School's been out for two weeks now here in Bellevue, which means it's vacation time! Photos are the best souvenir from vacations. Nothing you buy will evoke more memories than the photos that you take. Recently, we had the joy of taking our first Hawaiian family vacation. Of course, I took more photos than necessary. Looking back on all the photos that I took, I've compiled a list of my top 5 tips for capturing meaningful photos on your family vacation. 

1. Document the Journey

Your vacation starts the moment you lock your house door. Document your journey! If you're travelling by car, take photos at your rest stops. If you're travelling by plane, take photos at the airport. The are just a few of my favorite photos of my kids waiting to go to Hawaii at SeaTac Airport. 

Black and white photos of kids from Bellevue awaiting their flight to Hawaii at Seatac Airport.

2. Capture Candid Moments

I know it's tempting to want everyone to smile and say cheese for the camera, but don't forget to take some candid photos as well. Capture those in-between moments when your kids don't know you're watching. Can these kids get any cuter?

Candid moments of Bellevue kids on their first Hawaiian vacation.

3. Get a Waterproof Case

If your family vacation is taking you anywhere near the water, I highly recommend waterproofing your camera! You can find affordable waterproof cases on Amazon for your DSLR or your phone. And if you happen to have one, a GoPro is great underwater. The underwater photos I took may not be winning any National Geographic awards any time soon, but I love them just the same.

Seattle children enjoying underwater time on their Hawaiian vacation.

4. Don't Forget the Details

When you go on vacation, pay attention to your environment. Everything is different, from the flora to the fauna to the locals themselves. Not only are the details a great reminder of what your vacation was like, but they also make great additions to any photo collages you print for your walls. Seriously, how awesome is that turtle basking on the black sands of Hawaii?

Details from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii showcasing the local flora, fauna, and locals.

5. Use Your Best Camera (psst! It's not your DSLR!)

What? How can I possibly say that your DSLR is not your best camera? I truly believe that the best camera you own is the one you have on you. For me, that's my phone 90% of the time. Cause I'll be honest, the fancy-pants camera is big and bulky and requires a lot of extra stuff. It even has its own bag, for goodness sake! 😂 But my phone comes with me wherever I go, and I can hold it with just one hand. What can be better than taking a gorgeous sunset photo while simultaneously holding my toddler's hand? Not much!

Photos taken with a phone on a Bellevue family's Hawaiian vacation.

Bonus: You Don't Need to Get Every Photo

Now that you're ready to take meaningful photos on your family vacation trip, I want you to remember one thing: this is a vacation. Enjoy yourself and be in the moment! Don't feel like you need to take photos of everything. 30 years ago, we had just a few rolls of film with us. That meant no more than 48 or 72 pictures of the entire vacation. Sure, it's easy to knock out that many in a single hour, but if you're not actually enjoying the time you're in, your photos will be more meaningless than meaningful. 

If you'll be in the Seattle area for your family vacation and would like to schedule a vacation portrait session while you're here, then let's talk.

Want to learn more about a session with Jennifer Lukes Photography? Get your copy of the JLP Client Welcome Guide!

* indicates required