5 tips for taking the best holiday snaps

By Yve Lavine, owner of Yve Lavine Photography.


The holidays are finally upon us! But it can all slip by in the blink of an eye if you don’t make an effort to capture some of the finer moments.

Whether you’re shooting with a smart phone or a DSLR, there are a few simple rules to creating interesting and engaging images from your holiday photos. 


(1) Take advantage of the time of day

The best time of day for landscape or portrait photography is early morning or evening. Sunrise and the hour before sunset are known as the Golden Hour.

Colours blend from red and orange to yellow. The light is wonderful for skin tones and shows warmth in your images. The colour is affected by cloud, pollution and dust in the atmosphere.

The Blue Hour at twilight, just before the sun rises and after it sets, brings a rich deep cool blue to our images. You may also see the band of golds as the sun dips below the horizon. 


(2) Keep it simple

When composing for a shot the “Keep it Simple” (KIS) rule is a stock standard go to. Look for patterns in colour, shape, textures.

Choose your point of focus. What is important in the shot the person or the monument?

If it’s the person be sure they that up a reasonable amount of the frame. Don’t let them become a lost spec in the distance.


(3) Look for leading lines

The best composition in photos is when you are drawn in to the image and look around the frame. Leading lines, real or implied make this happen. It could be a pathway, shadows, or objects dotted from foreground to background.

We want the viewer’s eyes to move into and around the image.  To hold their gaze and create a pleasing experience. They begin to see a story and engage with the narrative. Where does that path lead? What is it that is making those people so intrigued? I’d like to be there…


(4) Use the ‘rule of thirds’ to guide your positioning

One simple yet effect composition rule is the rule of thirds. Most cameras and phone cameras have the rule of thirds grid available.

The rule is applied by visually dividing the frame into 9 equal rectangles by imposing 2 horizontal and 2 vertical lines on the frame. Place your main point of interest (or subject) on or near the intersecting points is a technique well utilised in the photographic world. The lines are considered power lines so placing the horizon, eyes or person close creates impact.


(5) Don’t forget to edit, edit, edit!

Lastly, one of the best ways to improve the wow factor of you holiday slideshow is to follow the Less Is More rule by editing ruthlessly.

It’s the digital age you can take more than one shot, so do so. Work the scene, move around, your feet are your greatest asset! Try different angles, look up, look down, isolate your subject by moving in. Doing this you will get better at seeing what works.

Cull the images that don’t meet your new high standards and you will make an impact.

Have a great holiday!


Yve Lavine is the owner of Yve Lavine Photography: www.lavinephotography.com.au