How to Photograph Your Family Vacation

How to Photograph Your Family Vacation

Guest post from Helen John of Helen John Photography:

Doesn’t EVERYONE want to remember their family vacation after it’s over (…and to flood Facebook with awesome photos from their trip)? The problem is, the thought of taking pictures while you’re trying to relax sounds like work, and if you’re vacationing with small children, well, then you have my utmost sympathy. I can completely identify with considering the arrival at your destination simply ALIVE an intimidating feat in itself.

BUT – even if you’re traveling with little monsters in tow, I know you can take rad photos and document your adventures with some easy tips and inspiration:

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

The gear I brought on my trip fit into a small, carry-on camera bag that included: Canon 5D mark iii and two lenses; 24-70mm 2.8, 85mm 1.8 (all the photos in this blog post were taken using those items). I brought a wide lens so I could get good landscapes and pull back shots and I also love having a sharp portrait lens for close ups.

You absolutely don’t need a suitcase of gear to beautifully document your vacation. You also don’t need to feel limited by your equipment; I’ve gotten some of my favorite shots of all time with my iPhone.

We spent four sunny days in Boca Raton Florida this past February. It was not at all the warm winter vacation we’d hoped for with temps mainly in the 60s. But we made the best of it and hit the beaches, pools, and an amusement park during our stay!

I love to play mamarazzi with my boys and let them do their thing so I can capture them in their natural state. Here are my little shell-hunters enjoying our first chilly morning by the ocean:

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

The first day of our trip barely hit 65 degrees, but that didn’t keep my boys from inching their way into the icy pool with every muscle in their bodies squeezed tight. Naturally, as the photographer, I couldn’t possibly go into the pool with them because I had to hold the camera. My husband, however, had no excuse. 🙂

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

What’s the first thing you do after a freezing cold swim? Hot tub!! I find that documenting all the little moments on vacation (and at home) is as important as the big ones.

My Luke’s wide eyes peeking out from the tub and just how much these guys just love taking baths together are the sweet, precious memories that will soon be replaced with showers and “leave me alone, Mom.”

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

On the second day, we ventured out to Lion Country Safari, where a world of wonder and adventure awaited. We took photos of the many animals while driving through the safari, but the massive rhinos were a unanimous favorite.

Later, the boys enjoyed their self-appointed role as navigators and led us around the park with their maps. Being tall enough to go on the water slide (or maybe they snuck by the teenage lifeguard unnoticed…) proved to be a satisfying thrill for a couple of little boys I know.

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

We spent the rest of our days beaching, fishing, and boating. Throw in some lizard catching and bird watching, and we’ve summed up our fun little adventure in Florida. By keeping my camera in my backpack wherever we went, I managed to preserve memories that my family will cherish forever.

Despite the skinned-knee incident, we all made it back home in one piece and my camera was the least traumatized among us.

Happy shooting, travelers!

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

Helen John Photography // Family Vacation Photography Tips for Moms

4 Comments

  1. Diane Kretz

    I wanted some hints, not a travelogue of someone else’s kids, and want $4000+ worth of equipment to take. Not helpful, but guess it made her vacation deductible.

     
  2. I found the pictures AND the info very helpful!
    Thanks for the share and the tips!

     
  3. These images speak for themselves in providing hints to the photographer looking for insight. Whether it’s composition, lighting, natural light options, or being focused ahead of time in order to capture that action shot, I learned from the images in this article. Thank you!

     
  4. Thanks for these useful tips. Capturing the fun and excitement your family vacations is surely something. Awesome blog.

     

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*