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How to take the perfect holiday pictures this summer

From perfecting your selfie game to using the best editing apps, here are some of the best tips for improving your holiday pictures.

By LLM Reporters  |  August 3, 2022
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From dreamy Caribbean island breaks to culture-filled city breaks, this summer is all about making up for lost time when it comes to travel, and if the idea of checking in at your favourite five-star hotel for a few days or weeks of opulence fills you with glee, then count yourself amongst the many affluent jetsetters making big plans for the remainder of the season.

Travel is all about making memories, and from the destination you choose to the people who accompany you, there are many ingredients that go into the perfect recipe for a holiday you’ll remember for years to come. But while capturing the moments you’ll cherish forever in your mind is something that for most, goes without saying, having some visual reminders is priceless, and filling up your Instagram feed with beautiful shots of stunning locations and selfies against breath-taking backdrops is all part of the fun.

There’s nothing more disappointing, though, than arriving home only to scroll through your hundreds of photos and find you don’t like any of them – something that has likely happened to us all at least once. So, before you go, ensure that you have a quality camera – whether that’s on your smartphone, or a stand-alone mirrorless or DSLR – and get to grips with these simple tips for taking the perfect photos. Not only will doing so allow you to capture your favourite moments with effortless ease, but you’ll come away with the kind of Instagram-worthy shots you can fill your feed with for weeks afterwards.

Perfect your selfie game

Selfies can be some of the hardest photos to get right, but armed with the right equipment, you can up-level them instantly

Selfies can be some of the hardest photos to get right, but armed with the right equipment, you can up-level them instantly. If you’re travelling solo, then investing in a tripod with a hand-held remote control will be a game changer, allowing you to set up your shot and take multiple frames without having to ask a stranger to do the honours. Let’s face it; there’s nothing worse than having someone kindly agree to take a photo of you in an iconic location only to cut off your head or your feet, or capture you with your eyes closed – so take matters into your own hands, and you’ll no longer have to rely on someone else’s skill or patience to get ‘the shot’.

Getting your pose right for a selfie can be one of the trickiest things to perfect, so practice some different positions in the mirror before you travel to ensure you’ll know what to do in the moment. If it isn’t something that comes naturally to you, then enlist in Instagram’s help – there are some great accounts that focus specifically on showing you how to pose – and how not to – to ensure you end up with a set of photos you love.

Once you have a selection of images you’re happy with, using an editing app like Lightroom to brighten them up and intensify colours can work wonders. If you’re not entirely happy with the way you look and want to fine tune your selfie before you post, then there are plenty of apps that can help with that too – and FaceTune, which is one of the best of them, will give you the airbrushed finish of your dreams.

Composition is key

nature photography
Placing your subject in the ‘golden section’ is a tried and tested way to ensure you get a beautiful image

When taking photographs of a person, animal or building, composition is key, and framing them perfectly within the viewfinder will help to ensure you end up with a perfectly composed shot. Imagine the viewfinder divided into nine squares; three along the top, three in the middle, and three along the bottom. Placing your subject in the ‘golden section’ – the third square in the middle row – is a tried and tested way to ensure you get a beautiful image, and will allow for any beautiful backdrops to shine through, too.

If you’re planning on posting your photos on Instagram, then shoot them vertically, as this will ensure that they are the right format for stories as well as for your feed, and will take up your followers’ full screen when viewing for maximum impact.

Take advantage of the latest editing apps

photo editing
Editing apps will be helpful for erasing spots and blemishes, straightening horizon lines where your camera wasn’t quite straight, and a host of other errors that might otherwise ruin a photo

Again, photo editing apps will be the secret weapon you need to up-level them in terms of brightness, saturation and sharpness – if you’re unsure how to use them to your best advantage, then head over to YouTube and watch a short tutorial on your chosen app – or better yet, invest in some pre-sets that exemplify your preferred aesthetic. Once you have them installed, you can simply apply them to any of the photos you take, without needing any editing skills yourself, and your Instagram feed will appear as consistent, cohesive and impactful like all those others you so admire.

If you’re not completely happy with the photos you’ve taken, then thankfully, all is not lost. Once upon a time, if you missed getting it just right in the moment, then the opportunity was gone forever, but now, if someone decides to photo-bomb you or are there are too many people in the background of a shot, you can simply edit them out. The same goes for erasing spots and blemishes, straightening horizon lines where your camera wasn’t quite straight, and a host of other errors that might otherwise ruin a photo.

The bottom line

Once upon a time, getting beautiful photographs of a dream getaway was something that only professionals could realistically hope to achieve. But nowadays, as smartphone camera quality continues to advance and thanks to the growing variety of equipment and apps on offer, anyone can take the kind of photos they’ve always dreamed of.

All you have to do is ensure you have the right equipment before you fly – a camera, tripod and remote control is all you’ll need – and a great arsenal of apps on your phone ready to edit your shots to perfection, and your Instagram feed will soon be filled with breath-taking images you could only have ever dreamed of showcasing in the past.