Posted in Travel Tips

Vacation Photography

There are a lot of things that I am really good at, but photography is not one of them.  I have never had any real training.   All the dials and buttons on “fancy” cameras intimidate me, so I have stuck with point and shoot style cameras.

On our trip to Italy in 2015, I took my point and shoot camera to use for the majority of my photos.  I also mixed in some shots on my i-phone so they would be easy for quick social media posts while we traveled.  I expected the camera photos to be pretty good since it had built in auto focus and adjustment features.  But they all came out kind of blah.  I was very disappointed in their quality.  My i-phone shots, however, turned out pretty good.  I wished I had taken more on my phone after seeing the difference.

Pretty drab colors in this unedited photo of the Grand Canal from the point and shoot camera

On our trip to Europe last summer, I considered buying a new camera.  I don’t have the knowledge to even know what I NEEDED in a camera.  So I decided to only use our i-phones.  I recently started using some easy editing software (Fotor & Adobe Express) and was able to clean up the photos I took to a level I felt good about.  So much better than trip 1.

One thing that frustrates me when traveling with a Tour Group, is that there is often no time to stop to set up a good shot.  You have to hurry through the process and hope for the best in order to keep up with the group.  On our last trip, our Tour Director, Emile, was amazing at showing us the best places to get those iconic must have photos.

We had a few people on our last trip that were super obsessed with getting the perfect pictures.  They carried huge bags of equipment that took up a lot of space on the bus and sometimes it was not even allowed into sites we visited.  I like a nice balance of enjoying being in the minute and getting a just enough nice photos to commemorate my trip.

When I have the time, I like to let all the people filter out of a photo I am setting up so that I get just the buildings or scenery.  Sometimes it takes a lot of patience for this to happen, but when you get the perfect shot, it feels so rewarding.  I spent some free time on the Island of Burano (one of the most photographed places) and my friend Sam and I took the time to get some really nice pictures.  They are some of my favorites.

Town of Burano

Sometimes, it’s fun to try to take a few artsy shots by taking pictures from different angles or heights.  I also took some interesting pictures of  architectural details like door knobs and fixtures in Venice.

House on Burano

While in Paris, Sam and my husband got on the ground to take photos looking up  from under the Eiffel Tower.  They actually came out pretty cool (and they had fun doing it).

Mark and Sam taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower
Fun photo from under the Eiffel Tower

I think how elaborate you get with your photography depends on what you will be doing with the photos that you take.  Are you planning to print them and put them in an album, frame some to hang on the walls or will they just hang out on your device and filter through some social media.  All things to consider when deciding how invested you want to be in your vacation pictures.


A picture I took from a boat in Venice – I had to level it up and crop it to remove someones head (lol)

I took this photo of St. Mark’s Square in Venice from a boat in the lagoon.  Therefore, I had to level it up (since the boat was bobbing) and crop a young man’s head out that just would not stop moving into the frame.  I blew it up and framed it for our Dining Room.


For photo and framing ideas and projects see my post: 

Vacation Photos & DIY Project


If I want better pictures on our next big trip, I am going to have to invest some time and money to get the proper equipment and training needed to up my game.   I wish my son lived closer so that he could coach me a bit on my photography skills and how best to use the equipment.

What type of camera do you use for vacation photos?

What do you typically do with the photos you take?

I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the Comments at the end!