Can You Take Good Travel Photos With Little Kids in Tow? Some Tips

You’ve seen them.

Those picture perfect travel photos that look like they were ripped straight from the pages of National Geographic.

I’ll bet you something right now.

The photographers who took those stunning photos aren’t traveling with little kids.

Quick travel photo tips
My normal photo taking pose, with child attached

Especially not cute little monkeys like ours who’re climbing castle walls, perching precariously on the edges of rickety wooden docks, or threatening to dart into traffic when they’re not tired and looking for a ride on Mommy or Daddy’s back.

Now, I think traveling with kids is mostly a terrific experience. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But travel with children just doesn’t jive with always getting the perfect photo.

Sure, sometimes we get lucky, and sometimes the kids themselves line up for a lovely photo. However, I can count on one hand how often they’ve sat still long enough to get a shot like the one below!

Travel photo tips with children
My kids staying still for a change!

But most of the time we’re just juggling the balance of getting a decent picture with the day to day demands of raising kids. Adjusting the white balance? Linking up the perfect composition and waiting for the right light? Fat chance on all of those.

If you’re like me, and just trying to take a good photo while juggling little kids (or just short on time or patience), these tips may help. Here are our Tips for taking great photos with kids in tow.

Think like a newspaper photographer

They’re trained to grab photos quickly, on the run. Always have the camera ready, and grab the shot when you can. Don’t wait for the perfect moment – it may never come. Just get the shot, even if you’re taking it with one hand while holding onto your little one with the other.

Take lots of photos

Long, long gone are the days of expensive film and developing. We delete roughly a third of the photos we take while they’re still on the camera. Our cellphones are great for this since we always carry them with us and they take great photos in a pinch.

Use a photo editing software

Free online editors Pixlr and PicMonkey are both fast, easy to use, and have most of the editing capabilities that you used to only see in expensive software. Plus, they have an autocorrect button that does a decent job if you’re in a hurry. If you’re looking for something a little better than the free options, we love Adobe Lightroom.

Pass the camera to your kids

We take most of the underwater photos on this blog with a shockproof, waterproof GoPro Hero 6.

Here’s our review of the GoPro Hero 6 black for family video and photos.

There’s a new version out now, the GoPro HERO7 Black, which I wish we had, since it has much better image stabilization than the Hero 6 black. We handhold our GoPro a lot, so image stabilization is key.

Because the camera’s virtually indestructible, we can give it to the kids to use anytime without worry of them breaking it. Passing the camera to the kids keeps them occupied while we grab photos with our iPhone or our other little point and shoot.

Spend a few minutes learning your camera’s features

Even our simplest point and shoot comes with some fun modes like stitch (where it will help you take great panoramic shots), underwater, night mode and miniaturization.

A selfie stick

Yes, yes, I know, the selfie stick has become synonymous with vain, self absorbed travelers. Honestly, though, we struggled trying to get decent family shots before we found this slick little gadget. All four of us just barely fit into the lens for arm’s length photos, and often there isn’t someone else around to take a photo for us.

It’s all about the light

Taking good photos in dim light and at night is difficult, even for professional photographers. If you can take photos in the day, in natural light, your pictures will be much better. If not, use the night or low light mode on your camera, and bring in a tripod if you need to hold the camera rock steady.

Our Gear

 EF-S 18-55mm STM, Sandisk 64GB Memory Card, Telephoto, Wide Angle Lens, Filter Kit and Accessory Bundle

We  carry an earlier version of this Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera, which we love, and is lightweight and easy to carry.

GoPro HERO7 Black

Because the camera’s virtually indestructible, we can give it to the kids to use anytime without worry of them breaking it. Passing the camera to the kids keeps them occupied while we grab photos with our iPhone or our other little point and shoot.

Do you have any photo tips for those of us taking photos on the go?

Tips and tricks from a travel blogger for taking good travel photos with kids in tow. It is possible!

7 Responses

  1. Emily

    Great tips – While I don’t have any kiddos of my own just yet, I often help out family members with their kids. It can be a challenge to get good photos while holding onto the kids. I’ll be sure to keep these tips in mind!

  2. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family

    Great tips. I’ve got a two year old and the hardest thing for me is wrestling the iPhone away from him just to take a picture. He loves it way too much to let me have a go. We have a lot of photos and videos of his blankies, the carpet or knees but every now and then he produces something really good.

  3. Danial

    Great tips! My kid is now 2 years old and I have the same problem (don’t we all parents have) about taking nice shots while making sure the little one doesn’t wander off somewhere.


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