Dadtography's Top Tips for an Even Better Family Vacation Photo Album

Family vacations (or family holidays for our international audiences) are really what I look forward to every year. I work for my time off.

Over the course of the past five years or so, I've taken nearly 15,000 photos while on vacation. Taking that many photos has taught me a few lessons that I'd like to pass along, so below are my top 5 family vacation photography tips to help you not only take better photos on your trip, but also to enjoy family travel more, too!

Tip #1 - Less Posed, More Candid Family Vacation Photos

Posed photos are great, don't get me wrong. But frame after frame of posed photos while on a vacation? That's just too much.

I'm a huge fan of candid photos in general, but especially when traveling as a family.

Capturing moments as they happen naturally is really what family vacation photography is all about, right?

Sure, get the group together for those obligatory photos when you have to, but spend most of your time trying to capture the emotion you and your family feel while on your trip. Your photos will be a lot more meaningful if you do!

Tip #2 - Spend Some Time Editing

I know editing photos can be a pain. Quite frankly, I don't enjoy photo editing either.

But, some photos are meant to be edited and posting them directly to Facebook is really just a travesty.

Make it a point to reserve an afternoon after your trip is over, sit down with your favorite photo editor (mine two favorites are Luminar Neptune and Aurora HDR - af) and crank out a few edits.

You don't have to edit every photo you took. My rule of thumb is that I edit about 10 to 25% of the photos I take while on vacation.

Once you're done, hop on to Facebook and post those bad boys into a family vacation photo album and show off all the fun you had!

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Tip #3 - Leave the DSLR at Home and "Go Mobile"

This tip is going to be a bit counter-intuitive at first, and I admit I'm a bit twitchy typing this right now.

Leave your DSLR at home.


You heard me right. Don't bring your "good" camera. Why? You'll spend too much time focusing on getting the perfect photo and less time enjoying your trip, for one!

What if you only brought your smart phone and took all of your vacation photos on that?

What if you were "shooting from the hip", barely standing still long enough to snap the photo?

Would your trip be ruined? No! Will you still get some great photos? Yes!

Smart phone cameras are still pretty awesome these days, so leave the DSLR at home and "go mobile" on your next family vacation!

Tip #4 - Take Turns Playing Photographer

You just got back from your awesome, week-long family vacation. You have hundreds (thousands?) of family photos.

Well, sorta. There's one problem - the photographer isn't in any of them!

It's a great idea to share photography tasks during your trip. Don't have the same person behind the lens every time!

For one, they'll never be in any of the photos, but also, having a different photographer is bound to mean that different types of shots will be taken. Two (or more) perspectives are better than one!

Tip #5 - Skip the Designated "Picture Spots

Now, I'm not suggesting that you should skip every "designated photo spot", but think about it for a second. Every other family you see there will be taking the exact same photos in the exact same locations.

What's the fun in that?

Why not make it a challenge to find other great photo spots that aren't "designated" and make them your own? See what kind of unique perspectives and angles you can find during your trip. That certainly will make for photos that are unique to your experience - and that's what it's all about, isn't it?

What do you think? Do you have any tips for taking better family vacation photos you'd like to share? Leave a comment below!

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