A Guest Post From Jennifer of Courville Photography

Have you ever been somewhere or seen something that was so magnificent that you didn’t know how to capture the beauty and to do it justice? Talk about pressure! We’ve all been there before, whether it was a sorbet swirl looking sunset, the vastness of the Grand Canyon, the point where the clear sky meets an ominous thundercloud with the light hitting it just right, or a simple landscape that reminds you of Bambi.

One way we get to enjoy the beauty around us is by capturing it with our cameras! Whether you’re a professional or not, using a Smartphone or a fancy DSLR, we wanted to share some quick and easy tips that will help you improve your vacation pictures!

Tip #1: Look at the Big Picture and the Details

Vacation pictures – San Francisco

First off, everyone sees beauty differently. I tend to see the smallest details while my husband, Jon, sees the big picture. For example, on our trip to Big Sur in California last April, I took a picture focusing on a beautiful pink flower with the cliffs in the background. Jon, on the other hand, used his wide-angle lens to capture the most he could before he decided to brave the strong winds to fly his drone for an aerial view. Our visions couldn’t have been more different!

Tip #2: Keep the Horizon Line Straight

Vacation pictures – be mindful of the natural lines in your photograph

This second tip is very simple, yet it makes such a big difference in landscape photos and anything else that has symmetry (like a building). Keep an eye out for straight lines, and keep them straight! No one wants to see a crooked image of the Grand Canyon or the coast. A simple aligning will make your photos look so much more credible and you will eliminate the distracting tilt.

Tip #3: Look Up

Vacation pictures – A gorgeous view of Yosemite

Hiking is something that Jon and I enjoy. When you’re hiking in thick trees that are towering above you, don’t be upset that the view is blocked. Look up. Sometimes the best views are just above your head.

Tip #4: Get in the Picture

Vacation pictures – self timers are so helpful!

Now, this next tip is a little tricky sometimes! Take photos of your surroundings, but don’t forget to get in the picture yourself! We accomplish this three ways: selfies, by asking someone to take our picture (it’ll probably be crooked or they’ll cut your feet out – but hey, you’re still in the photo), and self-timer. As long as the location isn’t crowded, Jon will set up his camera or phone on a bush or a rock with the self-timer. We’ve been able to get some fun photos this way! You don’t have to do anything fancy, though you can definitely experiment with different poses! It’s best to practice and discuss a pose before the timer is set.

Tip #5: Put the Camera Down, Soak it in, and Enjoy

At the end of the day, there really is no substitute for the raw and natural beauty that God has created. A photograph can only go so far. Our next tip? Put the camera and phone down. Enjoy the scenery, soak it in, and embrace it. There have been many times where we didn’t even get photos of a beautiful place because we chose to soak it in instead. Let it etch in your memory. And don’t forget to enjoy it with the people around you! Sometimes getting the right photo can keep you from being with the people you love most.

Though all of these tips can be used with just a phone, we’re often asked the type of cameras we use during our travels. Jon and I shoot with both a Canon 1DX DSLR Camera and a Canon 5DS DSLR Camera.

We hope that you are able to apply some of these tips on your next trip!

A little bit about Courville Photography: Jon and Jennifer are a husband and wife photography team living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Being newlyweds [March 20th, 2016, to be exact!], they absolutely love working together and capturing beautiful moments.

They love adventures, hiking, the great outdoors, a breath-taking sunset, hamburgers, volleyball, family, and marriage.

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