Five ways to take the perfect holiday photograph


Red Carnation’s Creative Manager, Philippa des Moulins, shares her top tips for capturing the perfect holiday snap.


15th August 2017

The Rubens at the Palace

Taking photographs is an integral and enjoyable part of any holiday, giving lifelong memories of fantastic experiences and stunning scenery. Here, Red Carnation’s Creative Manager, Philippa des Moulins, shares her top tips for capturing the perfect holiday photograph.

Compose creatively, and move in close

The key to every beautiful photo is creative composition and thoughtful organisation of the distinctive elements. Instead of shooting from eye level, try new perspectives, different angles or even a new type of framing. Positioning the subject off-centre and moving in close will fill up the frame and prevent bland dead space, while also focusing on intricate details. This works particularly well when you blend your main subject with something in the background. If you are unable to physically move closer, then use one of your camera’s multiple focus presets that will allow you to zoom into objects with precision.


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Lead the eye towards the subject.

Leading the spectator’s eye into the scene and towards the subject is an incredibly important aspect of composition. To do this you should be making use of different photographic tricks to make them the central point of the image. For example, using items in the foreground like paths and roads, or in the background, like the sky, can develop a path to your point of interest. Additionally, using a wide-angle lens can also create depth and make your central subject stand out.

Experiment with light

Another crucial aspect of composing the perfect image it to ensure that you have considered the direction, intensity and quality of your light source. Overhead sunshine can cast harsh shadows on the ground and potentially wash the colour out of the picture, so make sure that your subjects are not in the full glare of it. The early morning or late evening are often the ideal times to be taking photographs as the light tends to be warmer and softer and the sky more dramatic as the sun rises or sets.


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Don’t use flash

The flash or no flash dilemma has long been argued by photographers. Our advice is to avoid using flash altogether, whether inside or outside, as it often causes photographs to look flat and dreary with a rather stark feel. Instead, experiment with natural light, and in the evenings, use lamps or candles to brighten up a space. To brighten up a photo, you can also increase the ISO value for a shot (essentially the old measure of film speed) in the camera settings to bring more light into the image, but be careful not to over expose.

Harmonise colours

Ultimately, presentation is the most important aspect of taking the perfect holiday shot. There are so many variables in getting the right picture, such as whether the weather conditions are right (bright and sunny vs grey and cloudy), as what you really want are for your colours to appear vibrant and vivid. If the colours in your photograph appear a little bit drab, nowadays you can always edit when back at home sitting in front of your computer. However, beautiful holiday photos should always be true to life, so it’s best to keep the changes subtle.


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Image Credits: Lead image © iStock/RossHelen. Philippa des Moulins © Red Carnation Hotels. Buckingham Palace staircase © Instagram/ Breakfast at The Rubens at the Palace © Instagram/rubenshotel. Admiralty Arch © Instagram/lifeofajourneyer. Tower Bridge © Instagram/antbuchet. Notting Hill houses ©


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