Are you ready to Instagram vacation photos to record the memories?

We recently took a family vacation to one of our favorite spots: Naples, Florida. We love it for the white-sand beaches, clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico and we love the city of Naples itself. For me, vacation is an opportunity to photograph spaces and places I don’t normally have access to – so I could never leave my camera at home. This year I carried two big cameras because I wanted to shoot digital and film! But as I’m waiting for my film to be developed and scanned and since I haven’t yet processed the digital photos, I wanted to share my iPhone shots with you.

I love Instagram and many of these were posted to my Instagram feed.

Of course the iPhone is known for taking very good quality images and I take mine everywhere while we are on vacation, less for communicating and more for grabbing quick shots. Here are a couple of tips for getting amazing vacation photos on your iPhone:

  1. Take time lining up your phone vacation shots just like you would with a “good” camera – think about guiding principles like the rule of thirds.
  2. A quick tip that often goes unknown – on your iPhone you can control where the phone focuses by tapping the screen where you want the phone to focus. This matters sometimes less for focus and more for EXPOSURE. The phone exposes for where you want it to focus so you can “fake” backlighting by tapping on a darker part of the photo before you click to take the photo. When you do that the entire photo will brighten up with more exposure. You can do the opposite to make the photo darker!
  3. Find one or two processing apps that you like and stick with them. I use VSCO and Afterlight for processing my phone images. I take my time “processing” these vacation photos just like I would on photos from my real cameras. Sometimes I process and post them hours or days after they were taken. No problem – tag them on Instagram as #latergram photos and people know they’re after-the-fact shots!
  4. Consider “framing” your phone images before loading to other sites like Facebook or Instagram. I use SquareadyPro to frame mine with a white frame.
  5. Back up your iPhone images to your computer regularly since you’re creating important memories with your phone. Pro photogs can easily import their phone photos via LightRoom. Preview on a Mac also offers and easy way to import them. There are a lot of ways to get your photos from the phone to computer and be sure to do this at least once a month. Also consider sending your photos to your iCloud stream if you have one via your iPhone.

And don’t forget to get your iPhone photos printed! I create a book at the end of each year that includes all of my favorite Instagram photos from that year (that’s one reason why I diligently upload to Instagram!). I have been using Blurb – they have a process on their website that makes loading photos from Instagram very easy. However, my last book from them had pages that weren’t bound properly so I wanted another option for this year.

I was thrilled to discover Artifact Uprising – they create gorgeous, high-quality books of images and they, too, have quick software on their website for easily laying out Instagram images in a book. I’m looking forward to creating our yearly memory book through them this year. now offers a mobile app that you can use to quickly order prints from your Instagram account (and other sources).

Printagram is another good option for printing your Instagram photos.

And I love Origrami’s print style – looks like old-school Polaroids and comes in adorable little boxes!

Whatever you do, be sure to get your vacation prints off the phone and into albums, frames or onto cards to use as thank you notes, etc!

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