Photography Tips: For your trip

Last week we escaped to the mountains and spent a few days with family in the middle of nowhere.
When we arrived to the cabin my phone said NO SERVICE. Which was a blessing because I definitely needed to unplug and recharge.

Collin’s mom and husband have a cabin tucked in the forest in Island Park, Idaho. The cabin is incredibly spacious with gorgeous views, and near a lake and river. We filled it with family and seriously ate all day long. Our gracious hosts spoiled us with a yummy menu so we couldn’t help it. We were either eating, cleaning up a meal or preparing for the next. My favorite new recipe is a delicious blue cheese dip that is simple and tasty. It goes something like this: Start with a cup of mayo and 8 oz of cream cheese, then add about a cup of cottage cheese, then 8 oz of blue cheese crumbles, and a few garlic cloves after using a garlic press. Dip with carrots, crackers, chips. It’s yum.
After I downloaded my pictures from our trip I thought it would be fun to share some things that go through my mind when working with the composition of and framing of photos. It’s nothing technical but tips I think of to capture our trip.

Unposed Connections:
When I get home and download my pictures from my computer usually my favorite photos are relationships with family members and specifically unposed. Vacations are all about being together and enhancing our connections so I try to capture those moments during our break. Especially when they are in their element and you’re not telling someone to stand somewhere. Be invisible and have your camera ready.


Far and Near:
Taking a picture of something far and near definitely helps to tell your story and especially when you include your child in the surroundings. Some of my favorite photos are when it illustrates how tiny my daughters are in this vast world.


Fill the frame:
Leave some room in the frame for the surroundings.


Don’t forget to capture parts of your trip that aren’t posed or have people smiling but details and random stuff from your trip. When I look at them it takes me back to that moment and that place.  These are my favorite scenes to find through out our trip.


Day and Night:
I often get intimidated by photos at dusk and night because they typically don’t turn out as well as I hope but having them definitely helps tell the whole story of our trip.
When shooting at night turn up your ISO but not too much because then the photos can be overexposed. I find that I often underexpose them when shooting manual. I also included my shooting settings for the night images below along with any editing.

ISO: 800, F:3.2, SS: 1/25 Used Totally Rad Actions “Lights On” and toned way down. Then changed to greyscale. Photo of my nephew and Q sitting by the campfire.

Camera settings for my picture below ISO: 320, F: 3.2, SS: 1/15s

Every night we started a campfire. It was Quincey’s first fire and first roasted mallow! Definitely a highlight of our trip was sitting cozy by the fire.
Camera settings for the photo below ISO: 800, SS: 1/25s, F: 3.2



Look Up & Look Down:
A bird’s eye view of the scene can help mix it up and capture a unique photo of the scene. And while you are at it, point that sucker up and see what else you can find. 


Thanks to our gracious hosts! Who kept our bellies happy and our hearts full!


See photos from our Mexico Trip I use the same tips.
Read about my Favorite Camera Gear here

23 thoughts on “Photography Tips: For your trip

  1. Kristen Howard

    How is it possible that BOTH your mom and Collin’s mom are so young-looking and beautiful! It’s truly amazing. I hope I look even half as gorgeous as they do when I “grow up”. lol. That cabin looks like the perfect getaway, it sounds like a wonderful trip. 🙂

  2. Bea Monforte

    Looks like you are having a wonderful summer, yay!
    I love your daughters, they are funny and delicate, I love how you capture their personalities.

    xoxo, Bea

  3. Altaira McComb

    You have got to be kidding me!! How have you and I never run into each other? Family in San Diego, Disneyland all the time and my family is currently headed to our cabin in Island Park to scatter my cousin’s ashes.

  4. Libby

    Thank you so much for the tips.
    Glad for all of you that you had such a wonderful and memorable trip.
    Your photos captured that beautifully. What a gorgeous spot, too!

  5. Patti L

    Thanks for the tips! Just got a new lense (EF 50mm/f1.8) so I’ve been playing around a lot. I also love more candid stuff, but sometimes other ppl don’t get that, they like to pose/smile when they see the camera pointed in their direction!

    Awesome trip. Love being in the middle of nowhere!

  6. JaneEllen Jones

    What incredible photos, thanks for sharing. What memories your family will have. The kids won’t forget all the beautiful experiences they had there, very special for all of you.
    That “cabin” is so awesome, do they rent it out? It sure is gorgeous there.
    We used to live in MT and I still miss it so much. We had 20 acres on Canyon Ferry Lake outside Helena, MT. We were so stupid when we sold it to move to KY and then here in CO. I still love MT best, even over San Diego or Tucson, for places to live.
    When I was a kid we went up to a cabin on a lake in Canada, So beautiful. I still remember so many things about those vacations. Just the four of us; Mom, Dad,Brother and me. Think I was about 7 the first time we went up there (from Cleveland, OH where I was born). I learned to swim there. Luckily I have lots of photos to look back on memories of all the times we went up there. My parents were very good about taking photos of all we did all the time.
    HOpe you get to go to that cabin again so your family can keep making those very special memories.

  7. Mirta Sanchez

    WOW, those are great shots! I love the one of the little blondie with her hand on her neck, so SWEET!
    I am SO intimidated by cameras and the technical stuff but I need to get over it because I want gorgeous pictures too!
    And this place?? This is where God lives, where we should all live!

  8. Destiny

    I love all of your photos and tips! I’m reading them as we are on our way out of town…now I’m ready to arrive and start snapping away! Have a beautiful weekend!

  9. Crystal

    Love the tips, thanks so much for sharing!! They are definitely beautiful photos, looks like you had a very good and relaxing time!!

  10. Pingback: Helpful Instagram Photo Tips | creative gift ideas & news at catching fireflies

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