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Spending quality time as a family is something I treasure, and so important to my happiness. Actually I can see how it affects my whole family’s mood when we’re giving each other our focused love and attention.

My babies are only going to be little for so long and I am obsessed with absorbing this stage. While cuddling them I’m taking more time to soak it in and be grateful. While playing, even if it’s doing something I don’t particularly like, I’m enjoying their joyful smiles. It’s also why I’m so immersed in photographing as much as I can. I love that we can flip through our family photo albums together and remember all of the fun we’ve had. I believe cherishing those moments and instilling the importance of family is invaluable.

So here’s a glimpse at some of what’s going in the photo book from our South Padre Vacation:

Family vacation photography tips.Family vacation photography tips.

Family vacation photography tips.

Family vacation photography tips.

Family vacation photography tips.

Family vacation photography tips.

Family vacation photography tips.

Family vacation photography tips.

Family vacation photography tips.

Family vacation photography tips.

Family vacation photography tips.

I feel like I did a pretty good job this vacation of balancing the moments I wanted to pull my camera out and capture what was going on, and the times when I’d just enjoy my company. This pretty much involved me snapping some shots when we first got somewhere, or started an activity, then putting it away for a little bit and playing with my husband and kids. I was so proud of myself for passing my camera over to my husband and making sure I got in some of the shots too.

South Padre Family vacation and fun exploring the Texas coast. List of some things to do and where to stay.

Obviously at the beach I wanted to be extra careful not to get my camera wet or get sand on it. The sand part wasn’t incredibly easy to do but I found if I kept my hands clean I could keep my camera clean. Then I only set it down when it was safely tucked away in my camera bag and underneath a blanket.

I used my EOS 80D for most of my photos on this trip. It is lighter than my EOS 5D Mark II and convenient because I was able to easily switch between taking photographs and capturing video.

For me it’s so important I do something with my photos once I’m back home. I try to print some out to hang or make a photo books when I have a lot of photos. I like to keep my photo books out and within reach because my kids love flipping through them all the time.

Same goes for my videos. I try to turn them into something we can enjoy versus just clips of video one after another to scroll through and press play on. Here’s what I made from this trip:

When it comes to capturing vacation memories I like to try to remember a few things.

1. Get a variety of shots: Some may include people, some may just be the location, and don’t forget those tiny details, like the shells my kids collected on the beach.

2. Candids are great: It can be tempting to plop your family in front of a landmark, snap a photo and call it a day, but vacations are a great time to get candid photos and capture the emotion and fun around a trip. Look at taking photos of the action as well as reactions to things going on.

3. Get in the shot: I almost forgot this this trip. It wasn’t until I was looking at some of the photos I took of my husband with the kids that I realized I hadn’t been in any yet. I passed my camera off to him (after switching the camera to AV mode so he couldn’t mess it up) and played in the sand with my kids while he did the best he could (and it wasn’t bad!)

4. Switch to video now and then: I don’t need to keep rolling on every moment of the trip, but press record for 5-10 seconds every now and then and string the pieces together later to really capture the emotion from the moment.

5. Use a zoom lens: I love my primes, don’t get me wrong, but on vacations when you’re walking around and in a variety of situations, zoom lenses are so handy. I mostly used my Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L lens to take in more of the background, but I also loved my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens when I wanted to get closer.

For more of my vacation photography tips check out my article or my photography course on the Canon Digital Learning Center.

From birthdays to family vacations, to holidays and more, I’m teaming up with Canon every month to share how we capture our special milestones. I’ll also dish out tips to help you better capture your special moments with your family. Shout out to my favorite camera brand for sponsoring this series.


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Ayanna says:

Beautiful pics and family time is priceless. I need to use the video option on my camera more?

These are great tips and the one I forget the most is being in the pictures myself. My husband has recently started taking our pictures on trips, so I am in more of them. One thing I have learned is to also put the camera down at times and live in the moment.

dana vento says:

Tips and tricks to help with photography in my world are always welcome. It is interesting to hear what other have to say. I often oversnap photos so that I can use them later however I need. I do find that there is a time and place for every photo and sometimes you just have to stop:)

Elizaeth says:

Your children are so beautiful. Us moms need to get as many photos as possible as the time flies so fast. I can barely remember my 8 year old as a baby. I am glad I have so many photos.

I enjoy taking pictures of our life so we can remember and relive those moments later on. I often forget to get in the shot, too even though I know just how important that is. I’m hoping to change that! I love doing videos, too! You forget just how much children’s voices have changed over time. Capturing laughter on video is one of the best things, too!

Tami Qualls says:

I see you let your little one jump on the bed. We were never allowed to as kids, but as a momma I don’t see any problems with it. Let ’em have fun and capture the moment!

Jennifer Seiger says:

Oh I need to be more intentional about taking photos of my family. And yes I’m one of those moms that is usually behind the camera and not I the pics. I’ll try to do better.

Debra says:

Oh my word. You are on vacation at South Padre?! I am absolutely so jealous. We used to live right around there and we headed to the beach all the time. I love your photo tips. I agree there is a balance between pulling the camera out and enjoying the moment.

I’m also obsessed with capturing every moment I can. I don’t have as many pictures of my oldest who’s 19 or my middle who’s 13. But with my 9-year-old I’ve gone overboard in filming as much as possible – knowing he was going to be my last baby.

Carmen says:

wow what beautiful photos you captured of your family. Great memories for you all.

Tiffany says:

I Love This!! I am all about collecting our moments to make them into memories but like you said sometimes it is hard to remember to be a part of those moments. Great Tip!! These are amazing images and I can tell you definitely had some awesome memories to go with them!

Thank you so much Tiffany! We sure did have a blast.

Marion Lewis says:

Your children are so beautiful, I also usually taking pictures of our life so we can remember and relive those moments later on. Great Tip
thanks for sharing

aww your kids are so adorable. And yes, time flies and someday we’ll be surprised at how the kids grow. Photos is one of the best way to make memorization. Thanks a lot for your tips. Really love those photos.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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