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How to Get the Perfect Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

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This post about getting the perfect holiday card photo on vacation is sponsored by Expedia.com.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own!

Are your summer travel plans in place this year?  We don't have anything big planned, but I am longing for a trip to Hawaii!  Weekend road trips are pretty much all we have set for this Summer.  Even though the holidays are 6 months away, it's super smart to plan out your holiday card photos while you're on your summer travels!  Everyone has a sun-kissed glow and feeling their happiest.  Plus, it's really tough to fit in a Christmas tree farm photo shoot in December (we did that once!). 

How to Get the Perfect Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

I get the girls set up in the exact spot I want to photograph and have them play.  I then snap away! 

Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

For the harsh overhead light, I turned them away from the camera.

Vacation Photography

My want-to-be photographer heart loves taking photos on vacation!  My tips are coming from the point of view of a mom with two toddlers, which will be a lot different if you're single or have older kids!  I mostly take photos of my two daughters, but if you want to get a family photo on your trip I'd suggest investing in a tripod and shutter remote.  It's one of my all-time favorite purchases and works really well.  Try not to stress about the ideal outfits or looking too perfect.  This is your vacation and you don't want to worry it by being stressed out!

Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

Overhead light means super high shutter speed which allows them to move as much as they want without fear of the photo turning out blurry!

Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

Having the girls walk and explore the beach helps our photos not look too staged 

Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

Tips for The Best Vacation Family Photo

  • Bring your tripod and shutter remote to get a family photo.  Strangers will always offer to take our photo, but 9 times out of 10 the focus will be on the background vs. us so I typically decline.  If it's a cell phone snap, I'm all for that!  But this is your holiday card we're talking about, so you'll want to use your big camera.  Set the focus on one family member and have everyone else stand next to them.  I know this can be a pain point while using your tripod and remote!
  • Overhead/harsh lighting can be your friend!  It's actually one of my favorite ways to shoot the girls on beach vacations.  It can be tough to get everyone to stay up for sunset photos, especially when you have little kids.  I make sure to crank my shutter speed up super high which helps with blur anyways.  I let the girls play their little hearts out and snap away!  Candid shots are always my favorite vs. super posed or staged.  Make sure everyone has sunglasses on if you're shooting in harsh light, or they are facing towards the ocean/water.
  • Don't make the photos too staged.  Look at each other, laugh, give your kids a kiss, tickle them, etc.  This will help your photos look more natural!
  • Try to find fun recognizable landmarks that show off the city/place you visited.  Look for fun wall murals or monuments.
  • If you are absolutely not a photographer, hire someone!  Do some research on local area photographers and book ahead.  This is always a great plan.  You can also check out their work before hand on locations you'd like your photos taken at via their website or social media.

Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

This is an example of showing off where we took our vacation.  The space needle lets you know it's in Seattle! 

Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

this is an example of a fun city mural that shows where we took our trip.  If you did a collage of photos for your holiday card, it would be fun to include one like this! 

Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

this was a good old cell phone snap by a nice stranger.  It's nice to have a photo of us together even though it might not be holiday card perfect! 

Holiday Card Photo on Vacation

Shutter speed cranked, sunglasses on for that harsh overhead lighting 
Holiday Card Photo on VacationEven though the light wasn't harsh here, I love the shot of them looking out at the ocean

Thank you to Expedia for sponsoring this blog post!

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