10 Super Reasons to Plan a Family Photoshoot on Vacation

10 Super Reasons to Plan a Family Photoshoot on Vacation


If you are like me, you take lots of photos when you travel. Photos of your kids. Photos of delectable desserts. Photos of the beach. A selfie in front of a famous landmark. A family selfie as you travel.

Have you ever considered a family photoshoot while on vacation? Family photography creates lasting memories and adds more fun travel moments to your vacation experiences.

Why Plan a Family Photoshoot on Your Next Vacation?

I am pretty good at recording family vacations on a personal family blog and adding in vacation photos. However, many people take pictures while on vacation that often end up floating in the cloud or living forever on their cell phone.

How do you capture epic photos of family that you’ll want to download, hang on your walls or give as gifts?

Schedule a family photoshoot. (Even better? Schedule a BEACH family photoshoot!)

Booking a family photoshoot is not something you do everyday. Discover the 10 reasons to hire a vacation photographer and capture amazing family photos.

1. A Vacation Photographer has Expertise and Skills

Family photography at the beach

© Provided by simplyjolayne
Family photography at the beach

Christy Odom, Photographer

I like to consider myself an amateur photographer. As such, I take some pretty great photos on vacation. However, bringing all of my camera equipment on vacation is more that I want to carry.

In addition, having someone else—a vacation photographer—worry about the lighting, suggest the best family photoshoot location (one where they have shot before), and create a stress-free family photoshoot makes for a much more relaxing vacation and experience for me.

A vacation photographer has expertise in:

  • Capturing candid shots
  • Managing kids
  • Taking photos of couples
  • Posing larger groups
  • Making a family photoshoot fun
  • Creating authentic and fun travel moments in a location where they are comfortable

There are many companies that offer vacation photography services all over the world. If you choose to hire them (simply because you don’t always have connections in Paris or Venice or wherever you want to have a family photoshoot on vacation), be sure to read the reviews and fine print and make sure they are aware of your expectations.

2. To Capture Your Growing, Changing Family

But why plan a family photoshoot while on vacation?

When kids are young, it is easier to plan a family photo session and work with schedules, nap times, and close to home locations.

As kids get older and schedules are busier, it is more challenging to get everyone together. Especially when kids head off to college, move away from home for work, or begin having families of their own.

Planning a family photoshoot while on vacation means that everyone is together and you schedule the time in advance. It gives you the chance to celebrate occasions together as well: birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, etc.

3. You Can Be in the Photos

Chances are you are the designated family photographer, and many times on vacation you are snapping photos here and there and rarely get a chance to be in the pictures yourself. You have to make a conscious effort to ask someone else to take a picture of you to prove you were on vacation too!

Maybe you don’t like having your photo taken.

Professional photographers know how to work with individuals and families to create natural, flattering poses, make sure your hair looks just right, and fix clothing malfunctions.

4. You Receive High Quality Photos to Frame, Share and Display

The bonus of hiring a professional photographer is the high quality photos you receive as part of your package.

5. The Vacation Photographer is Local

As stated above, having someone else—a vacation photographer—lets them worry about the lighting, suggest the best family photoshoot locations (ones where they have shot before) and create a stress-free family photoshoot.

Whether you are planning a beach family photoshoot or traveling to the mountains of Colorado, to Paris or Rome, a local photographer knows the best time of day to shoot, the best backdrops, the best colors to suggest, and the best poses for your family size.

In the process, you benefit from candid family photography, a beautiful beach aesthetic, gorgeous mountain or location shots…all to create fun travel and family memories.

6. Family Photography Anywhere in the World

Did you know that it is possible to book photographers anywhere you wish to travel?

You can do your own research and search online for photographers in your chosen location or chose to work with companies that specialize in creating a database of skilled vacation photographers all around the world.

7. Improve your Instagram Photos

You will need to be sure you have permission to post photos of your family photography on Instagram, Facebook or other social media outlets. If yes, UP your Instagram aesthetic with awesome headshots, candid family photos, and perfectly posed shots.

If you plan a beach family photoshoot with your vacation photographer, you may inspire others to do the same. At the very least, you’ll get likes and comments and LOVE on your posts.

8. It’s a Unique Experience and Gorgeous Backdrop

The change in scenery from your normal photoshoot location is a great way to record new family memories. If you have your photos taken every year or so in your home state, having a family photoshoot on vacation, especially a beach family photoshoot if you don’t live by the beach, creates a beautiful new backdrop.

You may find that everyone is a little more relaxed on vacation and you may be sporting a sun-kissed look. Time away from the stress of school and work and deadlines brings out the smiles. All good aesthetics for your family lifestyle photography.

9. Great Vacation Souvenir

Forget about the key chains, t-shirts, and cheesy souvenirs, vacation photography makes the best travel mementos.

  • Holiday cards
  • Yearly calendars
  • Graduation announcements
  • Family photo albums
  • Wall art
  • To share with grandparents
  • Gifts for family and friends
  • Postcards to send
  • Screensavers or wallpaper for phones
  • Family blog posts

10. Professional Editing Skills

If you need a little tweak in color here or a smudge removed there, vacation photographers have professional editing skills.

Be sure you review their policy on edits and know if they are in addition to regular session fees.

How to Find a Vacation Photographer

When looking for a vacation photographer:

  • If you have friends who live in the area, ask your friends for recommendations.
  • Do a Google search for photographers where you’ll be traveling.
  • Check world wide vacation photographer sites.
  • Check out the vacation photographer’s pricing, be aware of ALL of the fees, and know their cancellation policy.
  • Check out their photography style. You should be able to find this on their website, Instagram feedor Facebook page.
  • Read reviews.

You’ll be able to relax, enjoy your time with family, and create your own fun travel memories in a beautiful location knowing that everything is taken care of by a professional photographer—YOUR vacation photographer.

Reasons Why You Avoid Booking a Family Photoshoot, Especially on Vacation

  • You’re not a fan of the over-posed studio style photos
  • Children don’t behave or cooperate (those shots can make for some good memories that you’ll laugh at …someday)
  • You don’t like the way you look in photos: you and I are our own worst critics
  • You don’t want to be pressured into buying more than you want
  • The weather could be unpredictable
  • A photoshoot takes time away from your fun vacation
  • The cost (sometimes you need to think of this as investment in your family)

Family Photoshoot Tips

You may find these tips on your photographer’s website, or if they are similar to our vacation photographer, Christy Odom, she sent out regular reminders and tips prior to our session with her.

  • Keep it casual and relax. In Christy’s words “I can’t photoshop a stressed face into a relaxed one.”
  • Remove Fitbits and watches
  • Be spontaneous
  • Keep the session short
  • Go for the golden hour when light is most flattering
  • Plan what to wear in advance and make sure clothing is comfortable, fits and is clean. Bring all the accessories you may need and don’t forget about the shoes
  • Avoid sunburns, especially if you are planning a beach family photoshoot
  • Get a haircut prior to your session (preferably with someone you trust at least a week in advance)
  • Do full makeup (maybe a little heavier than normal) to avoid a washed out look
  • Think about props. You don’t need them but you might want some.

Photography Gear for ALL Your Other Vacation Photos


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I take photos everyday and everywhere. Sometimes I quickly grab my phone before the opportunity is gone, and sometimes I use my DSLR for a well-composed quality shot.

Sometimes when I travel, I have both my phone and my camera ready to go (I look like such a tourist!)

Here are a few ideas for your camera gear options:

Just remember, you don’t have to travel with ALL of your photography equipment. Pack lightly. Take only the essentials. That may mean your camera body, one possibly two versatile lenses, and a few accessories.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should we wear for family pictures?

What you choose to wear at the beach may be different from the colors you wear for a mountain photoshoot. Plan your outfits in advance to find colors and clothing that fit you well. Be sure to pay attention to layering and patterns and make sure you think about shoes as well. Choose a color palette with a few coordinating color options.

What is the best time of day for a family photoshoot?

If you are shooting outside, “Golden Hour” or the last hour before sunset and the first hour after sunrise are recommended by professional photographers. These times provide the perfect light to capture stunning photos. If you have an indoor photoshoot, your photographer might recommend daytime hours to capture the best interior light.

Is plaid a good option for family photos?

No, no, no! And that’s my personal opinion. Especially photos where everyone chooses a different color and style of plaid. Just don’t do it.

Should I copy an Instagram influencer’s posing and photography style?

The best tip is to be yourself.

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Family photography at the beach

© Provided by simplyjolayne
Family photography at the beach

Final Thoughts on Why You Should Plan a Family Photoshoot on Vacation

Vacations are often filled with some of the best memories. Memories do tend to fade with time. And if you have little ones, they might not even remember your special moments.

A family photoshoot creates the perfect opportunity to keep those memories alive.

They will be the best souvenir of your family vacation.

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