A few weeks ago, we took our 14-month-old “infant in arms” on a flight to Mexico and tested our international parenting skills. It will shock nobody that I took a full sized camera, but some of my favorite images were taken on my cell phone. In fact, every image on this page was taken with my not-very-updated iPhone 6. It’s not the camera that counts - it’s the story! I’ll share some of my visual storytelling tips for capturing the "togetherness" of your family vacation. And really - isn't that why we go on vacation? 
{Tip! Take photos in your moments of travel-parenting glory.}
When we left for the airport, there was no sign of pink eye - but by the time we stood in the TSA line, I could barely finish removing the gunk from our little guy’s tiny lashes before they glued back up again. The first photo of the trip was a snap of a finally (!) peacefully sleeping boy in my lap on the second flight of the day, which given the aforementioned gunk-virus was really a photo of total parental relief and exhaustion. 

Those small victories are golden memories, whether it’s putting a sick toddler to sleep on a plane for the first time, successfully feeding all the kids dinner on a 30-minute layover, or navigating a jogging stroller and three backpacks down the escalator before you realize you could (should) use the elevator 6 feet away. These pictures might help you realize later just how capable you are!
{Tip! Take photos of your normal routines on vacation.}
No matter how prepared you are, the logistics of moving your life with kids to another zip code can make for some really weird situations. Diaper changes on the side of the highway, hotel breakfast in the pack-n-play for a distracted kiddo, snack time in the taxi, snack time in line at Disney World, snack time ANYWHERE because it seems to always be snack time... Something about the collision of the mundane with the adventure makes for great memories!

As for the second photo above: I have never enjoyed a naptime so much. This little adventure-baby took a 2+ hour nap directly on the beach while his grateful parents enjoyed a peaceful afternoon of conversation. Naps are usually happening at daycare these days, and I'm cramming tasks into the weekend naps - having no to-do list really freed me to enjoy that quiet moment.
{Tip! Include the View}
How many times have you taken pictures of your family at the beach where the kids' bodies take up 90% of every photo? I do it too, because the closeups are the best! But if you have the chance to back up just a foot or two and take in a bit more context for a few shots, the moment you are capturing will feel a little more “present” later. Chances are, you picked that vacation spot because you like being there - so why not include it? Even just a little detail can add so much! 
Last but not least: Cell phone editing. Yes, you can easily slap an instagram filter on there and make it look nice - but if you want to kick your photos up a notch and learn a little bit about photo editing, I highly recommend downloading the Snapseed app. It's just the right blend of useful, easy-to-use, and FREE. Let me know if you'd like an in-person tutorial. Happy Snapping!

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