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Taking vacation photos on your phone: the do's and don’ts

LIFESTYLE | Published on 06/08/2019
Summer vacation photos

Summer vacation photos are some of the most special souvenirs that last long after the tan lines fade. Knowing how to take great vacation photos will preserve your memories in beautiful snapshots to frame on the wall or put on your Christmas card. Using a few simple family vacation photo tips, you can capture everything from the stunning scenery to the little moments of laughter in a way that brings out all the light and love of the moment. Before you snap a shot, think through these tips for how to take the best vacation photos.


Use Natural Lighting For The Best Vacation Photos

The great outdoors provide not just stunning backdrops but also the best lighting. Pros who know how to take great vacation photos know that you always want the sun behind you (the photographer), lighting up your subject. If you’re taking a family photo, encourage everyone to close their eyes before you count to three. While you’ll have to try to avoid squinting, you’ll be able to see everyone clearly. Using your phone, you can also edit the photo to adjust the light exposure. 


Don’t Stick To One Mode

There’s always something happening on vacation, from intense games on the beach to activities like zip lining and jet skiing. If you’re on a high-energy vacation, exploring your phone camera’s sports mode is one of the best family vacation photo tips. Most phones also can take a burst of several photos at once. If your kids are trying to show you their swimming tricks, taking a series of photos all at once is one of the best vacation photo ideas to capture all the action.


Use The Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds is one of the first things photographers learn, and while breaking the rules creates great art, learning this rule for how to take great vacation photos will have you looking like a pro. The rule of thirds means composing your image with a 3x3 grid, an option found on most phones. To compose your photo, place items of interest along the lines and consider what different elements compose the other areas. If you’re taking a landscape shot, compose the scene with foreground, a center focus, and background to get the best vacation photos. Take advantage of the negative space to capture the mood and scenery of the moment.


Don’t Zoom In On Everything

One of the most important family vacation photo tips if you’re using a phone is to avoid the temptation to zoom in on the subject of your photo. The camera lense in your phone doesn’t move, so zooming in can often cause quality issues. When it comes to how to take the best vacation photos, either move closer to your subject or set your photo up to capture the beauty surrounding the central focus. You can also purchase attachable lenses for your phone to help you zoom without sacrificing quality or you can crop your photo afterward.


Remember That Golden Hour Will Give You Great Summer Vacation Photos

While you may be exhausted after a full day of activity, getting out during the hour before sunset is one of the best beach vacation photo ideas. Photographers refer to this time as the golden hour, where the sun’s intensity decreases but gives the air a golden hue. If you use the other tips for how to take the best vacation photos during golden hour, you’ll have the perfect shot to hang on the wall, share with friends, or put on your Christmas card.


Don’t Stay Behind The Camera

Of all the beach vacation photo ideas you can read about, the best tip is to get out from behind the camera. While you’ll miss capturing some shots, living in the moment and creating memories with your family is really what the vacation is all about. After capturing a few shots at the beach, put your phone away and go play! Or, if you are really feeling the urge to capture the moment, pass your phone to resort staff or a friendly guest and have them take vacation photos where you and your travel companions are all together. There is nothing worse than getting home only to realize you aren’t in a single photo from your vacation. After all, the best vacation photos include everyone you traveled with.

Years from now, as you look back on your summer vacation photos, the most important thing will be the memories that you created. Having these moments preserved in well-composed photos that are clear and capture the palm trees and rolling waves makes looking back even sweeter. Whether you’re looking to create a family album or share your photos with family back home, using these beach vacation photo ideas will create professional pictures straight from your phone.2

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