Heading out on vacation soon? Ever wonder how your friends take such amazing vacation photos while on holiday but yours always seem to end up blurry or just “blah.” Here are some tips for taking perfect vacation photos no matter where you are.

The Equipment
It used to be you had to have loads of expensive equipment to take high-quality photos. Today that is no longer the case. Smart phones have become increasingly capable of taking high-quality  photos and this can be a godsend on your vacation. I know it seems counterintuitive to just pack your phone not your camera on vacation but if you are like most people your phone is probably much nicer than your old dusty digital camera from 2002. Unless you have a high quality digital camera (in which case you probably know how to use it) a modern, high-end smart phone may be your best bet. There are even loads of new ways to tweak your phone’s camera. The reason I recommend smart phones is because it will always be with you; which leads me to my next tip.

Be at the Right Place at the Right Time (and with your camera!)
The key to taking awesome vacation photos in being there when the awesomeness is happening. This doesn’t mean lurking with your camera the entire trip or taking photos of every building over 30 years old or “artsy” rock that you see. This means participating in the fun moments, the relaxing moments, the reason you went on vacation in the first place. Just make sure you have your camera with you when the perfect time for a photo strikes. You definitely want to take that impromptu climb down to the hidden beach your new local friends just recommended but you definitely don’t want to be without your camera when the sun is setting. So be part of the moment but be prepared to take photos.

perfect vacation photos
Don’t Over Selfie!
I know, I know, I know! It is the age of the selfie, everywhere you go (especially on vacation) you see selfie sticks. Everyone wants a picture of them in front of the Taj Mahal or Great Pyramids. While you should definitely snap a few photos of your and your friends/family on vacation try taking photos of what you are seeing, not just focusing on yourself there. You are taking photos to share your experiences and to help you remember where you have been and what you have seen. Wouldn’t you rather look back in 10 years and see a beautifully composed view of the Eiffel Tower that carries with it the memories of you first trip to Paris; rather than a blurry photo of your face blocking half of the tower? Also, when you do want a photo of you and your traveling companions; why not ask someone to take it for you. People are always more than gracious to take a couple photos with your camera.

I hope these tips for taking the perfect vacation photos come in handy next time you are traveling. Oh, one last tip, take lots and lots of photos because remember with digital the sky is the limit and you can easily delete the ones you don’t like!