13 Brilliant Photo Poses to Try on Your Next Vacation

It's cheesy, but most kids (and grown-ups) just love silly photos and optical illusions. Setting up playful vacation photo doesn't just make for a quirky souvenir, it's also an activity in itself. Trick photos are a fun way to share your personality and are easy to pull off with a little persistence.

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Lean In

Forced perspective at Tower of Pisa

You can pull off a casual leaning pose with any tall landmark. First, make sure you are far away enough so that it looks like the person in the photo is about the same height as the landmark. Crouching down and shooting from a low angle will help create this illusion. Then, line up the shot so the outline of the person's back is just slightly touching the outline of the landmark, and take the picture. If you've got two travel companions, line one up on each side.

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Off With Their Heads

Fun beach vacation pose


For an optical illusion at the beach, you'll need two willing participants. After burying one person in the sand so that just their head is showing, the other person needs to bend over to hide their head behind their body, and outstretch their arms so they appear to be picking up the body-less head in the sand.

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Think Big and Tall

Forced perspective at the Eiffel Tower

You can help a little kid feel like a giant with a forced perspective shot. It's easy to set up with any tall landmark when you get enough distance. All you have to do is get a low angle and tell the child to strike a fun pose.

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Run and Hide!

Forced perspective at the beach

You can make objects appear larger than life by holding them directly in front of the camera while someone in the distance pretends to interact with the giant object. If you need two hands to take the picture, you can also enlist the help of a third person to hold out the object.

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Take a Drink

Forced perspective water
Gone With the Family

If you come across a fountain, geyser, or spout, you can make it appear like the water is landing straight into your subject's mouth. Get some distance, line it up, and tell your subject to open wide!

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Gain Superhuman Strength

Forced perspective giant globe
Go Big or Go Home

If the landmark you're visiting is wide and elevated slightly off the ground, this is a great shot to make a little kid look super strong. To make this shot even more effective, it helps to have the child stand on something high, while you get a low angle to take the shot.

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Nom Nom Nom

Forced perspective beach snack

Instead of an inanimate object, you can make a person look larger than life by posing them extremely close to the camera while another person stands very far away. You'll need a lot of space to make this shot work, such as a beach or a long field.

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Be a Giant in a Small World

Pinching the Louvre
The World is a Book

If you're visiting a landmark that comes to a point, like a pyramid or a skyscraper, you've got the perfect chance to capture a vacation selfie. Just take the photo with one hand, while your other hand reaches out to pinch the top of the landmark.

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Show Us Your Muscles

Snow muscles trick shot
Epic Life Magazine

Rather than lifting up a landmark, you can take a shot where it looks like the main subject is holding people in the palms of their hands. Give yourself a lot of space to work with and have your subject in the forefront kneel down while one or more person or more stands up straight behind them.

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Grab Hold of Something Big

Giant corn dog trick shot
Go Big or Go Home

If you see a landmark that represents a larger version of an ordinary object, you can take advantage of the super-sized object to create an optical illusion. Get enough distance between yourself and the object until it begins to look normal-sized. Then, have your subject pose with it in a natural way.

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Create a Beach Shadow Portrait

Beach shadow faces


Shadow pictures make a dramatic image on a sunny day at the beach, but use the sand to enhance the experience. Get everyone involved in a photo opp on your next trip to the beach. Have everyone draw their own smiley (or frowny) face in the sand, and then have them stand so the shadows of their heads perfectly line up with the faces they drew.

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Enjoy a Cloud Cone

Cloud cone picture


If the clouds are looking especially fluffy, capture them in a delicious way. Find a cone and get low to line it up with a roundish cloud so it looks like a scoop of ice cream. To complete the illusion, have someone pose as if they were about to take a lick.

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Snack on a Boat

Fun family vacation photos


From far away, huge landmarks and large boats can look bite-size. To create this shot, have your subject open wide and line up the shot so their mouth intersects the horizon line. It will appear that your subject is munching bite size boats or landmarks.