How to Make Your Vacation Photography Better

How to Make Your Vacation Photography Better

Prepare and plan

Good vacation photography requires planning and preparation.  Plan your trip- where you will go and what you will see. Then, carefully plan the supplies and photography equipment you will need to take the vacation photography you envision.  If you fail to plan carefully, you may find yourself out of flashcards on the first day of your trip!

Learn all that you can about the destination that you plan to visit.  What foods do they eat, what are the tourist spots you would like to visit, and what are some out of the way places that are appealing to you.  Then, consider the best time to day to visit these locations to get the best photographs.

I recommend the use of an app called the Photographer’s Ephemeris. This app is used to learn the time of the sunset and sunrise in any part of the world. It will also tell you where the light will fall on the geographic locaton so you will know the location to get the best vacation photography.

Make certain that you bring the correct equipment.  If you want to photograph the lights of San Francisco after sunset you must bring a tripod. Learn all that you can about you vacation destinations before hand to minimize errors and make your vacation photography more successful.

Make a check off list of all equipment you will need.  Then, as you pack it for your trip, check it off your list. This tip will reduce your chances of accidentally leaving a necessary piece of camera equipment at home!

Make certain you bring lots of batteries, battery chargers, flash cards, etc.  How will you charge your batteries if you use rechargable in Europe?  The charger you use in the US will not work in France.

When I am traveling, I take zoom lenses because they are multipurpose. One 28-200mm lens can replace 3 prime lenses. I also weigh the equipment I will bring to make certain that it is not too heavy for me to carry.  I have had too many back aches as a result of trying to carry too much camera equipment with me in my backpack.

Review travel books for inspiration about the places you are to visit on your vacation.  Look at photography books featuring the location.  You will get some great ideas about how to photograph the locations.  I always use the  DK Eye Witness travel books. They are clear, concise and easy to read.  Since they are small in size I can easily take them with me and they are packed full of the information I use daily.  I never travel without the appropriate DK Eye Witness Travel book  for the vacation destination.

Learn how to use your camera

Read you camera’s instruction manual and learn how to use our camera well in advance of your vacation.  Practice using your camera at locations near your home trying lots of different techniques that you would like to use on your vacation.

I have included a  very informative video by David Cardinal a National Geographic Photographer to the bottom of this article.  I encourage you to watch it for even more ways to improve your vacation photography.

I also recommend the books that you see to the side of this article.

Ways to enjoy your vacation photography  for years to come

Once you have returned from you vacation, I would caution you to NOT just upload your images in your computer hard drive and never look at them again.  Instead, publish your own personal coffee table book at Shutterfly. Then, you can look at the book and recall the fun that you had on your trip.  Shutterfly does a great job printing photo books and the software they provide makes it very easy to design your personal coffee table book.  Click on the link to the right for more info about Shutterfly.  I am pleased to have Shutterfly as a sponsor of my blog because I know I can trust the quality of their work.

You can also design your holiday cards at Tiny Prints from your vacation photos.  I have recommended Tiny Prints to my clients for over 5 years. I know you will be pleased with the quality of their work as well as their customer service.


Cynthia McIntyre Photography is a professional headshot photography with portrait studios in NY, CT and Tampa FL. For more info visit   or CALL 203-364-1592