What is the best camera for a family vacation? The one you have with you in the moment

Because I spent 16 years at National Geographic, people often ask me: What’s the best camera for a family vacation?

Then I have to deliver the good news and the bad news. The bad news? I wasn’t a photographer for the Society. (That’s what everyone in the building calls it, as if it’s some kind of secret society.) I wasn’t even at the Yellow Book (more NatGeo-speak for National Geographic Magazine). I was just the reader advocate for National Geographic Traveler.

The good news is: I didn’t waste any opportunity to learn from the photographers I met. And I met plenty of them. They taught me a lot about photography and then sent me on my way to document the last 17 years of family travel. I’ve taken pictures on everything from a top-of-the-line Leica to a throwaway point-and-shoot.

My advice for parents who want to document their trips: Don’t obsess about your camera. Focus instead on technique, quantity, and timing. Even the best photographers don’t get the perfect shot the first time – or the 100th time.

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