How to capture moments that matter
Family Trip

How to capture moments that matter

During our extended time at home, many of us reviewed old family photos and relived vacations from years past. In doing so, we were reminded that those images spur our recollections of the good times had by all. Whether you travel close to home or take an extended trip, consider these ideas for capturing the moments that matter.

1. Let’s see those smiling faces

It’s true. Every picture tells a story. Later, you’ll be glad you withstood the verbal resistance and nudged the kids or grandparents to succumb to one more photo. Encourage your family members to be the focal point of landscape images, cityscapes and your active adventures. The photos and videos will enrich the experience, provide context and stoke your memories long after the trip has ended. Upon return, consider printing your favorites for an old-fashioned photo album and sharing a few snapshots with other friends and family members who might appreciate sharing in your adventure.

2. Capture light and color

You may have heard about the “golden hour.” It’s that magical time around sunrise and sunset when your photographic subjects seem to have a special glow. Capturing images in this soft light can make for beautiful pictures.

Markets, festivals, marinas and parades often provide an array of colorful subjects and unique experiences that will help tell the story of your family’s vacation. At the market, be on the lookout for brightly colored vegetables, fruits, meat or fish unlike those in your local grocery store. Fuel your children’s natural curiosity by asking the vendor to explain the origin of items. Better yet, choose from the available items and craft a family dinner from the local resources. Capture the experience from start to finish and relive the tastes, sounds and smells at a future family gathering.


3. Give animal photos a shot

Whether at the zoo, in the countryside, on a safari or within a national park, snapping photos of critters can be an enriching experience as you observe the animal in its native habitat. Will you get the shot when the lion roars, the giraffe reaches upward, the monkey swings from the branch or the buffalo forges the river? Keep in mind however that it’s important for every member of the family to understand that animals in the wild are just that: wild. Don’t take chances. Keep a safe and respectful distance.


4. Get in on the action

It’s fun to capture the movement, emotion and exhilaration of a family adventure — whether it’s wild rides at the theme park, bike or running races, or rafts in the rapids.

You don’t need a fancy camera to create fun shots that tell the story. Try clicking the shutter while moving your body at the same pace as the action you want to record.

Compare notes and consider experimentation part of the family experience.


5. Use your camera to take notes

Encourage each member of the family to use their phone cameras to provide an extra layer of safety. Snap a photo of your parking space, the extended itinerary, a designated family meeting spot and your hotel address and room number. It can also be fun to photograph the restaurants and menus that make your favorites list.

When visiting a new environment or when worn out from a full day of traveling, it can be difficult to remember these details that are an important component of safe and stress-free travel.

Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter lohayes, Facebook, or via

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