So you’ve planned, paid, and got everyone packed and ready for vacation, EXCITING! If you’re anything like me and love photography, you look forward to capturing all the fun of your family adventures and get out and about with your camera. While vacation is the perfect time to break out the camera you’re focus should be spending time as a family and doing new and exciting things together, so here are a few tips on how to enjoy all your hard planning and NOT miss out on capturing memories to take home with you:

Pack Light: Sometimes lugging around a huge SLR camera can be cumbersome, add on all your lenses, battery packs, and additional memory cards and your bag can get heavy before you’ve packed your water bottle and accessories, so pack one reliable lens and don’t forget your camera phone can be a perfect back up.

Plan Your Shots: To ensure that you are living in your moments and not stuck behind the lens, plan some of your must have shots. Before the trip, ask each child what they are most looking forward to and plan to get a shot of them fully in their moment. Save mementos: tickets, maps, etc and add these to photo books when you get home.

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The Truth is In the Candids: The best way to get candid shots of your kids enjoying the fun is to make them forget you and your camera are even there, step out of the fun to capture those smiles and natural excitement without forcing them to pose.

GET IN THE PICTURE: There’s nothing worse than flipping through family albums and having your kids say, “Mom, were you there?”, in most amusement parks there are professional photographers scattered throughout the park so put them to use and get in the shot. Do not leave without proof that you were ALL there. Remember not to stress out about getting the perfect album shot and focus on having fun and creating these memories with your family. Happy travels!