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10 Tips for Taking Jaw-Dropping Travel Photos

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10 Tips for Taking Jaw-Dropping Travel Photos

Many people take photos to document family trips, but very few do it well. We turned to photographer, doctor, wife, and mother extraordinaire Abnous Samford for tips. In addition to being a fabulous optometrist by day, Abnous is mother to two precious children. She shares a glimpse into their world via her carefully curated Instagram feed. Her beautiful photography has not only captured our attention but also the attention of nearly 40,000 Instagram followers. Below she shares tips for taking photos around the world.

I’m no photographer. I’m just a busy mom who loves to take pictures of my kids and document our adventures as a family. I use Instagram as a photo journal of sorts, since I don’t always have time to write down the funny things my kids do on a daily basis or have the desire to lug my “big” camera around when we travel. I can always pull out my iPhone, take a picture and—boom, it’s saved forever.

Here are some simple tips to get the most out of your iPhoneography:

1. Always use natural light. I can’t stress this enough. Avoid using the flash at all costs. Try to get near a window or outside (when the sun is not too bright). Play with light. It makes for magical moments!

2. Hold your phone as steady as possible. If you have both hands free, use them to stabilize your phone.

3. Don’t rely solely on your iPhone’s autofocus to do the work. Tap on the most important part of the scene to ensure the best focus and exposure.

4. Utilize the grid feature on your camera to ensure straight horizons and help with composition. Try to align your subjects (or the main focus of your photos) where the lines intersect on the grid. This is called the “rule of thirds” and draws the eye to the most interesting parts of the photograph.

5. Be careful with the zoom option on your iPhone. Usually when you have to zoom in, the image will appear grainy. I try to always avoid zoom, if at all possible.

6. Change your perspective. Make your shots more interesting by shooting from overhead or capturing small details. Play with scale and attempt wide angle shots. These always turn out to be some of my favorite pictures.

7. Crop your photos to remove any unwanted background “noise”.

8. Play with filters to give your photos a unique look. I usually edit my photos using the VSCO or Pic-Tap-Go Apps.

9. Try to capture the moment without posing. If your kids are anything like mine, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to pose for a picture. I find the best shots come from just catching them having fun with friends, or doing something they love—like dressing up or playing make-believe.

10. Invest in a self-timer app and get in the picture! You want them to look back on all these beautiful moments you’re capturing and know you were right there enjoying every minute with them!

When we are on vacation, I love capturing all the small details that make the trip special.  But, don’t feel like you have to get a photo of every single thing you do or see.  I usually snap a few shots here and there and then try to live in the moment and take time to enjoy myself.

Don’t forget to follow @Brownell_Travel and @AbnousAbbey on Instagram!

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