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How to take amazing holiday photos – 7 easy tips!

How to take amazing holiday photos – 7 easy tips!

So you’ve booked your flights to whatever slice of paradise is on your bucket list, packed your bags and headed out for some well-deserved R&R.

You might be one blurry, off-centre picture away from dumping your boo for his lack of photography skills. Or maybe you’re travelling solo, trying to get your Dora-The-Explorer on (¡Lo hicimos!) but you want to get more than awkward selfies in front of monuments and pictures of your feet in the sand (#sausagelegs)

So how do you get those envy-inducing holiday snaps to smugly upload for months after your trip is over? I mean don’t we all want our Insta feed full of the typical “Throwback to poolside in the Bahamas #tbt #sunkissed #tequilaoclock #issababygirl” pics?

Here are some of my top tips to help you take amazing holiday photos. I’ve grouped them into sections cos I’m helpful like that 💁🏾‍💁🏾‍

First, who’s going to take them??

1. Ask a Stranger

If you’re travelling solo, every stranger has the potential to be your professional photographer. First things first, work out the kind of shot you want. Better yet, frame it. Get your phone/camera out and line it up as if you were taking the picture yourself, get the angles right, zoom etc. That way all the person needs to do is click the shutter once you enter the shot. In terms of who to ask, I usually opt for people who have cameras around their necks as possibly they’re into photography so will know how to work my camera, also they’re less likely to run off with it haha! Another great tip is in the ask: instead of saying “could you please take a photo of me?” Say “a couple of photos”. It’s such a minor detail but lets them know your intention is not for one questionable shot. If they don’t get the hint you can follow up with a grin and ask them to take a couple “just in case”. The best ones are where the stranger gets way more into it than you and ends up hooking you up with a mini photoshoot. Another handy tip, if you’re using an iPhone, is to get them to shoot in live mode or burst mode (hold down the button). That way you’ll get a ton of photos you can review and pick from later.

2. Hire a Local Photographer

So this might seem a little excessive, I mean unless you’re Rih-rih (remember when she used to have official photographers take fire pictures of her on holiday? Anyway I digress). But it doesn’t have to be a whole dramatic thing. with Social media you can easily connect with professional and aspiring photographers around the world. You can easily search IG hashtags e.g. #baliphotographers and find a ton of people. Of course there will be the professionals, who might be a bit pricey. But you’ll also get student and amateur photographers looking to build their portfolio and practice so you can be their willing muse.

3. Use a Tripod

The third option is DIY – especially useful if you’re hanging solo, going off the beaten track or find you’re too shy/controlling to have someone else behind the camera! There are so many affordable and portable tripods on the market. I got mine on amazon – I have this small one and this larger one (similar). You can set it up, frame your shot and use a remote or self-timer to shoot all by yourself.

What device? Phone vs Camera

4. Make the most of what you have

So this is a question I get a lot – what do you use to take your pictures? I take almost all of my instagram and blog pictures with a DSLR. I use an old Nikon D3200, and also have a smaller Panasonic LUMIX GF7 (which tbh I still haven’t quite figured out how to use properly but is super cute and great for selfies). However, this is not to say that you need a digital camera to take great shots. I think if you have a newish IPhone or basically any Samsung you can definitely get similar quality. I still have a rickety old iPhone 6S which I’ve refused to let go of, so unfortunately I don’t think my phone pics are high enough quality for my blog feed. The camera is only a small part of the equation though, as it’s more important how you actually put it to work…

Photo composition tips

Right, now on to some tips for taking the actual pictures.

5. Get things straight

Ugh, one of my pet peeves in life is crooked lines and it turns out when it comes to photography, most people (whether consciously or sub-consciously) feel the same. When you take a picture, do a quick scan trying to be as objective as possible. Check, check and check again that no lines are crooked or even slightly off. You can set grid/guide lines on your camera of choice before taking pictures. If you forget and have a wonky picture, just edit it in the photos app, on instagram or on any other editing apps.

6. Apply the rule of thirds

Okay this is probably my favourite composition tip. Imagine dividing your picture into three equal sections vertically and horizontally. You want the most important thing in your photo (I’m guessing you!) to be on one of those lines. It makes for a more visually pleasing picture and is a great way to switch up from taking a photo dead centre.

7. Make the most of natural light!

Natural light (i.e. from the sun or through a window) is your friend. Artificial light just doesn’t create the same effect. So broadly I’d say aim to take pictures in the daytime near a natural source of light. If your making happens to be popping that day, find a window and get snapping. And please, ditch the flash. You and flash are not friends. Flash is nobody’s friend and has no loyalty – all of a sudden you’ll find yourself looking like Morticia Adams, or your eyebrows will now be looking grey. Abeg, let’s help ourselves lmao!

And there we are! Some quick tips you can use on your next getaway to take amazing holiday photos. Do you have any others? Let me know in the comments below xx

This was taken in Old Town Phuket by some student photographers I met on the street! (Missed that post? Read it here)
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