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The 9 Dos and Don’ts of Travel Photography for Families

Fat Mum Slim /

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9 Dos & Don'ts of travel photography for families

Have you been on holidays with the family lately? I’m a natural people-watcher, so I love to see families having fun on their holiday together. I’ve noticed that there’s usually two types of parents {let me generalise and say mums in this instance} while on holiday. There’s the mum who seems to take photos of everything. She’s snapping the kids in the pool, eating lunch, at the beach, in their new outfit, with their ice cream, with the friend that they just made on the slides, and every other moment that happened.

Then there’s the mum who gets to the end of the holiday and realises she hasn’t taken any photos at all. She’s been so chill and relaxed, and present that she forgot to capture it all. Does a holiday really happen if you didn’t take photos of it?

I like to think that I’m somewhere in between. Taking photos is a big part of my ‘job’ {I feel silly calling it a job because it really is mostly so fun!} as a blogger, so I do try and capture memories and then switch off and enjoy myself too. I do think there is a happy place where you can take photos for keepsakes, but actually be present to enjoy making the memories too.

I wanted to share some dos and don’ts for travel photography when you’re with your family, so you can take great photos, but not miss out on all the beautiful memory making moments as well.

DOS & DON’TS OF TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR FAMILIES

The 9 Dos and Don'ts of Travel Photography for Families

1. Do Pack Your Camera

I know this is obvious, but it needs to be said, right? And while you’re at it, make sure you take your camera charger too {been there, forgot that}! When we travel I always pack a few cameras to take with me. Our holidays always seem to be around water, so we take our underwater camera the Olympus TG-Tracker, so we can capture snorkeling shots, or Hubby also mounts it to a stand-up paddle boards if he goes out on the water. These underwater shots are always magical, and because you’re not looking through a viewfinder sometimes you don’t realise what gems you’ve captured until you’re back on dry land. I also take my Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with me, because it’s my favourite camera and it’s light so can fit into my handbag and not weigh me down. I try not to carry too much with me, so I tend to only take one lens, and this one is my favourite all-rounder that covers all scenarios. I then also always have my phone with me, so I can use that for any happy snaps, but mostly easily transfer my photos from my camera over to my phone to share on Instagram {using the Wifi} system.

The 9 Dos and Don'ts of Travel Photography for Families

2. Do Get The Obligatory Family Shot

Whenever people would ask if we’d like a family shot, I’d always say no because I didn’t like how I look in photos but now I’m all about the YES. It’s so important to get in the photo, and have a keepsake of the whole family on holiday {otherwise the kids will grow up thinking that you never went on holiday with them!}. Ask a stranger to take a snap of you all {just set the camera to auto so you don’t have to worry about settings}, and offer to take one of their family in return. I’ve never had anyone say no, so it’s always worth asking. I always ask them to take three, just to make sure I have some options to choose from. If all else fails, take a selfie, use a tripod or make use of your camera’s timer.

The 9 Dos and Don'ts of Travel Photography for Families

3. Do Consider The Background {or Foreground}

I have a habit of always wanting to take close up photos, but when on holidays you want to take in the background too… because it tells the story of the places you went and the things you saw. Make sure you take a step back {or a few} and include the background in your photo.

The 9 Dos and Don'ts of Travel Photography for Families

4. Don’t Always Take Posed Photos

Photos where everyone is looking at the camera are always nice, but when holidaying you want to capture the moments as they happened, and they don’t need to be staged. Snap away and take photos while people are engaged in the moment.

The 9 Dos and Don'ts of Travel Photography for Families

5. Do Ask Before You Snap Photos Of A Stranger

I love capturing photos of locals in places we visit, but it can be considered quite rude to just snap photos of people without asking. Always ask before you snap, so you don’t upset anyone.

The 9 Dos and Don'ts of Travel Photography for Families

6. Do Your Research

When I visited Perth earlier this year, I knew that it had some amazing street art so I spent a few hours researching the best art to take photos of, as well as where a popular pier was that I desperately wanted to shoot. Do the legwork before you leave so that you can capture places, but not waste time researching while on holiday.

The 9 Dos and Don'ts of Travel Photography for Families

7. Don’t Sleep In Too Much

Promise me that you’ll forgo a sleep-in at least one day to capture a beautiful sunrise while on holiday? If not, enjoy that magical golden hour before sunset and snap lots of photos then. It’s the perfect time to take photos, and the light is just perfection.

The 9 Dos and Don'ts of Travel Photography for Families

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Shoot In Auto

Getting the perfect shot can sometimes take a little time to set-up, but when you’re dealing with new locations, situations and active kids… sometimes it’s better to just set your camera to auto and snap away.

The 9 Dos and Don'ts of Travel Photography for Families

9. Do Make Time For Memories

I’ve said this already, but I’ll say it again; photographs are a wonderful thing, but memories are sometimes even better. Capture all the important moments on camera, and enjoy them just as much too.

Where would you love to travel to take photos? I imagine India would be filled with lots of colour and photography opportunities. How about you?

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  • Row Parker

    After reading you blog I have fallen in love with the idea of going to Japan, my bestie and I are hoping to go together

@Fatmumslim