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Top 10 Tips for Photographing Vacations 


Family on beach


Here are ten simple tips to get you on your way to taking better pictures. Each tip has pictures illustrating the tip in action and instructions detailing the tip.


Do your homework

Look at travel guides, postcards and picture books of the area. Learn where the best photo opportunities are. Remember key events, festivities, and landmarks. You'll be inspired to take better pictures.

Learn the features and operation of your camera. If you're still learning how to use your camera, take the camera manual along — it's good reading on the plane.


Public Market Sign


Tell a Story

Use pictures to tell the story of your trip, from the time of your departure to your return.

Capture the details. Take pictures of signs, ticket stubs, menus, local maps and more.

Capture the emotions. Take individual pictures of each member of your travel party with their favorite landmarks, rides, eatery or animal.

Carry a small note book to jot down quick details to use later.


Old restaurant-store with chalk board menu


Capture the local flavor

Unique subjects make great pictures. Keep an eye out for the unusual and snap a picture when you come upon it.

Interact with the locals. You’ll learn more about their culture and take better pictures while capturing details you may have missed. (Always ask permission).


Street Shop


Create a photo menu

Take pictures of everything you eat, especially the unique and different items. Your memory of how good it tasted may fade, but you'll have pictures. After all, eating new foods is as important a part of travel as seeing new sights.

To create a more dramatic picture, move in close and fill the frame.


Picture of Dessert


Look for themes

Look for common themes in your travels and take lots of pictures. This will help you tell a unique story that is just yours.


Dress in Window


Always carry your camera

Your camera won't do you any good sitting in the hotel room. You never know when an opportunity will arise, and for many photos you may not get a second chance.

A point and shoot camera is compact and easy to carry with you, be it a hike through the woods or an evening at the opera.


sunset over water


Have fun

Take candid pictures. Ignore the impulse to force your subjects to pose.

When taking pictures of a group, don’t work too hard to position them. Let them relax and fall into a natural pose.

Blend into the environment while taking pictures to avoid making your subject self-conscious.


Kids jumping in air on beach


Take lots of pictures

Not every picture will be perfect. Taking multiple pictures will give you more to choose from.

When taking pictures of children, wait for the right moment, then shoot lots of pictures quickly.

Look for themes in your travels and capture them often to highlight your story.


Young girl in tree



Expand your picture-taking capability. Check into an accessory wide-angle or telephoto lens for your camera. It might be just what you need to capture architectural details or the local culture.


Stature seen through pillars


Protect your gear

Sand, water, snow, and heat are your camera's worst enemies. When you're not taking pictures, keep your camera and supplies safe in a camera bag or zippered plastic bag.


camera bags