How to take fantastic family travel photos

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Family travel photos should aim to capture the joy and excitement of your adventures. They should be the type of pictures that you look back on fondly for years to come. If you’re forever embarrassed or disappointed by how your family photos come out, it could be worth taking the time to learn a few tricks to help you take better snaps. 

Below are just a few tips that could help you to take fantastic photos next time you go on a family vacation.

Make action poses

You don’t have to stand still with your arms by your sides when posing for family photos. In fact, these types of photos can often come across as dull and wooden. 

Instead, consider some action poses. This could be as simple as throwing your hands up in the air or you could try something more dramatic like all jumping at the same time.

These types of photos can help to capture the enjoyment of the situation. Feel free to get creative with poses (young kids will enjoy getting inventive with poses).

Capture spontaneous moments

The best moments are often the organic moments that no-one is posing for. This could be something as simple as your partner playing with the kids or a photo of one of your kids looking out at an incredible view. 

Make sure that you’ve got your camera easily accessible for these moments. Most modern phones allow you to easily access the camera from your lock screen, however you could still waste precious time taking your phone out – try to keep it in a pocket rather than at the bottom of a bag. If you’ve got a handheld camera, consider carrying it on a strap around your neck so that you’re ready to snap when the situation arises. 

Take multiple shots

Don’t just rely on a single shot. It’s better to take multiple pictures whenever you can. This minimizes the risk of photos being ruined by people blinking at the wrong time. When it comes to action shots, it can be particularly worth taking lots of shots (many modern phone and digital cameras come with a continuous shot or burst mode feature that’s worth using). 

This does mean having to sift through lots of copies of photos, but the ones you don’t want can always be deleted at a later date. There are several easy ways to delete duplicate shots that prevent you going through each one manually – you can learn how to do it here. 

Think about the lighting

The best time to take outdoor photos is either at dawn or at dusk. Not only do you get beautiful skies, but the lighting isn’t as intense, so you don’t get giant shadows or glare. 

Of course, on a summer vacation with kids, dawn is likely to be too early, while dusk could be too late. This means having to take photos when the lighting is at its worst. There are few ways to get around this such as having your family or partner stand in the shade. This guide to taking photos in midday lighting explains more. 

Get down to your kids’ level

When it comes to taking great photos of your kids playing, you should consider kneeling down so that you can get to their level. This allows you to capture views and scenes from their perspective. 

You can also have fun exploring other angles too such as taking a picture directly from above of them looking up or taking a picture looking up at them while they’re on your partner’s shoulders. 

Consider taking a tripod

There may be times when you want to take a family picture, but there’s no-one around to take a picture for you. You could always take a selfie, but there are limits as to what you can fit into these photos. 

Having a tripod can allow you to take your own family photos from any location. Most modern cameras and smartphones have timer features, allowing you to place your camera on the tripod before getting into position. There are many collapsible tripods that can easily fit into a bag. Consider whether it’s worth buying one of these for your next adventure.

Take photos of things beyond your family

While photos of people tend to be the most treasured, other things that we see can help to tell a story. Sometimes it’s worth just taking a picture of a meal, a scenic view, a funny sign or a weird building without one of your family necessarily being in it. 

It’s also worth taking pictures of other people you may meet on your travels (with their permission of course). This could include tour guides, hotel staff, taxi drivers and other people who have left an impression.

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