One of the most challenging aspects of traveling with young kids: taking great photos. I need time to adjust settings on my camera, find an interesting perspective, and snap a photo. I find myself keeping everything on auto and hoping for the best.
I asked some other family blogger friends how they do it, and here’s what they said:
Photography tips from the family travel blogging pros
Get the kids their own camera
“There comes a time when taking pictures with your kids around becomes as inherently difficult as actually taking good pictures of your kids, both of which are important when trying to record memories of trips that you take. It took us a while to figure out that a good way to give ourselves some time to snap pictures that involve more than just a quick click of the camera is to involve our kids in the picture taking themselves! We bought our now 5-year-old his own camera when he was almost 4 and he takes it with us everywhere, snapping away, so not only do I get some time to try to create a photographic masterpiece but he has the opportunity to express himself creatively as well!” – Andrea from Passports and Pushchairs (for more on this topic from Andrea check out her post Through Their Eyes)
Get the kids involved
“Get your kids to take some! I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by our daughter’s photos over the years. and, if they have their own camera, you’ll have time to work on your own photos. You can say, let’s take photos of this beach and then have a few minutes to do it yourself.” – Jessie from Wandering Educations
“Think like a newspaper photographer. With little kids around, you’re not going to have the time to carefully compose a photo, wait for the perfect lighting or fiddle with your camera’s settings. But then again, neither do professional newspaper photographers. They’ve learned to move quickly, get the shot they need, and then get on with their day. Always have your camera ready, and just grab the shot when it comes around, even if it means carrying your little one on your back while taking the photo on the run.” – Micki from the Barefoot Nomad Travel Site (for more on this topic from Micki, check out her post Can You Take Good Photos With Little Kids in Tow? Some Tips)
“If pictures are of utmost importance at a particular moment, I have someone else with me or ask Munchkin to sit in a stroller with a snack for a minute. That is about to no longer work at 4.5 year old. So, I am investing in a GoPro for me, but it will be ‘his’ when needing to take photos. That way he too feels like part of the action. They have a screen you can add to the GoPro to make this feasible, and it is the perfect size and also fairly indestructible” – Lori from Expedition Mom
Get some time alone
“Taking time out to take photographs and not boring or neglecting your children at the same time isn’t always easy. One way around this – if your children aren’t always up at the crack of dawn or if you have an understanding partner who will watch them for an hour while you go out to play with your camera – is to get up early. The light is at its best either close to sunrise or sunset, so this is actually one of the best times to be out with your camera anyway. It’s also a time when fewer people are about (if you’re wanting some ‘quiet’ shots). Here’s a shot I took in Crete, using this method just after sunrise.” – Paul from A Luxury Travel Blog (Side note: Tune in on Thursday to get a tip for figuirng that golden hour when you’re in a new destination.)
Get a sense of humor
“A decent camera with good auto settings helps – when we’re out and about we often leave ours in “sports” which is good for capturing action or, in our case, moving targets. A couple of years ago we were in a promo for Disney World and it was 7am and freezing on Dumbo. Plus, when my kids are enjoying something they make what we call an “all business” face which looks a lot like a scowl. In order to make it look like they actually were having fun, I made up what I call my stage mother song, “pee poo, pee poo fart, pee poo pee poo fart.” The kids burst out laughing, and we get happy pictures ” – Corrine from Have Baby Will Travel
“Can’t get your kids to smile? Give them a little tickle as they sit on your lap. Better yet, don’t go for the smile. Tell them to act surprised. You will get even better faces.” – Keryn from Walking on Travels (for more on this topic from Keryn, check out her post Photo Tricks when Traveling with Kids)
A huge thank you to everyone who helped me not only figure out how to manage this, but to know it is possible to take decent photos with kids in tow. I will definitely have to remind myself before our next trip.
Do you have any more tips you’d like to add?