I have to admit that as a photographer I try not to take too many photos on holiday and I never bring my ‘proper’ camera as otherwise I spend the entire time trying to the ‘perfect’ shot. In any case smartphone cameras are so accessible for these type of casual photos you can still get some printable images.

Of course I still can’t resist capturing parts of our holiday for us to look back on. Here are some of my top tips for better holiday photos.

People or Place?

One of the most common mistakes people make when taking photos is that they don’t first decide on the subject. If you are taking a photo of a building then make that the primary focus – if it’s of your family then zoom in on them. DON’T try to do both at the same time!

Here is an example to show what I mean. In the first photo the children are lost in the surroundings and so it ends up being a bit vague and nondescript. It’s a confused photo.

West Sussex family photographer

In the below image you can see it’s clearly a family portrait. The family is the sole focus and are all sitting closely together. Even though you can see we are sitting on the famous steps in Pollensa it’s still clear that it’s a family portrait rather than a cityscape. Before you take any photo, think to yourself what your want the main subject to be and then zoom in on that and reduce other distractions.

west sussex family photographer

Posing your Holiday Photos

As you can see from the family shot above, its great if you can get the family all sitting really close together – ideally with no visible gaps. By sitting on steps it’s an easy way to avoid a straight line ‘sitting at a bus stop’ type shot. Make it fun by all squishing in together. If you don’t have steps then try lifting the kids up so that all of your heads are closer together. With this one if I was printing it I would crop even tighter in like this:

West Sussex Photographer


Shade is your friend, always. In strong sunlight you will have harsh shadows and people will squint. Find some shade, even under a parasol or a tree for a better portrait shot.

A Sense of Scale

west sussex photographer

When taking your holiday photos think about showing how small your children are now. It’s hard to imagine in 15 years time your son will will tower over you and have size 13 feet but one day that is the reality. By photographing tiny feet next to yours, their hand holding yours, you can compare their little’ness’ to you now.

West sussex family photographer

You can also use benches (showing their legs dangling down) to show how small they are. Really any location where you can compare their size to something else will work.

The ‘classic’ Holiday Photo

Don’t be afraid of a bit of cheese on holiday. There is always a place for the classic  ‘buried in the sand’ shot!

west sussex photographer

The smartphone secret you need to know!

Smartphone cameras use a wide angle lens. This means that everything to the edge of the image will seem larger than everything else as it’s stretched. Moral of the story is make sure you are never at the edge of the group photo 😉

Relax and enjoy your holiday!

Holiday photos

Have fun with your photos this summer and don’t let them sit on your hard drive forever! Do print them so you can enjoy seeing them everyday. A retail print lab I would recommend is: http://photobox.co.uk/