Tips For Great Vacation Photos


When I travel I don’t buy souvenirs. My souvenirs are photographs – memories. Recently I traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to photograph a destination wedding. Since we were there for business and not play I didn’t stray from the resort, however the scenery right there at our hotel, the Riu Palace was gorgeous!

I know it can be boring to look at other people’s vacation photos – believe me – I did my best to show a little restraint and not post EVERY image. The scenery and the golden light on the west coast is so dreamy and the easy slow pace of Mexico makes Cabo and idealistic vacation spot. It did my soul some real good to soak up that vitamin D and see flowers in bloom even though it was early January and FREEZING back home in Central Illinois.

Some tips for frame worthy vacation photos – I recommend exploring your surroundings first and truly being present in the moment so you can soak it all in. Then, set aside a few minutes to grab your scenery pictures and be sure to include the big picture as well as the details that make the location so special. It’s always nice to have those family pictures where everyone is looking at the camera, however be sure to include candids. Let’s face it, if mom makes everyone pose all the time, you’re likely too soon have a mutiny on your hands haha!

To get nice, even light on your family’s faces in all kinds of light, follow these tips: in harsh midday light, turn your subjects towards their shadows. The softest, dreamiest light will always be 1 to 1.5 hours before sunset. And on a cloudy day, have them face whenever the sun would be that time of day.

The best camera for great vacation photos is whatever camera you have with you. Whatever you choose to carry around a big heavy DSLR, a smaller point and shoot camera or your phone, that is the perfect tool for you to use to record those vacation memories.

Vacation season is right around the corner. I can’t wait to see your pictures! Be sure to share them with me and let me know if these simple tips helped improve your memories!

Shameless plug: f you’re looking to get married anywhere that isn’t “home,” that’s a destination wedding. Whether it’s at a resort in Mexico, a villa in Europe, a winery in Iowa, a bed & breakfast in Wisconsin, an iconic venue in Texas, or a mountain top in Colorado, I would strongly encourage you to hire a photographer that is local to you, who you can meet with, and can help you plan. A photographer who is personally invested in your wedding day.

Also, thanks to Travel by Beth, our travels were smooth and easy. As someone who wants ALL the details, The booklet that she sent with all details of our trip was super informative down to making sure we knew to avoid the “timeshare traps,” when getting off the plane and exactly how to recognize the spot to meet for our pre-arranged transportation to the resort. And special thanks to our awesome couple Laura & Jake who are no longer clients, but now friends of our’s for life 🙂

All sessions with kDarling Photography are photographed on film. What does that mean for you? That means you’ll still receive your images via an online gallery. You’ll still be able to print where you wish or through my professional lab. What will change? I will get to slow down a bit at your sessions, allowing me to pay closer attention to details. We’ll get to know each other better, and we’ll have even more fun! And best yet – you’ll get your session back much sooner! Sound great – you’re excited? Me too!


Born and raised right here in central Illinois – Cissna Park to be exact – I transplanted over 20 years ago to Fisher. I’m proud to say I’m now a Fisher Bunnie (yep, that’s our school mascot, you can’t make these things up). When I’m not behind my camera, you can find me hanging out with my hubby and 2 kiddos, Payton and Mackenzie.

Photographs tell the story of our families. The good ones, the bad ones, and the ones that take our breath away – they’re all part of our perfectly imperfect stories, and each one is beautiful in its own unique way. I have been telling stories of families just like yours in the central Illinois/Champaign-Urbana area since 2012. Building lifelong relationships with my clients as their families grow, and telling their ever-changing story, is what makes my heart go pitter-patter. I would be honored to tell your family’s story..  To schedule your next session, please contact kDarling Photography by email or at 217.778.1325

For information on wedding photography, please visit our wedding website at

March 12, 2020


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