(Disclaimer: We are not photographers, and you’ll not find pro photo tips here. These are just a few things we’ve found that make our photos better, or at least more fun.)

Jumping for photos is fun

Have fun with your photos!

1.

Go for the Action! Posed photos are so … well, posed. Often times your subjects look stiff and impatient. Get the action shot! Your vacation photos should be a reminder of what you were doing – having fun! So have fun with your photos. Instead of asking your friends and family to stop for a photo, just let them keep doing what they are doing and take a few shots. Sometimes to avoid a “posed” scenario we’ll jump and try to catch a mid air shot. This usually leads to a lot of laughing and priceless photos with smiles that could never be posed.

2.

Got feet? Use them to get close, and avoid using the zoom. The zoom lens will typically engage a slower shutter speed to allow more light. This increases the chance of blurring. This can be super problematic indoors. Always be safe though, and pay attention to where your feet are taking you.

Use your feet and check background

In the photo on the right you can see we improved the shot by getting closer and moving so the post is not coming out of my head.

3.

Check the background before taking shot. Look for unwanted objects in the photo like trash cans, poles, trees, signs, and things that you just don’t want in your photo. If you see a post behind your subject that looks like its coming out of their head, taking a few steps left or right may save the shot. And always be on the lookout for a potential photobomber.

4.

Buy the biggest memory card you can afford. Prices for memory cards have come way down, and sizes have gone way up. There’s really no excuse for running out of space for your photos. The larger the card you have the more photos you can take. We usually take two cards for each camera, just in case. How does this help you take better vacation photos? The more shots you take, the more chance you have to get that once in a lifetime shot. So what if you had to take 1000 shots to get that one perfect one?

Try using your flash

Using the flash can dramatically change your photo. Even in daylight.

5.

Get to know your flash. Take some time before you leave to experiment with your camera’s flash. A lot of times your camera will try to “pop” up the flash when it simply isn’t needed. This can often ruin a shot – washing out your subject, creating harsh shadows and red eyes. Find out how to manually turn it off … and on. Sometimes turning the flash on even on a sunny day can really bring a shot to life. For example if you have a subject with unflattering shadows on their face, try manually turning on your flash. You’ll be surprised at some of the great looks you can create with this technique.

Bonus Tip – Magic light. Morning and evening light can be golden and beautiful! The 20 minutes just before sunrise and right after sunset is magic because the fading daylight balances with the artificial lights, making colors pop. On the other hand, if you have to take photos in the middle of the day, try to shoot with the sun behind you, and try a few flash shots.