10 Tips to Take Better Family Vacation Photos

by | Family, Technical, Top Tips


Summertime means family vacation time. And family vacation means family photos! Creating memories is magical, and capturing them so that the entire family can always look back on those memories is so important. To help you capture those memories, I’ve put together 10 tips to help you take better family vacation photos this year.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a professional. These 10 tips will help you capture your family vacation memories in a way that will spark joy and smiles throughout the years.

How to get better family vacation photos…


      1. Do your research! Researching your location ahead of time for cool places to take your photos will save you some stress. In today’s world of Instagram and Pinterest, it’s super easy to find photo-worthy locations in most destinations. Find these spots and map out the locations to avoid stress.  

    10 Tips to Take Better Family Vacation Photos

    2. Don’t always plan! Like researching the location and planning the shot is important, so is getting that candid shot—the shots of the family playing in the ocean and riding the rides at an amusement park. Candid shots will stir emotion and bring up memories for your kids as they get older. Nothing will stress your family out more than if you are following them around asking them to smile. Have that camera ready, sit back, and let them be kids. You will be surprised at the fantastic candids you can capture.  

    10 Tips to Take Better Family Vacation Photos

    3. Get in front of the camera! I can’t stress this one enough, and I definitely need to practice this one more often. You are a member of your family as well, and when your family is looking back on vacation photos in years to come, you will want to be in them. Hand the camera over to someone else and be in the pictures! Use a tripod, set up that timer, whatever you need to do…make sure you are in some of your photos. 

    4. Tell the whole story! Remember to capture the little details. If you are at the beach, take shots of the shovel and pail, the pier, your child asleep in the backseat of the car after a long day, whatever it may be to tell the story of your day. At the amusement park, capture shots of the kids eating cotton candy or the amusement park games. When you look back, documenting the day will help stir those memories.  

    10 Tips to Take Better Family Vacation Photos

    5. Use the light you usually wouldn’t use! Get up early and use the light just as the sun is coming up. Stay up late and capture what is happening after the sun goes down. Use those extra hours for some alone time capturing things you wouldn’t normally have the time to capture.

    10 Tips to Take Better Family Vacation Photos

    6. Make sure your equipment is ready! Nothing is more frustrating than turning your camera on, getting ready to capture that moment only to realize your battery is dead or your SD card is full. Charge your battery nightly or even carry two. And always have more than one SD card with you.

    7. Know how to use your equipment! You don’t want to be on your amazing family vacation; start fiddling with your camera settings and miss the moment. Spending some time learning to use your camera to get the best photos properly is vital, and it doesn’t have to take a long time. Take a course to help you master your camera before heading on your vacation. 

    8. Use the rules of composition! You want your memories to be…memorable and not look like snapshots. Knowing and using the rules of composition will help you achieve professional, print-worthy photos that you will be proud of.

    10 Tips to Take Better Family Vacation Photos

    9. Communicate your expectations! My kids are old enough to know that there is a family photo if there is a family vacay. It is a given in my family, but…I still remind them, and I set the expectation that I want one posed family photo. I even pack specific outfits for the posed shot. Setting this expectation ahead of time makes sure that we are all on the same page.  

    10. Outsource! If the thought of capturing your family’s photo in front of the Eifel Tower or Leaning Tower of Pisa stresses you out, think about outsourcing your picture. You can easily find photographers in any city and hire them to do a 30-minute shoot.  

    I hope that these 10 tips to get better family vacation photos have you excited to capture your family trip. If you want to learn even more great tips to understand your camera and get AMAZING photos, make sure to check out The Beginners Photography Essentials Bundle today! And, remember to have fun, relax and whatever you do…enjoy your vacation!

    Lifestyle Photographer & Mentor

    Hi, I’m Dena, a natural light lifestyle photographer with 20+ years of experience capturing other people’s memories and teaching photographers how to understand and easily use their cameras.

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