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What NOT to Photograph on vacation

Vacations are those special times of year when you get to say goodbye to your corporate life, spend quality time with the people you love, and make new memories that last lifetimes! You want your kids to not only remember where they went on vacation, but to remember the excitement and joy they felt over every new experience. I want to share some photography tips that will help you do just that. My goal here is to ensure you have vacation photos that will let you relive those memories over and over again!


Try to avoid taking pictures of inanimate objects or animals while on vacation. Examples being: food, scenery, the hotel...


When you're on vacation, your first instinct is to photograph EVERYTHING right?! The landscape, the food, the buildings, the animals, the hotel.... the list is endless. And you are exactly right! ALL of these things are part of your vacation and the experience of being in a new place.

However, when looking back on the pictures in your phone or on your camera which are the ones that get deleted first?? The pictures of plates of food, the monkeys at the zoo, or that crazy looking rock you guys found on

the way to the beach. Right??

Yes, they are all part of the experience, but in the end they just don't make the cut. They never get printed or end up in photo albums or given as gifts to grandma. The reason is they simply have no meaning to you when you look back on them. Why is that? I mean, I was moved by it enough in the moment to grab my camera. so why am I not moved by it now??

The answer is simple! You were moved by a joyful, fun experience you were having with your family. The monkeys at the zoo were hilarious, and your family laughed about them for what seemed liked hours!! That's when you reached for your camera and snapped a picture. You wanted to preserve that moment so you could go back and laugh again and again. The reason the picture of the monkey didn't make the cut, in the end, is because it wasn't a true representation of the memory you wanted to cherish. The memory was of your family laughing and enjoying a moment together.

Now, I am not saying that you should NEVER take photos of those things. By all means, take the photos of the beach, funny animal, or unique building, just keep tip 2 in mind when you do. :)


The goal here is to create photographs that bring you back and let you FEEL the emotions of the moment you captured.

Here, I have a picture of the ocean! (I am 31 years old and this was my FIRST time ever seeing the ocean!!!) (Yes, I know!)

When I look back at this picture, sure I am going to remember how amazing it was to have my toes in the ocean for the very first time.

However, when I look at the next 2 pictures....

...they almost take my breath away, because these are my babies enjoying the ocean for the first time!

I can tell you, these pictures invoke much more emotion in me than the picture of the ocean by itself.

Same goes for the example of the monkey at the zoo. The picture of the monkey doesn't hold enough weight on its own, but when you capture your family hysterically laughing in front of the monkey exhibit, you are instantly reminded of why this moment was worth capturing in the first place. :)


This one is especially difficult for me, because I don't exactly love the way I look. (Especially in a swimsuit!!) However, I am consciously trying to put those feelings

aside and be in more pictures with my family. (It's been a very slow process, but I'm getting there!)

I talk more about the importance of being photographed with your kids and family here, but bottom line is you want your kids to remember you laughing and playing with them.

At some point during vacation, give your husband the camera and ask him to take some pictures of you playing with the kids.

***A word of advice: Get him to do this at least 3 different times with 3 different activities during vacation. This way you will be in 3 different outfits, and will be positioned in 3 different ways. This will increase your chances of liking 1 of the images by 3%!! And whatever you do, DO NOT LOOK AT THE PICTURES until you are home from vacation!


If you want to up your vacation photo game then take a look at this blog post to learn 8 simple ways to utilize the natural light around you. You will be AMAZED at the difference this will make in your photos!!


Chances are, you are planning out tons of fun activities for your family to do on vacation. Right?? Well, you can also plan out the photos you want to take right along with the activities. If you know you want a photo of all of you on the beach then put it in your itinerary from the start! When you make time and schedule for the photos you want, then everyone knows to expect to spend time doing it. There is nothing harder than trying to capture a family photo while your family is itching to go do the fun thing they were suppose to be doing at that moment.

"But you said we were going swimming!!"

This also saves you from scrambling around on the last day of vacation trying to get the family picture you wanted before it's time to head home! (I cannot tell you how many times we have done that!!) (Worst idea ever!)


Always, always, always have your camera or phone with you and ready to go! You never know when your babies are going do the cutest thing ever, or when the light is going to hit their faces just right! Always be ready to capture the moment at hand.

Keeping these tips in mind while you're on vacation this year, will help ensure you come home with photos you'll cherish forever!

Jones family vacation.

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