With the big holiday around the corner, I thought I would share 5 easy tips on how to come back with better than normal holiday images. The aim isn’t to get perfect pictures, but imagine coming back from holiday with images of your family that will be lovely memories and you can proudly display around your home (and Facebook!). Even if you are doing them on your phone, following a few tips will make a big difference!

Even a simple trip out on the bikes can make for sweet pictures

1. Set a date and a time – ish...

During the holiday we typically go to picture perfect locations, so decide that you will do your shoot the day you go to the beach/the forest/going through a picturesque village or just going out on the bikes, but choose a day! Do the pictures when you arrive at your chosen destination – before the kids are covered in sand and ice cream! Prep the family (including dad!) that you will spend the first 10-20min doing pictures, and be disciplined about it, is it really easy to just not do it...and you will regret it later

2. Never wear a cartoon t-shirt!

A holiday shoot isn’t about being perfectly colour coordinated, but a guaranteed way to ruin any picture is putting kids in t-shirts or dresses with cartoon/superhero faces on the front. This alone will improve any image you ever take of your family!

3. Close up, far away, down low, details...

Vary your shots, take some close up portrait style images, but also do some further away that includes more environment. Don’t forget the details, this will look great if you want to put an album together from your holiday or collages on your wall. Include sandcastles, flowers, ice creams, signs, sandals and sunglasses, whatever tells the story of your day out.

Get variety in your family pictures

4. Handling the light

We all LOVE a sunny holiday, but anyone who has ever done a shoot with me will know that I don’t love harsh sunshine for portraits. So in order to get half decent close up pictures of your children, look for a shaded area, maybe under a tree, by a log cabin, by a beach hut or in a door way. Playful action type images are fine in the sun, particularly on the beach. If you have a somewhat simple camera, you might be best of not shooting into really bright sun light as you will lose most details, so keep the sun behind you.

find a shady area for close up pictures of your children

5. Controlling the kids... and dad...

Remember it is officially much harder to photograph your own children, so don’t be upset with yourself if it feels a bit stressful – it will be worth it! Prep everyone beforehand, and get the children involved; say you are all doing some great pictures to put in their rooms or to make a book with. After that, there is really only one thing to do, bribe them! Promise them ice creame/pony rides/fish&chips/sweets WHAT EVER will keep them focussed and cooperative for 15min, and doesn’t involve chocolate! Don’t let them eat during the pictures, they will have odd facial expressions! Focus on the relationships between the children, it is lovely if they sit next to each other giving cuddles, they don’t necessarily have to sit and give you picture perfect smiles. Get your children sitting with dad, and make dad do some pictures with you and the children. Ask a random stranger to do a picture with all of you in it! Don’t over pose it – let the kids be kids and just shoot whatever they do :o)

Let the kids be kids and just capture them

That’s it, simple! 15mins later you will have a great set of varied images that will look great in a photobook, perfect as postcards to the family and great for putting on the wall at home.

Happy holiday! I hope you enjoy taking great pictures of your family!