8 Vacation Photo Tips to Add Magic to Your Brand Story Online


To amplify your vacation story, enjoy these eight fun photo tips that are based on our marketing book, 8-Second PR: Energize Your Story for Ultimate Media Success! Whether you are in Bali, Indonesia, or our hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, these examples will show you how to add magic to your photo to capture their attention in 8 seconds (average attention span of an adult).

And whether you like it or not, social media has now made everyone CEO of their own personal brand. Your photos are your message to the world, and can make a huge first impression on anyone scanning your profile, looking to hire you, and/or considering to buy your product or service.

1. Use Shadows and Positioning – Photo in Badwater Basin, Death Valley, California – Have fun magnifying your photo with shadows that can add more depth to the image. You can also see that this picture has the subject positioned slightly to the left. Always try to avoid taking photos with the subject in the center, unless there is no other option.2. Include Animals – Photo at Bali Safari and Marine Park, Indonesia – Everyone loves photos with animals, which get the second most likes and comments, according to Hopper HQ. This photo of two giraffes is also strong because you can see their eyes and it’s an action photo. And if you’re not near a safari park, try posting photos of your favorite dogs or cats to increase engagement.3. Take Close Ups of Food with a Story – Photo at Ubud, Bali, Coffee and Tea Tasting, Indonesia  – Food photos also receive more likes than most images. Capture snapshots of food that tells a story about your trip. For example, this photo is at a tea tasting in Ubud, Bali, where we were fortunate to have yummy coconut and fried bananas for lunch overlooking a rice field.4. Add Action to Your Photo Story – Photo in Lake Elsinore, California – Because we are all overloaded when scanning through images on Instagram, add action to your photos to make people look twice. This fun snapshot of Photographer Joyce Chow was taken during the recent 2019 Superbloom in a Southern California poppy field.5. Use Different Angles – Photo in Napa Valley, California – Get creative with your photos by trying different angels. Get down on the ground, point the camera angle down on a landscape or subject, and/or use the Macro or Pan settings on the camera. This picture of vineyard grapes also has the main subject on the right, which is always better for the composition.6. Take Surprising Expressions – Baltimore, Maryland, Family Reunion – Take photos with an unexpected expression of people to draw your audience’s attention. This action photo at a family reunion just north of Baltimore is a magic moment that made many people smile.7. Take Photos of Landmarks with Personality – Photo in Park City, Utah – Look for landmarks that are decorated to give your photo more personality. For example, this historic barn is on the main road into Park City, Utah, and is a welcoming sign to many who visit. During this drive-by, it had an American flag for the 4thof July holiday. Notice that the barn is also off to the side, which opens up the photo more.8. Capture Powerful Sunrise and Sunset Images – Photo in Bali at the Komune Resort and Beach Club, Indonesia – When taking photos of a sunrise or sunset, it’s important to look at different elements in your composition. A photo with people and texture is much more powerful than flat water. In this case, we set the alarm for 5:00am to capture this orange sunrise in Bali. Fortunately, both surfers and waves were perfectly positioned. Silhouettes and curves also added to the depth.On top of all of these vacation photo tips, make sure you have good lighting. While you can always go back and edit photos later with filters, apps and photoshop, it is always best to get it right the first time. If the lighting is bad, try moving to different angles, use a flash and/or use colors to make your image pop more. And if you can wait, come back the next day when the sun is in a better place for the best results.And the BIG SECRET that many professional photographers will agree upon is that you need to take about 100 photos to get five great photos. We learned this approach during a photography class at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and it’s truly how we got these great photos.

The last photography tip that we want to share is that you always want to take photos with both a high quality camera and a smartphone on your trips. Trust me, you don’t want to learn this tip the hard way. After losing important photos from Bali and the Sundance Film Festival due to camera and iPhone malfunctions, we were so grateful to have the backups.

So enjoy taking and posting your priceless vacation photos. And for more photography and video marketing tips for amplifying your brand story, read our 8-Second PR book and/or take our online courses on Teachable that include case studies examples for how to break through all the noise online. Chapter 2 is all about digital marketing strategy and story tips to help you post great content, get more likes and comments online and add magic to your personal brand. And if you have any questions, tweet us @LizHKelly. You can do this!

© Liz H Kelly, Goody PR Founder and 8-Second PR Author, 2019

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