Family playing on the beach at sunset


Picture Perfect Holiday Snaps


Holiday memories last a lifetime, and to help keep them alive we all love to take great holiday snaps. Whether it’s pictures of all the family together, a beautiful image of the sun setting over your villa or capturing the glistening waves lapping the shore on your favourite beach. We’ve put together a handy guide to taking beautiful shots to look back on and remember your best holiday moments for years to come…

Timing is everything

Florence Duomo illuminated by lights as the sun sets

If you’re an early riser, the good news is that early in the morning is the best time to get shots of your surroundings. Subjects often look better with the light coming across the frame rather than the sun shining straight down onto them, so avoid taking photographs in the middle of the day. If waking up early on holiday isn’t on the agenda, the hour before sunset also provides great lighting and adds red and yellow tones to your photographs.

Putting things into perspective

Peering through a hole in the wall over the harbour in Split Bay, Dalmatia

Where photography is concerned, perspective is key. Always keep on the lookout for creative ways to frame your images. Rather than standing in front of an attraction, look out for doorways, windows or trees which you could use as a natural frame for the image. Use the ‘rule of thirds’ and make the subject off centre to create a well-balanced image.

What’s your subject?

Beautiful purple flower in Estoi, Algarve

Keep your eyes peeled for interesting subjects – it’s not always the most obvious things which make the perfect picture! Once you’ve chosen your subject, move in close to avoid lots of dead space. This is often helpful if crowds of people are gathered nearby. You can also try positioning the subject off centre to add variation to your photography. Once you’ve found the perfect subject, half press the button to take the photo until it focuses and then take your picture once it’s at its sharpest!

One for the mantelpiece

Beautiful blue waters at the peaceful bay of Fiskardo, Kefalonia

Tripods are great for taking photos of everyone together, but make sure you take plenty of shots to avoid having people with their eyes shut in your photo. For the best angle, try putting the tripod up as high as possible and standing on a step ladder or stool to take the image (but be careful!). Have a look online for a travel tripod which is perfect for packing in your suitcase without taking up too much room!


As the sun sets

Horses grazing in field in Tuscany as the sun sets

The sun setting always makes for popular holiday snaps. But why follow the crowd? Try getting an angle of the sunset which captures a boat, tree or even people too. Once the sun has disappeared beyond the horizon, stick around for 15 minutes or so as the sun will brighten up the sky with amazing warm colours.


Our Visual Asset Manager and in-house photographer, Holly, tells us her favourite destinations to photograph…

“I love anything with a bit of culture and history. Ruins such as the Acropolis in Rhodes are great to photograph especially as it has St.Paul’s Bay right next to it, so you get a great mix of history and beautiful scenery.

The Greek Islands are one of my favourite places to visit as there’s always something different to see. Melissani Cave in Kefalonia is stunning and you can go on a rowing boat around it, which is great for getting close-up photos. I also really enjoy photographing fishing villages like Kassiopi in Corfu, with the cute little boats bobbing along the shoreline.”

Quaint yellow house with blue front door and overhanging pink flowers

Emma Mackey

Emma Mackey is a Content Executive at James Villa Holidays.

To say I have an obsession with travel would be an understatement. Adventuring with my...

See all articles by Emma Mackey

See all articles by Emma Mackey

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