404 Travel with Kids: Photography challenges

Travel with Kids: Photography challenges

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

I took their advice and gave my son the camera. Here he is reflected in the window as he took a picture on Lake Zurich.

I took their advice and gave my son the camera. Here he is reflected in the window as he took a picture on Lake Zürich.

Get professional

“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)

Do what you can to get the shot. Photo courtesy: The Barefoot Nomad Travel Site

Do what you can to get the shot. Photo courtesy: The Barefoot Nomad Travel Site


Get help

“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.)

I wouldn't think photos like this would be possible on a family vacation. Get out early and alone and you can catch the light when it's right. Photo courtesy: A Luxury Travel Blog

I wouldn’t think photos like this would be possible on a family vacation. Get out early and alone and you can catch the light when it’s right. Photo courtesy: A Luxury Travel Blog

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

Get surprised

“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?

This post is part of Travel Tip Tuesday with Suitcases and Sippy Cups and Walkingon Travels. Check out their links to see more great travel tips.

Tips for taking pictures while traveling with kids - via Travel Turtle

Tips for taking pictures while traveling with kids – via Travel Turtle

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  1. What great tips!!

  2. Do you have a camera recommendation for children? It seams the ones made for kids never take very good photos but, my children are ruff.

    • I haven’t tried any of the cameras built especially for children, I think Andrea with Passports and Pushcars may have one. Lori from Expedition Mom recommends the GoPro and when I looked at the website it seems that it’s a really great camera that’s very child-friendly. It’s also not too expensive (they have them at different price points). They are more expensive than some made for kids, though. At the moment, I usually just hand my son my old point and shoot if I’m taking photos with my dSLR and phone.

  3. Great tips as always 🙂

  4. Thanks Andrea!

  5. It is my hope and dreams that one day I can get a better camera to take pictures. My kids aren’t too interested in taking their own pictures, but then again they are 14 and 12.

  6. All of my sons are interested in cameras, but I never really considered getting them each their own until reading this. It’s not like back in the day when I constantly bugged my mom to buy me more flash towers and 110 film lol. Great idea. I’ll add that onto my Christmas idea list for the ones without phones.

    • So true! We don’t actually have to worry about the costs to develop the film unless we decide to print a couple out.

  7. Great tips! I got my daughter her own camera when she was about 12 but my now 12yr old son doesn’t have one. Now that they have cell phones they’re a lot more comfortable taking pics with that now. I really want to invest in a DSLR camera but with the prices they’re at I have more important things to do with my money but one day! 🙂

  8. Great tips! I just bought a camera for my daughter–I just hope she doesn’t want to print the pictures!

  9. Neat tips! When we travel, we actually want baby Erika to squirm and do her own thing…it makes for better pictures. I’ve found that staged photos are just too artificial looking; I’d rather take the bluriness/organic photo any day over too perfect ones.

  10. Do they still make disposable cameras? I can see giving B one of those and say have at it. They have a toy digital one (I think I can hook it up to take pics) it’s from Leap Frog. I’m going to try that next trip 🙂

    • They do! W has a leap pad and it takes photos, but he really loves having the camera to take pictures with. I plan to get him a kid’s camera, but my husband wants him to have our older real camera instead. We’ll see what happens.

  11. Great post! Love the idea of getting the little ones their own camera or letting them take the shots. We don’t have kids but that sounds like fun! 🙂

    • Thanks Alex! Just remember when you do have kids that they’re never too young to take pictures! And who knows, maybe they’ll be so good they can sell some and pay for college. (Crossing fingers)

  12. Get out early? No thanks, I like my sleep. hehehehe

  13. Thank goodness for digital cameras as kids will take photos of anything so you don’t have to spend lots of money on film that are full of pictures of grass.