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10 Tips for taking the perfect vacation photos

The perfect

holiday pictures

When you go on vacation, you naturally want to have a nice memento of that trip. And what could be better than bundling your nice holiday photos? In our opinion nothing at all! Of course it is the intention that your photos are as beautiful as possible. Even if it’s just to throw on Instagram . And that’s why we give 10 tips to take the perfect holiday photos. And no, you don’t need expensive equipment! With your smartphone you can now also take very nice holiday photos and that’s how you do it! Also, don’t forget to protect your photos properly, otherwise all of the following will be superfluous.

1 Your subject should not always be in the middle

Most people always put the subject in the center when taking a photo. But you better not do that. It’s much nicer and more vibrant when your subject is just slightly off center. It will give a very surprising result, especially for photos at the beach or in a natural park. Basically the best technique to apply this is the “golden ratio” where you draw 4 imaginary lines. Two horizontal and two vertical lines that are exactly the same distance apart. Where the lines intersect are the ideal places to place the subject. If this is not clear yet, have a look here for more information about the golden ratio .

Holiday pictures
Holiday picture Malta

2 Study the place and subject

Always study the place and subject carefully before taking pictures. Step around and try different angles. Sometimes you may even have to move a little further away from the subject to get it full and beautiful. So don’t be satisfied too quickly and study the location well and above all take your time and take enough photos.

3 Shoot with the sun at your back

With the sun at your back you have the least chance of surprises and you have more chance of the perfect photo. You also have less or no chance of light spots or unwanted shadows. The chance of bad lighting is therefore much smaller. Of course, when you take a picture of a person, it’s not always easy for that person to look straight at the sun. Sunglasses are a good solution for that! Of course you can also intentionally photograph with a lot of backlight and this also gives a special effect. But we are not a fan of that.

4 Be careful where you place the horizon

If you take a photo with a horizon in the background or as the subject, pay close attention to where you place it. First of all, you have to photograph the horizon perfectly straight , because if it is slightly skewed, this is a disturbing element. And the place is important too. Most people put the horizon in the center of their photo. Do not do this! It is also much nicer here to apply the “golden ratio” and align the horizon with the lower horizontal line. It will give a much better effect.

South Africa - Safari
car rental in South Africa

5 Not everything has to be on it

Not everything has to be on your photo. Sometimes it’s nice to leave something to the imagination. That makes a photo mysterious and, in our opinion, more interesting. So we were in Bryce Canyon , and the view was just breathtaking. Only if you wanted to shoot this, this image didn’t match the feeling we had there simply because we wanted to get everything in the picture. And finally by trying to photograph only a small part of it, the feeling we had about this place really came to life.

6 No disturbing elements

Also make sure that there are no disturbing elements in the photo. A garbage heap or trash can in the background is something you should definitely avoid . And there are many other examples of things that do not belong on your holiday photo. So check this carefully because unless you have strong photoshop techniques, you can’t do anything about it afterwards.

7 The Golden Hour

Suppose you really want to go far for the perfect holiday photo, then you can organize your day according to your photos. Because it is much nicer to take your photos in the first and last hour of the day, because the exposure is then just perfect for photos than, say, in the afternoon. This is sometimes referred to as the “golden hour”. If you want to know what the golden hour is for your location, you should consult The golden hour Calculator . Note that you often have to get up early for this.

Square in Lima
Week in Peru - coastline

8 One topic is enough

One subject in a photo is more than enough. You often see that people want to photograph two to three different subjects in one photo, don’t do this and choose one subject . That will produce a much better and sharper effect than when you photograph multiple subjects in one photo. So choose carefully what you want as a subject. Often this is a choice between the view or the person. When you choose the person, it is better to put them in the foreground and closer to you, than far away and between the view. When you choose the view, you simply do the opposite.

9 Turn off your flash

We are not a fan of flashes for holiday photos. They often provide an unnatural light and usually also create a strange look at the person being photographed. Not to mention the unwanted shadows that then appear. Of course there are always situations where you can’t do anything else, but try to avoid this as much as possible. We never actually use our flash, and the photos we use it in we usually don’t post on our blog or social media.

10 practice and keep practicing

Practice and keep practicing is the key when trying to get the perfect holiday shots and when it comes to shooting in general. Try everything out and experiment. But above all, get to know your device. We ourselves still do that every day, because we also have a lot to learn. But with these tips we have come quite far and hopefully you have too!

Our holiday photos

Do you want to see our most beautiful holiday photos? Then you can always follow us on our travel blog and on Facebook or on our Instagram page of course. Below you will find some nice memories we made from our travels.

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