Tips to Taking Great Vacation Photos

August 7, 2017

I am so happy that I got to take a weekend off.  Timmy & I took our sweet granddaughters, Alana & Brianna to Medina, Texas.  We stayed in a little log cabin at Medina Highpoint Resort and spent the weekend swimming, relaxing and just enjoying the hill country area.   I also am proud to report that although I took my laptop with me, I didn't open it once.   The resort had zero phone service and spotty wifi service so I had no choice but just relax with my favorite people in the world and read my book.  I also didn't take my camera.  I knew we would be doing a lot of swimming and I didn't want worry about my camera so I just left it at home.  But the photographer in me still wanted to document the memories so of course I still took lots of pictures with my iPhone.

 

My good friend and colleague Dianne showed me a little Canon camera that she loves to travel with - it's the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS 20.3MP Digital Camera (check it out on Amazon by clicking here).  I haven't purchased it yet but I've played with hers and I've seen her vacation pictures and they are fabulous.  This camera is about the size of your cell phone and has an amazing zoom feature.  But since I haven't bought it, I just used my phone.

 

Memories don't wait for perfect lighting and posing situations so you just have to do with what you are given.  Don't worry about it too much - just snap away and document the moments!!  But here are a few tips to assure you get a great vacation photo journal:

 

  • Tell your story.  Take pictures from beginning to end.  I took pictures starting in the car - the girls in the back seat on the drive up, when we got to resort, I took pics of our cabin, the view, etc.  I continued taking pics until the last minute!

 

  • Want the whole group in the picture?  Use the self timer on your camera!  I am rarely in pictures because I always am holding the camera (I prefer it that way!) but I know my family want to remember that I was there too.  So set your camera in a stable place that can hold your camera upright, be sure you can see everyone in the frame.  Then tap the little stop watch looking icon in the Camera app to see the Self Timer options.  This is what it looks like:

 

  • Don't overdo the scenery shots!  Unless you are a landscape photographer, everyone will enjoy the scenery pictures more if there are some smiling family faces in it.

 

  • Don't pose each shot!  Get those candid moments - where people are just enjoying, laughing, relaxing.  One of my favorite pictures of my weekend was my granddaughters enjoying Apple Ice Cream from The Apple Store (not computer Apple - orchard apples!) 

 

Turn your phone from vertical to horizontal to get different shots.  We walked to a bridge on the resort property and I took pictures two ways - one wide to capture more of the bridge, then vertical to capture the landscape behind them.  

  •   Keep your camera as still as you can to avoid camera shake (blurry pictures!) You can do this by holding your phone with both hands and tucking your elbows into your body.

  • Use a waterproof case for your phone.  I used a waterproof case on my phone while we were floating the river and managed to get a few fun pictures (the rest of the time I was trying to keep me and 2 little girls afloat!)  I used the Portrait feature on my phone to get this beautiful pic.

 

  • Set focus and exposure.  When you have a lot of back light, your subject will be dark, like a silhouette.  But if you tap your screen on your subject, you will get a little box around your subject and it will then focus there.   Here are some examples of my coffee mug in front of a window.   You can see how the back light is making the mug dark.  But one click on the mug and BOOM - the mug is now brighter and in focus!  The little sunburst next to the box will lighten it even further! 

  •  What is the burst mode for anyway?  If you hold the shutter down, it keeps shooting.  You can then go to the picture and choose which photo you like best.  Choose the one you like then delete the rest because they take up lots of room on your  precious phone memory!   Please excuse how rough we look in this picture - we had just floated the Medina river and were EXHAUSTED!

     

     

Hope these tips help you out!  Your main focus (note the pun!) is to tell your story and capture the memories.   Do you have any fave phone camera tips?  Please share them in the comments below! 

 

 

 

 

 

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