Ever since we moved into our new home, I’ve been itching to cover the walls with pictures of our favorite travel memories. And yet, as I’ve poured through boxes of photos, it has struck me just how important it is as a Traveling Mom to have the right camera.
Now let me be very clear on something – I am not much of a gadget girl (Flip and Toshiba, cover your eyes while I say this). I love all the techy-stuff out there dedicated to making moms’ lives easier, but I’m not super savvy when it comes to understanding how everything works and why I should pay 8 million dollars for it. I am, however, a practical girl. And my little mommy heart soars when I learn about techno gear that magically makes my job as a parent a little more fun.
Which means that I’m not going to tell you the exact camera to buy – because I honestly don’t know. What I can do is pass along my trials and triumphs in family travel photography, in hopes that these tips will help you choose for yourself a camera that will capture all you best Traveling Mom moments.
Camera Tip #1 – Buy a camera with a timer on it, preferrably with multiple settings
Why? Because you may actually want to be in some of your vacation photos! As moms, we are often the one behind the camera, capturing all the cute moments in our childrens’ lives, but how often do we actually get in the shot with them? And while there are a gazillion people willing to snap the picture for you in, say, DisneyWorld, I’ve had many gorgeous photo ops at times where there wasn’t a soul around. This is especially true on a romantic gettaway, where you both want to be in a photo like this:
Camera Tip #2 – Buy a camera with fast-action shooting
We’ve all been there – the perfect picture presents itself, you press down the button on your camera and there’s that annoying 5-second delay before the shot is actually snapped. By then, the moment is gone. For extreme-sports fanatics like my husband and I, we love the ability to take shots of the athletes doing those “wicked sweet” tricks:
Camera Tip # 3 – Buy a camera with anit-blur
This is especially true for parents of wiggly little kids, who won’t hold still for one blasted second! Before I had anti-blur on my camera, I had scads of useless photos where my children were just fuzzy blobs.
Camera Tip # 4 – Buy a camera with a wide-lens/panoramic option
Because the Swiss Alps go on and on and on. The beauty that you will encounter as you travel the world won’t always fit in the standard photo size! You want to have options so that you can capture your experiences in the best way possible.
Camera Tip #5 – Buy a camera your spouse knows how to useHe’ll kill me for publicizing it, but my husband (the computer programmer) is regularly baffled by our newest camera. During the few times that I have relinquished my possesive hold on ours, he looks as though I have handed him a ticking time-bomb and told him he has 30 seconds to dismantle it. More often than not, he bungles seemingly-simple tasks like “get Jude and I playing soccer”. In his defense, he was very adept at our old, more sleek one. The newb is fancier, with all sorts of odd buttons and crytpic icons on it that throw him off. But still…
I’m just saying, buy the camera together, learn about it together, make sure your spouse is able to use it. You’ll thank me.
(this is one of the few photos we have of me during my third pregnancy – 7 mos. along here)
Camera Tip #6 – Buy a camera that doesn’t eat batteries for lunch
Too many times my camera has run out of juice just as I’m about to take “the” vacation pic – family playing on the beach, daugther meeting Mickey Mouse, a spectacular sunset up in the mountains – the list is long and sad. I always carry spares now, but for long trips it can be seriously irksome to take up precious suitcase space with a big pack of batteries.
So those are the Big Six, along with a few other pet-conveniences like a Filming Option (I’ve captured short clips when my camcorder was on the fritz) and Continuous Shooting, which can be very helpful when you’re trying to get everyone under the Eiffel Tower to smile at once.
What’s Your Travel Camera “Must-Have” Feature?