10 Tips for Capturing Great Vacation Pictures

You wouldn’t want to miss a fun candid photo moment on your family vacation, would you? Snapshots and group pictures are a favorite American pastime during summer vacations, so here are some tips to make sure you’re prepared:

1. Make sure you pack your camera battery and charger if they are specialized for your model. If your camera doesn’t require a dedicated battery, make sure you have a pack of triple A’s. Buy them before you leave home; sometimes in tourist areas, the price is higher.

2. Before you leave for vacation, download your memory card onto your home computer, and then clear the card so you have plenty of room for new photographs. This will safeguard your photographs just in case (heaven forbid!) something happens to your camera on your trip.

3. Pack a lens cloth for wiping clean any salt air, sand, or water that might cause your images to look blurry or dusty.

4. Remember to bring your camera strap; you just never know what will happen next!

5. Keep on the lookout for iconic scenes in the area. In Virginia Beach, for example, that could be the Neptune Sculpture at 30th Street, the Cape Henry Lighthouse, or maybe that two-story high gorilla at Ocean Breeze Waterpark. These types of backdrops tell a story about your family’s good time in a fun place.

6. If you’re going somewhere water-related, invest in a waterproof case for your camera. This will not only give you more opportunities for cool shots; it will also give you peace of mind that your camera is protected.

7. Pack your camera manual so you can learn how to work the self-timer on your camera (this could be one of your “beach reads”). That way, you can set the camera down and run into the family photo. Just because you’re the one taking pics doesn’t mean you get excluded from them!

8. Don’t shoot pictures with the light behind your family grouping, or they will be in silhouette. A better option is to let the light come from the side or the front.

9. If you go to a museum (like the Virginia Marine Science Museum) where the exhibits are behind glass, be sure to turn off your flash if you want pictures of what’s in the cases. The flash will cause an ugly glare. You may also want to put the lens directly up to the glass to avoid any other reflections.

10. If you’re gathering a group together for a photograph, make sure your camera settings are ready to go. Kids especially get impatient, so take the picture, move on, and everyone will stay happy and willing to be in more photos as your vacation continues.