photo tips + ideas for vacations

Summer is in full force and that means vacations and staycations are as well. For my family that means our annual trip to Lake Powell in southern Utah, one of my favorite locations to photograph.

My husband's family has been going to Lake Powell nearly every year since the lake opened in 1963 (it's a man-made lake) and he has been going most of his life as well. We also spent some of our honeymoon there and a week nearly every summer since we have lived in Utah (I think we missed the summer our daughter was born, but I remember bringing my boys there when they were each just six months old).

If you want to see one of our past trips click on the photos below for last year or check out this post: 2013 lake powell family trip


my top three vacation photo tips

  • The most important thing to remember is to bring a camera...but don't get too caught up in making sure you have the best of the best. The best camera you have (as I always say) is the one that you have with you. I usually will bring a "big" camera (I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark ii) and will take a lot of photos with that, but I always make sure to shoot with my phone as well. This year I'll be bringing a GoPro as well...what about video?
  • Think about the story you are trying to tell. You want to get images of the people that you're with on your vacation as well as the little details - don't forget the details!!
  • Look at the overall scene...environmental shots are so important as the landscapes (urban and otherwise) change so much over time.

vacation photo ideas

Struggling with what to photograph? Here are some must get shots while on vacation and don't forget - get a variety of images, close ups and overall environmental images:

  • planning materials
  • packing all the stuff
  • how are you getting there? Road trip?? Get photos along the way
  • what happens when you get there?
  • what are your accommodations?
  • what about the food?
  • where do you go? excursions?
  • where and how do you sleep?
  • the people that you're with
  • how people entertain themselves
  • the big sights that you're there to see
  • the local people and culture - make sure to get as much of this as you can!
  • with the days of digital you can err on the side of too many photos, that's ok...delete when you get home
  • details, details, details!! textures, close ups, signage and anything else that might help tell your story...it's all important

some of my vacation + travel photos

Looking back over these posts above it makes me so happy that I've been able to travel to these places. There are many other trips that I've been on where I've only taken my phone to capture the events and I'm just as happy with those images. For me, the most important thing about vacation photos is telling the story of the ones that I love. And someday soon there will be Norway photos to share :) I can't wait to get through those!

xo, c