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5 Tips For Taking Family Photos On Vacation

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These 5 tips for taking family photos on vacation will help you capture memories for years to come! From tips for the perfect photography lighting to learning how to use your DSLR camera, be sure to read these tips from a photography professional before you head off on your next family adventure!

tips for how to take family vacation photos with a girl looking at a lake scene

Going on a family vacation is such a fun way to spend quality time together. When it comes to vacation you get to sit back and relax as you enjoy time together in a place other than home. It’s so wonderful to capture the passage of time as they get older and older. It’s almost as if you blink and they’ve grown an inch (or five!).

When it comes to watching your kids grow, you’ll probably want to find a way to capture each moment to hold it close in memory for years to come. That’s where photography comes into play. So here’s some tips from Jim of Schubert Photography for taking the best family photos on vacation.

5 Tips For Taking Family Photos on Vacation

1. Take Advantage Of The Best Light

The best time to capture family photos on vacation is at sunrise and sunset. Otherwise known as “Golden Hour,” two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset. These two times of day allow for optimal lighting so that you can capture the true magic of the moment with the best natural light possible.

photo of the backs of two kids sitting on a bench in a field

2. Experiment With Angles

When taking a family photo of your kids on vacation, be sure to get down on their level. Place the focus on your kids’ facial expressions and their whole body rather than focusing your camera on the background. This will help you capture your family photos with more emotion. And getting down low will help your viewer feel like they’re seeing the world as your children see it.

picture of kid in focus with the subject blurred

3. Capture The Moment

Consider taking some family photos on vacation from different angles and positions such as taking a photo of your kids as they first step into an icy cold river or as they run headlong down the beach to splash in the ocean. Instead of having your kids pose for a family photo on vacation, just capture that moment as it happens. This will help you get a more natural shot that will be something well worth cherishing for years to come.

candid action shot of kids painting in grass

4. Use The Right Camera Settings

When it comes to taking family photos on vacation, be sure to have your camera set to the right settings. If you’re still learning how to use a DSLR camera, a good Auto setting to use for active kids is “Sports Mode” or “Action Mode” so that your camera can zoom quickly and capture the family, even when they can’t stand still for long periods of times.

That said, if you’re able to get your kids to stand or sit still for a moment, then “Portrait Mode” will help you get the right lighting and background blur. The right camera settings can make the difference between an out-of-focus photo and that picture perfect moment.

How to blur backgrounds with the right camera setting

PRO TIP: Use a zoom wide angle lens when taking family photos. You’ll be able to capture a range of focal lengths from tightly cropped portraits to larger group photos.

5. Get Everyone (Even You) In Your Shots

Lastly, when it comes to taking family photos on vacation, don’t forget to jump in some shots with your family. The photographer often goes missing in action from family photos, because there’s no one else that seems to know how to capture the moment as well as you. If you can use a tripod or have another person take a family photo, do it so that you can have some photos that include every family member, including you.

photo of family in front of jeep by using camera timer to capture everybody

Being able to use these tips for taking family photos on vacation will help ensure you hold onto these precious memories forever. Being able to look back at these beautiful photos will provide you with many years of memories from your kids’ childhood to hold close as they venture out into the real world as an adult creating their own family vacation memories.

Jim Schubert is a landscape photographer from Atlanta, GA. His mission is to help you master landscape photography so your photos will inspire others to get outside and explore this big beautiful world. Visit for more photography resources to help you on your journey.

You can also follow him on social media at:



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tips to take amazing family vacation photos with your DSLR or iphone