Traveling with children – Tips for better vacation photos
When I’m on a family vacation, I want to put as many memories as possible in my vacation photos. I want to capture the feeling of travel: the mood, the colors, the laughter and life of my family, wonderful landscapes and good food, beautiful cities. Photographing opens my eyes, makes me perceive my world much more intense. At least when traveling, I always try to have my camera with me, so as not to miss a moment. Today I would like to give you some inspirations and tips, as well as you can tell a great holiday story in pictures!
What must be in the camera bag?
Before a longer journey, it is not just a matter of packing a lot of clothes, shoes, baby food, cuddly toys and toys in as few suitcases as possible, but also optimally equipping the camera bag for photography-loving mothers. When choosing my photo equipment, I could seldom opt for just one lens in the travel bag! At least two had to be there to be prepared for all situations:
- a wide-angle lens (18-24mm) for the great landscapes, which incidentally also wonderful serve as a reportage lens and can tell a coherent travel story,
- and a portrait lens (50mm).
Since switching to a full-frame camera, I have now found an ideal travel lens for me. The 35mm Sigma Art. It actually serves me for both applications. Even if it is not quite a classic portrait lens, with this lens you can take a great shot next to details, people and cities or landscapes.
In addition, always in the camera: 2 memory cards, each store a copy of the image, if a card should go broke when photographing (of course, only works if your camera has 2 card slots available). I admit that I’m naturally a bit anxious, which could not happen with my pictures … my biggest concern on the way, at night while sleeping, the camera is robbed me, the cards are still in the camera and all pictures are gone!
Yes, exactly, I did not care about my equipment in this scenario, as long as I only had the pictures safely with me. Therefore, the cards were taken out of the camera before each bed, secured on my laptop and then kept in a separate place, at least never in the camera! My husband always looks at me with a bit of amusement, so he can not quite understand it. Now we drive to one of the safest countries in the world, Sweden, and I’m worried about whether my pictures could be stolen.
It is always a logistical challenge to carry a camera along with numerous baby-to -ddler equipment during your holiday. Therefore, think carefully before the trip, what must necessarily in the camera bag, what can stay at home, which bag or backpack is ideal and can be transported well, which camera fits best during the trip to you. If I really do not have the big camera at hand, it just does the phone!
The travel report starts at home!
I usually start already on the departure home to document the first moments of the journey! The mood of the night, the long drive, the crossing by ferry: for the children, these are incredibly exciting situations, you can read them the anticipation and excitement from the faces!
Therefore my most important tip: Have your camera at hand whenever possible.
Storytelling: Thinking big and small!
From my photographic work as a family photographer, I am used to capturing the many details in the family life of my clients – also here I try to capture the individual family history in pictures. I also follow a similar approach when traveling with my family. As I take pictures, I already think about the details and moods that make up exactly that one moment that I just want to document.
Initially, the following assistance was very useful to me: Thinking big and small → looking at the overall situation in a wide angle, then seeing and thinking smaller and smaller in order to finally pick up a detail that describes the situation.
You can learn to look at the world around you on a large and small scale and from different perspectives and thus be able to tell a very detailed and intense story. In that case, a situation that seems quite banal for us, for example, is sufficient. a walk on the beach to tell a story of its own with many different pictures.
Try it once – think big and small!
Through this procedure, also very different motives for your travel history arise automatically: landscape, portraits, details, emotions, action. Only this mix of motives makes your story vivid and authentic (see storytelling article in Klick.Kind Magazin).
And remember to capture the everyday situations of your families! If on holiday the children help with cooking, the long drives are bridged with a DVD or your children are allowed to bite into the first strawberry of the year on the market! On vacation, you deliberately take a lot of time for the kids! And moments that are perhaps too short in everyday life can now be savored and captured in beautiful holiday photos.
Be brave and creative!
The holiday is also usually a great opportunity to deal with his camera again a little better to test settings and get creative. I, too, experiment a lot, trying to create motifs that have been in my mind for a long time, in which I select specific locations for taking pictures. But also different lighting conditions such as backlit scenes, silhouettes or different lighting moods have always had a charm for me, which I like to incorporate into my pictures. You can also use the time on holiday to explore new techniques, such as underwater photography, HDR photography or macro photography.
How to capture the culture of the country?
Already during the travel planning I encounter many pictures in guidebooks or internet researches that describe the country, which I naturally place on my to-photograph-list and which of course can not be missing. It is also exciting to capture the language of the country in pictures: photos are also taken of signposts, menus, displays and shop signs.
Often they are photos of classic tourist spots, but also of the typical architecture, the food, the people, the landscape and the colors, which give a feeling for the culture of the country and therefore necessarily belong in every travel reportage.
In Sweden, one then takes pictures of the clichés, the red Bullerbü farmhouses and lakes; in Mallorca the paella, turquoise bays and fresh fruit lemon trees and in Austria the mountains and cows in the green meadow. These motifs are important for the characteristic image of a country.
But also try to find the most extraordinary things. Keep your eyes open for motives that you would not immediately associate with the country right away! For me in Sweden, for example, the super beautiful wide sandy beaches and dunes where we were with the children for swimming.
And again, the perspective changes: the perspective changes from big to small!
“Mom, were you on vacation too ?!”
Another very important tip, which I would like to recommend to you: pushes your partner more often times the camera in the hand, so you can see yourself on the family pictures! Whether the partner is an absolute photography talent or rather belongs to the genre, “if need be, then I take a picture”, then he has to go through – because there is nothing better than sharing emotions with the family and these to have documented in beautiful pictures. Otherwise your children will ask you later: “Mom, were you also on vacation?”
Maybe your photo booth has a photo shoot with a professional photographer in it. So you guarantee that you are also visible in the photos. At the same time, you can totally relax and enjoy the time. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time planning and money for booking your holiday. Since these special holiday photos are probably the most beautiful souvenir.
How to save your vacation photos!
In any case, I would always recommend that you make regular backups of your pictures, whether at home or on a longer trip! For this I usually use the laptop, because an Internet connection to backup in a cloud while traveling is not everywhere available.
If I have to free up the space on my memory cards again and thus no second copy of the images exists anymore, it is of course important to have another copy of the images, e.g. to have an external hard drive. On my Mac is running in the background, therefore, the program “Time Machine”, which regularly copies the images from the laptop to an external disk.
At the end of the trip, you should have collected a whole collection of great memories on your memory cards or the hard drive, which now applies it to fix (off) to sort and edit. Because the holiday memories are still fresh and the motivation to present to the grandparents and friends the most beautiful pictures of the holiday, to review great moments together and to report on the funniest experiences! At least that’s always the best motivation for me to sit down to a photo book!
I wish you a nice vacation!
As a small conclusion I would like to recommend one thing above all: enjoy your holiday with the family!
Because we do so much too rarely in everyday life. And if a picture sometimes goes wrong, it’s not bad either. Do not press yourself too hard to capture every moment! Find the right level of documentation and recreation for you.
Marie lives with her husband and two small children in Eggenstein (near Karlsruhe). There she offers under the label “Lizzily children- & Family photography “modern, natural and authentic photos. With great patience and empathy, Marie accompanies pregnant women, babies and families photographically to capture the small special moments of family life forever. On her blog, Marie shows you more wonderful travel stories and home stories with her clients.
Photos: Marie-Christine D’Andrea from Lizzily Photography
And here are some wonderful holiday pictures of Marie’s trip to Sweden:
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