The Family Vacation

Family vacations are supposed to be the epitome of unplugged valuable time together! Often times they turn into different scenery, same parenting tasks; am I right? But nevertheless try and put the iPhones away and bring out a DSRL camera instead. I know this can seem like a daunting task when you're juggling kids and exploring a new place but here are a few simple ideas and tips I've gathered over the years.

  1. Limit your camera time so you're not tied down to dragging it around. Only bring it out maybe 2/5 days of your trip so you still have time to relax, enjoy, and be present. Or limit the time you're taking photos to just Golden Hour! You are more likely to use your camera if its not feeling like a chore.
  2. You might be visiting some beautiful scenic areas like a beach, mountain top, or desert. This is actually a great opportunity to do some portraits of your kids! I usually do these on a beach at golden hour with mine.
  3. If you have a lot of equipment like me, limit what you are bringing. I typically bring one camera body, a 35mm to capture a whole scene or something indoors, and a 85 or 105mm to capture portraits from farther away. I always bring my canvas backpack, and I actually use it as a carry-on. I don't trust the airlines to throw around my suitcase with my camera in it.
  4. Ask for help. Eeek, this can be a hard one for moms. If you're carrying the camera around, ask your partner or your kids to help with other things. Teach your kids/partner/grandparent/someone to take a couple photos of YOU with your kids. Don't forget that. It took me many years to actually implement this. Now my kids beg to take photos of me, and I usually let them. It can be easier for kids to take photos in live view (typically should be an option on your camera) rather than looking through the view finder. It might be easier for you too, try it!

Most photos taken in Big Sur, Ca. Middle photo taken at Carmel Mission. Middle Right taken in Morro Bay, Ca.

The Weekend Getaway

Don't forget to take your camera on the simple weekend getaways! We live in Northern Ca so we try and do a lot of camping. This is probably my favorite kind of documenting. Kids love to have the independence of exploring, getting dirty, and being creative with nature. Whether you are a camper or a weekend vineyard goer- take your camera. Eventually you will start seeing everything as a picture. This can be very therapeutic in a way that makes you appreciate and see nature, people, and even your kids in a different light.

Camping in Northern Ca and Southern Or. Bottom middle- Lassen National Forest, Lassen Peak. Bottom Right- Burney Falls State Park.


—Lisa Magladry of Modern Image Photography