Taking Fun Photos on Vacation…


“C’mon… raise your arm just a bit higher… now point your finger down,
no… a bit more to the side… that’s it! Perfect! …now just hold it!” 

“Dad! … c’mon… take the picture already… this is embarassing!”

Forced Perspective Photos

Louvre, museum, pyramid, Paris, France, Carousel du LouvreEver heard of ’em?  It’s where, using the secret weapon of perspective, your photos offer up a type of optical illusion … making either the human subject or the “other” subject appear larger or smaller than it actually is. If you haven’t heard the name before, you’ve either seen a picture or at least seen one being taken, I’m sure; It’s all the rage!

Everyone is doing it… they really are, and why? …because they’re FUN!

Yet something happens to teenagers in a particular context. These members of the selfie-taking generation, are plain goofy & crazy… when in their native habitat (and by habitat, I mean with “other young people”).

They’d do dozens of these photos in a New York Minute when traveling en masse, but when touring with parents it can be a different story… particularly if it’s the parent requesting a “finger-on-the-top-of- _xyz_” picture. It’s just a little less cool when mom or dad is asking… a little less fun.

A Growing Appreciation…Eiffel Tower, Tour Eiffel, Paris, France, Carousel du Louvre

I say it’s less fun, but what I should really say is that it can be less fun… at the time.


Because for a brief moment and in front of a crowd of people you don’t know, you have to assume a very non-natural position and one that lets everyone know what you’re doing.

You become… conspicuous.
(and really… who wants to be conspicuous?)
By the looks of things, my daughter wasn’t even too keen on me being conspicuous when we made a stop at the Eiffel Tower recently. There may or may not have been some “eye-rolling” involved.



These are some of the memories that appreciate over time because they sure are fun to look back on after the fact!

This photo of my 70 year-old mom was taken during her 2016 visit to France. Although she “hummed & hawwed” a bit when I suggested doing one of these pics (because it meant climbing up on a little pedestal), she was pleased as punch to be able to show off this “cool picture” to her friends back home… earning the coolest grandma award.

It’s a fun memory… there’s no doubt about it!

Get your fun on…

Next time you’re on vacation, be it in Paris or elsewhere, try your hand at a forced perspective photo. You may feel a slightly foolish at the time, but think of it this way… there’s about a 99.9999999% chance that you won’t ever see any of the tourists around you, ever again. They don’t know who you are or where you’re from… so just get your fun on, follow the instructions of your photographer and smile into the camera!

Tips for Forced Perspective Pics:

  1. Touching the Tip:
    These are like the ones featured in this post. You generally raise your arm to shoulder length or a bit above and angle your pointer finger down. Your photographer will move the camera slightly so that (a) he gets you in the frame (because you’re the first subject) and (b) he positions the tip of your finger on the second sebject.
  2. The Silver Platter:
    In this variation… you hold your hand out to your side, palm facing up, as if you were carrying a silver serving platter. It will be up to your photographer to “position” the camera in such a way that the second subject appears to be resting on the open palm of your hand.
  3. The Lean or the support:
    You see this one a lot with photos of the leaning tower of Pisa. People hold their hand up (imagine a policeman raising his hand and saying “Stop!”) and take the picture in such a way that it looks like they are supporting the tower… keeping it from falling over.

Next time you travel, try something a bit different…after all, isn’t vacation all about having fun!?

This is the first in a mini-series of travel-themed posts that Mike is preparing in lead up to the
March 31st Amazon launch of his new book:
Paris 3 Days No Stress

Paris 3 Days No Stress, Travel Guide, Paris, France, Paris Metro


Photo Mike Long

Mike Long is a Canadian pastor living in France and who blogs over at AIMLong.ca. He loves God, his family, small backyard animals, travel and mobile photography.

He is grateful for the opportunity to guest-post for Maria
here on Health from one Heart to Another




  1. Thank you Mike for explaining this way of having fun with the family taking pictures this way. I suddenly remember at a museum a young friend of ours asked me to hold my hand out in a certain way. Afterwards I appeared in a painting behind me with my hand on a round table in the painting and I like that I have that picture today

    Liked by 1 person

      • I would like to send it to you as a prove that I have done this too without really knowing what it was till now. This young friend Emilie is such a good photographer and I will show her your photos next time we meet her. She even loves Paris too and goes there as soon as she has spare time and money

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such fun! The pictures are real smile-makers and it is good to understand how to achieve the effect. I’m a little south of Paris (about 5 hoiurs) but I’m sure Grenoble can provide some good opportunities to give this a whirl 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya Osyth! For sure…. hmm… let’s see – finger tips poised delicately atop the Perret Tower or how about two hands cupped around one of the cable cars like a Christmas Tree ornament! I sense a “forced perspective challenge” coming out of this! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Osyth!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nice to meet you too… I can relate to your comment (in your “about”) on playing the role of the étrangère trying to merge into the background – we’re Canadian: There are days it feels like its going well… then others when it’s still a bit like you’ve landed on another planet. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yup – just when you think you have it nailed you go and do something or notice something that marks you as wholly non-native. I shall take a proper look at your blog and discover where you are playing Man from the Moon – in my case it’s femme dans la lune! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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