10 tips to take great pictures on vacation

10 tips to take great pictures on vacation


With summer just around the corner, I’m sure many of us will be going on a family vacation. Whether you’re into street photography, or like to photograph famous landmarks, we all want to get some beautiful images for the photo albums.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to get some nice vacation photos. Those of us who are into Smartphone photography can get beautiful scenic shots too. If you’re lazy, setting your DSLR to Auto mode is perfectly fine for most candid shots. But it’s also a perfect time to work on your portfolio and get some nice content for those online photo albums.

Here are 10 Photography tips on how to take beautiful photos on Vacation.

Jpeg After processing

1. Use a technique called storytelling

An excellent idea is to document your journey: the car ride, the airport, the plane, the flight, the train, and when you arrive and unload. But also, if you’re in a different nation, the culture, architecture, food, and streets. Also try to locate a fresh point of view, or a new angle if you visit some very touristy landmarks.

2. Photograph the locals

Taking portraits of local people is often a fantastic way to share the culture and show the people back home how it feels to visit a certain country or area. You’ll need a portrait lens like a 50mm or a 24-70mm zoom for this. Always ask politely if you can photograph strangers first, or you might end up having to delete the picture or worse.

3. Be prepared to capture the local wildlife

If you’re vacationing somewhere with unique wildlife, be sure to bring the right gear to photograph it. Having a long lens or a powerful zoom (over 200mm) function on your camera will help you capture birds, monkeys, dolphins, lions and other animals that are tough to get close to. You may want to book a whale-watching excursion or guided nature tour to increase your odds of an animal encounter. If you don’t want to spend the money on an expensive lens for your camera, you can always rent equipment instead.

4. Research locations on Google and Instagram nearby places

Look for locations in your vacationing area on google maps with plenty of travel photos added. This usually means there is something interesting to photograph there. Instagram is another great source for photo locations. Filter by hashtag and for interesting locations for a portrait for instance.

5. Shoot in early morning or during golden hour

Shoot in early morning or during golden hour. These times have more natural light, less distractions, and are perfect for creative photo shoots. Ideas for a shoot on different subjects — flowers, trees, the ocean. You might want to shoot people in motion, like surfers or fishermen when you’re near the coast. a wide shot of farmers in the early morning is also a fantastic subject to shoot.

6. Pay attention to the details

To improve your vacation pictures, you can pick to photograph unique and intriguing subjects. By concentrating on details, you can decrease the amount of variables in the frame and concentrate on the various shapes and forms that can be found in your subject.

You can isolate an image to focus on the qualities that appeal to you by photographing only a piece of a famous building or natural landscape. To narrow your point of attention and make it stand out, try zooming in or going closer to it.

7. Utilize Shadows to your advantage

A good sunny day is usually required to make effective use of shadows.  The usage of shadows is not restricted to low sunset light; this technique can be used with any type of direct sunlight. During the day, attempt to find a higher viewing point and wait for people to walk underneath you. They will throw a shadow, which may be rather intriguing.

Haida 150 Series Filter Holder for Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8

8. Rule of thirds

Remember the rule of thirds when setting up your shot. Divide the composition into three parts to make sure the focal point is positioned off-center for more visual interest. These type of photos are almost always deemed more appealing by viewers.

9. Experiment with various angles

By taking multiple photos of the same subject at different angles, you’ll learn how to make your photos more interesting.

Turn your casual holiday snaps into a full-blown photoshoot. You can then look back and select the best photos to portray your style and taste.

10. Wait for the ideal weather

In addition to using natural light when taking images, it’s best to wait for ideal weather before getting started. The atmosphere will not appeal to your viewers if it is dreary, rainy, and cloudy. When it’s sunny , you’ll  immediately sense the warmth and vacation vibe.

wim arys

Wim Arys is a photographer from Belgium Europe with a passion for mirrorless cameras.

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1 Response

  1. Sam says:

    Dag Wim,

    Thank you for sharing your tips and advices.
    I landed up on your site randomly while looking for a guide to better use a GX80 Lumix camera which I bought a year ago as a first entry into the 21st century photography. Taking pictures was one of my favorite hobby when I was a teenager in the 80’s and then I stopped until the lock down last year gave me the opportunity and time to go back to what I enjoyed to do 30 years ago. So I bought a first camera to go on safari tour around the Afrika Museum in Tervuren or in the garden. Because when I was a kid I only learned how to use 2 basic settings (speed en diafragma) I’m still trying to figure out how to use all the settings on the digital camera such as focus zone, bracketing, histogram, all kind of compensations…
    Also although it is now almost impossible to make a bad picture , technically speaking, I’m however not often happy with the result from a visual point of view. I try a lot of different things because it is for free but I need help with do and don’ts , which is why I read your post with a lot of attention.
    I noticed you are by chance living at reasonable distance and I might contact you for some lessons.

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