Photographing your Family Vacay


Before                     After

It can be hard to capture the sometimes hectic moments if your family vacation. Between airport frustrations and cramped hotel rooms, it can be difficult to stay inspired and in-the-moment with your children and even your spouse. 

So, on this trip I took with my family and some friends to Colorado, I tried to challenge myself in this area. Our first night, after a full day of travelling airports and roads, we stayed in a lovely hotel. While my husband took our daughter out on a special date, I challenged myself with using that space to capture some stories with our son. I am so thankful that I did.

Here are some tips on photographing your family in your hotel room (because I know you can’t always be out adventuring with small children).

1. Take advantage of that big window!
Most hotel rooms have a large window that often creates a great natural light source. They oftentimes have sheer curtains you can use to filter the light with if it’s too much. You can see all the different ways I used that one window in all of the photos in this post. Here is what I had to work with on this particular stay: 2. Turn off those lights.
By only using the natural light from the window, you will create more consistent color throughout your final image without the muddy look that can come with two or more light sources of different temperatures.

3. Don’t stress about that kid clutter.
By moving closer to your light source, the clutter will fall away into your shadows and be less distracting. It also helps to focus on your subject by getting closer to them and cutting the clutter out of the frame completely or hiding it behind things in your composition.

4. Try different angles!
Use the space you have. Move around and see which angle uses your space and your light the best. It can never hurt and can even help to tell a complete story of the moment, like below with my son and his cars.

5. Put your camera down after 10 minutes.
Sometimes I get an image in my head and I can’t stop until I get it perfect. Or I fear that I’ll miss recording a special moment of our vacation. A mom-tographer stress. This can lead to frustration for me and for my kids. By sticking to this rule of thumb, I find I stress less and spend more time enjoying just being with my kids. If I can’t get the shot within a 10 minute timeframe then I let it go, re-think it to try again later, or just take what I got and make it work.

Check out more of my personal mom-tographer projects here.