travel light. Some cameras can have hundreds of attachments, accessories and lenses, but when you’re going abroad it’s vital to travel light. Keep it simple and take a zoom lens with you; they’ll be great for capturing wide landscapes and portraits.
Angle your shot. Gone are the days of the straight head-on shot. We see hundreds of photographs every day and the most stylish images are those with unique and varied angles applied to them, so get experimenting. Before taking the shot, tilt your camera 20˚- 40˚, this will alter the perspective and add a creative edge to your image.
Daniel Ruyter says…
Daniel Ruyter is a father of two boys and founder of Dadtography, a place to learn about photography for parents, family travel tips and a community where you can share the moments that matter most to you.
Always be ready. The two most important parts of capturing the moment while on holiday are timing and perspective. The funniest, most memorable, most adorable moments usually happen when you least expect. Having a camera at the ready is critically important to capturing those moments. I personally recommend taking most travel photos on your mobile phone. Mobile phones these days have excellent cameras, often comparable to DSLR’s. However, mobile phones are much smaller and can easily be carried in your pocket or purse in most cases.
Mix it up. Your perspective is also important when it comes to capturing special moments while you travel. Sure, posed photos in front of the statue have their place, but candid photos from unexpected angles and perspectives add something to your photography that’s hard to deny. Keep taking those posed family photos, but mix it up with interesting and unexpected candids as well!
Suzi Mitchell say…
Suzi Mitchell of Little White Photography has given us a behind the scenes insight into her best tips for capturing the perfect family holiday photos. An award-winning photographer, Suzi knows how to capture beautiful photos and as a mother of 2 boys she knows how to capture those special moments.
Think of something to make it fun. Think of an activity that they will adore and set it up where there is lovely light e.g. when the sun is starting to set and there’s a beautiful grassy area in the hotel grounds. This could be anything from football, to playing with blocks, a water fight, or an ice cream. Anything that they will enjoy and will mean that you’re capturing genuine emotions and authentic moments with them playing and having fun.
Get in the photos. I remember my mum didn’t ever like photos taken of her on holiday, she’d shy away from the camera preferring to be taking the photos rather than in them. But the rare photos we have of her on holiday are without a doubt my favourite simply because I can see her. I don’t see any of the flaws that made her avoid having photos taken, I only see my mother and her beautiful smile as we all spent time together. So my biggest tip to all parents is to get in the photos. Prompt your other half to capture photos of you playing, from splashing in the pool to snuggling up after a long day. These are the photos your children will cherish.