I’m so very excited to introduce you all to Meagan from Meagan’s Musings. If you don’t know Meagan’s blog yet, you should. She writes beautiful posts and takes even more gorgeous photos of her lovely family. So when Meagan suggested she do a guest post on tips to photograph your kids on vacation I was all over it! As mommies we’re always trying to take the perfect shot of our little ones, to capture every moment, and vacation is no different. Meagan’s tips are so great!
Hi, I’m Meagan from Meagan’s Musings. I’m mama to Andrew (3) and Caroline (7 months). I’m an enthusiastic hobbyist photographer and Photoshop designer. I’m also a peanut butter M&M eater, red wine drinker, historical fiction reader and an accomplished shopper. Brian and I have been married for seven years and have always loved to travel.
My little family of four recently returned from a very fun and a little chaotic Disney cruise, or as my three year old called it, the Mickey Boat!
We traveled with my parents and my sister and her family of three including my 15 month old nephew.
We’ve taken many family vacations together over the years but this was our first one with three kids in tow. You can see where the little chaotic came in to play. 🙂
So what’s the best way to photograph your vacation while also wrangling your kids and still enjoying every minute of your trip?
Well, you need to start with smartly packing your gear.
– What lens or lenses do you need to take?
– Will you need your external flash?
– Don’t forget your extra battery and battery charger.
– You’ll need two memory cards in case you fill one up.
My packing space was very limited as I’m sure it is for most people traveling with two kiddos and all their gear.
I decided to bring two lenses – First, my Canon 35mm f/1.4L because it’s barely left my camera since I got it at Christmas. It’s an amazing, incredible lens and I love it dearly.
I also brought my Tamron 18-75mm f/2.8. I thought I might want the long end for scenic shots off the boat. Well, it turned out I never switched my lens from my 35mm. But I was glad I had the Tamron. I’m sure if I’d had more time I would have used it.
I decided not to bring my flash. I figured I’d only want to use it during dinner on the boat and the chances of me carrying my heavy camera and flash to the dining room along with all the stuff needed to feed a baby and a toddler were slim.
Be realistic. Will you really use that 200mm lens? It takes up lots of room and you will get some great scenic shots if you have a few moments alone, but those are hard to come by on vacation with your kids. But, if you’re going to the beach it’d be really nice to have the ability to shoot from a far distance. Think kids splashing in the water while you’re safely on land. Make smart decisions when it comes to packing your gear.
So here’s the funny part…
I did all that planning and I ended up using my iPhone camera all the time.
I still used my Canon, but not nearly as much as I thought I would.
Right before we left I downloaded the new camera app, Camera Awesome, (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camera-awesome/id420744028?mt=8)and it really is awesome! It allows you to focus on one point and expose for another. It also focuses very quickly and has nice editing features as well.
I would highly recommend it. I’ve found it’s become my go-to iPhone camera these last few weeks.
So when you do pull out the big camera what’s the best way to capture the trip?
It’s a combination of detail shots, posed portraits and candids.
Here is my amazing hubby playing mini-golf with Andrew on Goofy’s sports deck, while wearing our baby.
I love him.
And I love this totally candid shot.
Hi-ya Goof. I was so happy I had my Canon with me this morning. I could have never captured this scene this well with my phone. It was full sun and hard to shoot.
Remember the same rules apply on vacation. If you’re inside, turn your subjects toward the light. The sliding glass door to our balcony let in beautiful light to our room.
This afternoon we all played Scattergories while the babies napped.
I also captured some beautiful scenery shots:
My biggest regret:
I have so few photos of Andrew from my Canon. I have a bunch of beach shots of him on my phone, but y’all, photographing a 3-year-old on a Mickey Boat is hard! They don’t really sit still much. Unless they’re watching classic Disney cartoons.
And don’t forget to pass the camera off a time or two. You need to be in some photos too!
Once you get home you need to sort, select and edit.
This is my least favorite part of being a photographer. I hate culling my photos! I want to keep them all.
But remember, you don’t need eight photos of your kid eating an ice cream bar to remember how much he loved it. One or two will suffice.
It’s more enjoyable to look through your photos and only see your absolute favorites.
I’m planning to make a Blurb (www.blurb.com) book with my trip pictures. I know the rest of my family will appreciate it, and we’ll always have it to remember how fun our first trip with three kids really was!
What do you think? What’s your favorite way to capture a vacation? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks so much Meagan for sharing your tips and beautiful photos with us!