Travel photography tips for a family holiday

Travel Photography Tips: 8 ways to avoid 'postcard shots'

We can’t all afford to go on safari, but combining a family package holiday with quality time with your camera doesn’t have to be a recipe for disaster

While the chances of returning from a family holiday with an award-winning portfolio are slim, you can still pack in plenty of satisfying photography – of your travels and your family – if you know the right buttons to press. Here are 7 top tips…

Travel Photography Tips: 8 ways to avoid 'postcard shots'

1. Be realistic

Scale down your expectations – dragging everyone around all day and keeping them waiting for hours will end in tears. Remember that it’s their holiday as much as yours, so be flexible. For instance, don’t expect to shoot every sunset – do one or two, but then just enjoy the rest with your family.

2. Get up early

You’re supposed to be relaxing, but set your alarm early and head out at dawn at least one day. Not only will your family still be asleep, but you’ll catch the best light and be able to shoot deserted locations. A few hours later, you can join your family for breakfast.

3. Get the kids involved

Children love taking pictures – more so than posing for them! So give them a compact camera to play with and offer prizes for the best photos of the holiday. And no, you’re not allowed to enter your own…

4. Find the moment

Give everyone a chance to indulge in something they want to do and the favour will be returned. If your family are tired after a busy day, suggest they relax back at the hotel while you head out with your DSLR.

5. Don’t forget the snapshots

Adopt a more casual approach to your photography while you’re out and about. Leave the tripod back at the hotel and just sling your camera over your shoulder once in a while. It’s important not to miss those family memories because you were too busy setting up.

6. Be prepared

When you do take pictures of your family, don’t turn it into a lengthy event otherwise they’ll lose interest. Think about one or two fun shots you would like to take before saying anything so you can set them up and take them quickly.

7. Have fun

A family holiday gives you the perfect opportunity to let your hair down and try something truly creative, so why not ditch the DSLR and see if  a compact offers you more freedom? What about looking at waterproof protection for your camera to get those action-packed shots at the beach or on a boat?