My Vacation Pictures Tips - Dreamstime

How to take a good picture and how can I improve mine? Because how hard can it be?... You just push a button?! ;-)

I often get questions about my pictures from friends and family. I believe a mixture of gut feeling, technique and equipment ( sometimes luck) will create a perfect picture. But what do you tell people who don't have a clue about techniques, equipment or settings and are looking for tips? For them, it's just about the quality of their vacation pictures,... so these are my tips for better vacation pictures without getting technical or advising on the equipment used:

- LOOK! If you have a look at people taking pictures with cellphones, tablets , compact camera’s and even good equipment,… you will see that 9/10 will be posing the exact same way over and over again, on a spot that is crowded because somebody saw somebody taking a picture at that spot. When you see this happen, STOP! Take a moment, look around! It’s not because everybody is taking pictures sitting on THAT rock with THAT view that it’s the best location or the best position to take your picture and you HAVE to do the same thing!

- Take your time! A good picture often takes time. It doesn't mean you have to spend

- Don’t put everything in the center! It can work, but often results in boring pictures. Experiment with placing your subject to the left or right of your picture. For example: If your subject is looking to the right, make sure you position your subject to the left of the picture. This will make it more interesting.

-Take close-ups! Take overviews and close-ups. You will take lot’s of family portraits but don’t forget to take a close-ups. The view might be spectacular but getting a bit closer might capture the emotion on somebody’s face enjoying the holiday. You also want to vary the family portraits. There are more positions than standing all nicely together. Try something else. For example: make a line and put one behind the other, try jumping,…. Be creative! Not only close-ups from people, but a detail of an object can be beautiful as well, think about color or textures, can be typical for the region you are visiting or the activities you have done.

- FLASH! Most compact camera's the flash is set to go off when it's getting darker but you can also use your flash when the sun is out. If you are photographing a person with sunlight, you might want to activate the flash. The shadows in the face of the person will brighten up, you will see the difference but also remember, your flash is limited in distance, if you are too far away you won't benefit of it.

- ANGLES! Try different angles. From the top or from a lower point. You will find the result surprising, not only the picture will be different, but also your point of view will be different and you will notice things you never noticed before.

- ENJOY the vacation! This will definitely show in the pictures!

Photo credits: , ClaireCphotography.

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June 12, 2014


Of course always I try different angles....The problem is that when I upload the same picture from another angle(and a different composition) it is rejected with the following reason: "You already have several very similar images in your portfolio or approved within this batch. If approved, these files will compete against each other for downloads thus diluting your sales. Keep in mind we have a level ....based pricing and royalty structure so having very similar content online will leave you with less revenue." and know....Thank you for sharing, Claire! Best regards and enjoy the vacation!

June 12, 2014


lots of good tips and looks like you travel to some awesome places! I really like your flying pelican photo

June 12, 2014


Thanks for great advice. The point about angle is particular relevant.

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