Vacation Photos

Being a pro photographer is both a blessing and a curse.  I want to take the best pictures of my family possible, but I also want to enjoy time with my family and maybe even be in front of the camera every once in a while.  When we’re on vacation it’s a fine line of capturing the memories, but also being a part of the memories.

Here are some observations / tips on how to enjoy yourself while documenting your families trip:

1)  Don’t be afraid to leave the big, fancy camera in the hotel room.  When I have my DSLR down by the pool I’m scared that it’s a) going to get stolen b) going to fall in the pool c) get dropped.  So, I never leave it’s side.  I don’t get to go have fun in the pool.  I get to sit with my camera all by myself.  Just because you have a big, fancy camera doesn’t mean you have to take it everywhere with you.  It’s okay to leave it in the hotel room every once in a while.  I really only bring mine out when I know the light is going to be just right.

2)  Take the point and shoot.  If I leave the DSLR in the hotel room I bring my point and shoot with me.  That way I have it to snap some pictures if something fun is happening and I’m not stressed about it getting broken / stolen.  Also, if I want to be in a picture it’s important that I have it because people either don’t know how to use the DSLR or are scared of it.

3)  Don’t miss out on the memories because you are too busy capturing them.  My husband will tell you that I am guilty of this.  I’m so busy making sure I take pictures and video of everything that I’m not always enjoying the moment.

4)  Every image doesn’t have to be an amazing, blogable picture.  Shoot for yourself.  Shoot for your family.  And have fun with it!


  1. Rachel says

    Fantastic pictures! I think it’s so great that you take B with you on big trips like that. My husband would never attempt a trip to Hawaii with the girls. Also, I LOVE the picture of B with Chuck and he’s wrapped up in the towel… Amazing!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Running Bugs but not the gross kind =-.

  2. Jamye says

    You echo my sentiments exactly. I’m not a pro, but I’m in the process of learning and therefore am *always* trying to get the “perfect” picture. But I have learned there is a lot of freedom in just leaving the DSLR at home and taking the PNS that fits in my pocket along instead. Like you said, it’s not worth the stress of worrying what might happen to the camera (say, on the beach), and if the lighting’s not right anyway, even the better camera is not going to produce the perfect photo. Better to wait for the right moment to bring out the big guns.

  3. Melanie says

    I’m not a professional photographer but I encounter the same issues you described in this post all the time. I finally decided that I needed to put the nice camera down and make sure I’m part of the moment because I was realizing that not only wasn’t I in any of the pictures, but I also wasn’t part of the memory I was trying to capture. Now, I try to find a balance of taking a few good pictures and then relying on the point & shoot. Being part of the memory is more important than capturing it in camera, right?

    Thanks for sharing this Drew…beautiful pictures too!

  4. Amanda says

    LOVE the pics!!!! And I’m so happy to see you!!! Makes me want to go to Hawaii :)
    .-= Amanda´s last blog c’s newborn photos =-.

  5. that’s something I struggle with and I’m trying to learn to stop snapping and start living some so thanks for reminding us to do that :)
    .-= misty smith´s last blog ..out and about personal =-.

  6. elizabeth says

    i struggle with getting behind the camera too and trying to get the perfect shot. although i’m not a pro, it makes me feel a little better that i’m not the only one who struggles.
    .-= elizabeth´s last blog ..Posh Pampers =-.

  7. Andrea says

    thanks for this post, i’m a new mom but I’ve been reading since the beginning of this blog and your posts are always helpful and inspiring. As a new Mom and a professional photog I’m struggling in this area of wanting to capture the memories but also be apart of them too. thanks for your words, i will be putting them to use and into practice.
    .-= Andrea´s last blog ..July 14- 2010 =-.

  8. Staci says

    Well said! I find that some of my favorite vacation pictures are snapshots from my pns because they remind me of a memory I was part of. It’s a balancing act… even when not on vacation. At my daughter’s first birthday party I took maybe three pictures and then handed my pns to my mom. There’s nothing amazing in the pictures, but they help me remember how much fun it was. Then the next day, I busted out my dslr and took a load of pictures of my one-year-and-a-day-old daughter. Your post helps me to not feel guilty about passing up on a good picture or two. Thanks!

  9. Drew, that is so true! I want to lug my camera everywhere but am learning to leave it and just take my point and shoot or, gasp even just use my cel phone.

  10. Ashley says

    I love these pictures Drew. And thanks for the reminder. It’s so true!

  11. Laura B says

    Drew, I love it. Brayden looks like his is having so much fun and I think it’s wonderful that he is so comfortable in water! I do have to say your hair looks like it is getting so much lighter with this summer weather. You both look great in the photo! Miss you all tons!

  12. Kaylynrenee says

    Funny that you mention getting in front of the camera. Just this morning a friend of mine posted an adorable photo of herself with her son and I vowed right then and there that I would make more of an effort to get in front of the camera with my kiddos. I grabbed my 2 year old and my iPhone and got a cheesy self-portrait right there on the spot, in my robe with behead and all. Thank goodness for my Photoshop app, but I love the picture! Lol.

    Hawaii looks great on you guys!

  13. Carrie says

    Thanks for sharing…this is so true in my household! And I think with my blog I am always trying to “impress” people with my pictures so I feel like I can’t even post the ones that mean something to me if they are not “perfect.” So silly of me!

  14. Lisa says

    Amen Drew! We spent 10 days in Maui in June, and I really wanted a break and didn’t take near as many as pictures as everyone thought I would. I even hired another photographer to take our family portraits, which was my favorite thing about our vacation. I feel like I really enjoyed my time there and was stressed about getting the perfect shot all the time.

  15. So helpful to remember to actually ENJOY yourself instead of worry about taking the best shots. Sometimes its time to just relax and have fun. ;)
    .-= Elizabeth Priddy´s last blog ..The recipe! =-.

  16. Krystal says

    Oh my the black and white picture of Braden wrapped in the towel is gorgeous!!!!

  17. chris says

    i adore your b/w of your son wrapped in the towel….did you run an action for the conversion? if so, which one?

    your pics make me smile every time!

  18. sue says

    beautiful pictures! i love the black and white one!!
    .-= sue´s last blog ..Hot Summer Day in LA =-.

  19. Nikki says

    I just LOVE your photos!! I find that I’m never in photos with my husband or daughter because I’m usually the one with the camera!
    I love your shots and the editing you do!!! Absolutely beautiful!

  20. mary says

    THANK YOU for this reminder. i think that if my husband could channel anyone’s sentiments exactly, it would be those of yours and what you wrote in tip #3. i’m so afraid of forgetting these moments that i want to capture them with my camera, but in the process i’m missing them anyway! your blog has been so incredibly helpful & the UNmanual is awesome. thank you again. :)
    .-= mary´s last blog ..This ain’t no Manwich night or camping- part 3 =-.

  21. Drew drew drew drew drew…I hope you have some big plans for that close up black and white of your boys. I can’t stop looking at it! That needs to be at least 4 feet tall on a wall somewhere!

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