Tips for better holiday photographs

A few weekends ago we sailed to a desert island where the sun shone bright. We built castles in the sand and searched for sea life in rock pools. Precious family time – that will live long in our memories.
Our childhood is made up of precious moments that are often recalled by photographs. Family holidays and days out are some of the fondest childhood memories we all have, whether its of a rainy trip to the zoo or building sandcastles on the beach looking at a photograph brings it all back to life.
So how do you transform an ordinary snap in to a photograph that really captures the moment? I hope the following will help you take better photographs whether you are at home or away

Get to know your camera

The main thing, whether you are using a camera phone, point and shoot, or a digital SLR, is to understand how it works and the only way you can get to know your camera is by playing around with it. When you start off dont worry about capturing the perfect photograph you will learn just as much from your mistakes as your successes.

Test the different settings: portrait mode or aperture priority is great to draw attention to your subject by blurring the background. If your little one is full of energy and wants to run around you will need a fast shutter speed; sports mode will help capture the action.

See the light

We all love bright, sunny days but squinting into the sunshine doesnt make for a pretty picture – try and look for open shade and position your family in the soft even light it provides. When shooting indoors switch off your flash and position your subject facing a window using the flash will create harsh and unflattering light.

Get down with the kids

Scoop down to your child’s eye level and see things from their perspective. Youll get better expressions and theyll engage with you more. Move with them and play around with the angle to get interesting and dynamic images.

Don’t be a poser

Older children may want to put on a show for the camera although big cheesy grins can look fun – try and shoot your photos candidly. Stand back and capture your children naturally without them looking at the camera, a zoom lens can help. Its really important to me as a mum and a photographer to capture families as they really are without them posing for the camera.

Be composed

Thinking about the composition of your photograph will make a huge difference to the end result. A good tip is to divide the frame into thirds and position the subject off centre, the photograph will be more interesting than with the subject in the middle of the frame.

Get in the picture
You dont want to look at the photos in 20 years time and be asked Where are you Mummy? Involve the kids and let them have a go pressing the shutter. Youll also get a different perspective if the whole family takes the shots. Use the self-timer and ask fellow tourists to take photos of you all or consider hiring a professional if you want to capture the entire family together.

Capture the big and small things

Remember to capture not only photos of your children but also your surroundings, the local sights, landscapes and the tiny details your names written in the sand, your favourite local food, the small things that tell the story of your time together.

Make it fun

Capture your children doing what they like doing best and youll get them at their best – Kite flying in the park, baking cakes or feeding the ducks. Some children dont like to be photographed so get them involved in choosing locations and show them the photos youve just taken on the screen rather than pointing the camera at them the entire time. If its not happening respect that and try again another time.

Enjoy your photos

Print your photos dont let them sit unloved on your computer. Think of imaginative ways to display them such as in a photo book or framed collage. Its important to preserve these memories for future generations to enjoy weve all been able to enjoy the old black and white family photos of our grandparents. Your grandchildren wont have the same pleasure if your photos are lost on a CD that cant be opened.

These pointers should help you improve your technique but the most important thing is spending time together and enjoying capturing it all on camera have fun!

To book a session call me on 07941 967764 or visit my website.
All photographs are copyright Jess Morgan Photography. Jess Morgan Photography specialises in the natural-light photography of babies, toddlers, children and families in West London and Surrey (Richmond upon Thames, St Margarets, Twickenham, Teddington, Hampron, West Molesey, Kingston upon Thames, Surbiton, Kew, Chiswick, Barnes, East Sheen, Putney, Fulham, Wimbledon, Dorking, Esher, Weybridge and Cobham)

"The shoot was so fun and relaxed, we felt
at complete ease with Jess and her camera"

"The shoot was so fun and
relaxed, we felt at complete
ease with Jess and her camera"

About Jess

I am a newborn and family photographer and live in west London with my husband, ten year old daughter and two year old son. Inspired by the magic of childhood and the simple sweetness of everyday moments - I capture genuine and emotive images of family connections without posing or forced smiles. My photography style is very relaxed; perfect for loving families who want to document their family life and children just as they are.

I offer outdoor and at-home photo shoots across London and Surrey including Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, Kew, Fulham, Putney, Chiswick, Wimbledon, Teddington, Twickenham and Kingston-upon-Thames.

Follow along for more on motherhood and capturing memories on camera 


I am so excited to hear from you and promise to reply very soon. If you got in touch over the weekend, I will get back to you during office hours (Mon-Fri).





Thank you!

While you wait