How to look better in vacation photos

DSC05965Nice, France

I used to wear practical clothes while on vacation which is of course important, but a few years ago I realized how to take better photos while on vacation. First, is how you prepare for your trip – packing before hand, and while there, your posing.

3 Quick tips:

  1. Pack like a stylist
  2. Think like a photographer
  3. Pose like a model

I hope these tips help you return from a memorable trips with some fantastic, blog worthy, profile thumbnail ready photos that you’ll be glad you dressed for. Happy travels!


Pack/Wear clothes that fit the environment

Stop packing boring. Do away with the boring daily basics like the racer back tanks and maxi skirts. No typical American tourist walking shoes – no matter how much walking you’ll be doing you can find a comfy pair of ballet flats or flat boots (just add inserts). Sam Edelman makes comfy ballet flats and you can find them for $50 at Nordstrom Rack. Love maxi dresses? Add another shirt (crochet or lose tank) over it to mix it up and belt it.

You’re not going to the gym. No sports bras with tanks and leggings unless you’re a running blogger and that’s your thing. You don’t want to look like you hit the gym then ran over to the Eiffel Tower. You could have a much more beautiful shot if you were in a gorgeous dress, right? Framable!

Bring the outfits that fit the environment. The polka dot midi skirt that is so French, or gingham skirt for the country. The bright tunic for the beach. You know, there are the clothes you can see yourself wearing in a certain place, bring it! Even if you aren’t sure if you’ll wear it again, you can leave it there (like I do, to make more room for shopping). Make sure your hemlines are comfortable – anything too tight or short that might creep or blow up will not make for fun photos if you are uncomfortable.

Pack colorful scarves and accessories. Scarves will come in handy for sun, rain, or just adding color.

France (Ballet flats, polka dot skirt, even purchased the umbrella for the trip):


Exploring the desert (moccasins):


Ireland (flat brown boots and blazers):


Take creative shots

Direct your photographer friend. Tell them exactly what you’d like – could you get my back and compose it this way? Take a shot of them first, review the photo and then switch places so you can get exactly what you want.

Get your pose on. Find your inner Blue Steel/model. Know your good side, sit straight up, try different poses and review your shots. Another hint – you don’t have to look at the camera – look off to the side, laugh, smile, just be.

Look for those moments, take time. Scout like a photographer for that location. Find that perfect bench and take a moment to sit in it and frame the photo.

Composition and expression. Look relaxed, excited with your fingers, do a ta-da, yoga pose, whatever you want but don’t forget to show off that beautiful landscape at the same time!

DSC06137Nice, France

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-251Marseille, France

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-129Montpellier, France

montezuma-castle-arizona-camp-verde-clear-water-creek-arizona-travel-blogger0251Payson, Arizona

ireland-travel-blogger-republic-of-ireland-northern-ireland-castle-tour-tips-photos048Cong, Ireland

aix-en-provence-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-184Aix-en-Provence, France

sedona-111Sedona, Arizona

new-york-with-amy-128Upstate New York



maui-botanical-gardensMaui, Hawaii

france-outfit-floral-pantsMarseille, France

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-142Canal du Midi, France

Wear bright colored lips + do your hair

Lipstick and hair. I like trying just a little bit harder while on vacation. I have more time – and so I get creative with my lips and hair. It’s worth it, your face stands out a bit more in photos.

nice-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-218Nice, France

nice-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-164Nice, France

Be goofy/yourself

Take selfies with the guard that can’t flinch. But you know he was totally looking at your flip screen selfie.

Jump. On castle grounds, in public places, be that obnoxious American, ok not that obnoxious. But have fun! It’s your vacation, do it!


Or in my case, do a hurky 10 times until your girlfriend gets the winning shot and be sore the entire next day.

If you want to see country/city roundups and photos, head over to my travel category in the category bar. Also, good equipment doesn’t hurt either – all these taken with my mirrorless SONY-NEX which takes images like a DSLR and you can switch out lenses.

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Linda

    Great tips. I already think like a photographer, but I need to start packing like a stylist.

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Thanks Linda! I need to figure out how to pack like a stylist but also minimal for my upcoming Thailand trip – it will be tricky!

  • Angela Saban

    You ALWAYS look amazing, and what great tips…promise to use them on my next trip, even if it’s just downtown!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Ang, I’ve been thinking about you, I’m going to send you an email to check in. Miss you! :)

  • Mailinh

    Awesome tips and lovely photos! :)

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Thanks M! Hey good luck tomorrow! You’re going to LOVE your new eyeballs. I’m so excited for you!

  • Charity maurer

    Love seeing all your travels in one post–so beautiful! And, you’ll always be one of my biggest fashion inspirations friend :).

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Ah Char, it makes me want to go somewhere else now, kinda feeling internationally homesick ;) You’re so sweet, oh I have to tell you even with 4 years of living in Tucson for school I never saw Mt. Lemmon! Crazy, right?

  • Carissa

    I love love love these tips! You always look so great in your vacation pictures. Thanks for sharing! I want to follow your lead the next time I go away.

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Carissa, I think only recently did I start to! Ha! Once you look at pic and realize how wrong your outfit is in a beautiful scenery, I made note – pack cute! As long as it’s comfortable, of course ;)


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