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How to Take Brag-worthy Vacation Photos

Kelsey Tharp | Dec 21, 2020

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If you’re going to drop some major cash on an amazing vacation, it’s probably worth knowing how to take an amazing picture.

Researching photography basics can quickly lead to a rabbit hole of aperture, lighting, lens size, and confusion. There’s no need for that.

You don’t have to be an expert photographer to get beautiful photos. Being an expert definitely helps, don’t get me wrong, but anyone can learn how to take some cool pictures.

Before your next big trip, try these tips to up your photo game.  

Use Instagram for inspiration

Every year, millions of people travel the world to take all kinds of exciting vacations. Many of these travelers will post tons of pics from their destination on Instagram. Take advantage of this! You can use these images for inspiration. People are creative and find all kinds of interesting ways to capture famous landmarks.

For instance, when I typed Bolivian Salt Flats, thousands of images popped up. We’ve got people posing with cactuses, cars sitting on top of the flats, llamas walking nearby, and thousands of other unique perspectives of the destination.

TIP: When you’re searching, select “places” from the menu, otherwise you won’t find as many results.

Take a test photo

When I studied abroad in Australia, something horrible happened: my camera lens stopped opening all of the way. Later, when I looked back at all of my pictures from my fantastic (and expensive) vacations, every single photo had a black smudge in the corner. Every. Single. Photo.

Before wandering in your temporary slice of paradise, take a test photo and study it carefully to make sure there’s not something weird going on.

TIP: Bring a lens cloth to periodically keep your lens free of smudges.

Keep it simple

It may be tempting to squeeze in as much action and detail into one photograph as possible, but this can create a confusing perspective. When your photograph has one focus — one flamingo instead of a flock — it makes the photo more impactful.

TIP: Avoid panoramas. 1) They’re impossible to print and 2) they’re extremely busy.

Capture those animals … on film

One of the coolest parts about a trip, in my opinion, is seeing all of the new and exciting animals! And, these new and exciting animals make excellent photo subjects.

When you’re on vacation, make sure to give yourself opportunities to see them. Try booking a guided nature tour, where your knowledgeable guide can help point out animals, or visiting a preserve that’s filled with wildlife.

TIP: Zoom in to get the best shots. Animals will generally run away if you get too close.

Be prepared

If you’re heading  out for a full day of exploration, check to be certain  your camera is fully charged. Imagine being in Ireland, just reaching the Cliffs of Moher, and not being able to take a photo because your phone is dead. When you’re packing for vacation, bring a few extra camera batteries or an external charger for your phone. You won’t regret it.

TIP: Batteries and external chargers are relatively cheap, so load up.

Now get out there you little photographer, you, and don’t forget to post all of your beautiful photos online.

About the Author

Kelsey Tharp

Kelsey Tharp is a content marketing specialist with Seven Corners. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, spending time with friends and daydreaming about her next vacation. At home, she’s surrounded by her dog and three cats pretty much at all times.

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