Most of us try to make a point to preserve our vacation memories through our photos, but often find when we return that our photography skills might be lacking. Fortunately there are some easy to follow tips and tricks that can help even the most amateurish photographers excel. So next time you go on vacation, when you pull out the camera, remember these tips and tricks to create frameable vacation photos that will last a lifetime.

1. Take a lot of pictures

This one might sound overly simple, but it’s true: the more pictures you take, the more likely you are to find gems in the rough that manage to really capture the moment. Take a lot of pictures so that when you get back home, you’ll have plenty frame-worthy options to choose from.

2. Avoid busy backgrounds

You’ll find that pictures with a lot of stuff going on in the background simply don’t look great. If you’re snapping a shot and find the background to be too busy, try pulling in closer to your subject, or changing the angle of the shot.

3. Close ups feel more personal

When taking a photo of a family member, you’ll find that the more of the frame that he or she takes up, the better the photo will be at capturing that moment. Don’t be afraid to move in close and fill the frame.

4. Use the rule of thirds

Don’t have all of your subjects in the middle of the frame. Instead, capture them on the right or left 1/3rd of the frame. This tends to balance pictures well; especially shots that are further away or zoomed out.

5. Pay attention to lighting

Sometimes great photos can be ruined by distracting shadows, so if you’re about to take a photo and find that the subject is lit strangely or has a distracting shadow cast over them, have them move to a more suitable location.

Take these guidelines on your vacations with you and remember them when you’re capturing the moment. You might just find that some of your photos have become frameable works of art!