We always want to take better holiday photos because we love holidays!! Family, celebrating Christmas, Camping, building memories… we love to build memories with our close ones, and taking photos is one of the best ways you can preserve these special moments.
Here are 5 of my top tips on how to get better photos this Summer:
1. Have Your Camera with You
You may get some of your best photos in a Portrait Session with a professional photographer (maybe even someone like myself). However, you’ll probably find some of your favourite images, are those connected to special memories, where you’re out on a picnic, or splashing in the pool, or doing a spontaneous picnic dinner in the backyard. Holidays, are of course always great times for photos, because you are experiencing new opportunities together.
But for all of these times – have your camera in your bag. Use your phone if that’s your only option, but preserve those memories regularly.
We always have a little point-&shoot camera in the living area, because funny, crazy things happen at home. If we’re going on an outing, I now have a camera bag, that is half handbag, so I can take my SLR with me everywhere. It’s the best!
2. Get down to the Subject’s Eye Level
Have you ever had your photo taken where you were looking up at the camera? Feel tiny? Insignificant? and smiling weirdly, cos you don’t know how to face your chin upward awkwardly? or even worse, looking down at the camera and showing the world all of your lovely chins?
Well, there is a solution. When taking a photo of people, get down low. Be eye-to-eye with your subject.
Get down to the kids level – right on the floor. Or if it’s people sitting down at a function, squat down whilst you take the image. It looks a billion times better. Everyone is happier. You’re happier because you took a great photo – and the people in the shot, think they look amazing. Such a small trick, BUT NO ONE DOES THIS. You want your photos to look good? Then, simply get down.
3. Capture the Details
This is obviously big on Instagram, but when you’re putting your annual album together, the details can really help. (And yes, an album is a great thing to do!) Sometimes it’s hard to capture everything in one shot, but if you photograph details, you can tell a story.
For example: The cake you had on the picnic (The apple cake above was a hit), Gifts all beautifully wrapped, the waves at the beach, THE SUNRISE?? (There’s a challenge for you), Your camp setup on the 2nd last day, to show what it really looked like! friends, books, flowers, the signs, your kids fat little hands wrapped around a drippy ice-block… in short, the little things that bring you joy.
Tell your story and capture your memories in the details.
It’s Summer, so make the most of the Summer sun, and take pictures outside. I’ve been to a few events recently in the late afternoon, and I’ve tried to capture most of my photos before the sun has set, because they just look so much better then.
You want to take a group photo inside? Make the people take 3 steps to the right towards the window (Not actually that hard), and take your shot there. (At eye-height, right!)
5. Get in Close to your Subject. Point Them Away from the Sun.
OK, this is a tricky one. It’s summer, so there’s lots of sun. You’re at the beach photographing your adventures. The sun is shining and you’re taking a photo of your daughter:
- If you have your back to the sun, they’re looking straight in the light and squinting like crazy.
- If they have their back to the sun, you get a beautiful shot of the beach, and two black blobs silhouetted in the front.
Well, (assuming you’ve got your camera on auto), if you get in closer, your camera will adjust to expose for the people in your foreground. Sure, your background will blow out a little, but at least you’ll get their smiling faces.
If you really want to get the beach and the people, then try side-on. You may get a little squinting, but not too bad.
In my experience, a great photo is when you focus to capture only one element. One moment. One memory. So, in this case, you want to capture the people, make sure they look good and fill the frame. If they’re facing away from the sun, then the sunlit background won’t matter so much.
Anyhoo – there’s a few of my tips and tricks for better holiday photos this Summer, But I reckon the main one is #1. Take your photos all the time, and eventually some of them will stick, and you’ll probably get better with practice too.
What are some of your tips from your best holiday photos? I’d love to hear. Please share them below!