Put Yourself in Your Vacation Photos!

Vacation is one of the best family times of the year (and expensive) so getting those all important photos to remember a fantastic vacation can be stressful!  To take the stress out of your vacation photos here are some things to remember when heading on vacation.

Take a camera!

It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use, point & shoot, DSLR or phone camera, just make sure you pack a camera and your charger or batteries.


Background Clutter

Have you ever been disappointed when you have gone back and looked at your photos and you don’t remember all of that clutter being in the frame when you snapped the photo?

Sometimes we focus on our subject just a bit too much and then we forget to look at what could be cluttering up our background.  Don’t make your subject move, you move one or two feet to the left or right.  Also, if you have a zoom function on your camera this may work as well in some situations. Sometimes this is all you need to get rid of the distractions in the background or foreground.


Just shifted my camera slightly to the left to crop this girl out of the photo.



Get to a different level or position and take the photo again to get rid of any clutter.  In this photo there is a power pole and a stop sign.  I took this photo from the upper deck of our house.


I moved down to the lower deck and recomposed the photo which eliminated the power pole and the stop sign.  There are still power lines but they are not as prominent as the pole and the sign.

Rule of Thirds

Rule of thirds Is a rule of thumb or a guideline when composing photos.  Imagine your photo divided into thirds by two equally spaced vertical and horizontal lines.  Place your subject or your horizon line at one of the two lines.  Often times your camera has the grid setting available to place on your screen so it makes it easy to compose your photo.   Most cell phones have this option as well.


I have placed the sandpiper in the middle of this photo.


In this photo I placed him to the left third of the frame which creates more interest than placing him in the centre.


More examples using the “Rule of Third” guideline:

Keep in mind this is only a guideline.  It is okay to break the rules sometimes! 



Avoid eye contact (artsy pictures)

Candid photos are also a nice addition to your album instead of all your photos being posed.  Have your subject look away from the camera when they are posing in a landscape or scenery photo.




Tiny People, Big Impact

Place people in a photo where you are trying to show the size of an area or building.  This gives you perspective or scale of what the size is of your main subject.


I was standing on the path to the beach from the road and these people (and dog) are close to the water’s edge.  This will remind us of our walk to the beach from our vacation spot.


A short walk down the beach took us to a section of the beach where it was much wider and a further walk to the water. Placing people in the photo give you perspective on how much further the water was from the grass.

Golden Hour

This is one of my favourite times of the day to take photos and the good news is there are two times each day to capture these photos.  Sometimes the reason you go to a vacation spot is because of the beautiful sunsets or sunrises.

Don’t miss them!

Get out of bed early to get to the best spot for sunrise or plan your dinnertime so you don’t miss the sunset.  I usually check the weather app on my phone for sunrise and sunset times and get there an hour before.  The time on the app is usually when the sun is fully up or fully down.


Lauren and I got up early to catch the gorgeous colours of the sun in the morning.  The sun hadn’t peaked up over the horizon yet in this photo.


Sun is fully up here and still a pretty photo, but the rich colours of the sunrise are gone here.


The colours at sunset are equally as beautiful.  Snap lots because when that sun starts to drop it is gone quickly!


I love silhouettes and you can capture many interesting subjects by using the sun for your exposure settings and let your subject in the forground remain dark.


This one is a favourite!  I can’t see the faces of my children, but of course I know which one is which and it shows their size difference at this stage of their dhildhood.


Create a fun photo with the outline of arms, legs, hands, bodies!


The palm trees peaking in on the right side tell us this is someplace warm, the fishing pier adds interest to the sunrise and the pelican is waiting for the fishermen to arrive.  Even though the subjects are dark we can still make out their outlines.   So, expose for the bright sky manually or look for a sunset setting on your camera and let the objects fall to darkness.

The last and most important photo tip for vacation photos is “PUT YOURSELF IN THE PHOTOS!”

Tripod, Remote, Self-timer or Selfie Stick

When I pack for vacation I have my tripod (travel size if possible), camera remote and my selfie stick.  I love taking photos of my family, but it is also important that I am in photos with them!  I don’t want my children to look back at our albums and wonder why I wasn’t in any photos.

Make sure you do at least one family photo so you are all in a photo together.  Also, I sometimes have to trust my camera to someone else which is difficult for me to do sometimes.  I usually take one of my family, get my settings correct and then I hand my camera over to someone then jump in the photo.




Get one of your children to take a photo for you!  (if they are old  enough – dropping cameras in sand not recommended!)


Tripods and remotes are always great to have!


Our favourite new tool is the SELFIE-STICK!!!




My very last photo tip is…..don’t try to capture everything,…put the camera down once in a while and ENJOY YOUR VACATION!


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