1/22/13

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Guest Post: Tips for Taking Better Vacation Photos

With spring break and summer just around the corner (they will be here before you know it!), you may be enjoying some vacation time in the near future. Today, Becky Kercher of Black Forest Photography, one of Garden of the Gods Club‘s preferred wedding and event photographers, shares some simple tips for how to successfully capture memorable vacation moments with photography.

Heading on vacation in the near future? These tips will help you capture some great photos.

Planning a vacation in the near future? Capture great photos with the tips below.

For most people, vacation is a time to relax. It is a time to get away and spend quality time with family or friends. Naturally, these moments should be documented in photographs! Here are some of my recommendations for how to do just this.

1. Get a good camera. Although this may seem obvious, many people simply rely on their phones for pictures. This is an easy way to quickly update your social networks, but having a good camera on hand for the memories you’re making is essential. With this in mind, don’t bog yourself down with a ton of lenses and flashes. Unless you are planning to publish your photography, extra “bells and whistles” really aren’t necessary for your personal vacation time. Choose a camera with one good zoom lens and snap away!

2. Pack for the trip. Make sure you pack plenty of memory cards, batteries, and chargers. These items are easy to forget, and depending on where you are vacationing, they could be hard to get a hold of.

3. Tell a story. Taking a photograph in front of every landmark is traditional, but you should also try to document other things about your trip. Take photos of the hotel, the car you rented, and the room you stayed in. These types of photos help tell the story of your trip. The most important parts of the story are the people with whom you are vacationing. Try to capture them candidly. Capturing people with their real smiles, doing real things on your trip, will make your photos all the more memorable.

4. Use the best light. It can be difficult to find the best time of day to capture some great photos of yourself, your family, and your friends. In photography lingo, the best time of day to take portraits is called the “golden hour.” This “hour” is near the end of the day when the sun is low in the sky. If you can’t use the golden hour for some reason, then find even light in which to place the people in your photo. Even light means that everybody in the picture is in the same type of light. For example, one person isn’t standing in a shadow while the others are in light.  The shade works well for creating even light; however, make sure you turn on your flash if the location is back-lit. A photo will generally become back-lit if the sun is very bright behind you.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun. You will have a wonderful time reliving your memories when you look back at your photos.


We hope that you find these tips helpful on your next vacation. Black Forest Photography was recently voted a “best photographer” in the Colorado Springs area by The Knot, a popular bridal magazine and source for all things wedding-related. To say “thank you” for this honor, Black Forest Photography is offering a complimentary portrait session and a $75 credit toward photographic prints. To learn more, please contact Becky Kercher of Black Forest Photography at 719.464.5429 or becky@blackforestphoto.com.

Do you have any other tips for capturing excellent vacation photos? We invite you to share them in the comment box below.

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