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5 Tips for Taking Great Vacation Photos

Bring home more than just souvenirs with these 5 tips.

By: Garrett Graham + Save to a List

Summer is just around the corner and for a lot of us that also mean a vacation or two. I know you want to have fun on your trip, but you’ll also want to bring back some killer photos to show off to your friends, family and of course Instagram. I’ve done a lot of traveling over the years and these are the 5 tips I keep in mind for taking great vacation photos.

1. Pack the right gear

On my last trip to France, I brought a minimal amount gear with me because I knew that I would be trekking around a lot. Nothing will ruin a trip faster than having to lug 50 LBS of gear around for a week. I only brought my 60D and a 17-55mm lens. That’s it. On camping trips where I have my car with me, I’ll bring a tripod, multiple lenses and a drone. The trip will really dictate the type of gear you can bring. Fast and light or a full production.

2. Bring extra memory cards & batteries

This might be a no-brainer, but even if you are traveling city to city and power won’t be a problem, bring extra batteries. The last thing you want is to run out of juice at the end of your epic day. And on the same note, memory cards can become corrupted, full or lost. Bring an extra for an added layer of security.

3. Capture the story

You know all those amazing little details from your trip you think you’ll remember forever? You won’t. Not unless you document them, trust me. Get into the action, get close up. Pretend you’re documenting the trip for someone who can’t travel but wants to feel like they are right there with you.

4. Capture the entire scene

Don’t forget to get some wide shots. I don’t know how many friend’s travel photos I’ve looked at over the years with them describing things just off camera. Take a minute, walk around and capture the big picture.

5. And don’t forget to put down the camera and enjoy yourself

You’re on vacation! Know when to put away your camera and just enjoy the day. There are moments in my life that I’ve only seen through the lens of a camera and I wish I had put it down and just viewed it through my own eyes.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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