Top 7 Tips for Taking Insta-Worthy Vacation Photos

With social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, a picture is worth a thousand words. If you’re looking for a place for some awesome Insta-worthy photos, you won’t be disappointed with what the Outer Banks has to offer! Even if you never post them, it’s nice to have an album chock full of beautiful sights and memories to cherish in years to come. If you’re looking for tips on how to take your vacation photos like a pro, just keep on reading!

#1. Rule of Thirds

This is a classic “rule” in photography. This is all about the photo’s composition, not so much what you’re taking a picture of. The idea is that an image is most visually appealing when the subject is on a third instead of right in the middle. To figure out what your thirds are, imagine your screen being divided with two vertical and two horizontal lines as a guide; each line at 1/3 of the image. If you’re using a professional camera or even some digital cameras, these guidelines will already be there for you. Here’s a great example taken by one of our past guests, Valery Gaugle, who brought her dog with her on vacation to one of our pet friendly properties.

tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos

#2. Use a Familiar Camera

There’s nothing more disappointing than taking a bunch of awesome pictures just to go back through them and find out the lighting and settings are way off. Pictures end up overexposed, blurry, or too dark. If you just got a brand-new DSLR camera and aren’t familiar with it yet, your vacation may not be the best time to try it out for the very first time. When you’re trying to get the perfect shot of pelicans flying overhead, dolphins in the waves, or even your kids playing on the beach, every second counts. If you get time to take it out and do some test shots to learn the settings beforehand, that would be ideal! I recommend using your smartphone’s built-in camera since it is likely the one you used the most and you have the quickest access to it for those unexpected photo opportunities.

#3. Take More Than You Think

tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos

If you’re familiar with the burst setting on your phone’s camera, take advantage of it! All you have to do is hold down the camera button for a few seconds and you’ll get tons of pictures to choose the best from instead of one at a time.

When it comes to family and vacation photos, you really can never have too many, so don’t be afraid to take pictures of even the things that seem mundane like riding bikes down the street, walking up the beach access, or an ice-cream outing with the kids. You can always delete photos later, but you’ll never have that same moment twice!

tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos

#4. Be Creative

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to get an awesome picture in the Outer Banks. With just a little creativity, any location can become insta-worthy! Whether you’re playing with filters or even laying in the sand to get just the right angle shot, a little creativity goes a long way!

tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos
tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos

#5. Sunrises and Sunsets Always Impress

Some of the most beautiful pictures are the ones where nature does the work for you. It’s hard to resist double-tapping a picture as beautiful as a sunrise or sunset over the ocean! The Outer Banks is known for some amazing sunsets, but if you’re looking for an Instagram worthy location and a gorgeous sky to match, here are a few places for an iconic photo. I’ll let these photos speak for themselves.

tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos
tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos
tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos

#6. Find the Right Subject

Luise Yacono and his dogs, Haley, Laci, and Comet know exactly what makes the perfect vacation photo. This shot of the lighthouse is awesome by itself…but throw three furry bestfriends and you’ve struck Instagram gold! There are endless places and things in the OBX to make your vacation pictures awesome. For some ideas of places to go and things to photograph, check out our blog, “Great Places to Take Outer Banks Photos”.

tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos

#7. Keep it Candid

tips for taking Insta-worthy vacation photos

When you’re taking pictures of your family on vacation, remember not everything needs to be posed. A good example of this is another photo submitted by one of our guests of these kids walking to the beach. While the typical photo would be to have all the kids face front and give their best “cheese,” this candid shot is memorable and captures what that moment was really like. Sometimes the best pose is the one when we think nobody is looking.

At the end of the day, even with all these awesome photos, it doesn’t matter how many “likes” you get but the memories made. An Outer Banks vacation is one you won’t soon forget and we’re here to make sure each year is better than the last!

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