What you qualify as a great family photo might not resonate the same with others. Therefore, taking better pictures comes down to your own preferences and comfortability. After all, most of us do not submit our vacation pictures for awards—they are for our own reference only.
Nevertheless, capturing family photos you can cherish takes work. You never want to force a portrait; otherwise, the smiles come across inauthentic. This is why it’s often best to take unexpected, activity-focused pictures where everyone looks genuinely excited. The tips below will help you find those moments!
Just remember to bring extra storage (physical or cloud). Taking the best family picture might require multiple attempts and you’ll need to compare afterward.
Research Great Backdrops
Although the best photographs sometimes happen spontaneously, there may be a few landmarks worth photographing. If so, research the places ahead of time. See if other tourists have posted great pictures online and find out where they were taken.
Take Turns Shooting Photos
Sometimes, only one person gets elected from the group to take pictures. However, this individual might not be the most qualified for the job. By rotating responsibilities, you can compare the photography styles and pinpoint who has the best eye.
Stabilize Your Camera
Whenever possible, rest your camera on a stable surface to avoid blurriness. Smartphones and cameras now offer Vibration Reduction (VR) to offset subtle movements in the hands. If available, you might need to enable this feature manually.
Doctor Your Photos When Appropriate
Thanks to smartphone technology, you can apply filters and corrections on the go. These effects can eliminate impurities like red eye and intense light. Similarly, they can alter the mood of the photograph. For example, black-and-white filters render a photo timeless. Likewise, sepia tones form softer, warmer impressions for conveying emotions of affection.
Snap Photos of Things Other Than Your Family
Especially when travelling with children, we tend to focus our photo-taking on them. But there are so many other scenes worth capturing. Consider incorporating the following into your photo sessions:
- Locals—add new faces in your photos of regular people around the city;
- Food—practice your food photography when dining in new restaurants and trying different cuisines;
- Animals—if travelling into a new ecosystem, take pictures of wildlife you don’t regularly see.
Get Familiar with the Basics of Photography
You can refine your photography techniques by acquainting yourself with some foundational principles:
- Rule of Thirds—dividing the picture into a three-by-three grid, aligning focal points along intersecting lines.
- Leading Lines—discovering the natural path our eyes travel and capturing that journey in the composition.
- Patterns—detecting patterns in shape, colour, texture and more to balance (symmetrical) or offset (asymmetrical) photos.
- Framing—using the environment to enclose and focus on the object of the photo.
There is much to learn in regards to the methodology behind the perfect picture. For more information, PhotographyMad.com has an excellent starter blog that introduces the keystone concepts.