The bags are packed, the itinerary is perfected, your camera batteries are charged. Get ready to capture your best vacation yet.
Using your camera to document incredible memories during your trip shouldn’t feel like an impossible task, and using your camera shouldn’t bring more feelings of anxiety than excitement. We’ve compiled our best tips for taking vacation photos you’ll love from our professional photographers, so you always feel confident capturing once-in-a-lifetime memories.
What is the best time of day to take photos?
A beautiful photo starts with a good foundation. Lighting can make or break your photos, so knowing how to work with the light you have is the starting point for visually stunning images. For soft, flattering and golden light, the famous “golden hour” (the hour just after sunrise and just before sunset, when the sun is low on the horizon) is when our photographers love to shoot. When the sky is an explosion of colours and there’s no harsh shadows from an overhead sun, it’s nearly impossible to take a bad photo! At Flytographer, we’re big advocates for waking up early for morning golden hour, when the streets are empty and you have the city to yourself.
What should be in the photo?
Now that you have the right light, it’s time to think about composition. When you look into your viewfinder to take your photo, you’re preparing to tell a story. Use the “rule of thirds” to compose your image. Imagine your photo is divided by three horizontal and vertical lines; placing your subject at one of these intersections will naturally draw your eyes to the subject. And most importantly, remember to keep your horizons straight for a timeless look. This small tweak can make a world of difference in your photos!
THE RULE OF THIRDS
You can also get creative with your composition by using the city around you. If you’re walking along the canals of Amsterdam, try using the reflections of the buildings in the water for a unique perspective. If you’re walking the colourful streets of Cartagena in Colombia, use the streets to create “leading lines” to draw your eye across the photo. If you’re exploring the stone streets of Dubrovnik, match the sea of red roofs with your outfit for a coordinating pop of colour. Wherever you are, let the city inspire you.
Want everyone in the photo?
How can I take a professional photo?
Finally, think about your “depth of field” – this is how blurry the background of your photo will be. Imagine using portrait mode on your iPhone; this shallow depth of field means the focus will be on your subject with a blurry background. Alternatively, a wide depth of field where more of the background is in focus will bring the viewers attention to both the subject and the scene. We find that a wider depth of field is important for vacation photography because showing off your destination is half the fun! Just look for the aperture on your camera, and the bigger the number, the wider the depth of field.
SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD
(Background is out of focus)
WIDE DEPTH OF FIELD
(Background is in focus)
How can I tell a story with my photos?
Now that you’re ready to take beautiful photos, it’s time to bring life into them. Taking candid, authentic photos allows you to remember not just how the moment looks, but how it feels. Here are some of the ways our photographers take natural, timeless images.
How can I make photos more interesting?
Don’t be afraid to bring motion into your photos. You and your loved one strolling the streets of Florence. Your kids jumping and playing in Paris. Capturing true life as it unfolds, rather than simply standing and smiling at the camera, will remind you of just how beautiful that moment was when you’re reminiscing on these very photos in 20 years. When you’re taking photos, don’t be afraid to play up the moment as well. Whisper something sweet in your partner’s ear or start a surprise tickle party with your kids to create spontaneous, real moments that are camera-ready.
Where should I start with photography?
Not only should you interact with your loved ones – interact with your surroundings as well! As you’re taking photos of the city you’re exploring, let the photos inspire you to make new memories. Start a conversation with the shop owner of the cute storefront you photographed. Try a piece of fresh fruit from a fruit stand and get to know the locals as you snack. These are the moments that can make your trip even more memorable and special.
Finally, have fun with your storytelling. Photography shouldn’t be stressful; it should simply be fun! By booking a vacation shoot with one of our talented local photographers, you’re guaranteed to have your best, must-have shots with everyone in the photo checked off, so you can spend the rest of your trip worry-free.
How do I edit the photos?
So you’ve got hundreds of photos you can’t want to print, post and share from your trip? If you’re looking to elevate your photos through editing, these are our favourite editing apps on your phone.
What are the best apps for editing my photos?
VSCO and Lightroom Mobile
These apps have all the tools you need to edit your photo just right. Imagine that taking the photo is drawing a picture, and editing in colouring the drawing in. It’s an important and fun process to truly make the photos your own and give them the finishing touch. If you’re new to editing, it may feel overwhelming. Give yourself time to get familiar with the apps, as well as play around with the tools such as exposure, white balance, and contrast that will make your photo pop. The more you practice, the faster and more confident you’ll become at editing!
Presets are a powerful and easy way to kick-start your editing and achieve a consistent look for your photos. We love the free presets available in the VSCO app, but you can even create your own! Our recommendation? Once you find a preset or editing style you love, try to be as consistent as possible in using them on all of your photos. When you choose to print your photos, create albums or share online, a consistent editing style helps your photos look professional and polished.
Whether you’re taking a trip around the world or staying close to home, special moments deserve to be photographed. And when it’s time to get everyone in the photo, book one of our amazing local photographers around the world to capture once-in-a-lifetime memories.