9 + 1 tips how to get your vacation photography to a whole new level

May 29, 2015
1-night photography

We in Localgrapher believe that great vacation photos are essential part of any getaway.

We know that professional vacation photos are becoming a “must” – but hey! Your vacation photographer can’t be with you all the time so basic photography skills are necessary for all travellers!

So you want to be better at vacation photography? Then don’t hesitate and read these 9+ 1 easy tips. We guarantee that your next vacation photos will be way better…

1) Take those photos!


This might seems obvious but it’s not! Many people want to have cool photos in their vacation album, but they don’t have enough of them. The reason is that they are either shy or lazy to take some great pics. Come on! Flash memory cards are really cheap so you can take as many photos as you like. The more photos you take, better photographer you become!

2) Get close!

There’s a famous saying about photography: if your photos are not good enough then you’re probably not close enough. This is so true! It doesn’t matter whether you’re taking a portrait of your children, shooting some cool photos in the city or just capturing some moments on the beach. The closer the better.

3) Use rule of thirds (and avoid the centre composition)

Most of the cameras have the option to turn on thirds grid in your viewfinder or screen. Use this function on your camera and you’ll get better photos instantly! Always compose the point of interest in the photo (eye, group of people, monument) on the crossings in this grid and you’re done! These goes hand by hand with another gold rule – avoid centre compositions. This simply means to not put your main point of interest to the centre of the photo.

4) Turn off your flash!

Night photography

Never use flash. Flash destroys almost all photos by killing the atmosphere of natural available light. When shooting in dark, just use higher ISO and hold your camera as still as possible. Slightly blurred photo without flash is usually better than perfectly sharp photo taken with build-in flash.

5) Look for the best possible light!

Great light makes great photos. Try to go for the “golden hour” – time right before the sunset (approx. one hour before) and time right after the sunrise. Light during this time is just perfect for great photos. Shadows are long, golden light is flattering for the scenes and the atmosphere is just amazing.

Also try to use window light when shooting indoor. It’s also useful to look for big surfaces that act as a reflection for the sunlight – big glass buildings, white walls etc.

6) Selection is the key!

This is closely connected to our tip no. 1. Many people struggle with their selection of the photos. Believe me that no one is interested in your facebook vacation photo album that contains 500 pictures. It’s always better to select just 20 or 30 best pictures. This will make you better photographer in the eyes of others! Even professional photographers usually take few thousands of photo when they’re on the expedition… And how many photos make it to a magazine? I would say 10, maybe 15…

7) Avoid heavy post processing and using filters!

Tourist photo session in Prague with red roofs in the background

Sometimes it’s great and useful to do some post process but always try to stick to basic adjustments like exposure, contrast and sharpening. Also, try to avoid using heavy filters (Instagram-like). Those filters might seems cool now but it’s always just a trend and believe that these photos will look a bit cheesy few years from now and you’ll wish to have them without those retro filters. But there’s one exception in the terms of reducing post processing which is that…

8) Crop it!

… Yes, cropping is great! Nowadays, when even the cheapest cameras have crazy resolution, you can crop as much as you like. Do you need to get close to an object? Crop it! Are there some disturbing object on the edges of the photo? Crop it! Did you miss the composition and therefore you need to put the object slightly to the side? Crop it! It’s simple as that.

9) Check the background!

Many people focus just on the main object while taking a photo. The secret of every great photo (especially portrait one) is to focus on background too. When taking portrait, the basic rule is simple: The more simple the background is the better.

Also, try to look for disturbing object in the background that could destroy your composition. No one likes those tree branches and road signs coming from someone’s head!

+10) Don’t forget to enjoy you vacation!

Holiday Photograph in Prague- Portrait of happy girls eating ice cream

Everyone loves taking photos and it’s great to have photos of almost every single second of your favourite time of the year but don’t forget to enjoy your holiday! Sometimes it’s better to keep those great views, landscapes and moments in your mind in a simple way, not through the display of your camera.

And if you feel that you want some professional vacation photos then don’t think twice and check Localgrapher for services of professional vacation photographers in many destinations all over the world.

About Localgrapher

Localgrapher was founded to connect hi-quality curated portfolio of professional photographers with world travellers.

Planning a romantic getaway, a family holiday, or just going solo? Our trusted Localgraphers are on hand globally to capture your once-in-a-lifetime memories for a stunning travel photoshoot you’ll cherish forever.

Localgrapher was founded by Matej Slezak – an experienced photographer from the Czech Republic, Prague. You can check his work at


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