How to Take Better Vacation Pictures - St. Louis Professional Photographer

When you plan a big vacation, you definitely want to bring home a souvenir or two. And what better way to remember your trip than by photographing every fun moment to look back on later?

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But have you ever snapped a quick photo with your phone only to realize hours later that it was out of focus? That’s one less memory you’ll have to enjoy.

Fortunately, whether you’re using a point-and-shoot camera or just your cell phone, there are definitely things you can do to make sure you get crystal-clear images perfect for the scrapbook or hanging on your walls! Jason and I recently took a trip to Arizona to explore different vacation spots and found a few hidden gems.

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Pack all your gear

If you’re planning on bringing an actual camera on vacation, make sure to pack along extra batteries or your charger and a spare. You may also want to find a lightweight bag to carry your camera in to ensure that it doesn’t get broken or damaged. And if you plan to use a phone—or all your family’s phones—don’t forget to bring plenty of phone chargers so everyone can stay charged up and ready to snap pictures!

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Take advantage of the best lighting

Even a photo snapped on an iPhone during golden hour just before sunset or in the early morning right after sunrise can be stunning. Midday sun is too bright and will actually wash out your images and make them appear colorless. The golden lighting in the early morning or late evening makes both people and scenery appear more vibrant. Plus, if you’re in a tourist-heavy area, fewer tourists are out during these times so you don’t have to worry as much about other people getting in your shot.

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Get everyone involved

The best photos of a vacation are candid ones. Instead of handling all the photography yourself, enlist your partner and kids to use their phones to snap pictures of everyone else. This way, you will capture genuine moments of your explorations and fun throughout your trip.

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Take A LOT of photos

Whether you’re using a camera or a smartphone, it costs you nothing to take hundreds of photos. Sometimes it takes 20 shots to get the perfect image, and that’s okay! Practice makes perfect, and the more photos you take, the better you’ll get at capturing the right moments. Just make sure you have plenty of memory so you don’t have to go back through and delete any of your pictures.

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Edit your images

Every photographer knows editing a photo can make all the difference in the world. If your vacation photos are a little too dark or the colors aren’t quite right, a little editing can brighten them up! And don’t worry if you don’t have software like Photoshop or Lightroom. Most phones have simple editing available, and there are plenty of apps if you want to do a little more with your images.

When it comes to taking vacation photos, don’t be afraid to be adventurous and try different angles or backdrops. You never know what photo will make you smile years down the road!


Monochrome Photo Studios is not only a photography studio, we also teach other photographers at our studio. Are you interested in learning more about photography? Reach out to us today for a custom quote on a photo class.