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Seize the Moment!

Tips for the pros on how to take great vacation photos.

Yeah! It’s time to go on vacation. During the planning stage, we seek out the best attractions to visit, find lodging, even search for great restaurants we want to visit. Our bags are packed and we are ready to go. But wait… How will we remember this vacation that we took so much time to plan and are excited about?

Should we bring a camera? Or is my smart phone good enough? Should I plan on taking video as well? Consider how you would like to remember your vacation. A photo slideshow is a fun idea, and these photos can be taken with your cell phone. If you would like to make prints and a photo album you may consider bringing a DSLR camera. For fun adventure videos, consider a GoPro. Many accessories are available to accommodate your adventure.

Jerry and I love to travel, and beaches are one of our favorite locations. Recently, we took the Florida Key drive from Miami to Key West, soaking in the sun and relaxing on the beaches. Being professional photographers, we always bring our DSLR camera with us, but in our hip pocket is our smart phone.

This also means we've picked up on a couple of tips along the way. Here are our three pro tips to taking the best vacation photos:

Sombrero Beach, Marathon FL

Tip 1: Lighting is everything!

We'll admit it, we need "beach therapy." When going to the beach, sunny days are desired, but is that the best time of day for beach photography? When the sun is high in the sky, it causes the light to fall on subjects and objects harshly. The best time to photograph the beach is at sunrise or sunset. When the sun is low in the sky, it creates a light photographers call the "golden hour." Sunsets are great, but getting to the beach 30 minutes before the sun rises is almost magical. You'll find the beach is pretty much empty except for a few beach lovers like yourself.

Fort Meyers Beach, FL

Tip 2: Use your surroundings to your advantage.

When photographing a scene, consider all your surroundings. There's people in my way; use them as part of the scene. Let something be in the foreground of your photo. Frame a part of your photo with your surroundings, people, trees, foliage. Vacation photos are all about remembering where you've been, so why not capture everything you can?

Southernmost Point Bar

Tip 3: Sign, sign everywhere a sign…

It's okay to be a tourist and take photos of signs. Signs remind us of where we have been and can be a great addition to a video slideshow to mark the next step of your vacation journey. To make your sign more interesting, you may want to add the person you're traveling with in your sign. Take photos in front of your favorite store or a cool restaurant you liked. Don't be afraid to take photos of funny, unique, and interesting signs.

Wherever your vacation decides to take you, whether it be the sandy beaches of the Florida Keys or the mountain views of the Rockies, have fun, cherish memories, and take photos. When you come back to the reality of your life, you'll remember these wonderful days where life is full of fun and adventure.

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