Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tips for Capturing a Memorable Vacation

Summer is in full swing and that means vacation time. Whether you go on road trips, take a flight or go on a cruise, vacations are one of the most memorable experiences you will have with your family. Sometimes that's for good and sometimes you have vacation horror stories.

Whatever your vacation ends up being, you'll want something to remember it by. In my mind, that means pictures and lots of them.

I still love looking at pictures from vacations I took with my family growing up. A picture really does say a thousand words and a thousand more memories can be tied up with any one picture.

One thing I've noticed while looking at old vacation photos is how some of them really describe the events well and others I can't even tell where we were, what we were doing or when it happened. That's unfortunate.

I've got a few photo tips that can help you preserve your vacation memories for years to come.

1. Have multiple cameras
In my family, I am the designated photographer. I take all the pictures and everything is from my view, which is great for me, but not everybody has the same view or experience. Having multiple photographers provides a more comprehensive view of the vacation. I saw this when I went to Disneyland with my in-laws a few years back. I took a slew of pictures, but my father-in-law also took a bunch and captured things I didn't. It's great to add his pictures to my collection.

Another benefit of having multiple photographers is it gives your family something to do at all times – even the "boring" parts like driving or waiting in line. Plus, it's fun to get together after the day is over and share pictures, which is so easy with digital cameras and the plethora of mobile devices. Even just having your family take their own pictures with camera phones is beneficial.

2. Capture the Scenery AND the people
I am definitely a people photographer. I love getting great pictures of people having a good time. My husband, on the other hand, is a scenery person. If I let him have the camera, the only thing he captures is the surroundings, devoid of all people if he can help it. To be fair, he says I focus too much on the people and don't capture enough of the setting. A great vacation picture gets some of both. If you go to Disneyland, for example, get the family picture in front of the castle or the Matterhorn. Those are big, easy to recognize backdrops. Of course, there's nothing saying you can't get a good picture of people and another one of the scenery, but shooting from angles that combine both provide for the best memories.

3. Keep it Candid
While posed family pictures on vacation are nice, they don't necessarily describe the fun. Candid pictures are the best. Capture your kids doing something funny or screaming their heads off when they experience something they've never done before. Get a picture of the giant pillow fight at the hotel at night. It's these little captured moments that provide for the best memories because it's you and your family in your element.

4. Do NOT Instagram
I know many people love Instagram, and it's a great service, but please don't use it for all your vacation photos. Sure, it doesn't hurt to take a few pictures with the effects on Instagram, but taking them all with Instagram will only date your photos and years from now you'll wish you had just taken a clean shot.

5. Backup Your Photos
Nothing is more exhausting than returning home from a vacation. It always feels like you need another vacation to recover from your vacation, no matter how wonderful it was. It's at times like these that you just want to hurry and unpack and get back to everyday life. But before you get too far along, make sure to backup your photos. It doesn't take long, but it will be a great peace of mind. Save them to your computer, an external hard drive and online if you can. I personally love Shutterfly because it allows you to store an unlimited number of photos and it's so easy to share your digital albums with others, print photos or convert it all into a photo book.

So go out and have a blast, but don't forget to capture all your memorable moments to enjoy for years to come.
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