Travel // Photography tips when on holiday…

littlegreenshed blog how to take travel photos

Travel and photography go hand in hand.  Everyone wants to remember their holiday from the food they eat, to cultural trips to monuments and museums.  Family fun time to adults only alone time.

After spending years lying on a beach or two, chasing the sun as a backpacker, I find that my holiday tastes are changing.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a beach holiday just as much as the next bikini clad person.  But, now I’m a little older I want to get out there and see different cultures and their everyday life.

My love of photography has grown over the years, and since falling in love with Instagram I live my life through taking images.  So in a holiday what am I searching for?  Well of course, great photographic subject matter and to keep the peace, family fun.  (I don’t want my kids moaning at me as I take the 100th snap).

So here are my top photographic holiday tips when away…

Berridon Farm - Littlegreenshed blog 1

1. Shoot in natural light, seek the shadows

It may sound mad to actively seek the shadows, but when holidaying abroad the light can be a little too bright for photography.

tip: Instead, step into the shadows and shoot the light as it glances across a room, through a window or if outside, stand in the shade. 

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2. Take candid shots of your kids

I am not a big fan of staged shots of my children. Not forced smiling to attention and a freezed frame ‘cheese’!.  Instead I prefer to take images of the boys whilst they aren’t realising.  From them frolicking in the sea to staring at awe at a view.

tip: try to engage them in conversation, and take a snap when they are looking at something or describing it.

Mark Warner Littlegreenshed

3. Photograph your food

Any holiday will gravitate around food.  Trying new and surprising things is an important part of our holiday experience.  Last year in Spain the boys tried Spanish tapas for the first time.  Tasting calmari rings, octopus and freshly caught unamed fish!  Not all of it was received with open arms but at least they tried it.

tip:  try taking the photography from above, top down.  Showing your family at the table by their hands eating the food.  So much nicer than shots of people with full mouths.  The emphasis of this photo is the variety of food, with a hint of who is there.

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4. Get curious

Discover hidden courtyards, wander down back alleys and peer into gateways.  Always take the off beaten path and steer yourself away from the touristy areas.  I try to live like a local when I’m in a foreign land.  Seek unusual spots for a cooling drink, find out of the way art galleries and eateries.

tip: find places to go before you arrive.  Search on Instagram using hashtags.  For example #igersbarcelona #igersparis etc is a great place to start, these are usually looked after by local instagrammers.  

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5. Focus on the details

Everyone remembers the hotel pool, the beach and the sunshine, but do you remember that stall selling those bracelets, or the varieties of tomatoes in the market.  Mix your photography up.  Take images of everyday life.  Street life is a favourite of mine. Locals going about their everyday.

tip: sit in the cooling shadows of a cafe, and people watch for a while.

5. Put the camera away

Now this one is a hard one for me!  Put your camera / phone down! See through your own eyes first. Experience it all first hand. Then if it becomes all too much, take the shot, but only one! Then go back to your holiday!

I hope that this has inspired you to try different ways in documenting your travels.  Don’t forget to add them to instagram so we can all see.  You can follow our adventures this year by checking out our hashtag #LGSadventures2016.


  • fab tips, thanks Lou, especially the #igers……. tip I’ve been looking at Stockholm as we’re going in September and nothing when I searched #stockholm made me excited, the #igersstockholm feed is a world apart!

  • Great tips thank you so much! Just bought a DSLR and I am trying to get to know it. So far my iPhone is a great picture producer ;-)

  • Thank you for these really handy tips Lou.
    I particularly like the top down approach to having a meal – particularly useful as it means you can get lots of peeps in the shot at the same time and has the sense of togetherness that I often seem to miss in my family shots. Usually if I get my camera out they all start fighting to be in or out of the photo depending on the prevailing mood… I think they would go for this one!
    You would be a great ambassador!

  • Great tips, thanks :)
    Love your travel posts so good luck with the mark warner ambassador comp :)

  • Love this post – great tips. I love taking candid picture of my son, actually he hates posing, so I don’t have a choice! I will seek the shadows though and also picture the food – I never take pictures of the food, why oh why they make beautiful shots!

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