5 Tips to Get Kids Taking Great Vacation Photos

There's no reason mom and dad should be the only ones documenting the family vacation. Put the kids to work snapping pics of your summer holiday moments and events—everything from exotic journeys to splashing in the local pool, with fancy camera equipment or just a smart phone. Have them follow these five simple tips for taking snaps that are worth sharing with the folks back home, from our friends at National Geographic Kids


1. Get closer when you photograph people. Remember, it's the face of a person that makes us love people pictures, not their shoes! So move in close and show that beautiful face!

2. Take time to think about your composition. Composition is the way you place objects or people inside the frame. This is where you can be most creative. Remember, what is left OUT of the frame is as important as what is left IN, so look carefully to see if anything in the shot will distract from your subject. If so, find a way to recompose, or rearrange, the photo so the distraction is left out.

3. Get moving! If you have taken lots of shots from one spot, try looking at the subject from another angle: above, behind, close-up, far away. Professional photographers are moving all the time, always trying for a better shot.

4. Don't photograph people in the sun. Bright sun is usually the worst light for photographing people. The sun causes deep shadows and harsh light. Besides, everyone in the picture is usually squinting! It's much better to move your subjects to a shady spot where the light is softer.

5. Quality, not quantity. It's far better to take fewer, more thoughtfully composed pictures than it is to shoot like a maniac. It's not about how many pictures you shoot. It's about how cool those pictures are. Now, get out there and get busy!

Excerpted from National Geographic Kids' Guide to Photography by Nancy Honovich and Annie Griffiths, National Geographic Society (c) 2015.