Tips for Improving Your Vacation Photos | Cleveland Family Photographer

Once I started photographing my vacations with more intention, I saw a drastic improvement in the quality of my photos. When I incorporate more meaning and purpose into the shots I take, I am left with a beautiful vacation story that reminds me of the soulful reasons I fell in love with photography.

Here are a few techniques that you can use during your next vacation to capture authentic moments:

Take advantage of your vacation home lighting

Vacation homes (or condos & hotels!) can have some of the most beautiful window light and sometimes, I am so focused on capturing the outdoor scenery that I forget to capture the moments taking place inside the vacation home. As soon as I settle in, I walk through and look for areas that have beautiful window light. This can include harsh sunlight that casts interesting shadows, or it can be soft window light. I pay attention to how the light is falling, how harsh the light is, what time of day it is and how I can utilize the light for candid shots of my family. I even may re-arrange the furniture so I can better utilize the light and any interesting shadows that might be cast against the floor or a wall.



Capture the whole scene

Your surroundings are an important component to your vacation story as it helps create the mood. As I approach a shot, I take a step back and carefully compose and capture the whole scene first before moving on to close-ups. Wide angle lenses (like a 35mm) are perfect for this because they have a wider field of view than our own eyes.

Capture movement

If your little ones are anything like mine, they will be doing a lot of physical activity during their vacation. To capture their movement, I prefer to use a high shutter speed so I can freeze their motion. Capturing that mid-action moment leaves the viewer in suspense and pondering what might have happened next.

Don’t forget the props

I always make sure to pack a few fun props into my luggage that I will incorporate into the vacation photos in some way. My little ones love playing with the props and they help to more strongly convey their sense of imagination in the photos. Some of my go-to props are masks, floral halos, capes and butterfly wings.

I hope this inspires you to document your next vacation in the most creative way, leaving your heart full as you re-live those sweet memories.


Chelsey Hill is a family photographer in Akron, Ohio.  She specializes in maternity, newborn & family photography for the Akron & greater Cleveland areas including, but not limited to the following areas: Medina, Akron, Cleveland, Strongsville, Olmsted Falls, Avon, Avon Lake, Rocky River, Westlake, Mentor, Beachwood, Bay Village, Brecksville, Broadview Heights.

If you would like more information regarding a portrait session with Chelsey Hill Photography, please click here 

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