New Jersey & Philadelphia Wedding Photographer
Gen Palmer | Weddings & Everything After

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5 tips to take amazing vacation photos this summer

It’s summer and for many of us that means vacation time! Which also means vacation photos. But in today’s Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat centric world (I still haven’t figured that one out) there is such a thing as oversharing, and boring everyone on your friend list.

Want to rock your vacation photos this summer and have your friends wishing they’d stowed away in your luggage? Here are a few easy tips, whether you’re shooting with your cell phone or the newest DSLR.

Yes, photograph the landmarks. But do it in an unexpected way.

Everyone’s seen the iconic photograph of the Eifel Tower. And maybe you want to photograph it too as a memento but why on earth would you want to post it online when your friends could google the same photo (and probably better ones) any time? Tip: when photographing landmarks, DON’T follow the crowds! Go the opposite way, look for different views, times of day where less people are present, or capture abstract representations of the landmark like a close up. Trust me, it’s hard to view a photo of the Eifel Tower and not know what it is.

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Going from snapshots to portraits.

Probably the second most common type of vacation photos are of people (you, your kids, your family/friends), and you can take these up a notch pretty easily. The biggest mistake I often see is here is posing people in harsh sunlight. Instead, try placing people under a tree or overhang, and try not to have your subjects face into the sun which causes them to squint. No shade? No problem – place the sun behind them and if you can, block the sun with their bodies, a tree or something else behind them.

Capture activities in an unexpected way too.

Example: Everyone loves the carnival. And we all have photos of our kids riding carnival rides and smiling and waving at the camera. But you can find ways to capture the feeling of the carnival in less expected ways – like capturing that sticky sweet bite of a candy apple, ice cream or cotton candy, or toes curled in sand at the beach. Capturing details of activities are a great way to showcase what you’re doing in an
unexpected way.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to capture the environment.

Take a step back and capture the feel of the place, whether it’s the bright colors of a carnival ride against the sky, waves crashing against a warm sunset lit beach or a busy Parisian café.

And last but not least, EDIT what you share.

No Photoshop required. Promise. What I mean is don’t share every. single. photo. It gets old. Only share the best highlights from your vacation, the ones that make your friends ooh and ah and ask for the number for your travel agent. And yes that means putting your phone down when you have the urge to instantly upload to Facebook, and coming back to it later. Trust me, not only will you be able to approach your story with fresh eyes but it’ll allow you to be in the moment and enjoy that hard earned vacation! Remember, you didn’t go on vacation to spend it on your phone!

What questions do you have about vacation photos? Post them here and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Have a great summer!!