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.
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!
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
If you’re on your computer, free online photo editor Pixlr is fast, easy to use, and has many of the editing capabilities that you used to only see in expensive software. Plus, there’s an an autocorrect/redo button that does a decent job if you’re in a hurry.
If you’re looking for something infinitely better than the free options, we love Adobe Lightroom.
For your mobile device, I’ve use the free Snapseed for years now. It has so enough options that it can make most photos ready for publication on the app alone.
I use Canva as my favorite easy, online photo editing software. The free version lets you create everything from posters, Instagram stories, media kits, and so much more.
You can check out the free version of Canva here.
There’s also a wonderful Pro version, which you work in teams, gives you free advanced templates, and free stock images.
See the Canva Pro version here.
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 for family video and photos.
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.
We upgraded to the relatively inexpensive Canon RP mirrorless with a kit lens this year. So far, we’re loving how light and versatile it is!
Check out the Canon EOS RP here.
We plan to upgrade the lens eventually, but it’s a great, affordable, entry level full frame mirrorless optoin.
Do you have any photo tips for those of us taking photos on the go?