Tips for taking great vacation photos!

It’s that time of year we all love – vacation season! The kids are almost out of school, the weather is warming up, and whether it’s a trip to the Jersey shore, or that European vacation you’ve been dreaming about, you’ll want to document your vacation with the people and places that will make it memorable. So grab that fanny pack, some snacks, and your digital camera, and let’s go on vacation!

  1. Let’s start with the obvious: make sure you have your battery fully charged before a day of shooting, and that you have plenty of memory cards to hold all of the fabulous pictures you’ll be taking. The last thing you want to happen is for your battery to die just as little Nicky emerges from the ocean covered in sand and seaweed. If you’re traveling abroad be sure to buy a converter so you can recharge frequently!
  2. Keep people out of direct sunlight. Aside from causing unflattering shadows for the people in your photos, they’ll also be squinting and uncomfortable while you take the photo. Put them in the shade or, if that isn’t an option, position the sun behind you and to the right or left. 
  3. Take landscape shots in the early morning or late afternoon. These times of day provide the most dramatic lighting for landscape shots. If you want to get a fabulous photo of the Grand Canal in Venice, hit it late in the afternoon when the sun is about to set and the light is skipping on the water. When you get home and look at this photo, you will forget about the thousands of sweaty tourists, and remember the great ambience and romance of Venice!
  4. Look at how you position people in front of landmarks. Sure, we all want our picture in front of the Eiffel Tower, but if you center someone right in front of it, not only will it make for a boring photo, but the Tower will look like it’s growing out of their head. If it’s a photo straight on, position the person to the right or to the left of your landmark. But don’t stop there, try taking photos from different angles, and position the people in your photos in interesting ways. Instead of standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, maybe have your subject sit on the grass and take the photo from low on the ground looking up at it. 
  5. Take sharp night-time photos. Ever take a picture of fireworks on the 4th of July only to come out with a blurry mess? That’s because when you put your point-and-shoot camera on the night setting, your shutter stays open longer and the slightest shake of your hand will cause a blurry photo. There is an easy fix for this! Place your camera on a stable surface (mailboxes and cars are always great for this!), frame your photo, and click. You’ll get a much sharper result. If you have a person in the photo, make sure your flash fires and the person stays very still – you’ll get an illuminated person and cityscape/fireworks/whatever!
Here are some of my favorite travel photos from over the years…if only Conde Nast Traveler would hire me to travel around the world and take pictures, I’d be one happy gal!

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