5 Tips For Better Family Travel Photos

I’m often asked how I pack my camera bag differently when I’m traveling (you can see how I stock it normally here) and how I balance being a photographer and wanting to capture every moment versus being a mom and being on vacation. As an avid traveler both for work and with family, here’s my advice on how to get the most out of your travel photos:

Choose the Right Equipment

I’m all about carrying the least amount of gear possible, so I recommend a zoom lens that will help you to get any shot. Shooting in Canon, I recommend the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 or Canon 24-105mm f/4. But regardless of your setup or budget, choose a zoom lens that’s versatile to keep the camera bag light.

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Make A Plan

Despite what you might think, I rarely take my camera with me anywhere if it’s not for work. When I’m with my family, I want to just enjoy being with them instead of documenting them. So, I try to make a plan for the ideal time when I will take my camera out. For example, when I spent two days at Disneyland, I only brought my DSLR with me one of the days (the sunny one!) and decided all the spots I’d take it out of my bag. (For me, I wanted to document her entering the park and castle, the carousel, meeting the princesses & the parade.)

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Candid Is Best

I don’t have too many photos of Evie smiling in front of some statue or landmark… probably because she wouldn’t be into it and honestly, neither am I. Exploration and discovery are the story in vacations with kids and that should be the focus. Getting important landmarks and locations is still easy, just step back to include it all.

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Choose Interesting Angles

Little people see the world differently than us, so try and capture what it’s like to see through their view. Get down on their level and try to shoot details. The results will be fun and can often be funny. In the picture above, I love how small Evie looks amid the sea of people and all the wonder of Disneyland.

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Enjoy Your Vacation!

Remember that you’re on vacation and it’s supposed to be fun, so try not to stress family out with loads of posed photos. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get all the “perfect shots” — whatever you end up shooting will be fun to look back on and hold great memories for you. So put the camera down and take part in the fun, too!

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Have these tips inspired you to dust off that camera and take it out for a spin? Consider enrolling in my Photo 101 or Babies, Toddlers and Kids class to learn more about photography in general and how to photograph kids!

Want to see what our classes are really like? Try a free mini course!