family photos on vacation

When you get home from vacation with family, a great way to look back and smile on memories made are through the photos you’ve taken. To get the best family photos while on vacation, you don’t necessarily need the best camera equipment or a professional photographer. There are so many ways to get the best family photos while on vacation, even if a smartphone is all you have.

Finding creative ways to get everyone in the shot can be quite tricky.  Up until the invention of the selfie stick, one person always seems to be left out of the majority of family photos.  If you want the idyllic family photograph, you should first understand the best ways to go about actually taking the photo. One of the newest inventions to hit the market is the selfie stick, a  simple device that makes taking photos of yourself and those around you a breeze.  Of course, mastering how to use the selfie stick can be an artform in itself, so if you struggle, opt for a portable tripod that you can set up just about anywhere.  There are a few on the market that are so flexible you can wrap them around handrails, small trees and even the back of your beach chair.  Bluetooth remote clickers are also a great way to snap the perfect family shot. This way, if you don’t feel comfortable handing your phone over to a stranger, you can set it all up and take the image yourself.

One of the biggest things to know about taking a great family photo is getting the perfect lighting. Professional photographers always know where the sun is when taking a photo, because the light can make or break a shot. The best lighting for a great picture will be during sunrise and sunset, or as most people refer to it, the “Golden Hour.”  This is because there is neither too much or too little lighting shining on the faces of those you want to see.  Make sure the sun is either directly above or in front of the shot, otherwise you’ll get a lot of dark silhouettes, unless that is what you are going for.

The next tip to consider is framing and composition. If you’re taking a vacation in the mountains or on the beach, or if you’re in a cute village town then consider taking a wider-framed shot to capture your family in the setting that surrounds you. If your background is blank or not interesting, then consider taking a close up profile shot. Frame the photo so there is not too much “noise” in the fore or background and make sure that if there are lines that they are pointing towards the subjects. Another great way to frame the shot is to use the landscape or infrastructure to your advantage.  Pop your heads through a window, stand inside an arch or let the leaves of the palms create the perfect border for your family photo.

To add some creativity to your shots, consider looking away from the camera instead of the traditional pose. Stagger your bodies and positioning in different areas of the frame and look away towards the view or at one another. This will often enhance the story of the photo and will add more variance to your vacation photo album! For more creativity, consider post editing the image with filters, like black and white or even sepia. If you had cloudy days on vacation, add some saturation and variance to your image so colors will pop! Post editing can dramatically alter an image and bring out the best features.  Using the right set up, considering framing and lighting as well as creative positioning will certainly create an excellent family photo!


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