When I go on vacation, my goal is to bring home the following: great memories, at least one souvenir I love, and one photo where everyone looks decent. But with young children, that last one can be a pretty tall order. Fortunately, I have a few photo tricks that will help you capture that winning shot even on days when everyone’s jet-lagged, hungry and tired.
You’re guaranteed never to get the perfect shot if your camera’s not charged. Be sure to pack your charger, an extra battery, and an adaptor/convertor if you’re traveling internationally. I have used my Tumi converter across 4 different continents and it hasn’t failed me yet.
Skip the forced poses and smiles, and try to capture your children in the moment. There’s nothing cuter than capturing your kids when they’re completely involved in an exciting activity, whether it’s meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time, or experiencing their first crêpe on a cute Parisian street.
If you must take a posed picture, just remember no one looks good in pictures where they’re looking up at the camera. Get down to their level and you’ll not only get a better shot, but you’ll also create a more comfortable setting for your little subjects.
Remember the Magic Hour
There are definitely better times than others to take the perfect picture. The best time to snap your little travelers is an hour before sunset, as this is when the light is soft and warm and most flattering. If you must take photos in the afternoon, avoid being in direct sunlight and head for the shade to avoid overexposure, dark shadows and harsh lighting.
Take Advantage of Your Camera
Make your digital camera work for you. If your camera has a kids/animals setting, rely on that to help minimize blurry pictures. This setting captures clear pictures of fast moving objects. And snap away! Sometimes it takes quite a few clicks to get the perfect shot, but it’s worth it in the end.
Once I have the perfect photo, one of my favorite things to do is skip the traditional postcards and send my own photo postcards. Cardstore.com has easy-to-use tools that allow you to upload your photo onto a full image postcard and add a message to the back. You can even upload your address book and have them print and send your postcards directly to your friends and family. It sure beats scouring the streets of Venice with kids-in-tow to find international stamps!