When traveling with small children, there are not many vacations where WE as parents actually get a vacation. I realized after going to Bluefields Bay Villas that we need more of these type of vacations. Don’t get me wrong, I love Disneyland and visiting family, but to go to such a relaxing and beautiful place where the staff is known for their excellent service is worth every cent. I really miss it!
The good thing is, I have a lot of amazing photos to remind us of our wonderful vacation!
None of my tips are technical, but simple suggestions that anyone with any kind of camera can do. I hope some of these simple photography tips will help you take better photos on your next family trip.
1. Purposely Make Great Photo Opportunities
From my career as an art director and working with photographers, it has always been my job to set up the shot. So naturally, I do this all of the time with my own family!
There is no way I could plan this gorgeous Jamaican sunset, but I could for sure use it as a great photo opportunity. While I was oohing and aahing over this sunset, my family had just started eating dinner. The food was made by our personal chef and incredible, so I don’t blame them for not getting up. But I didn’t let that stop me. I mean, how many times do you see a sunset like this?
I thought it would be even more memorable to have my children in the photo. I could only bribe one child to get up from dinner and believe me, it took some convincing. Ha!
To me, it felt like I could reach out and grab those clouds. So I asked my daughter to do just that, and captured one of my favorite shots of the trip!
2. Take a LOT of Photos
When Bluefields Bay took us to YS Falls for our fun day trip, I found another great photo opportunity. The falls were so pretty and I was really scared I would drop my camera in the water, but I ventured out on the slippery cold rocks to capture the perfect photo. Taking a photo from the side of the falls just wouldn’t have given me the beautiful background.
I couldn’t believe there was NOBODY else in this section of the falls but us, so I really lucked out with this photo! As my daughter was swinging on this rope, I yelled at her to smile and look at me. She was having a lot of fun and actually did it without a bribe. YAY! You wouldn’t know it but to my left were several people and my husband pushing her.
This image took a LOT of photos to get just right. I don’t think she minded swinging a little longer one bit:-)
3. Don’t Forget the Details
While at the falls, there was the most lush landscape and flowers everywhere. As much as I wanted to take photos of my family, I also wanted to remember the beauty of the landscape.
I was also in awe of the gorgeous place settings and yummy food at each meal. I made sure to take photos of one of my favorite things from Bluefields Bay… the food! When shooting food, don’t be afraid to move plates for better natural light as well.
Most of my food photos were taken with my iPhone. You don’t need a fancy camera to capture great detailed vacation photos!
4. Get in the Photo
I can’t stress this enough! Make sure YOU are in some vacation photos. When all of the kids are grown up and looking at old vacation photos, you want to be remembered someday too right? Your kids will thank you for it later!
If you can’t get a good self photo, don’t be shy to ask a stranger to take your photo. They are probably on vacation too and happy to help out!
I love this photo of my son and me high in a tree doing the zip line over the falls. Glad I took my iPhone up there with me!
5. Take Photos of Moments You Treasure
I know I’m supposed to be relaxing and enjoying myself, but most of the time my mind is racing with creative thoughts. As I sat on my comfy lounge chair overlooking the ocean, I couldn’t stop looking at my boys reading. I just HAD to take a photo so I wouldn’t forget it.
The same goes for this photo of my book, camera, champagne and gorgeous view from The Hermitage! I wanted to remember that reading spot forever.
Moments you treasure might not be the BEST photos from vacation, but ones you will be happy you took.
**Quick tip** When taking photos of the ocean, make sure the horizon is a straight horizontal line. If you notice in the previous three photos, I made sure to line up the horizon with no tilt. Just a small detail like this can make a big difference in your photos.
6. Take Photos from Your View While nobody Else Notices
My family is used to me taking my camera everywhere, even to the fancy dinner table. So when I whip it out and start taking photos, they just ignore me. This has made it possible for me to capture some pretty neat moments.
You can certainly do this as well. If anyone looks at you, just tell them to go about business as usual and you’ll be with them shortly. Mommy is practicing her photo skills!
Bluefields Bay brought a picnic lunch for us to YS Falls. They even set the picnic table and made us the most delicious homemade fried chicken. Yum! I didn’t have to do anything but take photos. Heaven!!
Along our Crocodile Safari on the Black River, I purposely took this photo with my daughter in it. I have some close-ups of just the crocs, but having her in the picture is much more memorable.
This is Thomas, the luckiest cat in the world. He visits each villa, gets fed out of China bowls, is spoiled by guest children, chases tiny lizards and enjoys watching sunsets pool side. He was the coolest cat and I loved taking his photo!
Take Photos in Late Afternoon Light
I loved taking photos of everyone right before sunset. In the photography world, it’s called the Golden Hour. The last hour of sunlight or the first hour of sunlight. Since I’m not a morning person, I take evening photos!
Even though these were not technical photography tips, I hope you still got something out of them!
- See our first look at our villa here.
- Have coffee with me as I craft with shells at Bluefields Bay Villas!
- Why I think Bluefields Bay is the best in Jamaica for families.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Bluefields Bay Villas. I received a much needed vacation with them as part of my participation.