10 easy hacks for taking fab vacation photos

Family trips offer awesome photo opportunities to make wonderful mementoes, so avoid snapping boring pix with these tips!

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Snapping family photos when you’re on a vacation is a great way to share your epic adventures as a family with loved ones and friends, and also a tangible means to remember your trip.

Just ask Asher Ong, 17 ― his parents, Dan and Sue, took him and his five siblings on an amazing six-month trip across the United States in 2016 that covered 43 states.

The Ong family detailed their journey in a travel journal, 6 Kids and a Pop-Up Camper. The teen, an aspiring photographer, shot the photos for the book and Instagram.

“I would encourage a casual photographer mum or dad to just use a phone — it’s simpler and gets the job done and most people can't tell the difference anyway.”

If you think that getting professional camera and equipment is the answer to taking jaw-dropping photos on your next family vacation ― think again. Asher notes that your smartphone is just fine.

“I would encourage a casual photographer mum or dad to just use a phone — it’s simpler and gets the job done and most people can't tell the difference anyway.”

You can also forget about hauling along troublesome — not to mention heavy and space-consuming — tripod stands. Asher points out that you probably won’t have the time or any need to use it.

“I can't tell you how many times I strapped my tripod onto my bag before a hike and never used it once! All I got out of that was a sore back.”

So, get out there with your brood and capture pro-looking vacation pictures with these simple tips:

1) Always have your camera ready You’ll never know when you’ll spot a perfect photo opp.

2) Watch the edges of your photo Besides ensuring that your subject sits in the centre of your photo, check what’s on the edges or the frames as well. Make sure unwelcome elements don’t make their way into your shot, Asher states. Commonly overlooked mistakes include a stranger photo-bombing the picture or including your fingers in the shot, especially if you’re using a smartphone.

3) Know how to position your camera If you’re using a smartphone, hold it in a vertical position to take a close-up of someone or something — including your selfies. Flip it and hold it in a horizontal position when shooting scenery and landscapes.

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4) Let your child be a goofball The next time you feel the urge to tell your kiddos to stand up straight and smile while looking to the camera — don’t. It’ll only produce blah pictures that aren’t a true reflection of junior’s personality. Besides, embarrassing childhood photos make great stories to share with friends and family in future!

5) Get creative with your wefies Jazz up your family photos by thinking outside the box. So, try these unique poses:

* Instead of taking pictures of everyone’s faces, how about trying a photo of everyone’s feet? It can be stretched out against the vast horizon by the beach front or out in an open field for instance.

* You don’t have to stare into the camera either. Take the photo with your spouse mid-stroll and you looking at your kid while taking a walk.

* Stick to a consistent theme in your photo and use it in different locations. Asher says he would sit in front daily and snap a photo of his dad at the wheel against the different sights outside. By the end of his trip, Asher was able to put together a photo of his father’s silhouette against the left window against various landscapes, from the wilderness to bustling city life.
* Capture reflections when they appear on any water surface for an artsy touch.

* Take a photo of everyone looking into the distance from their side or back view.

6) Go beyond just snapping wefies Instead of sticking to mundane family photos, look for vibrant scenes that’ll add colour and context to your story when you share it with friends and family. These can range from unique architecture to scenic shots of the skyline to pictures of locals going about their daily activities.

“Don’t shoot down on them, portray them living in a world that is big and amazing, with much to explore!”

7) Show the world from your tot’s perspective Don’t be afraid to get down on your knees to shoot some pictures from your mini-me’s point of view. Asher advises, “Don’t shoot down on them, portray them living in a world that is big and amazing, with much to explore!”

8) Size matters Try standing some distance away from the subject — the person or thing you are taking a picture of — in your photograph. Asher adds, “Such photos help the viewer to appreciate the scale and size of the place you and your child are exploring.”

9) Don’t leave out “unglam” photos Say you got lost while navigating the streets of Bangkok and you’re sweaty, frantic and angry. Once you get to your destination, stop and take a picture. No matter how messy you look, the photo will serve as a reminder of the unexpected twists in your family adventure.

10) Turn the camera on yourself We don’t mean whipping out that unsightly selfie stick and snapping photos of yourself. Hand your camera over to your spouse or let junior have a go at it. What’s a family vacation album without a couple of — badly taken — photos of mum or dad?

Finally, put the camera away. Taking the perfect family photo isn’t the most important thing on a family vacation, but spending quality time with your brood is, Asher points out. You’ve probably splurged to get your family to your travel destination, so make every cent count by living in and making the most of the moment!

Photos: iStock

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