Take the Perfect Vacation Photo with Our 5 Easy Steps

June 14th, 2023

You see your friend’s stunning vacation photo and think to yourself, “Damn, why don’t my photos turn out like that?” We have good news: you can definitely take the perfect shot too! And even better, it doesn’t require much. Just a phone and a few crucial tips. With only a few factors to consider, your photos will be worthy of Instagram in no time. Let’s improve your photography skills so that you have a collection of vacation photos as beautiful as the memories you’ve created.

One of the main challenges of vacations is not being able to capture the beauty of what we see with our own eyes. We want to see a beautiful shot and reminisce about the amazing time we had during our vacation. The incredible photos we see online may seem impossible to capture ourselves. What if we told you that you have the ability to take those photos? Even as a non-professional photographer, with just a smartphone at your disposal, you can capture those unforgettable views. With these 5 steps, you’ll become the vacation photographer people aspire to be. All you need is your smartphone and a stunning environment.

1. Pick the right time of day

a couple enjoy a picnic in the sunThis step sets the foundation for a good shot, and it’s useful for many reasons. The first one is, as you may have guessed, lighting, lighting, lighting. It’s a familiar tip, but what do we mean by good lighting? Several factors come into play when it comes to good lighting.

Firstly, the time of day can have a significant impact on your photo. The worst time to take photos is in the middle of the day when the sun is high and harsh, casting unflattering shadows and fading colors. It’s better to take photos in the morning or during the golden hour. The golden hour is the period at the end of the day, which can be in the late afternoon or early evening, about half an hour to an hour before sunset, depending on your location. During the morning and golden hour, the sun is lower, giving your surroundings a wonderfully vibrant color and atmosphere. An advantage of these times is that there are fewer tourists, making it easier to exclude people from your photo.

It’s also important to consider where you position yourself. The basic rule is to have the sun behind you. If the sun is in front of you, your photo will be dark and lose its magic. With the sun behind you, your subject will be beautifully lit. Make sure to position yourself between the sun and your subject for the best result. Taking a photo of a person? Look for shade as it provides softer light and beautifully captures faces.

However, there are ways to make the most out of having the sun in front of you. With a little practice, you can find the perfect angle to create silhouettes with the sun, and voilà, you’ve just taken a breathtaking photo.

Explore the area you want to photograph
Are you someone who gets excited at the sight of an incredible view and immediately starts taking photos? We love your enthusiasm! While that mindset is necessary for capturing the perfect shot, we advise you to take the time to explore the place you’re in. There are thousands of angles from which you can take photos, and the ideal angle could be just around the corner or six steps away. Take a few minutes to walk around, admire the view, and, of course, enjoy it! It’s not just about the moment you take the photo, but also what you’ll remember when you look at your photo months later. This will also save you time spent taking photos and give you more time to enjoy the view. After a few minutes, you’ll be able to find the right spot to take your photo. And then it’s time for the shot!

2. Angle your smartphone

girl takes a selfie in paris

This brings us to the next step: how to hold your smartphone. It’s a real challenge to hold your phone exactly where you want it and capture everything correctly. By following a few steps, you’ll always ensure you have the right angle.

The first step is ironically to step back a bit. Or several steps, it’s up to you. This will give you a good overview of your photo while ensuring you capture everything you want in the frame. You can always crop your photo later.

Step 2 is to keep your phone level instead of tilting it up or down. This will make your photo realistic without any unusual distortions.

Step 3 is to keep the rule of thirds in mind. It’s a handy tool for composing your image in the best possible way. The goal is to find the right composition to place your subjects. To do this, you divide your photo into thirds, imagining two horizontal and two vertical lines across your photo. This gives you nine frames. Make sure to place your subject along the lines or at the intersections, for example, in the top left or bottom right. And click! You’ve just captured a perfectly composed photo. Following the rule of thirds is not necessary for every perfect image, but it makes most of your photos interesting and engaging.

3. Don’t wait for the perfect pose

happy couple on the beach
It’s logical to think that you should wait for the right moment to capture the perfect photo. This often leads to people posing in an unnatural way. Instead of waiting for people to move or pose in a certain way, go for it! You’ll find that action shots result in stunning candid images that take your breath away. It’s all about memories, and seeing a person’s genuine reaction in photos will forever remind you of the wonderful moment you had during your vacation.

4. Practice

This is a simple yet crucial step: practice! Go out to find the right lighting in the morning and during the golden hour, try different positions between the sun, the subject, and yourself, take portraits at home to practice your angles, and find those natural moments where you can capture people’s sincere reactions. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to find the perfect timing. Not only will you capture the best images you’ve ever taken, but you’ll also save a lot of time getting the perfect shot. And most importantly, it becomes a lot of fun, and you’ll enjoy your vacation even more.

5. Get Inspiration

Now that you know all the steps to take the perfect vacation photo, it’s time to get inspired and take your images to the next level. Here are some ideas to elevate your photos from “beautiful” to “breathtaking”:

Use reflections to add an extra angle to your image, such as mirrors, water, or shiny objects.

Missed the golden hour? Take advantage of sunset to capture silhouettes and create a dreamy ambiance.
Take photos in bad weather. We usually wait for perfect sunny days, but a great photo in the rain is highly underrated. Give it a try!
Create perspective by including someone in the photo (preferably with colorful clothing) to show contrast and give the image a special and interactive look.

And there you have it! Make sure to practice these steps, and on your next trip, you’ll be a pro at capturing vacation photos. They’ll be Instagram-worthy and become memories that last a lifetime. From now on, your images will be just as beautiful as the destinations you remember.

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