how i take my photos when i'm on vacation

being a photographer, my standards for my own personal photos are slightly higher than the average blogger’s...some may call it pickier but that sounds negative haha! thankfully when i’m home in nyc, i shoot with lydia hudgens for all of my content…and i can definitely say she knows how to deal with all of my crap by now (throwback to my first shoot with her back in 2015)! while i would love to pack lydia in my suitcase for all of my travels or clone myself to take my photos, i can’t (yet). therefore i’ve had to come up with tips and tricks so i can have my friends and family (and the occasional kind stranger) help me out.

pre-planning the locations
when i’m having whoever i’m traveling with take my photos, i know their patience doesn’t last very long, especially when it’s a non-blogger, so i try to plan out the shot in my head well in advance. this means that scouting out locations and gathering inspo photos are key in an effort to save time. during this trip to miami, i was able to spend a day walking up and down miami beach to figure out just exactly where i wanted to go because my friend had to work the friday i got there. during this day, i took all of my “filler photos” or photos that i’m not in and tracked down the location of these perfect pastel beach chairs! i then went back the next morning at 8am with my friend fendi to take these photos. and the reward? having the most incredible brunch up in palm beach afterwards!

setting up the shot
before i hand my camera over to them, i have my handy volunteer stand exactly where i will be to set up everything. the setup includes framing and the settings on the camera. i take the example photo for a reference and then we switch! oh yeah, i have some amazing test shots of everyone haha!

the “dot” must be on me
in my canon camera (not sure how it looks on nikon) there is a little grid in the view finder where i can set the focus point. it is crucial that this dot be on my face, my bag, my shoes, or wherever i want the focus in the image…if not, the photo is basically a waste. because i have my camera on a spot focus to ensure the sharpest image, there can be no improvising in the framing as this would result in an out of focus shot. whenever i see people trying to get creative i start to have a bit of anxiety haha my b. so i don’t think there has ever been a shoot of mine (when a non-photographer is taking the photo) where i don’t say “where is the dot?” and immediately start pointing to places on my body haha!

the only downside to this is that, most of the time, my vacation shots are a little bit on the simpler side. thankfully when i’m on vacation with my fellow blogger friends (i’m looking at you dana, andrea, amanda, and ashley!) getting photos is basically the entire reason we go places so they are almost always down to get the shot!


dress: rhode resort (with the belt from this color)
bag: roksanda (also love the white)
shoes: j.crew (old)
hat: club monaco (old)
bracelets: cartier
sunglasses: dolce & gabbana