Heading out on vacation?  Excited to finally have some down time away from the everyday and hang out with your family and friends?  Even if you are planning a stay at home vacation there are some ways that you can shoot with purpose instead of candidly.

1. Indoor lighting: Take advantage of bright airy spaces in your room, lobby, casual area or even in the comfort of your home.  Look for spaces that are not too cluttered but allow you to tell your story.  The brightest and hottest time of the day is typically from 11-3pm however pending on where you are, this harsh lighting can be to your advantage. Experiment and have fun.  Look for covered shelter overhead so your subjects are not squinting.

2. Use sunlight: The “Golden Hours” are found during sunrises and sunsets.  Gorgeous soft diffused warm natural light can be used in so many ways and create such impact images.  Use this to your advantage for documenting some of your favorite people in natures garden outdoors.  Since the golden hours happen so quickly, make sure you prepared and are ready to go. Those few minutes could mean a great shot, or waiting till the next day 🙂 Speaking from experience lol.  Have fun, there are so many ways to create magical golden hour photographs. Play with the sun’s flare, back lighting, rim lighting, and straight on front lighting.

3. Build your story:  Use your surroundings. Vacation is easy. You are away from home and your norm.  Utilize this to your best advantage to evoke the emotions you feel in that moment.  Walking on the beach with your family? Tell them to walk ahead of you and focus on them, the interaction, the smiles and love you feel in that moment.  At home?  Go for a walk to your favorite trails, parks or conservation areas.  The sky is the limit.

4. Capture movement:  Kids jumping on hotel bedroom beds?  So fun!  So carefree…set up your shot, Whether shooting with a DSLR ( throw your shutter speed way up there and make sure your ISO helps to compensate for lighting) OR your mobile phone.  Moments like this are part of telling your story.

5.  Capture emotions:  You can help capture these emotions by relating to your subject. Make the kids laugh, start a tickle fight.  Connect with your family in ways that allows you to easily snap a few photographs that allows the “real smiles” to come forward.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you when you plan on taking some photographs this summer. However, you’ll notice these can be applied to year-round.  Not just in the lazy days of summer! Have fun and I cannot wait to see what you come up with!

P xo