How to take perfect family vacation photos

With summer vacation season here, families love to take photos to document trips.

Taking awesome family photos is a snap for Paul Vasiliades. He’s a professional photographer, and the Johnsons of Harrisburg treasure capturing precious moments with their 3-year-old son Elliot.

“Life has so many wonderful experiences. but the picture really captures that memory for you,” Norah Johnson said.

With cameras in cell phones, we are all snap-happy, but what’s the secret to getting a great family pose?

“Photography is about light and that’s what it means in Greek; it’s painting with light,” said Vasiliades, who happens to be Greek.

He says it’s best to take pictures at sunrise or sunset. At high noon when the sun is directly overhead, you get shadows under eyes or noses or people are squinting. To avoid shadows on faces, Vasiliades says to use a flash or move your family into a shaded area.

Also, pay attention to what’s going on in the background. Even if you move slightly when taking the picture, you can block distracting objects. Vasiliades says to hold the cell phone firm with two hands to keep things in focus.

The final tip: frame the photo properly.

“If you take a tic tac toe board, place the main subject at one of those intersecting lines. It’s a more pleasing picture than centering every picture,” Vasiliades said.

Fill the frame with faces, not other distracting objects. The good thing about taking pictures on cell phones is there are apps to fix problems like exposure or crop out things in the background. Remember to save your pictures by backing them up on the cloud, downloading them on the computer, or printing the photos you love.

Just a few simple steps will preserve the memories you and your family will cherish for a lifetime.

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