How To Take Great Holiday Photographs You and Your Family Will Love

Time To Get Ready

It’s that time of year when the days are getting longer and warmer so we can think about getting the suitcases out of the attic ready for the summer hols!

Don’t forget to pack your camera too and get those important holiday photographs that will keep the memory alive.

An Accessory To Make Taking Photographs Fun

When packing your camera it’s always useful to pack a small tripod and I always take my Gorilla Pod this friendly gizmo is ideal to pack in your case as it’s flexible, small and capable of great things, to get shots in awkward places and for putting your camera on self time for a group shot you want to be in. Check out the website to see what this little monkey can do

Before You Leave Home

It doesn’t matter what camera you have, whether it’s a big DSLR or a compact point and shoot if you aren’t confident using it you’re not going to get great shots, so spend some time getting to know your camera if you haven’t already.

Pack a couple of extra compact flash memory cards or buy them at the airport, the cost of these have come down considerably in recent months. Best not to have all your images on one card so spreading across two or three makes good sense in case you lose your camera.

  • Set your camera to the large file size option so you are getting maximum quality, you can make smaller if you need to on your return. You can’t make a small file bigger so start how you mean to go on.
  • Check you know where your flash option is so this can be easily triggered when the occasion arises.
  • Clean your lens with a soft cloth and take this with you, it’s so easy to have a greasy, sandy lens which will impair the quality of your images.
  • Check you are familiar with the different shooting options. You may prefer to shoot everything on ‘auto’ or ‘A’ for aperture priority or ‘S’ for shutter priority.
  • If you don’t get time to check this out before leaving home and are taking a flight this can always be done on the journey. The advantage of doing this at home is anything you aren’t sure about can be looked up and understood on You Tube, you can bet there is someone demonstrating exactly what you are looking for, just enter your camera make and model and what you would like to know, much easier than fumbling through a manual.
  • Don’t forget to take your battery charger and adaptor depending on where in the world you are going.
  • Two spare fully charged batteries are always worth having and carrying with you, we have all been in the position where you miss a crucial shot because your battery has expired, depending on the temperature of where you are this can happen sooner than you expect.
  • Just one point worth remembering about battery power is it will expire quicker if you are a ‘chimper’ ( "chimping" frequently looking at every exposure captured on the back of the camera after exposure). Try and resist the urge to do this if your battery power is low.
Holiday Photographs Flash SMS Creative Photography

Flash I always use my flash when shooting people in harsh sunlight especially with the sun behind your subject otherwise they will be in shadow so just flip up your flash option to increase the contrast.

Avoid using flash indoors if you have enough ambient light , especially for a portrait shot by the window the light is much softer and more flattering. Experiment with your flash on and off and see the difference. You may need to increase your ISO (sensitivity of your digital sensor) or if you have this setting on Auto the camera will do it for you.


Regular readers of my newsletters will know I love my 70mm – 200mm lens as it will allow you to shoot from a distance and get great results as far as shallow depth of field is concerned, so whether it’s people or landscapes you are keen to shoot this lens is ideal. For shooting groups and in confined places you’ll need to use a lens with a wider angel so a 24mm-70mm is a safe bet. However it isn’t always practical to carry a few lenses so if you can have a 24mm – 200/300mm this one lens will do the lot but you will have to compromise on your widest aperture as you may only get f5.6 when you are using it at its maximum 200/300mm

Holiday Photographs SMS Creative Photography

Composition For shots that are capturing a moment you really don’t get much time to think before you shoot otherwise the moment has gone, but for shots where composition can make all the difference between a good shot and a stunning shot, just give yourself a little time. Your subject doesn’t always have to be in the centre just by moving your camera to the left or right if you have an interesting background will make a difference. You don’t have to always shoot at eye level you can crouch down, tilt the camera on the ground, hold the camera above your head, just have fun and experiment and find what works for you. For shooting landscapes the best time of day is early morning as the sun is coming up or at dusk as the sun is going down. Try over or underexposing to get a more atmospheric result.


Photography should be about capturing a moment for future reflection and to enjoy the process, don’t let it get in the way of actually enjoying a moment and absorbing it, taking a great photograph is also about knowing when not to take it.

Experiment as much as you can as this way you’ll see what works for you.

On return from your holiday download your images and back up on external hard drives too, only when you have done this clear and reformat your memory cards ready for the next time.

If you want to get the best pictures possible feel free to join us for a photography Masterclass. Create memories from your holiday to last a lifetime; investing a small amount on learning how to use your camera properly is worthwhile when you are spending so much on the holiday us on 01883 722282 to enquire or visit the Masterclass section of our website.

Holiday Photographs SMS Creative Photography

Bye for now!