Capture Vacation Memories with These Travel Photography Tips & Tricks

Our Best Travel Photography Tips & Tricks

Picture this scenario: You’re relaxing on the plane after an unforgettable vacation with your family. Still riding off of the euphoria of an amazing trip, you take out your cell phone to review your photos from the past week, hoping to find the perfect one to post on Instagram. As you flip through each photo you quickly realize that many of them are not in focus or are too bright to see anything. Your heart sinks lower and lower with every swipe. Although you just experienced a wonderful family getaway, your vacation photos are a less-than-ideal representation of the fun that was had.

Unfortunately this scenario has played itself out far too many times for travelers. Capturing moments while on vacation is important to many families, but often the photos taken can be disappointing in terms of quality. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered the travel photography tips and tricks to put to use on your next vacation. The best part is you don’t need to invest in any fancy camera equipment—your phone’s camera will work perfectly!

Set the exposure and focus

Most smartphone cameras come with several built-in features that can really come in handy to get the perfect shot. One of these features is auto-focus, which allows the photographer to ensure that their subject is in focus. Take advantage of this feature and tap your subject on the screen to avoid blurry faces or objects.

Tapping on the subject will also activate the auto-exposure feature. This handy feature correctly exposes the brightness of the subject. However, sometimes this will incorrectly expose other elements in the photo. If this happens, just manually expose by sliding the exposure bar on your screen up to make it lighter or down to make it darker. Just remember that the best images are taken with natural lighting, so photograph your subjects close to windows if indoors. And if the sun is too bright outside, you can always cover your lens with your sunglasses for a quick exposure fix!

Don’t use zoom

Trying to get a shot of your kids on the beach, but they’re too small in the picture? Rather than zooming in on them with your camera, just walk closer to them. The zoom feature in your phone’s camera is most likely a digital zoom, not an optimal zoom, meaning using your zoom actually crops the image and will decrease the image quality exponentially. Don’t sacrifice quality for convenience; bring your subject closer to the camera for crystal-clear images.

Look out for candids

Posed photos are great, but they don’t always capture the moment like candids do. Always be ready to snap away when a memory is being created before the lens. Great candids are sometimes action shots, and can come and go in an instant. Don’t let the moment pass you by! Many cell phone cameras have a continuous burst mode, taking multiple photos per second. Use burst mode to capture moving subjects.

Include yourself

As the designated photographer, it can be easy to focus solely on getting photos of everyone else except yourself, but don’t fall into this trap! There are plenty of ways to include yourself in your family vacation pictures, such as taking selfies or setting up a timer on your phone. You can even ask family members or fellow tourists to snap a few photos of you. Create memories to cherish for years to come and get your picture taken—you’ll be glad you did.

Limit your screen time

Every great vacation should be well documented, but don’t make the mistake of missing out on experiences just because you want to get the “perfect shot”. The best memories should be viewed through your own eyes—not a lens—so don’t spend your entire vacation behind a screen. When a great opportunity presents itself, then take out your phone and snap a few shots. But once you’ve captured the moment, put your phone away and allow yourself to be present for your well-deserved vacation.

Put These Travel Photography Tips to the Test!

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