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How to Take Travel Photos: A Complete Guide

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Who doesn’t love visiting gorgeous places? When we travel, it is natural to want to capture those special moments. So why not explore this niche?

With the right skills and some practice, you could make your travel photography hobby into a full-time job. In this article, we have organised our knowledge base on travel photography.

Read on to find out how to become a travel photographer.

Image of travellers surrounded by a beautiful landscape

What Is Travel Photography?

Travel photography is the act of photographing while travelling. The goal is to capture the locations you visit and the adventures you experience.

It is a combination of different genres. It includes landscape , street , portrait , environmental portrait and even architecture photography.

You can take landscape images of the places you visit, portraits of the people you meet or architecture photos of the buildings you see.

You can even master your self-photography skills by taking selfies everywhere you go.

Opened backpack with things needed for travel photography like camera, money, passport and tickets

How to Start Travel Photography

Getting started with travel photography: beginner’s guide.

Travel photography is a genre that requires a lot of pre-photoshoot preparation.

You need to be able to find suitable locations, handle different weather conditions, and choose the best equipment for each trip.

Practising and learning how you like travelling the basis of the whole process. You should also find out which type of travel photography suits you the most.

Read our beginner’s guide to learn more about how to get started with travel photography.

travel phototgraphy Image of a samurai with landscape

How to Plan for Road Trip Photography

Everyone’s idea of travel is different. Some go away for the weekend, and others plan a whirlwind trip covering dozens of countries in a concise period of time.

If you are the road trip kind, this article is for you.

Firstly, you’ll need to figure out how to get around. Will it be your car, a rental or even hitch-hiking? Next is the route.

You need to take care of how you can stay connected to the internet. Or how you’ll have access to electricity, and how you’ll back up your photos .

Travel photography image of a road with snow

The Travel Photographer’s Packing Checklist

Travelling requires a few more items than your keys, wallet, and passport. It requires planning and making sure you have every necessary item with you.

The easiest way to remember everything is by writing a list.

Think about where you are going and if the location has the things you might need to buy? Don’t forget to update your list after each trip.

Prepare for bad weather, hot summer days and everything you can predict. Take a look at our list so you surely won’t miss anything!

Image of a notebook with checklist written

Photographing With Minimal Gear: Why You Don’t Need as Much as You Think

As a travel photographer, you’ll constantly be moving around. A heavy backpack full of equipment gets tiring very fast.

Learning how to capture travel photography with minimal equipment is a blessing. That way, you’ll enjoy your journey much more.

Think about your lenses. Perhaps one or two zoom lenses are much better than five fixed (prime) alternatives. And don’t take anything you might not use. It is a waste of space.

Street photography of a women taking photo of street art

The Best Packing Hacks for the Travel Photographer

As a travel photographer, you need to organise both your camera gear and your clothes. It can be a hard task. All you need to find is balance.

Start by creating a photography shot list in advance. Lay out your gear and then cut it all down.

Choosing the right bags is also essential. With our space-saving packing hacks, you are going to be able to organise everything cleverly.

An important thing to keep in mind is that you will need to reach your gear easily. If you don’t have comfortable access to them, you will get frustrated soon.

packed suitcase for travel photographers before travel

How to Make the Most of Your Travel Photography With a Shot List

The best travel photos are the results of hours of planning and research.

A shot list is a helpful reminder to ensure you get a wide range of images. No matter where you go, you will have the same or a similar list.

You won’t miss anything if you need what kind of shots you need. Also, a list can guide your attention and make you spot the scenes worth photographing.

Notepad open with blank page for writing travel to-do list, a Cup of coffee and pen on the wooden brown table

How to Choose the Best Travel Tripod

A tripod helps you capture long exposures and stops movement in low light conditions. It also allows your arms a little rest while keeping your camera safe.

I know they can be heavy and a burden when you don’t need them. Yet, there are lightweight carry-on choices that can fit in your bag.

You have to use a tripod that matches your camera. Heavier gadgets will need sturdy and stable ones. Also, windy weather requires more robust tripods.

Read here for more information on tripod choices for all your travel photography needs.

Cityscape travel photography with a camera on a tripod in the city of Alesund, Norway.

The Most Useful Travel Photography Accessories

As a travel photographer, you will encounter a lot of different situations. Not only do you have to be ready for them, but your gear has to as well.

There are some basic accessories you should always carry with you. A lens pen is the perfect pocket-tool for cleaning your lenses on the go. But others, like a drone,  are for more creative photography.

Start with the basics. Choose a comfortable neck strap or buy memory card holders . Extra batteries and power banks are also practical and necessary items, based on how long and where you are shooting.

Accessories for travel photography like a guidebook, camera, local money and phone

Travel Photography Settings for Every Scenario: From Portraits to Landscapes

Travel photographers have to deal with changing lights and scenes. Also, it’s a mixture of genres, so even the type of photography determines the settings.

Pay attention to white balance, focus, and the pillars of the exposure triangle .

You can find basic settings for portraits, environmental portraits, landscapes, sunsets, or buildings in our article above. Food, wildlife, action or night photography are not missing from the list either.

Start with these settings and tweak them if needed.

A travel photography image of a foggy landscape and sunrise

Photography Style: What Is It and How Can You Find Your Own

Your photography style separates you from every other travel photographer. Believe me. There are thousands in this category.

Finding your style will take time and practice. It isn’t something you can develop overnight.

Keep experimenting. You can focus on a particular mood or atmosphere. Or concentrate on the same colour range. Or even take stunning portraits .

Famous photographers have recognizable styles. If someone recognizes your images without seeing your name on them, you’re on the right path.

Travel photography image of a Greek city

Top 12 Rules For Amazing Travel Photography

Travel photography is not about your camera. It isn’t even about where you are.

It is about the stories you tell with your captured images. The way you take these stunning images is through research and observation.

Researching your location will let you know what is available to photograph. And the best time to capture it.

Preparing your gear and writing travel notes are also something you should do.

Read our article for all the 12 rules of travel photography.

A travel photographer taking an architectural photograph beside her boyfriend

How to Avoid These 15 Common Travel Photography Mistakes 

You can first ruin your travel photography but not planning it enough. Not having a shot list is a part of this mistake.

Also, make sure to have enough time for what you would like to reach. This is important when you would like to have blue hour shots of a certain place, and you are still far from there at sunset.

Don’t pack too much gear, and try not to be too shy. Telling stories with your images is always a great idea.

Follow our tips to avoid the most common mistakes!

A saturated image of a road and the desert behind it

Best Ways to Backup Your Photos While Travelling

Utilizing an external hard drive is the most important way to safely store your images once they are out of your camera.

Backing up in the field means that you need to find a solution to keep your images safe without a computer.

Having a system that will copy your images from your memory cards means not buying more of them.

Check our article above to find the best solution.

An external hard drive placed on a laptop.

Tips For Travelling Safely With Your Camera

Travelling safely with your camera leys you enjoy yourself and keep photographing.

Having an item or camera stolen can dent your experience and budget. Travel insurance is a smart investment to make.

By covering up your cameras’ brand and model, you can really deter thieves looking to take your gear. This is best done using black tape.

Use padded cases so that your camera and lenses are protected against all knocks they will encounter.

This is a great way to keep your lenses in and out of your bag for extra protection. You can also use them separately on a strap or belt.

A young travel photographer posing with her camera

Travel Safety Tips Every Photographer Should Know

Staying safe while travelling should be the most important priority of your photography.

This is how you ensure that you enjoy the place you’re in for the time that you are.

Start with taking your camera on board if you are flying. Also, respect local customs to avoid conflict. Knowing your surroundings and not leaving your gear unattended are the very basics of staying safe as a travel photographer.

Read our article here for the most important travel tips to keep you safe.

travel photgrapher in a black parka holding a DSLR watching people in a parade at a distance.

Tips for Better Vacation and Holiday Photography

You can, of course, be a travel photographer without fancy locations and a huge kit bag. It’s a well deserved holiday where you decide to capture a few shots.

Even then, your photography could use a few tips. Choosing the right spot to photograph first is the number one tip.

You might also find it a game-changer to wake up and shoot before the crowd gathers.

Try avoiding clichés and find a balance between portrait and landscapes. Include your family in your images, but also make sure to capture the local culture.

Sunset photography of Sydney opera House

Tips for Breathtaking Cityscape Photography

If you’re headed toward the city, then this article is for you. You’ll find great tips for short trips or extended stays.

Find the right location and check the forecast to check the available light. Take images from a distance and also zoom in to capture details.

Preparing your gear and thinking about your settings in advance are also essential here. Blue and golden hours might be the best time for these images. Experiment a lot, and go back if you are not satisfied and you have time. To dig deep, check out our tips on cityscape photography.

Cityscape image of New York City skyline of Midtown Manhattan from across the Hudson River.

Where To Find Travel Photography Inspiration

Best travel photography blogs to follow.

Travel photography blogs serve as great inspiration for us photographers out there.

You can get great tips and ideas by looking at other photographers’ images. Also, reading their stories and descriptions help you prepare for the shooting sessions.

You can find the best locations and events by reading quality blogs.

Take a look at the 16 best travel photography blogs to follow!

Happy photography blogger with laptop

Top 10 Travel Photography Destinations

You can go anywhere in the world and take photographs. And if you use a few basic compositional rules , you are halfway there.

Our article offers different places you should visit, from all around the globe. From Thailand to the USA and even to New Zealand, you can find popular photography destinations!

It’s always a good idea to get information before you start planning your travel.

 travel photography image of a landscape with mountains and a lake

The Most Iconic Places in the World to Photograph

There are some places in the world that everyone recognises. These are usually historical sites or buildings, but some of them are the wonders of nature.

If you visit these places, you must take photos of them. But try to be unique! Get creative, and bring a new perspective.

Take a look at our list and plan to visit one of them on your next trip. It can be the Eiffel Tower or Central Park, and you have great opportunities.

Travel photography image of a landscape in Iceland

The Best Architecture Photography Locations in the World

Some places are known for their architecture . You can find unique buildings everywhere, sometimes even stories that blow your mind.

While you are travelling, make sure to do a bit of research, and don’t miss any interesting spot!

For the ten best locations, read our article, then start packing!

Photography of details in architecture shot at close-up

The Most Beautiful Cities in Europe to Photograph

In Europe, there are so many diverse landscapes and architecture at such small distances.

The same can be said about nature. Without these venues, cities wouldn’t be the same. Natural landscapes also play a vital role in shaping the atmosphere.

Read our list, and if you have the chance, try visiting more of them during one trip!

A travel photography image of a Mediterranean village by the seaside

How to take Unique Photos of Famous Places

People travel from all around the world to see and photograph these delights. Because they are so famous, it’s hard to capture them in a unique way.

If you follow our 9 tips, you can get closer to this goal.

Start with doing research and plan what you would like to see in your images. Arriving early is a great idea to avoid the crowd. If the place is already crowded, you can even use this to show the atmosphere.

Image of Eiffel tower

Top 20 Places to Take Pictures in LA

There’s the old and classic Los Angeles. And, there are the newer, more happening spots that offer you brand new photo ideas.

Take a tour around LA with our list of the best 20 places!

 sunset through the palm trees, Los Angeles, California

The Best Places to Take Pictures in NYC

New York is an ever-changing city, with a rich history and cityscape.

Go through our 10 recommendations and imagine how you will photograph them in your own unique way.

You can include New Yorkers in your images as the crowd belongs to the atmosphere.

A travel photography image from NYC

Beautiful Pictures of Japan to Inspire Your Travel Photography

Japan has a lot of historical, cultural and natural wonders you can capture.

For some travel photographers, Japan sits on a pedestal because of it’s natural and built heritage. It is also full of interesting food and neon-lit streets.

Our 20 images of Japan give enough inspiration to book a flight to Japan!

The Best Photography Locations in Tokyo

The capital of Japan is an incredible place to photograph. Whatever style of photography  you enjoy, Tokyo will have you covered.

You should visit the most popular places and buildings. The architecture is amazing, and you can also find quirky settings like cosplay events.

A street photography image with neon hoardings shot in Tokyo at night

Guide To Photography Etiquette in Japan

Like anywhere else on the planet, Japan has a photography etiquette that should be followed when capturing images.

Some of them are common sense, such as asking for permission if photographing people up-close. Others are specific to locations. In Japan, some areas have banned selfie sticks, for example.

Read through our list to make sure you are doing everything you can to stick to these guidelines.

A street photo of a Japanese women wearing geisha attire

The Best Spots For Photography in London

London is a crowded place, and not only because of people. By walking on the streets, you bump into landmark buildings or parks on every corner.

Take a look at our list and make sure to include everything when you are planning your route.

A long exposure low light image of London with the Big Ben

The 10 Best Photography Locations in Paris

When someone says Paris, the Eiffel Tower appears in everyone’s mind. In reality, the opportunities for photography in the many arrondissements are endless. And Parisians light up every frame.

We collected 10 of the most famous ones. Make sure to visit them if you have the chance.

An long exposure image from Paris Arc de Triomph

Best Tips and Locations for Taking Great Pictures in Venice

Venice has a nostalgic and romantic atmosphere. Due to its unique location and breathtaking canals, everyone can immediately recognise photos taken here.

This article not only summarises the best locations, but it gives tips on when to visit them. A lot depends on the lighting. You can spice up the most basic images if you are there at the right time.

Gondolas with San Giorgio Maggiore church seen from San Marco in Venice

The Best Photography Spots in Rome

All roads lead to Rome; who can deny that? This city is full of history, culture, architecture, and food.

We collected our favourite photo spots and added some tips on how and when to photograph there. Plan your visit in advance to make sure you don’t miss anything!

A travel image of Colosseum in Rome

The Best Photography Spots in Barcelona

Barcelona is full of tourists due to its stunning sights. You can find famous, one of a kind buildings from Gaudí, beautiful parks and streets.

Our lA Barcelona-based photographer wrote our list of 10 photography spots you will find under-the-radar nooks only the locals know!

Picture of Guel park in Barcelona

The Best Amsterdam Photography Locations

Amsterdam is a compact, pedestrian-friendly, and cultural city. The streets themselves are worth photographing, but obviously, you can find famous venues.

Our list is going to guide you through Amsterdam and show you the places you must visit.

A beautiful cityscape image from Amsterdam

The Best Photography Spots in Budapest

Budapest is a photogenic city where you can bump into different subjects that worth capturing. From famous streets to buildings and thermal baths aplenty, there’s so much to photograph.

It has a beautiful river, the Danube, which allows you to take breathtaking images and offers many opportunities. Let us guide you, and see why you should visit this city.

A travel cityscape photo of Budapest at sunset

Best Spots for New Zealand Landscape Photography

New Zealand has beautiful places to visit. It’s like you were standing in a painting or in a scene out of a famous trilogy.

Follow our ideas to find the best spots, and take surreally beautiful images. You should include cities, lakes, waterfalls and the countryside in your collection.

View of the Tukituki river valley and Hawkes Bay from Te Mata Peak New Zealand

Best Iceland Photography Spots and Tips

Iceland is becoming more and more popular among tourists. It’s no wonder this place offers venues that are beyond comparison.

Get to know the locals, and travel to more isolated and secret places. Besides giving you useful advice, we collected the best spots you should visit!

An amazing landscape photography image from Iceland

Best Photography Spots in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of California’s most beautiful places. It’s full of ancient redwoods, so this is the perfect destination for wildlife photographers.

It’s hard to say which spot is the best, but we tried to collect 10 of them. Explore Yosemite and get beautiful memories printed and framed on your walls!

Casey Kiernan’s Iceland Photography Workshop Review

Casey Kiernan is an award-winning photographer and cinematographer. He is best known for his stunning time-lapse and images that can be seen all over the place.

In this review, we run through his Iceland Photography workshop. Unlike traditional photography workshops, this one took place with the use of campervans.

For all the ins and outs of why this workshop is highly recommended, read our review above.

A stunning aerial travel photography taken in Iceland

Creative Travel Photography Ideas

Tips for carnival photography.

From Brazil and Mexico to Venice and Thailand, street carnivals are a fiasco of colour and costumes.

Each one is slightly different in size, magnitude or duration. They also have different concepts.

Read our tips to arrive prepared. Practise taking what you need, scout the location, and try isolating your subject. These and our other ideas will hopefully help you a lot.

A travel street photography of the carnival at Venice

How to Take Great Travel Photos of Yourself

There will be times where you want to record yourself while travelling. Either for memories or social media proof.

What to do if you were on your own? How do you manage to capture yourself in a scene?

Luckily there are a few ways you can do this. You can ask other tourists or locals to take your picture. Another way would be to use a tripod and a 10-second delay.

For other tips and techniques, read our article here!

A self portrait image of a traveller in a forest

Creative Photography Composition Techniques to Improve Your Travel Photos

Compositional rules exist to help create interest in your images.

These can be layered for maximum effect, turning a somewhat dull image into something awe-inspiring. Using reflections is a great place to start.

These repetitive images are great for the viewer as they add depth and dimension to your subject.

A great travel photograph with reflections and composition of a village

Black and White Travel Photography: How to Make the Most of It

Shooting in black and white eliminates the distractions caused by colours. By using black and white, you look at your subject and scene in a different way.

Here, your focus is on the contrast of a scene. The textures and shapes are more prominent.

Read our article on why you should look at the city or nature in black and white.

A black and white photography of a road and the clouds

Street Photography: How to Take Pictures of Strangers

Photographing people on your travels adds story elements to a scene. It also adds a sense of scale to large or difficult to gauge subjects.

Having people in a scene can change the atmosphere of the scene easily. But for this, you need to prepare and learn how to stay invisible. Or how to communicate with your subjects.

Our article runs through how you can capture pictures of strangers.

travel photography image of fishermen from India

Documenting Places and People: What You Need to Know

As a travel photographer, you are documenting the people and places you visit. Each new location brings forth new moods, feelings, light, people and visual elements.

With most areas of photography, research is key. This lets you know what you can expect in each new area.

Knowing what to expect means you can change your camera and personal gear accordingly. This gets you one step ahead of other photographers.

Try telling stories, photograph strangers and spot the unique scenes.

 portrait of a sailor readying a boat

How to Crop Your Travel Photos for Better Results

Knowing a little about cropping can really help to boost your travel photography. What you leave in is just as important as what you leave out.

It’s better to concentrate on your subjects than missing great moments while you are trying to reach the best composition. You can crop the image later.

In our article above, we have summarised the basics of cropping and rotating your travel photos.

A travel still life photography of a camping mug and forest

How to Use an ND Filter to Remove People from Long Exposure Shots

An ND filter is an essential piece of equipment. It allows you to capture long exposure shots in the harshest sun.

Not only is it easy to assemble, but they are quick and easy to use. They can incorporate well into time-lapse projects too.

The biggest benefit is their ability to make people disappear. This can be especially helpful in very tourist-heavy locations and sites.

A long exposure street photography at night

Documentary Photography – Tips For Starting Out

If you are into travel photography, why not try a small documentary project? It could boost your creativity.

Documentary projects are typically long-term projects rather than one-time photo sessions. Photograph what you see. Visualise the atmosphere, the people and the locations around you.

You are going to learn about our world, and about your creativity too.

A travel documentary photograph of an Asian man at a street market

How to Photograph the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights attract a lot of tourists and travel photographers from all around the world.

However, they are not so easy to photograph. You have to be prepared, have a tripod and a proper camera for it.

Also, you have to be patient because they are not always visible and their intensity changes too.

Set your camera and take delight in this beautiful phenomena!

A travel photography image of a beautiful landscape at night with Northern lights

How to Take Stunning Panoramic Pictures

Panoramic images are a great way to show the landscapes you encounter. The advantage is that you are not restricted to one single perspective or view.

After capturing many images on a horizontal plane, they are then stitched together. Our article covers everything you need to know about stunning panoramic pictures.

A panoramic image of a beautiful landscape

Tips for Beautiful Beach Photography

On your travels, you are likely to come across beaches, strands, and banks. They are great areas to show sunsets, sunrises, and possibly, stories in your work.

Beach photography needs a little consideration to capture perfectly. Our list here will give you all the tips you’ll need.

After a little research, you will capture them with interesting compositions, perspectives, and exposures. Try avoiding crowds, but sometimes you can include people in your images. Details, golden hours, and silhouettes are also great ideas to capture.

A landscape photo of a seaside at sunset

Ethical Travel Photography

Travel photography ethics: when you shouldn’t take that picture.

A camera is a powerful tool. It’s a device you can use to record the world around you.

Sometimes you have to consider whether you should photograph someone or something or not. Poverty, self-promotion or stereotyping are controversial topics.

Ask permission first, to avoid questionable situations. Don’t invade anyone’s personal space.

An image of African kids near a dry river

Tipping for Photos: Should You Do It?

Tipping is the act of giving someone money in exchange for a photograph of them. Usually, it is a local person in the native environment who adds something to the image.

It makes the image possible. But you might find these locals will ask for something, usually money, to be in your image.

This is something that many travel photographs will face numerous times.

Documentary image of two smiling women

Find a Fixer: Using a Local to Improve Your Travel Photography

A fixer is basically a local person who can help with many tasks.

They speak the language, know the contacts and can show off the hidden highlights of a place.

They can be expensive, based on their experience and the lack of competition, but are incredibly useful.

A documentary image of smiling tribal woman from Africa

How to Start a Travel Photography Business

How to get paid for travel photography.

There is a lot of money in the travel industry, which means the demand for anything tourism-related is strong.

Of course, you have to make sure if travel photography is right for you. Make a website, a blog, be active on social media and have the proper gear.

Travel photography image of snowy mountains and road

Get Paid to Travel – 10 Hot Tips From Paid Travel Photographers

A travel photographer provides imagery for the global tourism industry.

This might be for magazines, newspapers, and books aimed at marketing, information or documenting cultures and events.

Being a professional travel photographer means making money from your images. There are multiple avenues to do this.

One way is to sell your prints. Be present on social media, sell your images on stock sites and enter competitions. And these are only a few of our tips!

An image of an old traveller taking a picture with film camera

How To Sell Your Travel Photography

Of course, you have to start with having great photos. Then you have a lot of options, like selling them on stock sites or as prints.

You can even sell the images directly to clients, not as stock photos. You can even sell your stories, accompanying your photos.

How do you promote yourself efficiently? Read our article above for smart tips.

A travel photograph of people reading books on a train

How to Post-Process Travel Images

How to optimise your travel photography editing workflow.

Travel photography can result in a lot of images. Sometimes it seems to be impossible to go through them.

You should back up everything and organise your images. One way to keep track of your photographs is to create a different Lightroom catalogue for each journey.

For other great workflow tips, read our article above.

A screenshot of Photoshop post processing of travel photographs

Post-Processing Tips for Better Travel Images

Travel photography can require post-processing. You should start by choosing the best editing software.

Then go through the different stages of editing, from cropping to sharpening, noise reduction and adjusting contrast, highlights and shadows. You can even remove unwanted elements.

For the 10 best post-processing tips, take a look at our article here.

Before-after image of a travel photo with and without editing.

Simple Lightroom Tips for a Better Travel Photography Workflow

Lightroom is a popular software for post-processing. It hosts a great library system for effective image storing.

After importing your images, you can make use of the built-in map. It makes it easier to find the shots you are looking for.

Lightroom presets are also going to make your workflow faster. And you can even use Lightroom on your smartphone, to edit images on the go.

Beautiful landscape image of a seaside and rocks.

Photo Editing Tips for Travel Photography

Photographing in RAW will make editing your images more efficient and you’ll have better quality.

In the editing stage, adjust the colour temperature, the exposure, and add a bit of contrast. Adjust whites and blacks as well. Cropping and strengthening are also important.

The last step can be the removal of unwanted elements.

Image of a lightning over the ocean on photo editor

Best Free Lightroom Presets to Use

Adobe Lightroom presets are a great way to edit your photographs fast. You upload them to your Lightroom preset folder, and then use them as you wish.

They adjust your image at the click of a button. Exposure values, shadows, and highlights are a few modifications that could change due to the preset.

Others are more extensive, changing the tone and colours of an image to have a certain atmosphere.

Here are a few free presets for you to work with to get more from your images. If you need some help installing these presets, read our article above.

A picture of a travel influencer showing his back at a national park.

We are confident that this article provides you with all the education you need to become a professional travel photographer!

As you can see, travel photography is a versatile genre. It needs planning, research, organising skills, patience and knowing the ethics. Be aware of your surroundings and capture everything, but also make sure to enjoy your travels!

It may start as a hobby but you can make a lucrative career out of it. So, keep travelling and clicking!

Want to reach the world with your stunning travel photographs? Get organised. Check our ebook Organic Marketing for Photographers for time-tested smart tips on building a website, SEO, lead generation, pricing, sales, etc.

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21 TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS (Easy Ways to Improve Today)

Alesha and Jarryd

  • Last Updated: February 8, 2024

Here are our best travel photography tips for beginners and intermediates, based on our experience of going from complete beginners to professional travel photographers, and now working in the industry for 8 years.

Picture this.

You finally book a trip to your ultimate bucket list destination.

Antarctica, Iceland, Namibia, Bali, seeing the Aurora Borealis – wherever it is, you’ve waited your whole life to finally visit.

Naturally you are going to want to capture the best travel photos possible of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure to share with your portrfriends and family members, on social media, and maybe even print on the wall at home.

Moments in time or a travel experience that you always want to cherish.

So you’ve splashed out on a new camera based on expert recommendations , and you’re keen to hit the road.

But here’s the problem – you don’t have the faintest idea how to get the same kinds of images you see in postcards or on the internet.

The kinds of travel photos that just pop, stand out from the rest, inspire you to book a flight immediately.

Luckily that’s where we come in.

We’ve been fortunate enough to work as professional travel photographers for almost a decade now, being paid to fly around the world, running photography workshops, take pictures for the tourism industry and tell stories.

And now we want to share our knowledge, secrets and insights from our travel photography journey with you so you can take better travel photos.

In this post you’ll find many of our favourite travel photography tips you need to know to come home with shots you will be proud to show off.

Today is the time to learn. Let’s begin.

Burana Tower Travel Photography Tips

Table of Contents

1) Know Your Camera

2) focus on the golden and blue hours, 3) plan your shots, 4) learn about composition, 5) framing, framing and more framing, 6) move your feet, make them feel comfortable, 8) use a tripod, 9) find the right travel photography gear, 10) be unique, 11) find your voice as a photographer, 13) aperture, 15) shutter speed, 17) bonus – general ideas for camera equipment settings, 18) use manual mode, 19) shoot in raw (if available), 20) learn about post processing, save this pin for later, general travel photography tips for beginners.

To start with let me talk about the general travel photography tips that I feel are not only the most important, but also the most difficult to master.

Developing an eye for photography takes time. Years in fact. It’s a never-ending learning process, but I promise you with practice you will get much better.

And once you start to get the skills for framing and composing a shot, the rest is easy.

Whether you shoot on a dSLR, mirrorless, smartphone or an old film unit, the first travel photography tip is to get to know your camera equipment.

Whatever you have in your camera bag , take the time to read the instructions, play around with all the buttons and camera settings, and spend hours with it in your hand so that it becomes a part of you.

Study the menu so that if you need to change camera settings in the field you’re not spending minutes scrolling through it when timing is critical.

Also don’t forget to learn your camera’s limitations.

Does it perform well in low-light or does the image fall apart? Is it sharp wide open, or do you need to stop down to get the best clarity? Does it have inbuilt image stabilisation?

Ultimately when you pick up your camera you want to feel comfortable and know exactly how it works. Then getting better pictures will come faster and easier.


Light is everything when it comes to travel photography images, and there’s a good chance you’ve already heard about the golden and blue hours.

The Golden Hour is that time when the sun is low in the sky and it throws a magical, warm glow across the scene.

Think the first hour after the sun peaks in the morning, and the last hour or two before the sun drops over the horizon in the afternoon.

The Blue Hour is when the sun is below the horizon and the sky gives off a beautiful blue hue.

If you really want better travel photos, one of the best travel photography tips we can give is to get used to waking up early and stay out late to make the most of these two times of day.

If you’re not a morning person, get used to setting an alarm. Many of the great travel photos of the Taj Mahal and other tourist sites with no one in them for example were taken by people who got there early.

Taking photos in the middle of the day can still result in great shots, but in general you’ll find the blue sky too blown out unless there are some interesting clouds, and on a sunny day you’ll find the lighting conditions can be a bit harsh.

Instead use the middle of the day to get street photography, or scout out photo locations and a vantage point for your sunrise and sunset photos to come back later.

Bonus Tip – Even if it looks like the sunrise or sunset might not be so beautiful, wait around. You never know when the clouds might break or the sky randomly lights up in brilliant colours.

Fitz Roy Sunrise

Before you arrive in your tourist destinations, spend a few hours planning out your shot list of images you want to photograph.

You can get inspiration from Instagram, Google Maps, travel guides, magazines and more.

Make a note of these pictures, and then plan your day around the optimum time to shoot (sunrise or sunset for example).

Doing this will help you nail the shots you want to go, and give you more purpose and direction.

You need to know that all of the best photographers use tools like Google Maps or social media to form a shot list, and you should get used to it too.

Travel Photography Tips

You’ve probably heard about how important it is to compose a shot properly, and I bet if you’ve ever read a photography manual you would have come across the ‘ rule of thirds ‘.

Good composition can be the difference between an average shot and award-winning travel photos.

There’s all kinds of ‘rules’ that theoretically make a photo look nicer, such as not putting your subject in the middle of the shot, don’t cut elements out of the frame, etc.

But right now let’s go a bit into the Rule of Thirds.

This concept is where you divide your image into 9 even squares (many cameras actually have this grid line feature built into their display options).

Then what you do is you place the subjects and points of interest such as a human element along those lines and squares.

Here’s an example of how this looks:

Khongor Sand Dunes Rule Of Thirds

The idea of the rule of thirds is that this is a mathematical idea of what our eyes naturally find pleasing. So it’s good practice to incorporate this method into your shots.

Another thing to look for is leading lines that naturally draw your eye around the photo, as well as different angles and shapes.

Have a river flowing from the side of the shot up to a waterfall on the top left for example, or the foreground bending around, leading the eye towards a church at the top of the photo.

This is a skill that you’ll learn with more practice.

An important thing to remember is that rules are meant to be broken .

Get used to analysing your shots with the rule of thirds, but please don’t use it as gospel if you think a different composition would work.

Adding a human element also brings a lot of interest to a good shot, so place people in your frame.

Street Art Leading Lines

When you look through the viewfinder or LCD screen, don’t just focus on the subject.

Make sure you run your eyes around the entire frame to make sure you’re not accidentally cutting off something important.

Double-check that the top of a mountain is fully inside the frame, or that your friend’s whole body is in the shot as an example.

This isn’t gospel, because sometimes having something cut off from the frame can be good for composition, but you’ll have to be the judge of that.

Also check to see if you can use something natural in the scene to create a frame inside your picture.

Think of looking out a window at a building, or a bent-over tree surrounding a pretty lake.

These can all help make better travel photos.

Framing Tips

This is one of the most important travel photography tips I can give – Move your feet.

Don’t just arrive to a scene and take a shot from the place you’re standing.

Instead take a few minutes to walk around and see if there is a better frame or composition.

Go closer, move back, step to the side, consider your lens’ focal length, etc.

Imagine trying to take that iconic Taj Mahal photo, only to find out later that you were 2m to the left of centre, throwing off that perfect symmetry.

Or maybe if you walk to the river’s edge you’ll be able to incorporate some interesting rocks into the scene instead of just water.

Better yet, take multiple travel photos and fill up those memory cards from the same photo locations so you have lots of options when you get home to see which is your favourite.

Angle Travel Photography Tips

7) Ask People for Permission

Travel photography isn’t all about capturing the most beautiful sunsets and gorgeous architecture around the world.

Travel photography is also about the people you meet. But if you’re a bit shy like me, how do you get those amazing portrait photos without feeling rude?

Simple – just ask for permission.

Asking someone for permission to take their photo is polite and respectful.

If you have had a great encounter with someone, or you just see a great opportunity and want to capture a wonderful portrait, give them a big smile and ask if it’s ok to take their photo.

You’ll find many people are more than happy to pose for a photo if you just ask (just make sure you respect them if they say no).

Silk Travel Photography Tips For Beginners

But what if you want to get a candid shot, with the subject looking natural?

There’s always another way to get these without annoying the person.

Don’t make it obvious that you are taking their photo. Act natural and take lots of photos of the environment around them.

You can also keep your camera down by your side and point the lens in their direction.

If you have a zoom lens, use it. This was you can be on the other side of the street or market and still photograph the person.

Interested in learning more? Join one of our exclusive photography workshops in Antarctica, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan or Mongolia !

Another one of my favourite travel photography tips for portraits is to bring in another element to the shot.

Some people will feel uncomfortable posing for a stranger, but if you can make it about something else they will feel much more at ease.

As an example, maybe ask if they can pose with something in their store like a rug, or ask them to show you their wedding ring.

This way they’ll realise there is more to your photo than just them. This will also add a lot more interesting elements to the shot!

Mongol Man Travel Photography Tips

A tripod is one of the best camera accessories you can have in your camera bag, and really essential for travel photography.

This will allow you to get excellent shots in low light, as well as get creative with your images (like taking long exposures).

These days you don’t always need a massive tripod to travel around with, especially if you want to travel light and are a hobbyist photographer. Look at some of the Joby Gorillapods .

Another good thing about using a tripod is that it will force you to slow down with your photography and put more thought into each shot.

Rather than just pointing and shooting, you will think carefully about where you want to set up your tripod and how you want to compose your shot.

Honestly if you want to become a better travel photographer, you’ll need to invest in at least a small tripod.

Use A Tripod Travel Photography Tips For Beginners

You don’t need to go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on new travel photography gear to get the best shots.

In fact chances are you already have a perfectly adequate camera right next to you (your phone).

Instead just get what you an afford, and as you grow with your photography style, post production, etc, you’ll learn what camera gear you need as well.

Things like filters, tripods, flashes, prime lenses, zoom lenses, etc will come in time.

For now, all you really need is a camera, memory card and enthusiasm!

Check out our recommendations for the best travel tripods .

There’s nothing wrong with getting those iconic shots of the Eiffel Tower or Machu Picchu to share on social media.

They’re beautiful and are often amazing camera angles of famous places that everyone wants to visit.

But don’t forget to be unique as well! Find a different perspective that hasn’t been photographed a million times.

In fact make it your goal to get a few unique shots that you can be proud of.

Over-expose, under-expose, incorporate motion blue – the only limitation is your imagination!

Be Unique Travel Photography Tips

Just like a writer or musician finds a particular style they like, as a photographer you need to discover your ‘voice’.

Travel photography is such a broad term that can cover just about anything.

Really just taking any travel photos will fit the description, whether it is landscape photography, wildlife photography, architecture, portraits, food or whatever.

Just find a style you love most, and focus on getting better at it.

If you really like black and white photography, then start shooting in black and white! Love taking images of crazy street markets? Then get out there and find them!

Experiment, learn, discover and nurture!

Find Your Voice Travel Photography Tips For Beginners

Technical Travel Photography Tips

While the technical side of using a camera is usually the most overwhelming thing for a new photographer to think about, it’s actually one of the easiest things to master. All it takes is a bit of study and practice.

If you’ve never looked into getting out of ‘Auto mode’ on your camera, then terms like ISO, aperture, white balance and shutter speed will seem completely foreign.

READ MORE: Check out our great article and blog posts featuring our best landscape photography tips !

12) Exposure Triangle of Photography

The Exposure Triangle is a metaphor to explain the 3 elements that allow light onto a sensor.

A camera captures light, and the right amount is needed so that your image isn’t too bright or too dark.

The 3 parts of the Exposure Triangle are aperture, ISO and shutter.

Each one affects how light reaches the sensor in different ways, and getting this combination right is essential to capturing a beautiful image.

Exposure Triangle Travel Photography Tips

If you want more information, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to understanding the exposure triangle which you should really check out.

For now though I’ll explain these three things briefly, and how they relate to taking better travel photographs.

Aperture is how wide, or small, the blades in your lens are and how much light goes through the lens.

The aperture size is measured in ‘F Stops’, and displayed as numbers. f5.6, f8, f11, f16, etc

A wide aperture (small number – f1.8) lets in more light than a low aperture (big number – f22).

A wide aperture also has a shallowed depth of field than a low aperture. I know it can be a little confusing, but you’ll pick it up the more you play around with it.

If you want the background blurry in your photo, you’ll want a wide aperture. If you want everything in focus, you’ll want a low aperture.

Aperture Travel Photography Tips

ISO is how sensitive your camera sensor is to light. A small number, such as 100, means it’s not very sensitive and therefore needs more light to leave an impression.

A high number, like 6400, means it’s very sensitive and needs only a little bit of light to show up on the sensor.

The higher the ISO, the more noise shows up in a photo. Noise lowers the quality of your image, so in a perfect world you’ll want to keep this as low as possible (unless you’re going to stay out late doing astro and night photography ).

It’s also necessary to raise your ISO if you’re shooting moving subjects (or handheld) indoors.

Milky Way Antarctica Iso Travel Photography Tips

Shutter speed is pretty straight forward – how long it takes for your shutter to open and close. This allows you to freeze a frame, or introduce motion blur.

Want to capture a bird in flight? You’ll want to have a fast shutter (1/4000th of a second for example).

Want to make a waterfall look silky smooth, like you see in so much Iceland photography? Go for slow shutter speeds (3 seconds for example), and check out our guide to waterfall photography tips while you’re at it!

Keep in mind that if you are holding your camera equipment rather than using a tripod, you’ll need to have a fast enough shutter to eliminate your own hand movement.

As a general rule 1/60 of a second is the slowest you should go so your picture doesn’t pick up hand movement. Any slower than that and you’ll probably need a tripod.

Whales Travel Photography Tips

16) Combining All Three for Perfect Exposure

There is no ‘perfect setting’ for aperture, ISO and shutter. It all depends on what you are trying to photograph and the style you’re going for.

Luckily most decent digital cameras have two little tools that will let you play around figure out how all three work together – manual mode and histograms.

Manual gives you complete control over your camera’s ISO, aperture and shutter.

If you change one, nothing else will change, unlike in ‘aperture priority’ mode or ‘shutter priority’ mode.

The histogram is a visual display of light. When the bars are all the way to the left, the image is darker. When they are all the way to the right, the image is lighter.

When most of the bars are in the centre, this is perfectly exposed.


The best way to figure out what combinations work best when you’re a complete amateur is to put your camera on “manual” mode, activate the histogram, and play around with the settings.

Pick an aperture (f/8 for example) and point it at the scene. Now look at the histogram.

If the image is too dark, then you’ll need to let more light in. Let’s make the speed slower. See a change?

Now put the shutter back to where it was and instead change the ISO. Make the ISO higher. Is the image getting lighter?

Spend an hour or two playing around with different apertures, ISO and shutter so you get an idea of how each one affects the light hitting the display.

Take note at how drastically things can change if a cloud goes in front of the sun, or you take the camera inside.

This just comes with practice of course, and knowing what settings you want for a particular scene will become second nature

Keep in mind that not all travel photos needs to be perfectly exposed. Sometimes having a darker image looks much better than having one that is nice and bright. You can use your judgement for this.

Low Exposure Travel Photography Tips For Beginners

This is very, very basic and by no means should be read as gospel. There are a million different things that can affect why you would want a faster shutter, or wider aperture. But if you are confused about what to pick for what here’s a quick idea.

  • Landscapes – You’ll want your aperture around f8-f11. You’ll also want your ISO as low as possible. Slow down the shutter accordingly.
  • Portraits – You’ll probably want to photograph your subject to be sharp, but the background blurry to bring focus on the person. Have a wider aperture (say f2.8 for example), and a faster shutter (around 1/160 at the absolute slowest) to freeze the subject. Adjust ISO accordingly.
  • Indoors – Because it is darker inside than outside, you’ll need to let a lot more light into the sensor. Unless you’re using a tripod, keep the speed at around 1/60 as the slowest, and the aperture around f5.6 to start with. Adjust ISO and aperture accordingly.

Of course there’s a bunch of other styles of travel photography that would use different settings, such as astrophotography, architecture, street scenes photography, wildlife photography, etc.

In time you’ll learn what settings work best for each scene.

The best way to get to know your camera and how light works is to have complete control over what settings you choose.

The only way to do this is to shoot in manual mode (shown by the letter M on most cameras).

It will take months of practice, but I promise you that in time you’ll be able to look at a scene and instantly know what aperture, ISO and shutter to use to get the exact style of image you’re looking for.

You can also use aperture priority mode (the letter A on your camera) if you don’t want to make the big leap to manual just yet.

This way you can lock in the aperture you want (f8 for landscape photography, f2.8 for portraits, etc) and the camera will automatically adjust the ISO (although you can control this part too) and shutter to get perfect exposure.

I highly recommend focusing on learning manual settings though until you have it perfected.

Manual Travel Photography Tips For Beginners

When you take a photo on your digital camera, the computer chip inside it takes what you captured on the sensor and converts it into a format that can be easily read. For most cameras, these two formats are RAW and JPEG.

JPEG is a compressed format that the camera creates to save on space. In doing so it ‘locks in’ all the data that it picked up such as the colour and white balance.

RAW files actually saves all the data of what you took and doesn’t compress it.

Most decent digital cameras will give you the menu option of shooting in RAW, and I recommend you use it if you ever plan on editing your photos.

Keep in mind that the file sizes will be a lot bigger (for example on one of our cameras a RAW is 42, while a JPEG is just 20), so you’ll need to have extra memory cards and external hard drive storage.

If you have no plans on editing your photos then shoot in JPEG.

Raw Travel Photography Tips

Some people think that editing your photo is ‘cheating’. But the truth is photographers have been editing their photos ever since photography was invented.

Yes, even your favourite photos in National Geographic have been manipulated in some way.

99% of photos you see in your favourite travel magazines have been edited. Every professional photographer edits their photos to some degree.

The reason is that not all cameras are great at capturing exactly what the eye saw in terms of colour and light.

If you really want to get the most out of your professional travel photography business, you should start playing around with post processing.

Many people have heard of Adobe Photoshop , but it’s a pretty advanced tool that most people wouldn’t ever need to use (until you get more experience).

To start with look at the free apps that you can get on your phone, such as Snapseed, or free editing programs on your computer, like iPhoto or GIMP.

Once you get serious about travel photography and you want to start editing all of your photos that are filling up your memory cards and external hard drive, we recommend purchasing Adobe Lightroom.

If you’re ready to make the jump to using Lightroom and Photoshop, Adobe have a great ‘Creative Cloud’ package, which is what we use for only $10 a month. You can buy it here with a 7-day free trial

Before Editing Travel Photography Tips For Beginners

21) Practice, Practice, Practice

Just like anything, becoming a great travel photographer takes time, and a lot of practice. The only way you can get better is by getting out there taking travel photos!

You don’t even have to travel the world to tourist destinations or have the most travel camera available to be a great photographer.

Borrow some family members to take their portraits, get a friend who is also interested in photography and push each other, or grab your smartphone and go shoot sunset.

Buy whatever you can afford, go for a walk around your city and snap away.

We hope that this general guide on travel photography tips for beginners has been helpful.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other questions. We have a lot of experience working with tourism boards, and would be happy to help you too.

Good luck on your photographic journey, and maybe we’ll see you in National Geographic one day!

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hi, We’re Alesha and Jarryd!

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Astrophotography settings – tips and secrets for epic shots, the best camera accessories to level up your photography, halong bay – images from a wonder of the world, a photo journey along the silk road, 73 thoughts on “21 travel photography tips (easy ways to improve today)”.

I indeed agree in Know your camera and Plan your shots. These tips would make a good start in achieving your socmed worthy travel shots. And ofcourse, the other tips will surely be useful too. Great post!

Good article but I need to say something about using Manual – it’s not that great. Manual is just a different mode of settings for exposure, little different from either shutter or aperture priority, except these two give you a leg up, to where you’re going anyway. At the end of the day whatever exposure setting you choose will be just a combination of the 3 on the ‘exposure triangle’. Instead of using manual try these other two in conjunction with exposure compensation, which overrides the exposure meter reading. You still need the meter for any exposure anyway, just not necessarily using the value it recommends. It amounts to the same thing, only easier, quicker, and still constraining one of the triangle sides that you want. I use manual for specific unusual objects, such as sun, moon, stars, but during general daytime subjects it’ll be very unusual to hamper yourself by not using the aid provided when there is no advantage.

Your blog has become my go-to source for insightful content.

Thank you so much. So glad to hear. 🙂

Before you go, research your destination and its culture. This will help you better understand the people, customs, and landscapes you’ll be photographing.

I benefited a lot from your post. Thank you

So glad you did. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

Thanks for sharing all this amazing tips & information. Fabulous post !

You are welcome. We are happy to help. Happy photographing

nice summary of basic photo tips that will improve my shots, thanx!

You are rocking..keep it up your work

Thank you so much. We really appreciate it.

Great article with great tips and i also like the pictures

Thank you so much Alesha and Jarryd for these amazing photography tips! I look forward to putting into practice some of your wonderful ideas and tips! I do so appreciate any tips that I can get to improve my photography. :)) Cheers, Marilyn

I absolutely loved this article! Like you I received my first ‘proper’ camera at 14 and since then have been hooked. I recently purchased a Nikon D750 and am absolutely loving it. Although at the moment I only have two lenses for it I am hoping to be able to afford more soon. What are your favourite lenses?

In my photography I love capturing candid portraits of people I encounter during my travels. I always struggle with the dilemma of getting the perfect candid shot and feeling compelled to ask permission before taking the shot. As a very shy person directing people in images is daunting, but it is something I am striving to work on. It’s nice to read that you are also shy yet manage to capture such incredible images of people.

As I am mostly self-taught, I always love to read technical tips to improve my images. I found the technical side of your post incredibly helpful and wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed post. I believe it really helps and inspires amateur photographers like myself.

Glad you liked the article. Thank you for your comment. Keep photographying Caitlyn 🙂

Great tips and awesome photos! I always tell people if they aren’t comfortable with their settings, the #1 way to make sure their images aren’t blurry is to shoot in TV/S (shutter) priority. That way you can prioritize having no hand shake.

Thank you so much. Great advice. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

Awesome tips for everyone and specially to me who loves capturing photos everytime i travel.This one also help me and give me more knowledge on how to make awesome photos and its good because you don’t need to buy expensive camera to have a good quality photos, just your iPhone or smartphone you can make a great photos.

Hi, you are so right. You can take great photos with your phone. Glad the article could help you.

Great article! Do you even bother carrying your camera with you during the day in broad sunlight? I find it’s not worth the hassle for such poor shooting conditions.

Hi Scott, It all depends what we are doing. If we are on a job, we always carry our cameras with us. The midday sun is harsh but you get used to working with it. Especially indoors with the sun coming through the cracks, it can work out really lovely sometimes. When we are travelling on our own time, we don’t usually carry the camera. Happy travels

I really enjoyed reading this post, as I am a beginner in photography as well and it’s always interesting to see what gear other people are using!

I have the Canon Rebel as well, and also love the 50mm lens. It’s just great and is so versatile!

Thanks for sharing.

Glad we could help. Thank you for your comment. Happy photographing,

Great tips guys! Photography is an art so it must be learned properly. A good guide can teach art in a great way. This article is similar to a guide because it is an eye-opener for blooming photographers and travel lovers.

Thank you so much!

Thank you for your comment Glorias. Glad the article could help.

Hello Alesha and Jarryd, not sure to whom I adresse the message to, but I’m guessing Jarryd took the pictures and Alesha wrote about it :p

Anyway, do you guys use any customized Firmware on your DSLR? like the CHDK or Magic Lantern. That’s one question, the other one will be: can’t find any Mobile Phone photography on your blog? can you please refer me to any article that provide valuable info around Mobile phone photography?

Hi Ayoub, The photos and words in the article are a combination of both of us. Usually Alesha is the photographer and Jarryd is the writer.

We use use no customise firmware at all. We haven’t ventured this way as it voids our warranty.

As for phone photography, maybe this is an article we should write. With our phone photos, we do use Snapseed to edit them. But do not take any photos through any apps. All the best

Thank you for the tip regarding phone photography, I mostly use the customized firmware to do timelaps and edit directly on the camera, keep me posted after publishing the new article. (Already subscribed to the weekly newsletter)

Definitely will do. Thank you so much. Happy photographing. 🙂

you are doing a great job

Thank you so much. 🙂

This was really an amazing list of tips, I am a hobbyist photographer and this would really helps me a lot

Glad we could help. Keep up the photographing. 🙂

Great tips Alesha and Jarred. I really liked your golden and blue hours tip. Will try it soon and hope get amazing pics 🙂

Glad we could help. Practise will get you on the right track and before you know it you will be taking amazing shots. We are still learning about photography everyday. We love that you can never stop learning. Thanks Linda.

Some of the best tips I have read so far. Amazing post and captures so much detail. Worth the read for every travel photographer. 🙂 Keep it up.

Thank you so much,. We really appreciate it. 🙂

Priceless tips for amateurs like me. Thanks for sharing. For a long while, I’ve tried to follow the rule of thirds, but the best shots came out when I finally dared to break it. You’re absolutely right about the rules are meant to be broken. Regarding the camera, I agree it doesn’t have to be the most expensive. But sometimes I have a feeling my shots would have been better had I owned a proper camera. What device is the best balance between price and quality?

HI Robin, you’re welcome. We are so happy we could help. Sometimes breaking the rules works out to be better. 🙂 We definitely know what you mean. You do not need to buy the most experience camera. A camera that you can use manual settings, is great as you can start using and playing with aperture, shutter speed and ISO. We started off with a Sony RX100ii and it was great. Compact and a great camera to learn. Here is some articles that may help. https://www.nomadasaurus.com/best-camera-for-travel-ultimate-photography-series/ https://www.nomadasaurus.com/best-camera-accessories-ultimate-photography-series/

Thanks a lot for the great advise! I especially like your explanations about the exposure triangle. I was a bit aware of it before, but never played around with it unless I wanted to change the depth of field (and even then, I did this very rarely). But thanks to focusing more on it, I am starting to get the hang of it. I have taken some very good hummingbird pictures, for example, which never would have been possible if I hadn’t raised the ISO so I can keep the shutter speed fast. Those birds zip around like crazy!

Also, I think one of the most important pieces of advise, and the one I’m struggling with most, is to always look at the whole frame. I am guilty of looking at the main subject and later finding out that I cut off important things on the side or that something weird is in the photo that shouldn’t have been there.

Hi Ilona, so happy the article could help you. That’s amazing you experiment with your hummingbird shots. They are fast birds. By practising photography, you will get better and better. No matter how experienced you are, there are always things to learn. When you come to a scene you want to photograph, stop for a minute look around, walk around and think about what shots you want to take. Obviously this is hard when the subject is moving but great for landscape and street photography. All the best and keep up the awesome work. 🙂

Hi, I took around 500 shots on a trip to Kyrgyzstan recently, some I think are pretty good, but now after reading your tips, I think I will make another trip to that part of the world again soon!

what a great tips especially the lighting part – i also agree that getting up earlier and shooting in the natural sunlight is so great for your photos. talking to the locals and knowing your camera, You guys covered it all

Thank you so much for reading Shama. Glad you liked our article. Natural lighting is the best. Even though sometimes that early morning is hard it is worth it. 🙂

u are absolutely right u don’t need an expensive camera or go to Bali ( although it’s a good idea) to get great photos. it’s just simple common sense and a good eye and you can master photography

Well said. Thank you for your comment and reading Shama. Have a great week.

Thanks a lot for the helpful tips on holiday photos. My partner and I are in Easter Island, irresistible place for photo opportunity. My Nikon D7000 will keep on taking photos on auto mode for the time being until I have had enough practice following your guidelines and the who knows what photos I might produce! Thanks.

Glad we could help Balu. Definitely when you have time, go out and take some photos on manual. Play with the different settings. Before you know it, you’ll only be on manual. At the beginning when I was still learning, I would take a shot on the manual settings I thought and then a shot of the same view on auto in case I messed up. Better safe than sorry. Have a great time in Easter Island. There is so much to do there and learning about the history is amazing. Take care. Alesha

Guys your advice are completely helped me. I was stressed before, i want to travelling at the moment but i hope i can take a good picture cause you know how annoying it will be when we take a picture and then when we are home they are completely bad. So then you have to comeback at the same place again just to take a picture. But this one is helpfull

Hi Fabio, Don’t stress. You are going to bring back amazing photos from your travels. It is all overwhelming at the beginning but it gets easy. When you are shooting, put some time aside and concentrate on what you have learned. It doesn’t matter if it takes you 20 minutes to an hour to get your shot. If their are other photographers around, most of the time that are happy to give you some advice. Let them know you are new. Maybe they will let you know their settings for ISO, aperture and shutter. When it comes to editing, take your time as well. There are many You Tube videos that can help you for free. Have a great time on your trip. Happy travels

Hey Guys, very useful tips especially the Bonus tips.

Keep Sharing!!!

Glad we could help. Thanks for reading.

P(Program) you set either the aperture or shutter and the camera adjusts the other one accordingly to maintain the right exposure. Thanks

Thanks Rezan

I love traveling around the world. I wish to capture some of the beautiful places that I enjoyed. The above tips helped me to improve my travel photography skills. It also helped me to click some of the memorable moments of my travel with my friends and relatives.

Hi Vivek, Glad we could help. It is all about practise. We love having a day to ourselves and just getting out and shooting anything – landscape, cityscape, people or animals. We try to give ourselves a challenge sometimes. It makes it interesting and we are enjoying ourselves. 🙂

Great tips to help out beginners like me. I need to work on to ask people for permission as I get shy sometimes. I love the quote “rules are meant to be broken”!

Thank you Mao. Don’t worry, “asking” will come. Alesha was so shy and I used to take all the people shots. Now she is more confident and really enjoys shooting people. All the best.

THANK YOU . Your very easy to read starter guide to photography was AMAZEBALLS I learnt so much .cheers LIZY

Thank you. Glad we could help. Happy shooting and get creative. 🙂

Hey guys, this is an amazing guide, thanks for writing this up in such detail. As an amateur, I always look for good travel photography tips from other travellers. I left my tripod behind in Thailand and I think this was a huge mistake, I need to get a new one, urgently 🙂

By the way, really enjoy your photos on your blog and Instagram, they are amazing! 🙂

Glad we could help guys. We never used to use a tripod in our early years until we discovered how amazing the shots can be with one in low light and now we have 3. You can rest your camera on something to get a shot but you are limited to positions. Thanks for reading guys. 🙂

thanks for the tips. i’d make one edit: instead of ‘move your feet’ i’d say “don’t be lazy”…move left or right. move forward or back. climb up on something or get down on your knees.

Love it Aaron. You are so right. A little to the left might be the perfect shot or a little to the right and crouching might be the perfect shot. thanks for the input. Have a good one.

I love this post. It is incredibly helpful to all beginner travel photographers like myself! I have only been shooting in manual mode for the past 5 months and have already seen a huge increase in the quality of my photos! But I am always looking to improve. Will definitely be sharing your post

It is crazy how you improve when you start shooting manual. I know Alesha did also. You learn so much about the camera and what it can do, it is incredible. Thank you for reading and all the best with your photography Hayley. 🙂

this guide is amazing, thank you so much for explaining everything in a way an amateur can understand 🙂

Bookmarking the post for future reference!

Cheers, Naddya

Thank you guys. We are glad it is useful for you. 🙂

Wow! Amazing Tips. These tips will help a lot to click great pictures with your camera. Love the point of Shutter Speed. and about RAW.

Thanks for Sharing Helpful Post.

Thank you so much Nitin. Glad we can help. Thank you for reading.

Yeah I agree with you buddy.

Thank you 🙂

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Full Suitcase Travel Blog

21 EASY Travel Photography Tips (Make Better Pictures with Little Effort)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: December 8, 2022

21 EASY Travel Photography Tips (Make Better Pictures with Little Effort)

Are you looking for simple travel photography tips to help you take better pictures? You came to the right place! In this guide, we share some easy, actionable tips and tricks that will help to improve your travel photos with very little effort. No photography course or fancy equipment needed – find out!

Travel photography has become an essential part of any trip and any vacation. We all want to capture those special moments of our travels, keep them for later, and share them with our family and friends…

But how often do you find yourself in a situation where you feel that your travel pictures just don’t do justice to all the amazing things you saw and experienced?

With ever-improving technology, it’s now easier to take good travel photos without much effort than ever before. However, by preparing well and applying a few simple tricks, you can easily transform your travel photography from good to great! And no, you don’t need a professional camera or any special knowledge for that.

So if you looking for travel photography tips to improve your vacation pictures, this guide should help you do just that. In this article, we share some simple photography tips, but also some important travel tricks.

These tips will not only take your travel photography to the next level but will also help you have a more unique travel experience. Find out!

Travel photography tips for beginners

How this article is structured. First, you’ll find general tips for travel photography, followed by simple photography tips that will help you take better pictures without much effort. Further, you’ll find some useful practical tips and things to consider when preparing for your trip (with photography in mind).

Take a look!

These are our best travel photography tips:

1. Get to Know Your Camera

First, let me make one thing clear. You do not necessarily need expensive camera gear in order to take really nice pictures. Smartphones and entry-level point-and-shoot digital cameras like this one offer excellent quality. Quality that’s more than good enough for a family album, social media stories, or a print to hang on the wall.

However, no matter what kind of camera or smartphone you use for travel photography, it’s always useful to take some time and familiarize yourself with it. After all, you don’t want to miss some unique photo opportunities because of the time it takes you to set up your camera.

Each device has somewhat different settings and a big range of possibilities. Even if you use just a few of those settings once in a while, you’ll improve your photography skills and get better pictures.

Here you can find our hand-picked selection of some really good cameras for travel for all budgets sold on Amazon .

Travel picture of African elephants at sunset in Etosha National Park in Namibia

2. Do Some Research for Trip-Specific Photography Tips

Now that I told you that you don’t need any special gear, I also have to add that some types of travel photography might indeed require some special equipment or knowledge.

For example, if you are visiting Nordic countries in winter, you’ll probably want to learn the basics of the Northern Lights photography . You may want to research if there are any special aurora photography apps for your phone. However – if you want some decent pictures – you’ll definitely need a good tripod and a somewhat better camera with manual settings for this type of travel photography.

This is also the case for a trip where you are planning to take pictures of wildlife. Often, your smartphone and cheaper cameras will just not be sufficient for really good pictures. So if you are planning a safari in Africa, you may want to research what kind of cameras and lenses you need for wildlife photography .

Picture of northern lights

3. Experiment with Camera Settings

Don’t be afraid to exit the ‘auto’ mode of your camera and experiment with the settings. Even something as simple as switching off or forcing the flash, can make a huge difference already.

If you are using a smartphone, you probably just use the standard photo and video settings. But if you look a bit deeper, you’ll see that there are other options as well.

Most smartphones also have panorama mode (great for wide panoramas in the mountains or cityscapes), selective focus mode (nice for portraits), or even one for food or night photography. Usually, there’s also a ‘pro’ mode where you can play with different white balance settings, etc.

If you have a DSLR camera , you may want to learn just a little bit about white balance, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Change the white balance and your pictures taken on a grey rainy day will become warmer. Change the shutter speed and you have a silky waterfall. Change the ISO sensitivity and you’ll be able to take pictures in low light without the flash…

Travel picture of a waterfall photographed at slower shutter speed

4. Look for Different Angles

Standing in front of a landmark you visit, you suddenly realize everyone around you is holding cameras and smartphones, taking the exact same pictures… Sounds familiar?

Do you want your travel pictures to be different? It’s easier than you think! All you have to do is simply use your legs. 

Sit down, kneel down, even lie down if necessary. Or try to climb somewhat higher. Get closer to your subject or move further away. Go left, go right, go behind… You get the picture. Literally – you get a better, more unique picture just by changing the angle.

Photography tips - Sagrada Familia picture from a unique angle

5. Try Different Compositions

One of the easiest ways to improve your photography skills is by learning how to make a good composition. Sometimes by simply recomposing your shot just a bit differently, you get a picture that tells a more powerful story.

Most people take pictures with the subject right in the middle. And while sometimes it can result in a beautiful shot, more often you get an ordinary image. Often, you can really bring your pictures to life by simply moving your subject away from the center.

You may have heard of the famous  rule of thirds . Divide your picture frame into 3 imaginary lines and 3 columns and place the subject at the intersection of those lines. Take a look at the sleeping koala picture to see what I mean.

Travel photography tips - rule of thirds example

Shooting landscapes? Put your horizon at either top or bottom third of the photo. Also, use natural lines, such as a forest path or a twist in the road to help guide the viewer through your photograph.

Taking pictures of people or animals? Try to also place your subject in such a way that they are looking towards your picture and not away from it.

Travel photography tips - rule of thirds and natural lines in the landscape

6. Explore Deeper

Some of the best travel pictures are not those that are taken right in front of famous landmarks. For more authentic travel photography, try to get just a bit off the beaten path.

If you are walking around the city, don’t stick to a plan or try to follow the map exactly. If you see an interesting side street or an alley, turn in and check it out. If you are road-tripping and stumble upon some interesting roadside attractions or local events, stop and check it out…

Also, ask locals or other tourists for some cool spots and hidden gems. You’ll be surprised at how many incredible locations are not mentioned in any travel guides. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and ask for some tips.

We have had some amazing travel experiences just because we talked to people. And even if it doesn’t always lead to the best photo spots, you might find delicious local food, quirky shops, or some interesting street art.

Photo of Saint Dunstan in the East, a hidden gem of London

7. Include People or Objects

Another easy way to improve your travel photography is by including people or objects in your pictures. Not only do you get better and more unique photos, but they also tell a story.

Look around for  something or someone you can include in your picture to give it a different feeling or perspective .

Think of people (locals, kids, really old people – don’t forget to ask for permission!), animals, flowers, tree branches, road signs… For a more personal perspective, try including your own arms or legs, etc.

Even just including a few wildflowers in your composition can make your landscape pictures stand out. You can also frame your images using tree branches and leaves. You can show the size of a building or a tree by including people or cars in that same image.

There are so many ways to be creative; often you only have to look around with different eyes!

Photography tips - include people to show the size of something

8. Look for Colors

When traveling, always  keep an eye out for bold, vivid colors . Pictures with strong colors are often more powerful and bring the place back to life in your photos.

It can be anything from colorful buildings (focus on details like walls, doors), to cars, buses, bikes, or scooters. But also local markets and traditional clothing often give you a chance to take some unique colorful travel pictures.

TIP: If you are traveling to a place that isn’t really known for being colorful, wear some bright clothing yourself. A bright jacket can make all your gloomy vacation pictures so much more special.

Travel photography tips - use bright colors in the landscape

9. Look for Details

For more interesting travel pictures, try to look for some interesting details everywhere you travel. It can be something local, something unique to that place, or maybe a special detail in the architecture of a building.

Also, get close, really close to your subject. Very often, details tell a stronger story than the whole!

Sometimes you get frustrated because you can’t fit the whole building into a picture. Or you are at a colorful lively market, but your pictures don’t portray any of that special atmosphere… Remember that often less is more and concentrate on a few details rather than trying to capture everything.

Travel pictures - close-up of traditional pancakes being baked at a local market in Tyrol Austria

10. Have Your Camera Ready

Some of our best travel pictures are often taken unexpectedly, without any planning. It’s especially so with trips that involve wildlife . You just never know when you’ll get to see animals or what they’ll do, so you should always have your camera at hand and ready to take a picture.

Of course, pictures that you take unexpectedly will often not be perfect in composition, or maybe even a bit blurry. You can often solve it with some post-editing afterwards. But at least you got the shot!

Another example of the importance of having your camera ready is when you’re taking a picture of something that you only do once and it moves fast (like in our picture on the fun zip-line experience in Switzerland – see below). You have to be ready to take a picture and it helps if you put your camera in continuous shooting mode. That way, you can take lots of pictures in just a few seconds, and afterwards keep the best ones.

Bison on the road in Yellowstone National Park in the USA

11. Do Something Fun

It’s impossible to get spontaneous pictures of the whole family if you don’t have a photographer following you around the whole day. So if you want to take some fun vacation pictures, the best way to go about it is to actually do something fun.

If you are taking pictures of your kids or your travel companions, simply ask them to do something and actually pose for a picture.

We all want candid shots, but they hardly ever happen, especially when you want to get several people in the same picture. But if you make an effort, you can easily take some really nice vacation pictures of you and your family.

Fun travel pictures - vacation in the snow

12. Be Patient & Take Your Time

Travel photography is what you make of it. You can just take a picture and move on, but for the best pictures, you need to take your time and be patient.

Often, you don’t have much time when we travel, and you find yourself running from one place to the other. But even if you slow down just a little bit, even if you wait just a few moments, you might be able to take a much better picture.

It might mean waiting for the perfect light or for another person to move away from your composition, but it usually pays off.

Photo of the Tulip Stairs in London

13. Just Take That Picture!

Sometimes, you see a beautiful place, but you have no time to stop for a picture, or the light is not perfect, or the weather isn’t ideal, or there are too many clouds… So you swear to do it later or on your way back.

But then the weather changes for even worse, the mist comes up, or something else happens, and you never get a second chance.

This happened several times to us. So now we always take a picture when we see an interesting opportunity. Even if it’s not perfect, at least you got the shot. And if you do come back and the conditions are better indeed, you can always take another picture.

And sometimes, you get some really interesting pictures that way.

Beautiful travel pictures - scenery near Olpererhutte in Austria

14. Travel Light

It’s always so tempting to pack the perfect camera or lens for all the possible situations you might encounter on your trip. But that also means that you’re always carrying so much unnecessary gear. Not only is it expensive to buy and heavy to carry around, but it also limits your flexibility. Not even to mention that expensive camera gear can put you at risk in certain places you visit.

Often, having more photography gear to deal with might actually lead to you missing the best photo opportunities. You may find that you are constantly switching lenses trying to get that perfect shot while your travel companions are simply enjoying the scenery.

So pack wisely, considering what kind of pictures you think you’ll be taking. My personal rule is to never pack more than two lenses for my DSLR camera. If we visit cities, I usually just go with one lens. For nature and wildlife, I pack a good telelens as well. Sometimes, it’s a tough choice which lenses to pack, but you also learn to be more creative that way.

TIP: If you are not a professional or a semi-professional photographer and don’t absolutely need a DSLR camera for your travel photography, simply get a really good point-and-shoot camera with a good optical zoom (something like this ). That way you always have the right ‘lens’ with you. There are so many versatile cameras nowadays that offer great quality. So don’t make your trip more stressful than necessary.

Beautiful vacation pictures - Dolomite Mountains in Italy

15. Pack a Tripod

Now that I told you to travel light, I also have to say that – for some trips – you really should consider packing a good tripod . It can be bulky and heavy to carry around, but it is also unmissable for certain types of photography.

If you are planning to take pictures early in the morning or late in the evening, if you are photographing waterfalls or Northern Lights, a tripod is a must. But even if you simply want to have the whole family in one picture, it’s often useful to have a tripod. And yes, you can also ask other people to take a picture, but we all know how those pictures usually turn out to be…

There are many different kinds of tripods and you should get one that can steadily hold your camera. For the smallest cameras or smartphones, you can use something like a GorillaPod . For heavier DSLR cameras, we recommend Manfrotto tripods – they are available in many different sizes and models.

My experience shows that for travel photography, the more compact and lighter the tripod is, the more you’ll use it. Just make sure that it can hold the camera and the lens that you have.

Rozenhoedkaai in Bruges at night

16. Pack Enough Memory Cards & Extra Batteries

Always, always pack more memory cards than you think you’d need. They are really not that expensive anymore and as the camera quality gets better and the picture size larger, you may run out of space on your memory card. So always have a few extra cards.

Also, get memory cards that are fast so that you don’t need to wait for the camera to save a picture before you can take a new one. If you are traveling to places with extremely hot or cold weather, make sure that you have quality memory cards that can work in any conditions.

We use and recommend Sandisk SD Extreme and Sandisk SD Extreme Pro cards. They offer an excellent price-quality ratio.

Always pack at least one backup battery set (and make sure that it’s charged) and carry it with you. There’s no use in having a set of extra batteries in your hotel room or in the car; they should always be at hand.

If you are using your smartphone for photography, take a power bank and a cable so that you can easily recharge your phone during the day. In any case, a good light and compact power bank is a must for any trip these days!

Puffin with fish, Faroe Islands

17. Be Respectful & Be Careful

One of the most important things any traveler should remember is to be respectful. Respect other people, nature, and local rules and regulations. Also, just use common sense and don’t do things that you wouldn’t want others to do to you.

Don’t go trampling wildflowers even if there are no signs asking not to do that. And definitely don’t go past the signs asking you not to – there’s always a reason for that, even if it might not look obvious to you. Don’t go on private property and try to always ask people before taking a picture of them. When in doubt, don’t take the shot.

Also, don’t go jumping at the edge of a cliff just because it looks cool or you saw someone else post crazy pictures like that on Instagram. Too many accidents happen every year because people are trying to get some perfect angle for their picture and misstep too far… No picture is worth it!

Having said that, we also have quite some pictures taken at places that look quite dangerous. But in our case, it’s more about finding the right angle to make it look more special. We are always extremely careful and we do our best to always stay on paths and never cross the line or a sign asking not to do it.

Travel picture of the Alentejo coast in Portugal

18. Get up Early & Stay Late

Photography is all about the light, and it’s not a secret that the best times for pictures are at dawn and at dusk. Photographers call this the Golden Hour . So one of the best travel photography tips I can give you is to make an extra effort and get out of bed early in the morning and stay up late.

Not only will you get better pictures this way, but you will also experience some incredible sunsets and sunrises that will make your trip more special!

Another advantage of getting up early is that you can explore even the most popular travel destinations without the crowds. Most tourists never get to their destination before 9-10 AM, so those few hours in the morning will not only help you get better travel pictures but will also make your travel experience so much more unique.

Unfortunately, this is not really the case at sunset at most destinations, because many people love to stay up for sunset. However, you’ll still have more beautiful light and more special colors for your pictures. Also, some destinations that are popular with day-trippers, are very quiet in the evening. So if you can, book accommodation very close-by and stay longer! This brings me to the next two points.

Early morning photo of an umbrella street in Ravenna city in Italy

19. Book Your Accommodation Wisely

This might look like a strange tip for travel photography, but the location of your accommodation can have a huge influence on your trip and on the pictures you’ll be able to take.

Spending a night at a popular day trip destination will allow you to explore the place without the crowds of day-trippers. Staying close to a specific landmark might give you unique opportunities to photograph it in a different light and at different times during the day.

Staying inside a national park might mean that you’ll be able to explore it from dawn to dark and even at night. You might be able to photograph incredible skies at night or get to see wildlife just at your doorstep at dawn. Even just booking a room with a nice view can give you chances to take pictures you’d never be able to get otherwise.

So keep this in mind when choosing your accommodation. Some of the most special travel experiences we had during our trips wouldn’t have been possible if we had chosen another accommodation.

Some of those include watching whales from our hotel in Ilulissat, Greenland , or exploring the fairytale castles of San Marino at sunset with hardly anyone else around, or watching wildlife at dusk and in the dark in Etosha National Park in Namibia … And these are just a few examples.

Kangaroos at our accommodation in the Grampians, Australia

20. Research the Best Photography Spots and Locations

If you want to take some really nice pictures while traveling, it’s helpful to do some research in advance. Once you are on a trip, you hardly ever have the time to scout the best photography locations. It’s very easy to overlook some nice places or special angles when you’re visiting somewhere for the first time.

One of the best ways to research the best locations is by checking images of your destination online. Just type in your destination name on Google Image search, and you’ll see what kind of images come up. You can then try to find their exact location and potentially even mark it in your Google Maps account.

Another good way to find some of the nicest photo spots is by looking on Instagram. However, this also often leads to ‘Instagram tourism’ and everyone taking the exact same pictures of the same ‘instagrammable’ places…

For some places, it might be important to research when the light is best for photography. This usually highly depends on the direction of the sun. Which brings us to the last tip…

Beautiful travel pictures - Pulpit Rock in Norway

21. Don’t Forget Why You Travel & Enjoy Your Trip

If you are on vacation, it will be impossible to always be in the right place at the best possible time. Also, the weather will play a role and some unforeseen circumstances. So no matter how much research you do or which camera gear you have, often, you simply won’t be able to get the best pictures.

Remember that those perfect images that you see in the travel brochures were usually taken by professional photographers. Usually, they stay at the same location for at least a few days, scout out the best times and angles, and go back to the same place a few times in order to capture that perfect light and composition.

So unless photography is the main goal of your trip, don’t stress about it. Remember why you travel in the first place and enjoy your vacation instead of trying to get that one perfect shot!

Travel picture of kids enjoying the view at Schynige Platte in Switzerland

So, these are some of the basic travel photography tips that I wanted to share with you. As you can see, most of them have nothing to do with the camera you have or the settings you use. It’s more about being creative, looking for different angles, doing something fun, or catching the perfect light. It’s also a matter of practice. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.

I truly hope that our tips will help you get better travel pictures. But I also hope that these tips will help you have more special trips and create better memories.

Explore, take your time to look for little details, get off the beaten path, and once in a while splurge for some well-located accommodation. Trust me, it will be worth it!

READ ALSO: Our Favorite Destinations Worldwide

If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

Simple tips for better travel photos

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Wednesday 13th of April 2022

Do you have any tips on how to present the photos and videos that you take on your travels? For instance do you create photobooks or videos that include video clips and photos?

Tuesday 19th of April 2022

@Jurga, Awesome, thank you very much. :)

Thursday 14th of April 2022

Hi Vanessa, yes, we sometimes make a photo book with our pictures and my husband also makes a nice video of each bigger trip too. It's all more meant as a nice memory for the kids and they loved watching older photos/videos of themselves :). We don't usually mix the two though - so pictures and videos are separate.

Michael Anthony Cicchi

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

You make gorgeous photos 🙂

Wednesday 21st of July 2021

Thank you, Michael!

Saturday 26th of December 2020

Great general tipps & some beautiful shots there! keep it up :)

Monday 28th of December 2020

Thank you, Lisa!

Michael Cicchi

Sunday 13th of December 2020

A very nice article, Jurga! Great tips.

Thank you, Michael! Always such a loyal reader!

A photography of the Great Wall of China taken by a traveler


Travel photography tips for near or far.

Get travel photography tips from professional photographers so you can capture new landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits of people you meet on your journeys.

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Types of travel photography

Top tips for travel photography

Turn travel photography into a career

A 10,000-foot view of travel photography

  • Travel photography can be pictures of  landscapes, cities, architecture, or people on the street.
  • You don’t have to go far to start practicing — photograph interesting places close to where you live.
  •  To make a career of it, build an online portfolio of your best work.

Types of travel photography.

Travel photography can stretch across genres because you can take any type of photo when you travel. Depending on where you go and what you do, you can touch on everything from astrophotography to wildlife photography . As you travel, consider which aspects of your journey you want to focus on. 

Landscape photography.

The world is dotted with picturesque, compelling, and breathtaking sights. When you’re on a walk and you want to capture the feeling of the scenery you find, you can focus on landscape photography. Make sure to do your research before you go, be intentional about the time of day you want to shoot, and be sure to bring gear to protect yourself from the elements. 

A photo of a desert landscape.

City photography.

Capture the cityscape . From vast skylines to everyday life on the street, cities present wonderful subjects for experiments with perspective, texture, light, and color. Play with framing and vantage points, from the tops of buildings down to street level and below.

Architecture photography.

With architecture photography , you can explore the universal features and specific quirks of human-made structures wherever you go. Study a still subject like a building or a bridge to highlight the effects of weather or time of day, or to play with different vantage points. 

A photo of buildings in Santorini, Greece.

Street photography.

Once you’re on the street, you can focus less on the architecture and more on the people moving through the city. Capturing life on the ground is the goal of street photography — a style of visual storytelling that shows off and communicates the experience of everyday life. It’s vibrant and spontaneous, and you have to work with whatever light is available. Catch people as they move about their day to immerse yourself in the experience of a new city.

Top tips for travel photography.

Finding your way in the world of travel photography doesn’t have to be overwhelming or onerous. Discover how you can get started with these tips.

A photo of buildings in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

1. Follow your wanderlust.

No matter where your interest lies, if you travel for the shoot, it counts as travel photography. Like documentary photography , travel photography expresses some truth about the particular scene it captures. “For me, it’s just one way to share my perspective on the world,” says professional travel photographer Tiffany Nguyen. “I travel to different places, see the world through my lens, and tell stories through photography.”

2. Start where you are.

You don’t need to quit your day job and sell all your possessions to make travel photography. “I would just start in your own backyard,” Nguyen says. “I started small, doing short, weekend trips, and then when I got more comfortable traveling and better at photography, I wanted to take it to the next level and do more international locations.” Begin with a list of places nearby that might be interesting to shoot. Find locations you can get to in an afternoon. 

3. Research the location.

You can save yourself time and effort, and get better pictures, if you plan ahead. “Having the right inspiration before you get there is really key,” says travel photographer Forrest Smith. “Before I go, I like to build a moodboard to try to find the exact shot that I want.”

Nguyen does a lot of internet research, looking at blogs, Google Earth, and Google images. She scouts Instagram for different angles and perspectives. “I also find that social media is a huge resource, especially using hashtags on Instagram,” she says. “They’re really helpful for finding live conditions at a certain location. For example, if I go to a waterfall, I don’t really want to waste my time trying to get water photos if the waterfall is dry. So I’ll search the hashtag of the waterfall name to get an idea of the water level.”

In addition to weather conditions, your internet research can tell you how popular the location is, how to get there, and what times might be the least crowded. “I’m looking for the length of the hike, the elevation gain, any obstacles or challenges that are going to come my way,” says Nguyen.

A travel photo of a gondola to the mountain peak of Dachstein glacier in Austrian Alps

4. Bring the right equipment.

Make a checklist so you don’t forget anything as you pack your camera bag. Include things like extra batteries, an extra memory card, a headlamp, emergency snacks, rain gear, protective cover for your photographic equipment, and extra lenses . (If you know you’ll do a lot of walking, make sure you really want that telephoto lens before you bring it.)

“For me it’s important to have compact, lightweight equipment,” says Nguyen, who uses a mirrorless Sony camera. Unlike DSLR cameras , mirrorless cameras have no mirror to reflect the image to the optical viewfinder. “Their bodies and lenses are much smaller than the DSLR cameras, but they’re still super-high quality, super-high resolution,” Nguyen says. She uses several lenses, including a 24–70mm f/2.8 lens and a 16–35mm f/2.8 lens for wide-angle shots. She’ll bring a prime lens (a lens of fixed focal length ) for astrophotography or low-light photography, and a lightweight carbon-fiber tripod. If she’s going to be close to her car, she’ll bring a 70–200mm f/2.8 telephoto lens.

Both Nguyen and Smith will bring drones for aerial shots if they know they’re going somewhere drones are allowed to fly. (Drones are not allowed in US national parks.) The best camera for his work, Smith says, is a Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR. Like Nguyen, he uses a 24–70mm f/2.8 lens. “If I’m going out for the day, I like to have something wide and something more cropped, so I’ll bring my 24mm prime or my 100mm prime,” Smith says. He’ll also bring neutral density filters . “They’re really great to have if you’re photographing water.”

A photo of a sunset on a desert landscape.

5. Get the timing right.

Part of your research should include finding the best times of day to shoot and factoring in travel time. “I like to take advantage of the light, so I like to shoot at golden hour or sunset,” Nguyen says. “I try to avoid shooting at midday because the harsh lighting doesn’t look good for photos and there are more people out.” If you want to shoot an empty landscape in a typically busy place like a national park, you may want to get to the location before sunrise.

Always be on the lookout for great shots that you haven’t planned. “You have to be in the right place at the right time with the right attitude,” says Smith. “Keep an eye out because there are always stories to be told. Whether you’re in the heart of New York City or the middle of nowhere in Utah, there are always things happening that, if you’re attentive to them, you can use to tell an incredible story.”

Smith recommends keeping a camera with you at all times, even if it’s just a Polaroid or the camera on your smartphone, and using it to develop your creative eye. “Whether you’re at an iconic location or you’re just walking around your neighborhood, look for compositions and good lighting. Those off-the-hip, spur-of-the-moment photographs often tell a more incredible narrative than the super-planned shots do,” he says.

6. Accept uncertainty.

Travel is all about unpredictability. You might stumble upon a once-in-a-lifetime shot, or you might get fogged in and rained on. Try to roll with the punches when you encounter frustrating weather, find a road closed, or miss a train.

It helps to have backup plans and even backup plans for your backup plans. That way, you’re never at a complete loss for what to do if things go wrong. “Be realistic with your expectations and with things that you can’t control; it’s just a lot easier to be flexible and try to find a different plan,” Nguyen says.

A photo of a farmer laying out their harvest to dry.

7. Focus on telling stories.

Every travel photograph has a story to tell about a time and place. “Being able to bring people along for your journey through your images is the most important part of travel photography for me,” says Smith. “You want to be able to not just show the location but breathe life into it and find those authentic moments.”


Don’t be afraid to tread the beaten path. Even if you travel to places that have been photographed by hundreds or thousands of people, your photos and your stories will be unique. “You can have ten different photographers go to the same location, but you’ll come back with ten completely different images, ten different edits, and ten different stories, because everyone sees the locations differently,” says Nguyen.

A photo of people making tortillas next to a photo of a person wearing traditional cultural clothing.

8. International travel photography tips.

International travel involves a lot of planning because you want to make the most of your time. But it’s also important to accept that you can’t plan every moment. “Part of the experience that’s so fun and rewarding is how spontaneous it can be,” says Nguyen. “You never know where you’ll run into things you just can’t plan out or predict, so you just have to just go with the flow and work with what you find around you.”

Approach local people and their customs with an open mind and heart, and try to participate in their culture instead of just observing it from outside. “The people make the big difference. They have their own stories to tell, and you can learn a lot from them,” says Nguyen.

Remember to always be respectful. If you want to take a photo of someone, talk to them. Get to know them a bit, and then ask for permission. “A majority of the time, they’re more than happy for you to take their photo and maybe talk, too,” Nguyen says. “People think it’s fun because it’s not something that happens every day.” 

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9. Family travel photography tips.

You can apply all the tips above to the family photos you take on your travels. Just remember to be patient, do your best to cultivate patience in your family members, and be sure to pack a tripod and remote so you can capture the whole group at once.

If you have specific staged shots in mind, communicate your ideas ahead of time. It might help to share some inspirational photos from Pinterest or Instagram to get buy-in from every member of the family. If you have young children (or teenagers) be prepared to bribe them to cooperate.

Otherwise, focus on taking candid shots of your family members. Like people, candid photography can be unpredictable. You have to read the room, adapt, and give up control, but you might perfectly capture the experience of family travel with a mix of shots that cover everything from excitement to exhaustion, unfettered joy to unequivocal irritation.

10. Practice.

The best way to get better at travel photography is to keep going places and taking photos. “Put in the time and effort, show up and shoot as much as you can,” Nguyen says. Keep building your portfolio, and when you’re ready to look for work in the photography business, be selective about the photos you share. Be sure that you know why you’re including each photo and what skills you want to showcase with it.

A raw landscape photo, pre-processing.

11. Make the right moves in post-processing.

With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom photo editing software, you can take your photos from good to great. If a photo just needs a nudge toward the rule of thirds , or your horizon needs leveling, you can easily make those changes in Lightroom. You can also apply presets for fast fixes to urban photos and nature photos or follow step-by-step tutorials to learn how to do everything from image sharpening to removing unwanted objects.

Wherever you go with your camera, remember to embrace the adventure and the uncertainty that goes along with it. Be patient with yourself and your surroundings. With every photo you take, you’re practicing your photography skills and adding to your story.   

Turn travel photography into a career.

To turn your passion for travel photos into a career, start by taking a lot of photos and collecting your best work. If you’re committed and willing to think outside the box, you can start your own photography business .

  • Pay attention to costs. You may already have camera gear and a computer, but you’ll also have to spend money on photo editing software and travel.
  • Create a portfolio. Clients have to see your work before booking, so create a portfolio specific to your audience and your niche.
  • Market yourself. One key part of turning your photography into a business is paying attention to marketing and branding . Establish an aesthetic and a point of view, so potential clients can have a sense of what they’re getting when they work with you.
  • Think unconventionally. Many tropical paradises are oversaturated with people who want to travel and take photos of picturesque landscapes. A great place to start is by contacting bed and breakfasts, smaller hotels, and other businesses trying to attract visitors. Link them to your portfolio and see if they’re interested in providing lodging or a small per diem to photograph their resort.
  • Treat every trip as an opportunity. If you’re interested in travel photography, you've likely already been bitten by the travel bug. Whenever you take a trip, take some time to build your portfolio. Professional photography can be a nomadic lifestyle with inconsistent income, so embrace a mindset of working wherever you are and being open to new opportunities. 

Finally, remember that careers are not made overnight, and every small step you take as a travel photographer is moving you closer to the goal of adopting it as your career. Good luck, and happy trails. 


Tiffany Nguyen ,  Forrest Smith

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21 Travel Photography Tips and Checklist For Your Next Trip

Written by  Shutterfly Community Last Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Planning your next vacation? Document your trip (big or small) with photos that will allow you to remember and share your experiences long after you return home. Whether you want to capture picture-perfect spots in NYC or head west to embrace scenic spots in San Francisco , you don’t need to be an expert to get genuinely beautiful shots.

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Whether you decide to use a nice camera or a smartphone, there are plenty of photography tips and tricks that will help you know how to take the perfect photo . Make sure the equipment you use is familiar to you. You don’t want to spend the whole trip reading your camera manual.

Once you decide on what camera you’re bringing, the photos will come naturally. In case you hit a photo block and aren’t sure what to photograph, we’ve created a travel photography checklist that includes what to bring on your trip and photo ideas. Simply read through the travel photography tips, print the checklist and you’ll be ready to go!

Quickly jump to a section:

  • Travel Photography Tips

Travel Photography Checklist

22 travel photography tips and tricks.

iphone photo of paris

1. Do your research

While planning your trip, make a note of destinations that are beautiful. Find out if they are easy to get to and what sort of transportation you’ll need. Will you need a permit for the area? Figure out the logistics ahead of time so you don’t run into problems after you’re already there.

2. Get inspiration from others

The best way to learn is through others. Look at other photographer’s blogs and social media to see if they’ve been to the location you’re visiting. As you look at photos, create a bucket list of places you’d like to photograph while exploring. And make note of the composition and angles to capture.

3. Practice at home

You don’t need to travel far to practice your travel photography skills. Look up local attractions and go visit them with your camera. Learn how the light works in natural settings compared to more industrial ones.

camera on a map

4. Travel light

You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) bring every camera accessory you have with you on your journey. Not only will they be heavy to lug around, but there’s a danger of losing or forgetting pieces behind. Bring only the key items such as the camera, a charger and memory cards.

5. Charge Your Equipment The Night Before

Make sure everything is charged and ready to go before you set out for the day. Bring along 2-3 extra charged batteries for your camera and external flash.

girl in front of eiffel tower

6. Learn a few words in the native language

If you’re going to a foreign country where the language is not your own, try learning a few phrases. Things like “hello”, “thank you” and “Can I take your photo?” will go a long way and might lead to a better photograph.

7. Listen to the Locals

Ask the locals where the best places to shoot are. Ask about their favorite photo spot and they’ll likely be excited to share the wonders of their home. Be sure to be respectful of their space and leave them alone if they’re not interested in talking with you.

8. Follow Basic Photo Rules

If you’re a beginner photographer, take some time to learn the basics. When taking photos, keep in mind guidelines like the rule of thirds and your depth of field. Learning photography terms will help you take better quality photos.

little girl plays in ocean

9. Get Candid Shots

Not all your shots should be posed and planned out. Try a variety of angles, capturing candids. Take photos of everything, the one you least expect may be the one that ends up the best.

10. Give Yourself Time

When shooting, make sure you give yourself plenty of time at the location. A time crunch will lead to blurry and rushed photos. Leave yourself enough time to set up, learn what setting your camera should be on and find the right light. This may mean starting your days earlier than normal.

11. Embrace Golden Hour

Lighting is everything. Make sure you know the different sunrise and sunset times of the location you’re at. Even places only a few hours away can differ. It may also be helpful to know what direction the landmark is facing that you’re trying to photograph so you can plan to be there when it’s in full light.

view of a city through chain linked fence

12. Get a New Angle

If you’re visiting a place that’s been photographed thousands of times, try a new angle. Find hidden details that aren’t always noticed like paintings on the ceiling. Shoot through an alleyway that frames the photo or move around and try to find a new vision.

13. Stay in the Moment

Don’t overthink the shot. Stay in the moment and go with the flow. Don’t be afraid to switch around your schedule to get a good photo.

14. Take Notes

Bring a small notebook with you as you travel and when you take photos to make sure you’re noting the place and your camera settings. This will help you later on as you go back to see what worked and what didn’t.

colorful buildings in snow

15. Be Wary of the Weather

Look at the weather forecast if you’re shooting outdoors. Remember, just because it’s raining or snowing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. Sometimes a foggy backdrop can reflect the light and make for an even better photo.

16. Bring Secure Bags with Locks

You’ve probably invested a lot in your camera and accessories, so make sure they are kept safe. Bring a camera bag with you that has a lot of padding and can be locked.

17. Backup Your Photos

Every time you return to home base, whether that be a hotel or friend’s home, make sure you backup your photos . This will free up space on your camera and will keep your images safe.

person holding camera

18. Always Bring a Camera When You Can

Bring your camera with you wherever you go. The perfect shot could be where you least expect it. This will also let you document your whole trip, not just parts.

19. Be Respectful of Your Environment

You may be visiting this place but to others, it’s home. Be respectful of the people and animals you meet along your journey.

20. Get Lost

Get out of your comfort zone and a venture off the beaten path. Try finding something unique to photograph. Get a little lost.

photo book on table

21. Share Your Work

Once you’ve returned from your trip, make sure your photos don’t just sit on the memory card or computer. Share them by creating a photo board on your wall or styling a travel photo book .

22. Print Everything Ahead of Time.

Before you start your travels, don’t forget to print your boarding passes, itinerary and other documents just in case your phone isn’t working properly. By printing everything ahead of time, you do not have to wait in any lines, worry about the digital kiosks in the airport or lack of wifi connection

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Travel photography is a fun way to document your trips. It allows you to take your stories home and share them with friends and family. Try creating a collage with a photo collage app and sharing your experiences on social media.

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Travel Photography Tips, Ideas, Examples & Jobs

Have a passion for travel photography but not sure how to take it further? This post covers careers, what gear is best, and tips for improving!

Learn | Photography Guides | By Ashley Darrow

Travel photography is one of the most exciting styles of photography, but it can also be one of the most intimidating to get started with.

I’m at my most inspired as a photographer when I’m on the road.

Even when I’m not headed to an exciting new location, I’ve started to think about all of my photography from the standpoint of travel.

This guide is going to give you everything you need to know to get started with travel photography.

I’ll be covering everything from the basics, to the equipment you need, to 20 travel photography tips that will improve how you approach taking photos.

When you’re ready to hit the road, we’ll start our adventure with some travel photography 101.

Table of Contents

What Is Travel Photography?

Defining travel photography can be a little bit challenging as this is one of the most open and free categories of photography.

In general, travel photography involves documenting people, landscapes, and cultures anywhere in the world.

Your travel photography counts whether you have to hike for thousands of miles or you took a 10-minute bus ride from your home.

Travel photography can be done by career professionals working for major magazines like National Geographic or it can be done as part-time freelance work.

Many travel photographers make their money by taking contract work from tourism departments or brands looking for product photography shot on location.

Travel photographers often find themselves working in challenging conditions. There’s a good chance that you’re going to be snapping pics in low light conditions , rough weather, or even half a world away from the comfort of your own bed.

  •  Related: 77 useful travel tips for photographers

What Does Travel Photography Include?

a person sitting on a hill with a backpack.

Image Credit: Sam Forson

Travel photography incorporates countless different styles.

Travel photographers often take landscape photographs, architectural photographs , as well as street photography. It’s also common to see food photography and documentary work being done by travel photographers.

As a travel photographer, your goal is to capture and express the story of a particular time and place. You’ll be giving people a taste of what’s happening in the moment while you’re in a particular location.

How Much Do Travel Photographers Make?

Travel photography is made up of a wide range of styles, but it’s also made up of a wide range of pay rates.

If you’re lucky enough to land a staff photography job with a major magazine, you could wind up with a six-figure salary. However, freelance travel photographers can make as little as around $18,000 a year.

Beginner travel photographers often make even less than that as they start to piece together their career.

Part of your pay as a travel photographer will come in the form of comped travel expenses. It’s pretty common for travel photographers to take a job with a tourism department that includes free transportation and lodging as part of their payment.

Is travel photography in demand?

Travel photography is in high demand.

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This demand is being driven by tourism departments, brands looking for more engaged lifestyle photography , and the rise of social media making travel photography a viable path for a content creator.

There are more people taking travel photos than ever before which means that you’re also going to have a lot more competition despite there being more job openings.

How Do I Become a Travel Photographer?

a man sitting inside of a tent holding a camera.

Image Credit: Kamaji Ogino

Becoming a travel photographer is pretty similar to how you would start up almost any photography career.

If you’re a total beginner, you want to start by mastering the craft of working behind the camera. This means learning how to stay in control of your exposure, frame captivating shots, and just get comfortable taking pictures wherever you go.

Here’s a basic outline of the steps you’ll take to start your travel photography career.

  • Learn your photography basics
  • Identify your travel photography niches
  • Build your portfolio
  • Grow a social media presence
  • Begin reaching out to clients
  • Publish your photography
  • Grow your business by reaching out to bigger clients
  • Continue to promote your work
  • Have fun traveling!

I should note that plenty of travel photographers also crowdfund parts of their career.

Building a presence on social media sites like YouTube and connecting that to your crowdfunding platform of choice is a great way to bring in some additional money.

What Equipment is Needed for Travel Photography?

a wooden table topped with lots of different items including camera gear and passports.

Image Credit: Hiren Lad

In all my years of photography, the one thing I’ve learned is that if there’s anything photographers love nearly as much as taking pictures, it’s talking about their gear.

Whether you see this equipment as the tools of your trade or the raw materials of your art, you’re going to need some equipment to get started with travel photography.

I’m going to cover the standard gear that most travel photographers will gravitate towards, but I’ll also be talking about different setups for film photographers and mobile photography.

I’m going to kick things off with the absolute must: a camera.

You’re not going to get very far in your career as a Travel Photographer without a camera. I’m being a little silly here, but it’s not just as simple as picking up any random mirrorless camera for travel blogging .

So, what camera is best for travel photography?

The absolute best cameras for travel photography are going to be, no surprises here, the latest mirrorless releases from the big-name brands like Sony, Camera, and Nikon.

Those cameras are packed full of the latest features and offer some of the best image quality.

You can also get amazing results, and save money, by picking up older cameras. My Sony a7s II is still my main camera body and my Canon 5D Classic, which was released way back in 2005, still takes pictures that get people asking me “How did you do that?”

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on your travel photography camera. A skilled photographer will be able to take amazing pictures using a point and shoot digital camera from the 90s. It’s craft that makes the photographer, not gear.

Travel photography can also be done with your smartphone. There are plenty of professional photographers out there primarily shooting on smartphones.

I also want to highlight film cameras. Film is the historic origin of our art form. Any film camera from a toy lomography camera to a professional large format camera can help us see our travels in a new way.

With all of that said, there are a few important features that you should look for in a travel photography camera.

  • Weather sealed designs are much more important when you’re trekking through unknown territory than when you’re at home in the studio
  • Your camera should also be ready for the road. Just like your car, you should take your camera in for a tune-up before a long trip
  • Double-check for the specs that matter most to you. For me, that’s low-light performance and color science

Your camera is only half the equation which means we need to take a look at the lenses that will be going on this journey with you.

  • Related: How to choose a camera and what is the best camera for travel photography?

I bet you’re wondering which lens is best for travel photography? You don’t need to worry, I’ll walk you through my top pics for a travel lens whether you’re shooting on a brand-new Sony mirrorless camera or you plan on taking a Canon 5D Classic on the road.

The first place you need to start is by asking yourself the most essential question in photography: What types of pictures do I plan on taking?

Here’s a quick breakdown of my recommendations for travel photography lenses based on my experience for a variety of photographic styles and budgets.

  • Standard Zoom Lens —A standard zoom lens like the classic 24 to 70mm is the go-to travel lens for so many photographers I know. This lens easily handles street photographs, landscapes, and portraits. Pick this to make a flexible one-lens kit
  • Wide Angle Zoom Lens —Wide angle zooms are better suited for photographers who know they’ll be shooting landscapes and architecture. If your wide angle zoom goes up to 35mm, then you can even get away with using that as your every-day lens
  • Wide to Telephoto —These lenses have focal length ranges like 24 to 105mm. They are usually affordable alternatives to pro-level lenses that can still capture stunning images. You’ll want this lens if your main concerns are budget and stylistic flexibility
  • Telephoto Zoom Lenses —These massive lenses typically top out at 200mm or 400mm focal lengths and are ideal for wildlife, bird, and sports photography. Their size, weight, and cost make them less flexible than other options, but these lenses are a must-have for photographers interested in the styles I just mentioned
  • Pancakes and Nifty Fifties —Pancakes lenses have such a small profile they double as a body cap while the iconic Nifty Fifty is a budget 50mm with a huge fanbase. These lenses are perfect for photogs who want to stay ultralight or for anyone who wants an emergency backup lens.
  • THAT lens —We all have a lens that, despite never getting much use, we just can’t seem to leave at home. Mine is the Helios 44-2. I take that lens on pretty much every trip even if it doesn’t get much use. Allow yourself a little room for that “fun” lens and you might be surprised by how much use it gets over time

I always have at least two lenses on me when I’m traveling—just in case.

I once dropped an expensive prime lens and watched it roll off the edge of a mountain in the desert. Luckily, I had a pancake lens in my bag so the photography trip wasn’t a total loss.

Ever since then, not only do I treat each of my lenses with the utmost care, but I also make sure but I’ve got backup options on hand.

  • Related: How to choose a camera lens and best lenses for travel photography .

Travel Photography Bag

Just like with lenses and camera bodies, you have a few options to consider when it comes to picking the right travel bag for your next adventure.

Before I get too far into talking about camera bags, here’s the five things I always consider when I’m packing a bag for my next trip.

  • Camera Bag Size —Size is one of the most important things to look at when shopping for a new travel photography bag. You want to find a bag that’s going to comfortably fit all of your equipment without causing too much strain on your back. Sling bags are great for days out in the city with light gear, but you should look for a comfortable backpack if you plan on covering some serious distance with your gear
  • Pack Weight —Here’s a quick piece of advice I picked up from hiking. Your maximum pack weight should only ever be 20% of your total body weight. This means that if you weigh 200 lb, the heaviest your camera bag should ever be is 40 lb. The lighter, the better
  • Features —There are some features that I consider an absolute must have in any of my travel camera bags including rugged build quality, plenty of padding and protection for my gear, and easy access to at least my main camera body and lens so I can shoot on the fly
  • Style —You could buy the most technically perfect travel camera bag, but if you don’t actually like the way it looks you’re never going to take it on a trip. I definitely believe that form should be second to function when it comes to camera bags, but I’d also be lying if I said it wasn’t a huge factor in my camera bag purchasing decisions
  • Your Gear —Your gear is actually going to dictate the type of bag that you’ll be looking for. A travel photographer shooting on a Leica Q2 can get away with a much smaller bag than a photographer shooting with a Canon 1DX

I also typically bring a packable backpack with me as part of my kit. This could be a really lightweight sling bag or something like the Lowepro Runabout.

This lets me leave the bulk of my gear at my hotel when I just want to have a quick trip around a new city taking pictures.

  • Related: How to choose a camera bag

Tripods for Travel Photography 

Tripods are an interesting—and somewhat contested—piece of the travel photography puzzle. I never used to take a tripod with me while traveling and that’s because most of my photography was shot street style which means lightweight and handheld.

However, the more I get into film photography and more interesting exposures, the more I find myself relying on my travel tripod.

My absolute number one pick for an adventure tripod would have to be the Peak Design Travel Tripod . It’s fairly lightweight, intelligently designed, and packs down small enough to fit in most of my bags.

Depending on the type of photography you’re looking to capture, you can also use tripods like a gorilla pod or even just take the tripod you have—even though it might be a little larger and heavier than would be ideal for travel.

This roundup of the 7 best travel tripods is a great place to get started if you’re shopping for something designed for the road.

Do I Need a Tripod for Travel Photography?

I’m going to dig into this mild controversy for just a moment. The question of whether or not you need a travel tripod to begin with is the source of some debate for photographers.

Honestly, the answer is maybe. It really depends on the type of pictures that you’re hoping to capture and your personal style as a photographer.

If you like to run and gun while capturing slices of life on busy city streets, you probably don’t need to bring a tripod with you.

Styles of photography that are highly mobile and rely on fast composition changes typically ditch the added stabilization that a tripod brings because it just slows them down too much.

Tripods might also not work for certain events and organizations. Trying to set up a tripod during a rock concert is a recipe for disaster and some museums won’t even let you bring in a tripod unless you pay their professional photography fees.

Then again, there are a few types of photography that absolutely need a tripod in order to work. Long exposures, shooting in dimly lit situations, and using some telephoto zoom lenses pretty much mandate shooting on a tripod.

The long and short of this is that owning a tripod and learning how to use it will make you a better photographer, but it’s not quite a mandatory piece of your travel photography kit.

The Camera Accessories I Always Forget for Travel Photography!

There are so many small accessories that are vital for digital photography that I find myself constantly forgetting. Far from being little odds and ends, these are essential parts of my kit that I’ve started to just leave in my travel bag so I never have to worry about packing them.

I’m talking about SD cards , microfiber cloths, sensor cleaning kits, and all those other little things that you might not miss until you’re in the field and you’ve got a speck of sand on your sensor ruining your shots.

I’ve started making a checklist that contains all these little items before I pack out. There’s nothing more defeating than being in some beautiful destination and realizing you only have enough space on your memory card for a few dozen more shots.

This is the checklist that I use for your average trip. Feel free to adjust things based on the gear that you use.

  • Sensor cleaning swab x 2
  • Lens cleaning Spray
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Spare camera batteries for each camera
  • Memory cards—one in each camera, extra in the bag
  • External SSD if I’ll need to backup files while traveling
  • iPad for editing, emailing, and posting pics on socials
  • Camera strap
  • Camera body cap and rear lens cap
  • Remote shutter release
  • Chargers and cables

Lighting for Travel Photography 

Lighting is a bit of an interesting topic when it comes to travel photography. We don’t often associate this incredibly mobile genre of photography with the piece of equipment that defines studio work, but there’s some great reasons to take some lights with you on your next trip.

Photographers like Briscoe Park are doing incredible work mixing bold, almost giallo, lighting styles with travel photography. There’s also a wealth of photographers using the dark nights of remote locations as canvases for their light paintings.

I started taking a few small lights with me when I hit the road and it’s definitely pushing my abilities behind the camera.

Lights like the Aputure MC and MC Pro are great for adding lights to portraits, throwing splashes of color into images, or creating other-worldly scenes. The Infinibar or MT Pro, also from Aputure, are solid choices for light painting .

Even something small like the Lume Cube can help gain control over lighting while away from the studio. Just don’t try to haul around your old tungsten lights on your next trip!

Mobile Travel Photography Gear

Before you start thinking travel photography requires a mountain of expensive equipment, you might be reading this article on the only device you need to get started with travel photography.

That’s right, smartphone cameras have come a long way and they are perfectly capable of being your main camera body for traveling adventure photography .

Even though your smartphone is essentially a pocket camera that can surf the internet and make phone calls, you still might want to add some extra gear to make the most out of being a mobile travel photographer.

My biggest recommendation would be to pick up a Moment smartphone case and a few Moment lenses.

These lenses will dramatically change your composition and help make your images look a bit more professional and a bit less like a quick shot on a smartphone.

A lightweight Gorillapod, a photo editing app like Lightroom mobile, and a power bank to keep you charged are a few must-haves.

This might sound a little unconventional, but my smartphone is one of the cameras I use the most. It’s lightweight, can take high quality pictures, and it can be a great budget alternative to expensive cameras because you probably already own one.

I almost never leave the house without throwing one or two Moment lenses in my bag. This is true whether I’m going on a 10-minute walk to the store or I’m about to hop on a 10-hour flight.

Travel Film Photography Gear

Is there any sound more relaxing than the shutter of a film camera when you’re deep in the woods or on top of a mountain ridgeline?

I don’t think so and that’s one of the reasons why I tend to travel with film photography equipment.

Film photography is almost a completely different animal than digital photography. You have to be much more engaged with your subject, composition, and exposure since you only have a few frames before your roll is spent.

Here’s a quick list of the film photography gear that I travel with. Just as a quick note, I’m leaving out things like tripods and camera bags that overlap with digital photography.

  • Gallon zip-top bag to store film
  • Permanent marker to jot notes on the side of a film canister
  • Light meter
  • Film (I always try to bring one more roll than I think I’ll need—just in case)

Read our guide to film photography for more tips.

20 Tips to Help You Improve Your Travel Photography

Want to improve your travel photography? I’ve put together 20 travel photography tips to help you up your game the next time you take your camera on vacation.

These tips are going to cover everything from advice for total beginners to some really interesting things that caught me by surprise while I’ve been on tour with my camera.

Tip 1—Get Comfortable With Your Gear Before You Travel 

a man with a backpack holding a camera.

Image Credit: Amar Preciado

This is my number one tip for travel photography because it applies to experienced photographers as well as beginners. Before you head out on your big trip, take some time to get comfortable with your equipment.

This means packing your camera bag just like you’re going to for your travel photography trip and wearing it around your home city or just walking around your neighborhood.

There’s nothing worse than being hundreds, or thousands, of miles from home only to find out that you actually don’t like that brand new camera bag you bought.

Giving all of your gear a comfortable trial run ahead of time ensures that you don’t run into any sudden surprises while you’re traveling.

I’ve started doing this with all of my travel photography gear and it’s hard to express just how much it’s helped me. Most of the time I’m just adjusting my backpack to make sure it’s got a comfortable fit for a long day of hiking, but there have also been times where I realized that piece of my equipment just wasn’t right for me.

This will also help make things easier when you’re out there taking pictures.

It can be a little stressful to try and line up the right composition in a busy downtown neighborhood of a foreign city. Knowing your gear inside and out will give you a huge confidence boost when you need it the most.

Tip 2—Set Your Travel Photography Intentions 

This might seem like a silly question to ask, but why do you want to do travel photography?

Setting some intentions and being aware of your goals ahead of time is going to help improve your career as a photographer.

If you need some inspiration for your goals, here’s a few that I’ve used in the past.

  • Have at least 5 new pictures that I can turn into prints once I’m home
  • Spend two days on location, day one focuses on lifestyle photography while day two is all about landscapes
  • Get out of my comfort zone and network with other travel photographers shooting the same location

Remember that goals are a lot like onions. They have layers.

Your ultimate goal might be to become a world famous travel photographer with National Geographic calling you every day, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

Let’s say that your goal is to start getting freelance travel photography contracts with tourism departments. You can start from scratch by pretending that you’re on contract to take photos of a particular location.

This will help you with your future goals as well as allow you to build your portfolio in the now.

Tip 3—Always Bring (Your) Camera 

a woman sitting in a car holding a cell phone.

Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto

Everything starts with the ABCs and for travel photographers this means to Always Bring (your) Camera and always be taking pictures.

You really never know when the right moment is going to strike for your photography. There have been countless moments where I wish I would have had a camera on me to capture a moment that was either beautiful or could have even been historic.

Whether you’re carrying your main camera body, a pocket camera, or even your smartphone, you should always have a camera on you when you’re traveling. Be ready to start snapping pics at a moment’s notice if you spot something that catches your eye.

Worst case scenario, you’ve got another few hundred pictures to sort through when you get home. Best case scenario, you’ve caught the once-in-a-lifetime shot that you might have otherwise missed.

Tip 4—Be Patient with Your Shots

Here’s something that’s happened to me nearly every single time I’ve gone on a travel photography trip.

I’ll be at a historic ruin or in a national park with the perfect shot framed only for there to be dozens of other tourists cluttering up my shot.

When I first started with photography, I didn’t have enough patience just to wait it out. I thought that I would have to spend hours standing at a particular spot waiting for people to disperse.

As it turns out, the longest I’ve really ever had to wait for a shot to clear up has been about a half hour. If you’ve got someone to talk to or a book to read, that’s no time at all.

Don’t pass up on the shots that you want to capture just because there’s something cluttering your frame. Patients will reward photographers every single time.

Pro travel photography tip: Using an ND filter on your camera can let you lower your shutter speed which will cause fast-moving cars and people to “vanish” from your shots!

Tip 5—Learn How to Photograph People 

This travel photography tip can be one of the most challenging to incorporate. Getting comfortable cold approaching strangers takes a lot of social energy.

I know extroverted photographers that have a dozen model release forms printed and ready to go in their backpack. They have no problem chatting up strangers, but it took me some time to build up that confidence.

Here’s a quick template that you can use for approaching strangers for portraits.

Be cheerful and open about being a photographer. You can say something like “I’m a photographer taking portraits today in [Location] and I’d love to take your picture.”

If you’re on a freelance contract or working for a client, feel free to name drop them to give yourself some added credibility.

After snapping their pic, I like to give people my business card, email, or Instagram handle so they can contact me later if they’d like a copy of their photo.

If they say no photos, that’s just business.

It also really helps if you can speak just a little bit of the local language. You’ll be shocked how much more accommodating people can be if you can handle a few lines of the local tongue.

Tip 6—Study Local Laws and Customs 

Photography laws and customs are different the world over. As a travel photographer, you’re going to need to familiarize yourself with local laws and customs—especially when you’re traveling abroad.

Remember that the letter of the law and the local customs might not necessarily be a one-to-one match.

I’m based in the United States and here it’s perfectly legal to take pictures of strangers as long as you’re in a public location. However, social customs dictate that it’s considered rude to take someone’s picture without asking their permission first.

When in doubt, always default to asking permission first. This means asking someone’s permission before taking their portrait or asking permission before taking pictures at a historic site or museum.

Tip 7—Get in Frame 

a woman taking a picture of herself in a car mirror.

Image Credit: Dominika Roseclay

This is something I’m still working on becoming more comfortable with.

When I’m in the studio, I’ve got no problem hopping in front of the lens and doing some self-portraiture. However, once I’m out in the field I’m a little bit reluctant to stand in as my own model.

Travel photography is about telling your story. This means that you’re going to need to get in frame for some of your photographs.

Even if it’s just a few shots of you setting up, traveling to your destination, or getting dinner after a long day of shooting, people want to see the photographer behind the camera.

If you’re traveling with other photographers, why not consider making this a game? Challenge each other to see who can take the most interesting photos of your fellow photographers.

You can even take some quick selfies on location to contrast your professional photography. This will make your self-portraiture a little more intimate and warm while your travel photos show off your full talent.

Tip 8—Scout Travel Photography Locations with Your Smartphone

A great way to dramatically improve your travel photography is to scout your locations ahead of time. Before you haul all of your gear on a quest for the perfect photo, go out there with just a day pack and walk around soaking up the scenery.

Location scouting gives you a strong understanding of what speaks to you as a photographer about this location before you even start pressing the shutter button.

I recommend carrying your smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera when you’re out scouting locations.

This lets you take some test shots of a travel location before bringing all your gear out.

Tip 9—How to Always Pack the Right Lenses

I used to be so worried about not bringing the right lenses on a trip, but it’s been years since I’ve felt like I picked the wrong lens for the job.

Part of this is knowing your lenses inside and out. You should learn the basics of your lenses like aperture, how their focal length compresses an image, and which focal lengths are ideal for different styles of photography.

Lenses like the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8  make a great choice for travel. The focal length options on that lens easily handle majestic landscape panoramas and street photography portraiture.

I also recommend taking at least two lenses with you for most travel photography trips. I’ll take one primary lens with me that I plan on doing most of my shooting with and a secondary lens for those “just in case” moments.

Tip 10—Staying Safe While Traveling with Camera Gear 

Being a tourist always carries some risk when it comes to crime. Being a tourist that happens to be carrying $3,000 in photography equipment carries a little bit more risk.

Here’s a few tips that I stick with when it comes to staying safe while shooting with expensive camera equipment.

If you can, try to do your travel photography with a group. Even if you have one other person traveling with you, that company is usually more than enough to deter most would-be thieves.

This might seem a little obvious, but you always want to keep your gear in sight. Unless I know I’m alone in the wilderness, my camera bag is never further than an arm’s reach away.

I’ve got a tip for you that I don’t see a lot of people talking about when it comes to traveling safely with your camera equipment. I like to stay discreet when I’m traveling with my camera gear.

This means I leave the branded Sony strap at home and opt for a much more neutral Peak Design strap . I also throw a velcro patch over things like the LowePro logo on my backpack that might otherwise announce that there’s some expensive camera equipment in there.

If you stay smart and aware of your surroundings, your odds of having an unfortunate encounter while carrying camera equipment will be greatly reduced.

Tip 11—Shoot Some Short Format Video  

We’re all photographers here. This means I can be a little honest with you about shooting short form video.

It might not be your main stay, but social media platforms are putting a lot of emphasis on TikTok style videos. If you can incorporate a little short form videography into your travel photography routine, you’ll have that much better performance online.

There are countless ways that you can build short form video production into your photography routine. You could record a 60 second video demonstrating your setup for the shot or even just an interesting voice over on top of a still image.

Shooting short videos can also be fun. Building this into your photography routine is a great way to improve your skill set while you’re also increasing your social media following.

Tip 12—Find Your Voice by Getting Lost 

Some of the best travel photography stories happen because you get lost. Getting turned around is a great way to change your perspective on things and improve you or travel photography.

This is easily one of the most underrated travel photography tips. Best of all, you can do this from the comfort of your hometown.

Try getting lost on purpose by walking through a neighborhood you don’t usually go to or checking out a city that you might have otherwise overlooked.

While all the other travel photographers are gathered at the tourist traps we’ve all seen a thousand times on Instagram, you’ll be exploring something new while catching refreshing pictures of your travels.

Tip 13—How to Fly With Film 

If you plan on doing some film photography while you’re traveling, you’re going to need to know how to transport your film while traversing through airports safely.

The x-rays used in airport security scanners can damage undeveloped photographic film. The more x-rays undeveloped film is exposed to, the more haze and distortion starts to pop up on the final image.

Film with an ISO 800 and above can be damaged by any airport X-ray machine. Expired and experimental films can also be damaged by x-ray equipment.

Some airports now use more powerful CT scanners. These are often used for checked baggage, but they can also be used for carry-on as well.

CT scanners put out enough x-ray radiation to damage film of any ISO. You should always bring your film with your carry-on luggage in its own zip-top bag.

When you’re traveling through security at an airport, you can ask the security personnel for a hand examination of your photographic film. In my experience, they almost always say yes no matter how busy the airport is.

However, it is at the discretion of airport security and I have had them turn down a hand examination of my film. One trip through an X-ray scanner won’t damage your film, but multiple trips will.

This is why I recommend buying film on location if possible. You can also have film mailed to your hotel or to a friend’s address who lives near where you’re traveling.

Tip 14—Become a Traveler at Home 

Traveling is expensive and it’s not always available for us. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stop your travel photography plans.

If you’re looking for the true zero-budget way of starting a travel photography career, you have to start in your home city.

While this might not seem exciting at first, keep in mind that the city that you live in is an exotic travel destination for someone else.

Try using all of the  travel photography tips and tricks I’ve talked about in this article while taking pictures of your home city. Even if you live in a sleepy little town, there are compelling stories that you can tell by documenting the life and history of the place you live.

Tip 15—How to Find Travel Photography Inspiration 

No matter what style of photography you’re in, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. What should you do if you’re running out of inspiration before your next big travel photography trip?

Here are five quick ways I stay inspired and motivated as a photographer.

  • Start following more photographers on social media to see what other people are doing
  • Research historic photographers and get inspired by how they were shooting when our medium was still new
  • Check out international photographers to see how people are shooting across the world
  • Get experimental by looking into the weirder side of photography with things like film soup or databending
  • When I’m heading to a new location, I like to look at the history, upcoming events, and what photographers are shooting for that local

Tip 16—Turn Regular Trips into Travel Photography Trips 

If you’ve always got your camera with you, and you’re always shooting, every trip you go on is a travel photography trip.

A great way to stay active as a travel photographer who has yet to break into the full-time business is to transform every trip you go on into an opportunity for travel photography.

Whether you’re heading across town for a family dinner or going on a work trip, you’ve got an opportunity to do some trouble photography.

Not everything has to be a grand adventure. You could use that trip across town as an excuse to work on catching shots of yourself in transit, for example.

Tip 17—Becoming a Better Photographer 

Every photographer has an area that they can improve on. Whether you’ve always wanted to be one of those photographers who only ever shoots on full manual mode or you’ve been hoping to add sports photography to your travel routine, now’s the time to start working on those skills.

Skills building exercises can be a great activity during your travel photography downtime. You’re not always going to be on the road to an exotic destination and that time in between trips is vital to your success.

Even if you’ve been a professional photographer for decades, there’s still countless things about this art form that you can learn.

Tip 18—Get Your Photos Seen

Now that you’ve got a portfolio of travel photography images, how do you get people to see them?

As with most freelancing gigs, the name of the game is networking. Here’s a few tips for getting your pics in front of more eyes.

  • Be more consistent with social media by posting regularly and using hashtags strategically
  • Enter into photography competitions
  • Ask local shops if you can display your work
  • Get your photos published
  • Reach out to travel agencies, tourism boards, and parks departments for freelance work or partnerships
  • Network with other photographers

As the old saying goes: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Tip 19— Travel Photographer Tips for The Business Side of Things 

Making it as a working travel photographer has gotten harder in recent years, but it’s not out of reach. Here’s a few business tips to help you stay on top of your budding photography career.

Always try reaching out to new clients. Keep in mind that bigger clients are harder to land, but there are plenty of smaller travel destinations that are ideal for a beginner photographer.

You should create a budget for your travel photography work. If you’re just starting out, you don’t need a fancy app. A simple spreadsheet is more than enough for you to stay on top of your money.

You can also try becoming a content creator while you’re working on landing clients. Building up a social media following and generating some income through a site like Patreon can help you stay on the road longer.

Tip 20—How to Tell Your Travel Photography Story 

a camera and a book on a table.

Image Credit: Ena Marinkovic

You’ve reached the end of my travel photography tips. The last tip, and the most important one, that I’m going to give you is some advice on how you can tell your story.

Travel photography is all about storytelling. This means documenting your journey, engaging your audience, and finding your voice.

Taking captivating pictures without context isn’t enough. Your travel photography needs to speak to people on a deeper level and communicate something yet untold about the experiences behind your journeys.

It’s going to take time to figure out how you want to represent your adventures. The best thing you can do is get started today.

Even if you’re just taking travel photos a few blocks from your home, you’ll be breaking the ice and taking those important steps in finding your voice as a storyteller.

What is the purpose of travel photography?

The purpose of travel photography is to share your journey with the world. Travel photographers help to tell the story of not only their adventures, but also the people and places they encounter whether they are traveling around the world or within a few miles of where they grew up.

Is travel photography a good career?

Travel photography can be an amazing career that is rewarding and potentially very lucrative. It can be challenging to get started, but there are countless photographers who do travel photography as both their main job as well as a side gig.

What is the single best lens for travel photography?

The single best lens for travel photography is the wide angle to telephoto zoom like the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens. This lens allows you to capture everything from sweeping landscape panoramas to sports and wildlife photography .

Is travel photography a job?

Travel photography can absolutely be a job. You can make money as a travel photographer by freelancing for clients, photographing destination weddings , or working as a photojournalist.

Is GoPro good for travel photography?

A GoPro can be great for travel photography especially if you’re interested in capturing video and using stills from that footage for your photography.

Even though a GoPro is a good choice for travel photography, you’re probably going to be better served by a dedicated camera if your main goal is photo rather than video.

Final Words

I hope this guide gives you everything you need to hit the ground running with travel photography. If you’re an experienced travel photographer, I hope you’ve picked up a few new tricks that can help improve your next adventure.

I’ve tried to cover travel photography from nose to tail in this blog, but I’m sure I left a few things out.

I want to hear your travel photography tips, tricks, and experiences in the comments. If you like this article, make sure to check out my other photography blogs .


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Ashley is a photographer, writer, and film critic. When Ashley’s not writing essays on photography, cinema, and theory, he’s out taking pictures with retro film cameras.

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Photo Tips, Creative Photography + Travel Guides - The Wandering Lens

  • 12 Travel Photography Tips from a Professional Travel Photographer
  • Career Tips
  • By Lisa Michele Burns

trip photography tips

Improve your Travel Photography – Get Creative and Photograph the World

Travel photography offers a creative opportunity to document your adventures and capture the world around you. The places you visit, faces you see and cultures you experience.

As a professional travel photographer, I’ve photographed icebergs in Greenland, elephants in South Africa, remote lodges in Canada, and the temples of Japan. There are so many incredibly photogenic experiences and locations out there just waiting for us to photograph them on our travels.

If you’re looking to work as a travel photographer, building a portfolio is one of the best places to start, and what better way to do that, that on your travels? This guide below shares 12 travel photography tips that will help you capture more creative images on your next trip.

From composition to packing your camera bag, and storytelling to weather forecasting, browse the guide below and let me know in the comments where you’re travelling next!

trip photography tips

Travel Photography Tips

1. research and plan logistics.

If you’re serious about taking great photos on your next trip, be sure to research the best places to photograph in the locations you’re visiting. If you’re heading for a major city, you’ll find lots of online guides and resources available that share some photogenic locations and experiences. If you’re seeking adventure and want to photograph landscapes a little more off the beaten path, I’d suggest heading straight for Google Earth or Google Maps first. That way, you can zoom in on the areas you’re going to, browse the maps, look for natural features like lakes, waterfalls, and mountains and start to see how it may be possible to reach them.

By planning to avoid the main viewpoints and popular spots, you’ll end up with more unique images and no doubt, a far more exciting experience!

When planning the logistics, try to research the best times to photograph the location, what the weather conditions will be and how much time it takes to hike/drive/fly to the location.

trip photography tips

2. Check your camera bag, then recheck it

Being prepared to photograph your travels is an important step in making the journey a little smoother. There’s nothing worse than arriving somewhere, only to find you’re out of batteries, forgot to charge them, or forgot a memory card. This piece of advice comes from experience by the way! When photographing for clients or on assignments , I check my bag a bunch of times before ever leaving the house. When I photograph for fun though, it’s easy to get a little more relaxed and I’ve definitely gone to take a photo, only to find I forgot to put the memory card in my camera…oops!

If you’ll be hiking or spending a great deal of the day outdoors, packing your camera bag nice and light will mean you’ll enjoy the experience more. I travel with my OM SYSTEM cameras (read about my kit here ) which are really lightweight cameras, then opt for only 1-3 lenses based on where I’m going and what I’m aiming to photograph.

trip photography tips

3. Seek out Sunrise and Sunset

Golden hour presents the most beautiful warm light and works wonders for landscape photography. Capturing the glowing sun before it dips below the horizon is one of my favourite things to photograph, and I always make sure I know exactly what time sunset is and arrive nearly an hour before!

Planning your day around where to be and what you’ll photograph during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset, helps you optimize how many locations you can visit and photograph on your travels. When photographing sunrise , aim for somewhere close to your accommodation, then for sunset, you can venture a little further!

Photographing sunrise and the pastel tones of dusk are what I aim for in my own landscape photography as it helps illuminate the scene in a beautiful way, and typically has less crowds or wind.

Death Valley National Park - Zabriskie Point-1-2

4. Think Creative + Look for Unique Angles

Once you arrive at a location, don’t just reach for your camera and snap away. Look around, assess the scene and start to get a feel for the stories you can tell with your camera. This way you’ll produce more considered photos, and discover exciting features and subjects to include within the image.

I always like to move around too, not just stand still at a marked viewing platform, but really explore the surrounding area and seek out the potential of unique angles. Don’t forget to bend down, look for ways to incorporate various elements of the scene within the image! It’s amazing how many angles open up once you take a moment to look around and observe the scene and what’s happening within it.

trip photography tips

5. Get creative with Composition

This topic is my favourite of all within photography. Within the online courses I teach, composition is something I always enjoy sharing tips about, because it’s so incredible what you can achieve with just a simple adjustment in your creative process.

Composition is essentially, how you compose the elements of a scene, within a single image. So in a landscape photograph, a lake for example, it could be that you’ll be composing the rocks on the shore, the water and distant mountains. How you can approach that creatively, is by getting really low to photograph through the rocks so the water leads viewers towards those mountain peaks. Or you could opt to completely exclude the rocks, instead zooming into the mountains and using any visible greenery nearby to frame their shape.

Composition is where you have the chance to make your photography stand out. If you’re photographing alongside friends or other photographers, you’ll probably all end up creating something entirely different! Look for leading lines, reflections or foreground features. Need to work on your composition skills? Join The 3-Week Composition Reset to refresh your creativity and learn to ‘see’ the world in a new way – find all the details here.

trip photography tips

6. Document Cultures

Are you visiting somewhere with cultural experiences or local traditions? If so, research prior to visiting to know what you can and can’t photograph. Being culturally sensitive is very important as a photographer, no photo is worth invading someone’s privacy.

However, if it’s possible to document the experience or destination, try to capture images that highlight the candid moments, finer details and cultural intricacies that solely exist there. Portraits are a wonderful way to showcase people and daily life, always ask before taking someone’s photo though, and I like to try and be as quick as possible, so it doesn’t make them awkward at all – the first smile is usually the most natural!

trip photography tips

7. Create Travel Photography with Purpose

Similar to composition, noted above, creating with purpose simply means thinking before clicking that shutter button. We’ve all returned home from our travels with thousands of random photos that we’ll never look at again, but what if we stopped to consider what we’re photographing, how, and why?

Creating photographs with purpose will help to produce a collection of travel photographs that connect, showcase where you’ve been, and help to document and tell a story of your adventures.

I love to try and capture a collection of varied images, a mixture of detail shots, landscape images, portraits and patterns when I travel. Actually, I’m exaggerating, I’ve been very obsessed with photographing patterns in nature lately so a big portion of my photos have been patterns in sand, dirt, rocks, water…I should probably get back to some variety haha!

trip photography tips

8. Stay Steady

Maintaining stability when photographing is the key to sharp, detailed images. You’ll know when stability was lacking because your images may turn out a little blurry!

You can use a tripod if you know you’ll be photographing in low light or aren’t super steady when holding a camera, however if you’re like me and don’t enjoy carrying a tripod around, there are other ways to keep steady when taking photos.

My camera, the OM SYSTEM OM-1, has in-built stability, meaning that it’ll adjust and keep steady, even if there’s slight movement on my part. Otherwise, if your camera isn’t equipped with in-built stability, you can lean on something solid, like a fence, building or table top when taking a photo.

The ‘Photographer’s Stance’ is a bit of a joke, but take a peek at people when they’re taking a photo…we all stand a little like a tripod, don’t we? This stance can actually help with stability, bracing yourself while taking the photo to stay nice and still and avoid any blur in your images.

trip photography tips

9. Experiment with Shutter Speed

This is something I’ve enjoyed a lot recently, particularly producing travel photos with a more artistic result. Shutter speed is related to the time your shutter is open, exposing available light on to the camera sensor. The longer a shutter is left open, the more light is let in.

A fast shutter results in a quick shot with less light, a slow shutter means your cameras shutter is left open longer, resulting in a long exposure image. You can actually hear the sound your camera makes when taking an image, if it’s a simply click, you’re probably shooting with a fast shutter speed, or on auto. If you hear a click…pause…then another click, it’s probably a longer exposure. Eventually you’ll learn to know exactly how long the shutter speed is and be able to quickly adjust for the result you’re seeking.

Experimenting with shutter speed is a great way to incorporate movement and light into your image. You can read a guide here about ICM Photography, and another guide here that I wrote about using Live ND with the OM SYSTEM.

10. Get comfortable with your camera settings

Travelling is a great opportunity to learn photography and get comfortable with your camera while taking travel photos. We’re usually so much more inspired to use our camera when exploring a new destination, so use this chance to press a few new buttons on your camera or flick over to manual mode and challenge yourself to learn how it works.

Controlling the ISO, shutter speed and exposure can help to produce an image that reflects the scene around you. Learn to work with light and capture it correctly so you’re exposing the highlights and shadows well.

Don’t pressure yourself to jump straight to manual mode, travel photography in particular is usually filled with capturing fast moments, and fiddling with manual mode never works (for me anyway!). I prefer to shoot in aperture priority mode, this enables me to quickly adjust the ISO and exposure, while the shutter speed is then calculated by the camera. Alternatively, if I need to capture an image in a certain way, I’ll then switch to manual and play with the shutter speed.

trip photography tips

11. Edit and Enhance your Photos

While AI is presenting some interesting editing opportunities in travel photography (hello fake scenes and fantasy dream locations), enhancing your travel photos can form part of the creative process. I love saving my images from a day out, browsing through to pick out the favourites, then editing them that night while travelling.

Editing doesn’t have to make your image wildly different from the original, it can simply enhance the tones, colours and scene a little. Avoid adjusting the saturation too much as this can easily result in your travel photos looking a little too colourful.

When editing, consistency is key. If you’re looking to compile a collection of photographs from one location or destination, aim to keep the editing and tones to a cohesive style. This will also help to identify the work as yours, rather than a random collection of presets and colour combinations.

trip photography tips

12. Become a Storyteller

Travel photography gives you the chance to create stories about the places and faces you see on your travels. When you pick up a travel magazine, the images help to tell the story alongside any written articles. They visually share why you should visit, what you can see, or creatively highlight the beautiful features of a scene or subject.

If you’re keen to work as a travel photographer, telling stories with your work will provide opportunities to approach publications and pitch article, or photo feature ideas. Producing a collection of images that connect together to create a visual narrative, will go a long way when sharing your work with editors or tourism professionals.

You can read more about the ‘ Art of Storytelling here ’, or if you’re looking to work professionally as a travel photographer, The Freelance Travel Photographer Course guides you through all the steps required to develop a professional portfolio, network, find work and create longevity with your career in the travel industry. You can start online anytime, with no time pressure as the entire course is designed to be self-paced!

South african safari experience and wildlife photography tips

The Benefits of Travel Photography

Travel photography is such a rewarding way to see the world. By taking photos when we travel, we’re staying present, practicing mindfulness and peering deeper into the world around us. With all creative pursuits, practice always helps so I’d encourage you to keep your camera out, and capture as many photos as you can, being considerate of which compositions work best, and creative techniques you can use to enhance the outcome of your travel photos.

Related Travel Photography Articles on The Wandering Lens –

How to Become a Professional Travel Photographer

The Benefits of Working Freelance as a Travel Photographer

Photography Tips Archive – Camera Settings Advice + Creative Techniques

7 Travel Photography Jobs to take you around the World

Want to learn with The Wandering Lens? Explore the self-study courses and discover your potential in travel photography!

Are you craving a creative career, struggle to know where to start as a photographer and need a little guidance.

These creative courses have been written for you and bring together over 17+years of experience and lessons from working in the industry. I want to see others share their talents and get published, sell prints, find clients – to have the confidence to achieve whatever it is you want to within the field of photography.

My three comprehensive photography courses are now available for self-study enrolments and upon signing up, I’ll be in touch with instant access to get you set up and logged into the learning portal! You’ll receive access to every workbook within the course program and can work your way through in whichever order you chose.

Which of the following sounds like you most?

#1 You want to find work as a freelance travel photographer? The Freelance Travel Photographer Course is open for enrolments! Learn more here.

#2 You need a creative boost and want to transform your photography? Start with The 3-Week Composition Reset and work through composition and creative challenges.

#3 You’re keen to start a business selling prints? The Print Store Launch Pad will guide you through the entire process from curation and logistics to marketing + sales.

Take a peek at the course options below, if you’d like to discuss which one will suit you, send me an email via [email protected] and we can chat!

trip photography tips

Hello! I’m the founder and photographer behind The Wandering Lens. With 17+yrs experience as a professional travel and landscape photographer, all advice found on this site is from my personal experience on the road. I hope it’s useful for your own travels and would love to hear in the comments about your trips and experiences around the world.

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14 Travel Photography Tips to Improve Your Instagram: A Beginners Guide

14 Travel Photography Tips to Improve Your Instagram: A Beginners Guide

Taking photos while traveling is the perfect way to capture your moments of adventure. However, there’s nothing worse than the disappointment of blurry portraits, lopsided landscapes, or miscaptured images. Avoid these mistakes by following these travel photography tips for beginners! They’re guaranteed to make your photos stand out from the crowd and give your Instagram the wow-factor it deserves.

1. Choose Your Style of Travel Photography

There are many styling in photography; so the best travel photography tip to start with is: What kind of style do you want to create? Are you taking travel couple photos? Portraits? Landscapes?

travel photography tips couple

Deciding on this is especially important if you’re thinking about curating your Instagram feed in certain colors or tones. For example, are you going to go for a Mediterranean feel with lots of ocean blues and bright whites? Or maybe you’re traveling Asia and want to create a tropical green vibe on your feed. 

Travel Photography Tip: Create mood boards on Pinterest or save posts on Instagram that really stand out to you. Use these images as inspiration for your own photos, however, don’t copy! Instead, use your inspiration to make totally unique images.

couple photography beach

2. Get up early – Best Travel Photography Tip

If you’re visiting a popular place, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona , get there as early as possible to have the place to yourself. Not only will it get you the best photos, but it’s such a unique experience to enjoy these world-famous places totally alone.

Also read: The best cameras for travel

travel photography golden hour

The night before your sunrise mission, check the sunrise times online and make sure to arrive before that time. The moment the sun starts to rise you’ll only have the best lighting for 1 hour, and you don’t want to waste any of these precious minutes.

Travel Photography Tip: The same goes for the evening time, arrive 1 hour before sunset to capture all the changing colors of the sky. It’s called golden hour for a reason.

travel photography tips bali

3. Dare to stand out

How many people have you seen getting a photo of themselves pushing against the leaning tower of Pisa? When it comes to travel photography it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking the ‘popular shot’. Sure, this will get you pretty pictures but it won’t make you stand out from the crowd.

Instead, look around you for unusual details that other people are missing. Maybe there’s a puddle of water to use as reflection or beautiful light patterns.

See our Instagram for photography inspiration.

travel photography tips color

4. Outfits!

When photographing yourself or others try to choose clothing that is complimentary to your photo. For example, if you’re shooting in a green rice field, wear a color like yellow that will stand out against the landscape. Matching colors isn’t best in this situation, as you’ll just blur into the background, especially when the person is a small detail in the photo.

Our favorite travel photography tip is to use colors that ‘pop’, like orange, yellow, and white. 

travel outfit

5. Change Your Perspective

Changing your perspective not only allows you to get a unique photo but’s also a great way to get around crowds and other distractions. We always use the example of our time in Rome , when we were visiting the colosseum.


Hannah was sat on the wall and there was already a long line of people waiting just below her. When standing at a normal angle, all the people were in the shot. By getting down low, and changing the perspective to look up at Hannah, we eliminated the people in the photo and got the perfect photo of the colosseum.

Find that unique angle and don’t be afraid to get into weird positions and places. You may look a little strange but it’ll be well worth it!

Instagram Travel Photography Tips

Instagram Travel Photography Tips

6. Tripod for Travel Photography

Whether you’re traveling solo or as a couple, a tripod is an essential photography tool. Asking people to take your photo can be difficult and time-consuming, as you’ll have to position them with the correct camera angle, and take the time to get yourselves into place. By the time you’ve done this, you might have missed the moment completely! For this reason, our travel photography tip is to use a tripod so that you can position the camera or phone as you wish.

travel photography tips best tripod

Tripods can be heavy but there are lightweight options available, such as the ‘ Manfrotto Befree Advanced Carbon ‘. You can also get the ‘Gorilla Pod’, which is a flexible phone tripod that you can bend around anything, whether it’s poles or trees.

Travel Photography Tip: Pack your tripod in your check-in luggage, as some airlines have strict hand luggage policies because of their size and weight.

14 Travel Photography Tips to Improve Your Instagram: A Beginners Guide

7. Timer or Time-Lapse Function

When using a tripod to capture your shot, it’s very useful to set your camera to a time-lapse function or buy yourself a timer. Either use a remote timer, that connects via Bluetooth or through build-in software in your camera (if supported).

travel photography tips timelapse

Using a timer for your travel photography allows you to have yourself in the shot or to shoot time-lapses easily. Create a movement in your photos by changing your position or the flow of your clothing after each shot.

travel photography portugal

8. The Rule of Thirds – General Photography Tip

Get the right composition by applying the rule of thirds; this is one of the best travel photography tips. The principle behind the rule of thirds is to break an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) by displaying lines so that you have a 9 grid.

When placing the points of interest in the intersections or along the lines your photo becomes more balanced for your viewer.

Travel Photography Tip: The rule of thirds is important, but make sure to also look for contrasting colors, interesting backgrounds, and symmetry to get outstanding photos.

rule of thirds

9. Shoot RAW

When you take a photo, the default filetype is JPEG, which is a compressed photo, meaning it’s losing some of its information and quality. Switch your camera to taking RAW images instead of JPEG. Even most phones support this.

raw sony

RAW images are unedited and don’t look great at first, however, there is far more information to work with later on in for example Lightroom . As a result, it’s much easier to edit highlights, and white balance, as well as play around with the colors, leaving you with a really powerful photo.

Try: All our Lightroom presets

city photography tips

10. The right Lens

Depending on what you’re shooting that day, you’ll need different lenses. For example, a wide-angle lens of 16-35 mm is best for landscapes, and photos where space is limited. If you’re shooting details and portraits, use the prime lens mentioned above.

For the perfect middle ground use the Sony 24-70mm Vario-Tessar F4. It’s very flexible, as you can do both wide landscape photography and detailed portraits. This saves you from carrying around numerous heavy lenses and cameras.

travel camera

Want to get a bird’s eye view? Consider adding a drone to your collection to capture unique photos and videos from above. Always check drone regulations before visiting your destination, as some countries prohibit them and will confiscate them on entry.

See what’s in our camera bag

best drone

Travel Photography Tip

Try to also shoot in aperture mode, best done with a 50mm or 85mm lens. This adds a blur in the background (bokeh) and brings the subject of your photo into focus. We use the Sony 85mm F1.8 : a prime lens with a wider aperture and fixed focal length. You can’t zoom, but you’ll get the perfect result with portrait photography and low light.

11. Edit in Lightroom

Lightroom is a perfect application to edit your photos and create your own unique styles. Load your RAW images into Lightroom and start experimenting! In doing this, we have created our own presets, which we use ourselves and are also available to purchase. ( See this video on how we use our presets )

Try: Our Lightroom Presets

photography tips editing sunset

12. Have Patience in Crowds

If you don’t have the opportunity to catch the sunrise and avoid the crowds, it can be harder to capture your perfect shot. However, with a little patience, it is certainly possible!

When you’re in a busy city, a good travel photography tip would be to position yourself, line up the camera, and get your subject ready (in our case, Hannah). You may be waiting for a while, but there is always a brief moment of peace where you can take the photo. For instance, when the traffic lights have turned red or the crowd of tourists has just moved on to the next statue. In this time, you can normally find a gap of several seconds to shoot the perfect image.

travel photography posing

13. Shoot Vertical

Although horizontal might seem like a good idea to capture as much of the landscape as possible, this means you’ll need much more space without people in it. If you have a small window of time, photographing vertical is useful to avoid people and cars, etc. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the largest size photo you can post on Instagram is 4 x 5 ratio which works best with a vertical photo.

city photography

14. Use an ND Filter

ND filters stop light from reaching the sensor, making them the perfect camera accessory for bright sunny days. If you’re shooting outside in bright light, such as the midday sun, screw this filter on. It will instantly reduce the amount of light that comes into the lens and bring back the color that otherwise would be washed out. Use a variable ND filter that you can adjust depending on the light situation. We use a Hoya Variable Density Filter .

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Instagram Stories Tips – 11 Quick & Easy Tips + Hacks

How to backup photos while traveling, best cameras for travel in 2024 + camera lenses.

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17 Travel Photography Tips for Awesome Photos of Your Trip

Our article takes you through some basic travel photography tips to take your best travel photos. If the travel bug bites you, and you want to capture your adventures with photography, this is the guide to bookmark.

We’ll cover planning, camera equipment , shooting techniques , taking portraits , and more. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, there’s something for everyone here. So, let’s get started!

A travel photographers camera, bag and notebook on a map

17 Travel Photography Tips for Awesome Photos

So many of us enjoy traveling and taking countless travel photos on our trips. That’s because travel photography is a means of preserving our travel memories.

Travel photos also have the potential to connect us to our beautiful world. Good travel photos evoke emotions, transporting viewers to the heart of our journey. They can be vibrant street scenes, breathtaking landscapes, intimate portraits, or cultural details.

Images of places, events, art, and even food can transport us back to a magical place we once explored and experienced. Nothing is better than reliving a magical sunset, a mountain summit, or beautiful architecture months or years later!

With that in mind, these 20 travel photography tips will help you bring your photos to the next level!

1. Choose the Best Travel Photography Equipment

Most photographers have moved on from DSLRs to mirrorless versions. The smaller size and lesser weight are the obvious appeal here. There are many lightweight travel cameras  if you’re looking for one.

An ultra-wide angle focal length like the Canon RF 15-35mm f/4 IS USM works well for travel photography. Or zooms like the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art lens and a 70-200mm works well.

A fast lens is ideal. But I don’t usually photograph at an aperture lower than f/4 or f/5.6, especially when photographing landscapes.

More often than not, I have more than one subject in the scene. And I usually want to capture some of the background to provide context to the shot.

I was in Rome for three days this past summer. But I couldn’t capture the famous Spanish Steps without people, no matter what time of day I tried.

So, instead, I chose to embrace the crowds and showcase this famous monument as the tourist attraction it is. I used a wide-angle lens to showcase the people and the structure to tell the story of the popularity of a famous travel landmark.

Travel photo of a big crowd gathered on the Spanish Steps

People are usually astonished at how little I carry with me each day. My basic equipment on any trip involves a couple of lenses ( 24-70mm and 70-200mm ). A spare mirrorless camera and some filters ( polarizing filter, ND, and graduated ND filters ).

I only bring a tripod when I know I’ll use it, a flash, and a load of memory cards and batteries. If I need other specific equipment (a macro lens, for example), I will add that to the things I take. But this is all I take with me for most of my shoots.

2. Pack Light and Avoid Carrying Too Much Camera Gear

Packing for any travel is an art in itself, especially if you are going away for an extended period. Travel photography requires a different mindset than wildlife or portrait photography with gear.

Travel photography often involves being out and about all day. And you spend a lot of time walking. That means carrying your gear around the whole day.

On any day, while on a travel photoshoot, I walk anywhere between 15 to 30 km. So, weight is an issue when it comes to travel photography. 

Aim to carry only two lenses. It’s also great to have a lightweight backpack and light travel tripod . The last thing any travel photographer wants to do is carry around 44 lb (20 kg) of equipment, especially when you won’t use any of it at all.

A woman posing for a travel photographer with a hot-air baloons in the background

Carrying equipment you don’t need saps your energy, making you less inclined to push yourself when tired. Who would want to walk up that long flight of stairs with a pack that weighs 55 lb (25 kg)?

Do you carry everything with you all day? No. Decide the specific photos you will take that day, then choose the necessary equipment.

Maybe you’ll be visiting several places in a short period. If so, you probably don’t want to carry all your lenses and cameras because of the weight and time restrictions. Leave unnecessary equipment at your accommodation.

Always aim to head out with as little as you need. Avoid carrying equipment for the sake of it!

3. Know Your Camera Settings and Photography Gear

This is one of the basics of photography, no matter your genre. You should know your camera inside out. When you are traveling and have strangers pose for you, that is not the time to try out different settings and fidget with your gear.

People begin to lose patience and often get suspicious of you and your ability to take a good picture. They are likelier to walk away rather than waste their time with a stranger who does not know how to operate their camera.

Along the same lines, don’t take that new lens out for a spin when you are on the travel experience of a lifetime. It’s best to test it beforehand to know how to use it best.

travel photographers hiking through a canyon with a river

Good travel photos impact viewers because they capture fleeting moments tourists might miss. But these moments don’t last longer than a few seconds.

Unless you know your camera completely and can switch settings instantly, you might miss them. This is one of the biggest beginner photography mistakes and one of the easiest to remedy.

The only way to get to a point where the camera becomes an extension of your arm is to practice. The more you take pictures, the better and quicker you will evaluate the scenario and change settings.

It’s best to get efficient enough to subconsciously change and tweak settings in seconds. Only then will you capture those fleeting moments.

4. Research Travel Destinations Like a Photographer

Take the time to research the locations, customs, and photography norms of the place you will visit. Find out as much as you can about your travel destination.

And don’t just rely on travel books, like Lonely Planet , and websites. Having a real conversation with someone from the area when you get there is much more helpful than any book out there.

Remember, customs vary not only by country but by region and religion. Understand and appreciate the diverse cultural context and respect these differences.

A little research before your journey goes a long way. It helps avoid disappointment or despair if photo restrictions exist at your destination.

Good trip planning allows your photography to flow. Failure to do this will mean wasting time organizing things on the ground.

  • Book Ahead: Get used to travel websites and apps like AirBnb, Booking.com, and Rome2rio. This eases any worries you may have about accommodation and travel.
  • Research Stories : What would make a good story from your destination? One key difference between a photographer and a travel photographer is the travel photographer has a keen eye for a story. Are there any famous foods? Is there a big festival? How about famous local produce? Any of these can make a good story when a sequence of photos on that subject is put together.
  • Contact Fixers: Reach out to people already at your travel destination. This massively helps with your trip research. It also means you have people you can meet when you arrive. A tour guide could even organize a photoshoot with locals you’d otherwise not be able to work with.
  • Plan Around Weather : Although we encourage practicing photographing in all weather conditions, you want to aim for the best conditions. Arriving in the middle of monsoon season is not the best idea. Look at yearly forecasts and monthly average conditions to plan the best time to visit.

travel photography in Venice

5. Make a Travel Photography Shot List

Travel photography research aims to put together a detailed shot list. This will be your checklist to work through to ensure you return with a good variety of photos.

Your shot list will vary depending on where you’re going and any potential brief you must follow. For example, maybe you’re photographing the Venice carnival. Your shot list for this will differ if you photograph Venice without the carnival.

How you set out your shot list will depend on how active you want to be. But it’s also about what you’re photographing and where.

It’s best to allow more time to travel to different locations in a big city. And ensure you also factor in tourist sights’ opening and closing times.

One of the best ways to set your shot list out is to break the day down into four different time segments:

  • Morning : Sunrise to around 11:00 am
  • Lunchtime : 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Afternoon : 2:00 pm to sunset
  • Evening : After sunset

The hours might change depending on your destination and time of year. But breaking down the day can help you be more efficient with your time.

Also, break down your shot list by location. Plan to cover places that are geographically close during each time segment. This means you won’t waste your time traveling rather than taking photos. A final shot list should show exactly where you will be and when.

Travel photo of Stonehenge at sunset

6. Practice Different Types of Travel Photography Before a Trip

After some planning, you’ll need to hone your craft. Does that mean jumping in at the deep end and booking your flight to a far-flung destination? In a word, no.

There are sensible steps you can take before you hit the road. Think of it as the equivalent of a professional sports player practicing before going out to perform in a big match.

The best advice is to start local and build up. The area where you live will almost certainly have photography opportunities, so start there. Day trips, particularly weekend trips, will also help prepare you. 

The photographic techniques you need for travel photography are the same for getting good photos in your local area. The following are the types of photography you should be practicing in your neighborhood:

  • The Magazine Spread : Imagine you’re going to photograph a story for a travel magazine. Call it 48 hours in your town. Make a photo list of places people would visit, the food they’d eat, and where they’d stay. Then, take photos of each of these things.
  • A Wide-Angle Landscape : This photo shows a huge, panoramic scene. It could well be your double-page spread. This photo takes some effort. With an emphasis on “big,” you need to get a good vantage point.
  • Festivals or Events : Festivals are a staple of travel photography. They are brief, so you need to nail down your photos. Practice getting varying photos from these events, such as the scene setter, some portraits, and some detailed photos.
  • Food Photography : Practice taking photos at a restaurant… without upsetting your dining partner, of course! Think about natural light, arranging the table to get a clean photo, and try using an off-camera flash.
  • Street Photography: Always practice your street photography. When you travel, people will bring your photos to life.

travel photography of a mountainous landscape

7. Learn How to Travel Smart

Travel photography can quickly become expensive. If you aim to pursue travel photography as a career, as mentioned, practicing in your local area is the first step.

Beyond that, you must learn to live on a modest budget but still use enough money to pay for that big-ticket photo.

After you’ve photographed your town a few times, up the ante with some day and weekend trips. Short trips get you familiar with the process of learning about a new place. You have to learn about places quickly to get good photos of them.

You’ll also be doing a lot of walking as a travel photographer. Use local transport as much as possible, and avoid staying in a five-star hotel bubble to stay on budget. These also offer a better glimpse into the local culture and lifestyle.

8. Set Realistic Travel Photography Goals

A famous quote is, “We travel not to escape life, but so that life does not escape us.” This hits the nail on the head for me. Be real about why you travel and what you want to gain out of each travel experience.

If you travel to a marketplace and want a sense of local lifestyles and customs, look for naturally occurring scenes. Don’t look for people you can pose or stage to get your shot. Those travel images are not true to your experiences.

The photo below is by no means a perfect shot. But I love that it shows how rustic transportation choices can be in smaller villages and towns in some countries. It makes for an interesting travel photo to share with friends and family.

People exiting a train in a rural area

9. Be Observant of Your Surroundings

Life is happening all around you all the time. People interact with each other. People interact with nature. Nature puts on a grand show during sunrise, sunset, or thunderstorms.

But don’t wait for a preconceived notion of the perfect moment to take your camera out and shoot travel photos.

At the same time, don’t see the world simply through your viewfinder. Observe the scene, anticipate the shot that you want to get, and be ready. Don’t fire away at every situation only to get home and realize you missed the moment.

While traveling in India, I once found myself in the middle of a village festival ritual. I had no idea what was happening, but I knew I had to document it.

Luckily, a female photographer was somewhat of a rarity in this village. And I was given a special seat in the middle of all the action. It was fascinating to see and experience and, of course, take photos of.

10. Be Present in the Moment

Being present in every moment of every day is a life lesson we all can benefit from. It doesn’t just apply to travel photos. Great moments happen every day around us that are worth documenting, not just for our clients but also for ourselves.

Training your mind to live in the moment and not worry about all the other distractions will also help you really “see” what is around you.

More often than not, you likely travel with a very tight agenda and timeline. No sooner than you get to your destination, you are already mentally prepared to move on to the next stop.

Instead, try to plan a single excursion for a day and focus on learning and experiencing that place or activity before moving on. That way, you can take travel images that accurately reflect your experience.

An empty residential street in Paris with colorful apartment buildings on either side

11. Don’t be Shy, Be Personable and Communicate

Self-confidence, an open attitude, and a genuine smile are important wherever you travel. People around you will generally respond to you with the same attitude you show them.

One of the biggest reasons beginner travel photographers don’t capture great travel images is shyness. It could be shyness in approaching and photographing people, places, or even objects.

Watching people take out their smartphones and snap away without a care in the world is always fascinating. Give some of those people a digital camera, and they suddenly develop a fear that people will challenge them about taking their photos.

Most people will be flattered that you want to take their photographs. But even if they don’t want you to take their photo, what is the worst thing that could happen?

A photographer taking a picture of a signpost in Norwat

If you ask them, they may refuse. If you don’t ask, they might turn away or put a hand up in front of their face. Does that seem that bad?

You should not have any issues as long as you use common sense. For example, it isn’t advisable to photograph military personnel without asking. Or you shouldn’t take photos in places where photography is not allowed, like museums.

In some cultures, some people may not want to be photographed because of religious beliefs. But in all my years of working as a travel photographer, I have never encountered any problems.

To capture great travel images, you need to overcome any shyness. You must be willing to approach and photograph anyone or any situation that will enhance your collection of that destination.

12. Get Permission Before Photographing People

Be open and honest about your need to photograph something or someone. More often than not, people will respond positively to you.

I have found that most people love to have their picture taken. If you are uncomfortable or nervous about something or someone, it’s best to leave the camera in your bag.

Almost everyone knows what a camera is and what it can do. Simple hand gestures and pointing to the camera are enough, even if you don’t know the language.

Not understanding the language should never be an excuse to photograph an unwilling person. As a photographer, asking for permission before you click the shutter rests solely on you.

If you have time, learn some simple phrases related to photography in the language of your destination country. This lets you communicate more directly with your subject, explaining why you want to take a photograph. It also shows your interest in the local culture.

Portraits of three Kayan women in Burma

Sometimes, you can use your camera as an ice-breaker. Take pictures of people and show them your photos of them. You will find that photography instantly becomes more fun and less intimidating. More than anything, respect that “no” really means “ no .”

Yes, I understand that there is another school of thought on whether asking for permission will ruin the composition of an image. A lot of photographers will argue one way or the other.

But if you are taking a picture of a person, you should try to ask permission before or after.

I remember one instance when I was traveling in India with my kids. We were visiting a temple in Southern India, and for some reason, many teenagers started taking pictures of my five-year-old son. They would come up to us and take selfies with my son.

Initially, it seemed innocent enough, and my son posed with them. Soon, it was getting to the point of being creepy, and I had to refuse. As a parent, I was extremely uncomfortable with having strangers take pictures of my kids.

This experience taught me a very valuable lesson. Respect people’s personal space and personal preferences.

13. To Pay or Not to Pay for Travel Photos?

Perhaps one of the most controversial moments while traveling is whether to give money to people you photograph. Sometimes, uneducated, desperate tourists give money to get what they think is an award-winning travel photo.

Soon enough, it becomes a lucrative business in the local community. This can become uncomfortable and unsafe for other photographers who travel through the same places.

I prefer engaging people openly, sharing my story, and showing my need for a picture. In most cases, people are more than happy to share their stories and to be heard. I, too, walk away more culturally and emotionally enriched with the experience.

But if someone expects money for a photograph, the decision becomes less of whether to pay and more of whether to take the photo. That is a judgment call each of us needs to make on a case-by-case basis.

And remember to be mindful of the example we are setting for future travelers and photographers.

A geisha in traditional clothing holding an umbrella on a rainy street

14. Learn to Photograph in Any Weather

It’s a luxury to photograph in the best weather conditions, one not always enjoyed by travel photographers. So, learning to make the most of any weather is important to get meaningful photos.

Once again, you can practice this at home. How do you get great landscape photos on cloudy days or sunny days? Going to your local viewpoint and practicing for both scenarios will greatly help.

Plenty of photo opportunities when it rains can give you beautiful photos. Try your hand at some reflection photography once the rain stops.

15. Be Confident in Your Photography Skills

Travel photography can be quite fast-paced. You are trying to capture a scene as it plays out before you. You don’t have the time or the opportunity to re-compose the shot and click the shutter.

But this does not mean you must fire away at your camera’s maximum frame rate and pick the best of the lot in post-processing.

Instead, use your technical and artistic skills to read the scene. Analyze the light, assess the right camera settings, imagine the outcome, anticipate the shot, and take the picture.

Not only will you improve your observation skills over time, but You will also improve your photography.

Travel image of zebras and wildebeests on an African safari

16. Keep Good Travel Notes

This will help you with your travel photography in the long run. Most people love to create travel photo books of their travel experiences. Having a good log or journal of your adventures will help you add detail and context to the images at a later stage.

If you are an aspiring travel blogger or want to submit your travel photos to a publication, these notes will be a lifesaver. Most magazines want as much detail as you can provide about a place, your travel experience, and your travel photos.

If a pen and paper are not readily available, you can even use the voice memo app on your phone to record an audio narrative of your experience.

17. Travel Without Taking Pictures

As a travel photographer, this is one of my favorite tips to share… Take time to travel without obsessing over capturing every minute of every day with your camera.

Spend time to explore your surroundings without a camera. Your body and mind will thank you for it. Even if you are on assignment, add some downtime to your schedule.

Not only does it help you relax. But it also recharges those creative batteries when you return to your travel photography.

A man sitting with his feet up on a suitcase in an airport watching a plane fly by

What’s Next?

I hope these 17 travel photography tips were insightful and will help you achieve better photos on your next adventure. Like everything, becoming a great travel photographer takes time and practice. You must always improve your skills technically and creatively.

You have to work hard while on a trip, get by on little sleep, and overcome any shyness that you may have. Needless to say, a love for traveling and exploring new places is also a must.

Planning and patience will help you make the most of your travel photography. And you’ll come back with some incredible travel photos that document your incredible journey.

On the hunt for more great tips before your trip? We have great posts on safari photography , taking photos in fog , or cropping photos to check out next!

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30 Travel Photography Tips: Take Better Travel Photos (and Look Good in Them Too!)

Whether you are a traveler extraordinaire who hopes to take better travel photos , you want to explore the world of posting on social media, you are a mom who snaps pictures of her family wherever you go , OR you want to UP your adventure photography game, learning a few of basic tips will help to improve your photography skills AND the quality of your photographs.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

30 Simple Tips to Take Better Travel Photos

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Costa Rica travel tips and answers to your FAQs

Here are a few simple tips to follow as you are traveling and learning how to take aesthetic photos —especially when you visit sites that are popular and everyone else wants to visit at the same time as you!

Aesthetic definition : (adj) concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. Examples of beautiful objects are:  landscapes, sunsets, humans and works of art .

1. Avoid Visiting Popular Sites at Popular Times

Maybe this isn’t the “popular” answer, but it is the obvious one.

To avoid visiting popular attractions at the busiest times, this tip might mean waking up early in the morning before crowds gather or visiting a popular site in the early evening when crowds begin to thin.

Not a morning person? Sometimes sacrifices have to be made to capture the best pic and take better travel photos!

Other busy times you may wish to avoid visiting popular sites:

  • During holidays
  • In the high season
  • On a local holiday
  • Around noon
  • On the weekend

That being said, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and recognize that your shots might be full of 500 of your “new” best friends!

2. Avoid Crowds and Tour Groups if Possible

One of my golden rules for dining while traveling is to wander about five blocks away from the main tourist area and crowded dining options to find out-of-the-way restaurants where the locals might pop in for lunch or dinner.

The same can be said for learning how to take aesthetic photos. If you find that the main tourist areas are completely overrun with tourists AND with tour groups following a guide holding a brightly colored selfie stick, wander away from the crowds and discover the photos that show local life, Friday morning markets, and beautiful architecture.

You will be amazed at your ability to take better travel photos when you can slow down and enjoy the scene in front of you.

3. Be Patient

Have you ever looked at a photo on Instagram and wondered, “ How did they manage to take a picture without any tourists in it ? When I was there it was so crowded I could hardly keep track of my family!”

Patience, my friend. Patience.

…And having your camera ready to go the moment the last tourist walks out of your frame. That’s another idea for learning to take better travel photos.

Again, patience may not reward you with a tourist-free shot. Sometimes you just have to be okay with that.

>> Related : Romantic Instagram Quotes for Couples Who Love to Travel

4. Have Your Camera Settings Dialed In and Act Fast

Having patience leads to this tip: As you are waiting for a photo opportunity, make sure that you have ALL of your camera settings ready to go. Take a few test pictures while the crowds are milling if needed so you know that your shot will be perfect. Adjust for light, change angles, or zoom in.

Act fast once your frame clears.

This spot in front of of the General Sherman tree in the Sequoia National Park in California is often besieged with tourists wanting a memento in front of the giant sequoia tree and the sign.

Take better travel photos at tourist sites such as the General Sherman tree

To capture a “tourist-free” photo of the tree, be ready for the break in the crowd and then snap away. You may only have 2 seconds. Again, have your settings ready to go so that you know the shot will turn out the way you want.

>> Related: 20 Epic Outdoor Adventures in Yosemite National Park

5. Have Your Smartphone Ready as a Backup

This may take a little fancy handwork, but have your camera open on your phone and easy to reach if you are switching between a DSLR. If you find you just can’t get the lighting right or need to shoot from a higher angle to take better travel photos, use your phone’s camera.

Don’t be afraid to use your phone for pictures.

Cameras on newer phones offer sophisticated and advanced technology for all of your travel and adventure photography.

6. Edit Your Photos Later

Edit, edit, edit.

There are free apps for your phone or even desktop options such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom where you can crop and remove people from your photo. A little bit of magic to help you take better travel photos.

If you have never used the Adobe products, there is a learning curve associated with those programs.

My tip : Straighten your photos. This is especially apparent if you are taking photos of the ocean. Be sure to straighten the horizon before posting online.

7. Stand So People in the Background are Hidden from View

Sometimes it will be simply impossible to wait for all of the people to clear from your shot to take an amazing travel photo .

If you can, place your subject (you, a family member, friend, or travel partner ) strategically in front of people in the distance.

Voila! It looks as though the street is empty AND that you have mad photography skills!

8. Take Day Trips to Less Popular Destinations to Take Better Travel Photos

The touristy experiences in the bigger cities, such as Rome and Venice and Paris, are great so you can say, “I’ve been there!”, but sometimes getting outside of the city and away from the crowds is awesome.

Day trips to smaller, out-of-the-way towns and villages, such as Orvieto in Italy or Riquewihr in France, can be just as magical and picturesque.

>> Related: 7 Instagram Worthy Villages in the Cotswolds

9. Simply Ask People to Move

You will find that most people will move when they see you waiting with a camera in hand to take a picture.

Sometimes you’ll just have to ask people to move and they are happy to do it. Other times, there’s no rushing some people and they are going to stand in that spot for as long as they want. Dang it! (If this is the case, you can go back to the “ be patient ” point, you can change your angle, you can try again later, or you can just move along.)

10. Use the Crowd in Your Shot to Take Better Travel Photos

Tips to take better travel photos

Recognize that sometimes you just aren’t going to get the “tourist-free” shot of your dreams when you are planning how to take aesthetic photos of a destination.

For example, the Piazzale degli Uffizi in Florence outside of the Uffizi Museum is often overcrowded with tourists. You may wish to have all of the tourists move out of the way for you to capture the amazing architecture in the foreground and the buildings in the background, but sometimes wishes don’t come true.

Take the picture anyway.

>> Related: Best Things To Do In Florence, Italy

Tips for Looking Awesome and Taking Pictures of YOU!

11. wear colors that pop.

Young girl biking in Shark Valley

Do you know what colors look best on you?

Choose bright colors that enhance your skin AND make your photos POP with color when you travel.

It may be as simple as wearing a brightly colored scarf.

Consider your destination and make color choices based on it. For example, if you’re at the beach, wear something besides blue so that you stand out from the color of the ocean.

>> Related: 27 Instagram Worthy, Insanely Colorful Destinations Around the World

12. Learn How to Pose to Show Your Best Side

  • Move to good lighting
  • Slightly push your butt out behind you to show a slimmer torso
  • Bend your arm to create space between your arm and your body
  • Turn your body 45 degrees toward the camera
  • Turn your face so one ear is closer to the camera and slightly tilt your chin down
  • Lean forward from the waist just a touch
  • Stand tall, don’t slouch. Watch your posture. Sit up to elongate and slim your waist
  • Put one foot forward—put most of your weight on the foot in the back
  • Show movement—walk, twirl, look away from camera, grab your sunglasses, tuck your hair behind your ear
  • Be confident
  • Take candid shots
  • Use props and have some fun

Plan a trip and a Girl with pink umbrella in the gardens at Versailles

13. Use a Tripod

While not one of your essential photography gadgets, you may find that a tripod for your camera or your iPhone comes in handy for family photos, still shots, selfies and travel and adventure photography.

Joby GorillaPod flexible versatile tripod

The  GorillaPod  might be a great inbetween tripod if your camera and lens fit the 6.6 pound weight specification.

Button for linking to my Amazon favorites

14. Use a Selfie Stick to Take Better Travel Photos of You!

In a world with camera phones, it is a simple task to ask your travel partners or even a stranger to take your picture.

If you go on vacation and return home without a single photo of you, hand over your camera next time or consider investing in a selfie stick.

How to Take Aesthetic Photos: Follow the Rules of Composition

If you are a new photographer and are feeling a little overwhelmed as you learn to master your camera and take better travel photos, take heart. It takes a lot of practice. The amazing thing about digital cameras is that you can take as many photos as you like , delete as many photos as you don’t like, and continue learning each time you venture out with your camera to take better travel photos.

Following a few rules of composition will enhance your photos.

15. Consider the Light

Use natural light as much as possible in your photographs. Natural light generally refers to any light created by the sun (or the moon).

While it would be nice to say, “Avoid the sun at midday,” sometimes you just can’t as you are traveling. What can you do in such a situation?

  • Use a lens hood
  • Try to find shade
  • Make a point to come back to the spot in early morning or early evening
  • Have your subject turn their back to the camera
  • Take advantage of the shadows cast by your subject and be creative
  • Shoot from a different angle

Good lighting is essential to your photographs when you are trying to take better travel photos.

Quick Tip * Do you ever wonder where the ideal position is to have your subject stand in relation to the sun? Have them stand so that when you as the photographer are facing them, you see their shadow between you and them.

16. Use the Rule of Thirds To Take Better Travel Photos

Imagine that your screen (view finder) is divided into a grid of 9 equal sections when you frame your shot. For the most dynamic and natural photos, move your subject away from the center of the photo and place them along one of those vertical lines or where the points intersect.

Rule of thirds to take better travel photos

You can turn ON the “GRID” option in your camera app or camera settings to visually see the grid as you take pictures. After practice, you will naturally begin to use the Rule of Thirds in your photos and take better travel photos.

North Carolina Fall foliage

Now, this is not to say NEVER CENTER YOUR PHOTOS! There is a time for centering your subject when you wish to create symmetry. But to generally achieve a more natural-looking photo, learn to use the Rule of Thirds.

17. Try Not to Have Objects Sprouting Out Of Your Subject’s Head

trip photography tips

Photography skills 101: If you look at the composition of your photo and notice that there is a flagpole or a sign or an architectural feature that extends smack above your subject’s head, have them move a little to the left or the right.

18. Use Natural Frames

Young girl looking out window of barn

Framing is a compositional technique in photography that draws the viewer’s eye to the most important feature in your photo and creates a frame around the subject. Using frames adds more dimension to your photo.

You can achieve this framing technique using windows and doors, an arched entryway, trees and bushes, a tunnel…even an umbrella.

Once you start finding objects that can create a framing effect, you’ll begin to see them everywhere.

19. Find Leading Lines as You Compose Your Photo

East Inlet hikes in Colorado

Using leading lines to take better travel photos is where you basically use lines from a feature in your photo to direct the viewer’s eye toward the main story, subject, or intent within the photo. Leading lines moves the attention from one element to another.

Examples of leading lines:

  • Railroad tracks
  • An aisle in a church
  • Architectural feature

>> Related: 15 Breathtaking Hikes in Colorado

20. Shoot from a Creative Angle

Different point of view to take better travel photos

The effort to take better travel photos may simply mean taking a picture from a different perspective. This may involve shooting up from a lower angle or looking down from a higher vantage point.

Move away from always trying to see your subject eye to eye. Crouch down to a child’s level, stand on your tiptoes, or hold your phone above the crowd to capture a new perspective.

If your children are playing at a play park, try standing under them as they climb the structure or above them as they as play below.

21. Try to Capture a Reflection

Some of the coolest photos come from capturing a reflection of your desired subject.

Did you know that some photographers travel with a water bottle for this very purpose? They create a puddle on the ground in front of an architectural tourist site and take a shot of the reflection in the water.

You can also look for reflections after a rain shower, in a river or body of water, or even in a pair of reflective sunglasses.

man gazing at the sky with clouds reflected in his sunglasses

22. Focus on the Eyes

Think back to the Rule of Thirds compositional tip. An important point when photographing people is to make sure that the subject’s eye that is closest to you is on one of those points. That is where you camera focus should be as well.

Focusing on the eyes ensures that the viewer engages with the eyes, after all “the eyes are the window to the soul.”

23. Make Sure Your Focus is Spot On

How many times have you taken a picture only to find later that it is out of focus or focusing on the wrong thing? Practice. Practice. Practice.

Wrong focus on hand

24. Look for Contrasting Colors

Fall bucket list adventures around the world with stunning pops of red and orange.

If you are visiting the beach, wear a color that pops against the color of the ocean. If you are in the mountains, zoom back a little to capture some of the bright blue sky to add extra dimensions. Even fall color pops more with the contrast of a little blue in the sky.

Adventure Photography Skills to Take Better Travel Photos

25. learn the basics of your camera.

If your goal is to improve your adventure photography skills AND take better travel photos, find a course that teaches the basic principles of photography. Find someone that teaches in a style that resonates with you.

Understanding ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed and how they all work together sometimes takes effort to wrap your head around.

Many professional photographers encourage you to get away from shooting in Auto Mode and “focus” on shooting in Manual Mode. That’s where understanding ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed is essential.

If you are traveling and moving from one scene to another, one tip is to shoot in Aperture Mode and let your camera figure out the Shutter Speed. This helps when you are on the go and want to be able to compose a shot quickly.

You can still achieve some nicely composed and focused shots.

Beginner’s Bootcamp Photography Course

26. Practice

There’s nothing like good old fashioned practice to improve your skills over time. Practice on your family. Practice on your friends. Practice on inanimate objects in your garden. Practice with each trip you go on to take better travel photos and improve your photography skills.

Study photos that professionals have taken to discover the angles they shoot from, where they focus and how they use light to their advantage.

27. Take a Course to Learn the Features of Your Camera

The all access bundle for live snap love photography courses

If you are looking for a comprehensive course that starts at the beginning, Audrey Ann from Live Snap Love has some amazing photography courses to take.

PS. She offers some FREE cheat sheets too!

  • Free Manual Mode Cheat Sheet
  • Free Lightroom Starter Kit
  • Free Aperture Cheat Sheet
  • Free 90-Day Starter Kit
  • Launch into Lightroom Course
  • Auto to Awesome Course

Want to learn more about these courses? Discover the 5 Best Travel Photography Courses for Beginners .

28. Study Other Photographers

Eiffel Tower in Paris France in black and white offering great reasons to visit Paris as romantic getaways for couples

One of the best ways to improve your photography skills is to study other photographers.

Follow some of your favorite photographers on Instagram and discover the Instagrammable places they shoot around the world. If you know you will be traveling to the dreamy villages outside of Florence , see what others take pictures of.

  • What time of day did they take the picture?
  • Did they stand from above or below?
  • Did they include people in their photograph?
  • What creative angle did they use?

29. Research Instagrammable Places in Advance

Sunset over the winding road with cypresses in Tuscany leading to small towns in Italy near Florence

If you spend time on social media or Pinterest, begin to take note of particular destinations and the Instagrammable places where people take pictures. Search for “ Instagrammable places of… ”

Captions for Travel Photos

Once you have captured the best travel photos, you may wish to post them on Instagram. Here are a variety of posts showcasing the best captions for travel photos:

  • 75 Romantic Instagram Quotes for Couples Who Love to Travel
  • 70 Inspiring Instagram Captions for Travel
  • 65 Awesome Travel Quotes for Instagram
  • 300+ Instagram Content and Travel Caption Ideas for Bloggers

10 Captions for Travel Photos that Combine Photography and Travel:

  • “You can always take a great photo—no matter what the conditions.” – Steve Davey
  • “The whole point of taking pictures is so you don’t have to explain things in words.” – Elliott Erwitt
  • “Travel photography is really a way of life: a way of traveling.” – Steve Davey
  • “Having a camera around your neck gives you a good excuse to be nosy.” – Martin Parr
  • “The most valuable things in life are a man’s memories. And they are priceless.” – Andre Kertesz
  • “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”
  • “I think of myself as an explorer who has spent his life on a long voyage of discovery.” – Paul Strand
  • “Never stop looking, no matter where you are, everywhere there are good photographs.” – Art Wolf
  • “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” – Jim Richardson
  • “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

30. Book a Photography Tour

There are plenty of walking tours around the world, and many have options for photography tours as well.

My Favorite Camera Equipment

If you spend any time on social media, you may encounter people who are passionate about their brand of camera. There has long been a debate about which camera brand is the best—Sony, Canon, Nikon, etc.

The answer?  Whatever camera you have with you !!!

Point and Shoot Camera

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III Digital Camera

Underwater Camera


Mid-range DSLR


Just remember, you don’t have to travel with ALL of your photography equipment. Pack lightly. Take only the essentials. That may mean your camera body and one possibly two versatile lenses and a few accessories. Here are a few ideas for you to consider.

A go-to lens for the Canon T8i is the  Canon EF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6  with image stabilization. It is perfect for all of your domestic AND international adventures. The Canon T8i (in the Canon Rebel Line) is a perfect beginner’s camera.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 with Image Stabilization Lens

If your skills have improved and you are looking to upgrade from a T-series camera to a Canon 6D Mark II or similar DSLR, note that you will also need to upgrade your lenses from the EF-S line to the EF lenses such as this lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens  

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon

Upgrading is an important consideration, as the photography hobby comes with some expensive photography gadgets and equipment!

The good news, the relatively inexpensive Canon “ nifty fifty ” lens—an EF lens—works with both camera bodies. (Be sure to pick the nifty fifty lens suited to your brand of camera).

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens Nifty Fifty

Nowadays, with the advances in smartphone camera technology, the best camera might just be in your back pocket!

trip photography tips

There are tripods that are small and flexible for travel, but if you are traveling solo (or even with a group), you may wish to have the added benefit of the  Fugetek selfie stick  in your travel gear .

The selfie stick a handy gadget complete with an iPhone and Android compatible camera stand. The stick can extend in height with an easy click-in lock and comes with a removable remote for easy one-step operation. The tripod features non-skid feet for your selfie stick to become a stand alone device.

The  Canon Wireless Remote Control  is a handy photography gadget that is lightweight and small. It allows you to take “selfies” with your DSLR!

Canon wireless remote control

Or, if your hands are full holding reflectors or if you are using a tripod, you can easily set up your camera on the remote setting and enable the remote control. 

There is a specific camera setting ! 

Don’t forget to change the setting on your camera!

There is a debate in the photography community as to the need or value of Lens Filters. For certain types of photography, filters are essential in achieving a specific look and feel to your photos. 

UV Protected lens filter

A  UV Protected Lens Filter  can be a protection to your more expensive lenses.

Be sure to purchase the correct size of filter for your lens.

While you often hear about the “golden hours” in photography, it isn’t always practical to only shoot at the first light of the morning or in the waning hours of the evening for the best light.

lens hood

As you travel, you are shooting and sightseeing all day long and need to account for the sun as best you can. A Lens Hood  can help you to take better travel photos during the daytime hours.

The lens hood blocks the direct sunlight from hitting the lens and allows you to take better travel photos in the bright light of the day.

Again, be sure to purchase the correct size for your lens.

Extra Memory Card

Be sure to have sufficient memory in your  SD Cards . If your travel extends for an extended length of time, invest in a card with enough space for all of your vacation photos.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB SDXC UHS-I Card

Having a backup card isn’t a bad idea either.

Camera Battery & Charger

Powerextra battery for canon camera LP-E6N

Not only should you have a back up SD card as part of your photography gadgets, but having a back up  Camera Battery  along with your  Battery Charger  is a good idea.

Canon LC-E6 Battery Charger for Canon

An improvised backpack rain cover fashioned from plastic bags may work to cover your backpack and keep your camera and photography gadgets dry in a pinch. Invest in a Waterproof Backpack Covers  for future rainy days.

waterproof backpack cover

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a great travel photo.

Anyone can take a nice picture of the Eiffel tower. To elevate your photography skills and take great travel photos, you will need great light and excellent composition. Learn those skills to give your photography skills an edge.

What is a good quote of traveling and photography?

“Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter. ” ~ Ansel Adams

Is a smartphone good for travel and adventure photography?

Yes. Your iPhone may just be your best travel camera. “While the image resolution and quality might be higher on a DSLR or other high-end camera, the iPhone wins hands-down on portability and convenience.” iPhonephotographyschool.com

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Tips to take better travel photos

Final Thoughts on 30 Travel Photography Tips to Take Better Travel Photos and Look Good in Them Too!

This is a brief overview of how to take better travel photos. The key, really, is to practice, practice, practice .

There is so much more to learn if you wish to master the features of your camera, and especially to move away from shooting in Auto .

All in the hopes that you will be able to take better travel photos.

And when you arrive home from your excursions, find creative ways to display the amazing photos you took on vacation.

Related Articles

  • Travel Photos: 12 Creative Ways to Share and Display Them
  • 15 Popular Photography Gadgets
  • 11 Instagram Worthy Beautiful Lakes Around the World
  • How to Best Journal Your Travels and Your Life
  • 10 Great Reasons to Visit Paris

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I’m a Colorado-based travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world, enjoying family time, and taking fantastic photographs. I am also a book writing, creative thinking, detail loving, frequent flying, comfort loving mom of three girls and wife to an amazing guy.

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Thanks for sharing, I really needed this article. These are some great tips. I already know about using the grid but for some reason, I still end up having photos in the center! It’s such a hard habit to break.

Great tips! I definitely try to avoid popular spots at popular times, because I am definitely not an expert at editing people out of my photos. I also really would like to start taking photos with a camera and not just a smart phone, I think that’s a great way to step up my photography game!

This is a super helpful guide! I try to use a lot of these techniques when I take photos too, but you also taught me something new with the use of the grid on your phone camera – great idea! I also swear by my selfie stick/tripod; it really comes in handy for those couple shots. Xx Sara

This is such a useful guide! I definitely need to work on my patience more as I’m not an expert at removing people from shots with software. Even using a grid, I always end up with focal points in the centre, but I guess that takes practice to break that habit. Also, love the tip on the lighting shadow direction!

Great tips Jolayne! I agree with all of these – and above all, be patient haha! Avoiding group tours is another big one for me, where possible! I’m a huge fan of Adobe Lightroom for editing. Thanks for sharing!

Patience is a virtue, especially when traveling.

Interesting idea to use the grid to take photos! Patience is definitely key when you’re trying to get photos in busy spots. We always get at least one person walking into the photo who doesn’t seem to notice we’re taking photos.

This is a fantastic post! I think so many of us are looking to up our photography game and guides like this definitely help 🙂

Thanks so much. I know I can always use helpful tips.

These are some great tips! I’m always looking to take better travel photos so I’ll be sure to test out your suggestions! And it is a good reminder that I need to spend some time getting to know my new camera too! So far it is stuck on manual mode! Thanks for the great guide!

Love all these tips! I use the Grid on iPhone camera all the time – it really helps!

It is pretty handy even if it is just a reminder.

I wished I could just ask people to move aside sometimes, but I’m so socially awkward I almost always NEVER say anything hahahah.. I like the tip about just working them into your composition though! Definitely a creative alternative way to just make the situation work for you and I’m gonna keep that positive attitude with me the next time I’m out there!

These are some great tips! I always try to get to touristy spots during off-times exactly for this purpose. I’m not a professional photographer but I can at least try to not have a bunch of people in my pictures haha

So many great photo travel tips! I especially like the ones for take better photos of yourself!

So sorry for your loss. Keep practicing on the photography and editing and you will find improvement.

A really comprehensive post, very useful. I’ve definitely suffered from photo frustration, where my mind- and even my eye- can see the capture I want but I can’t master my camera/ timing/ settings to quite get it. Practice for progress, I suppose!

On a different note, I’m glad to see the humble selfie stick getting a mention. I think they got a bad reputation at one point but used with consideration- a great tool.

WOW! This is a very comprehensive list with tons of great advice. Would be useful for everyone regardless of their skill level.

These are some great tips! I especially like the ideas for posing and wearing colors that pop.

We all want to look fantastic in our pics right?

Great tips! I am a big fan of avoiding crowds and shooting early in the morning when possible. I also love the idea of wearing items that pop – it’s great to think about contrast when shooting.

Haha i love the bit about be patient, but also simply ask people to move. So true!

Patience is a virtue as a photographer.

This guide was SO helpful! Thank you! I really appreciated the tip about shadows.

Thanks. I always love to learn more about photography.

Wait, you mean people DON’T like to see things coming out of their heads in photos?! Just kidding, but truly, that was a tip that I used to never think about, LOL! Great ideas, and beautiful photos.

Wow! Some great tips here. Thank you for sharing.

Great tips – I omitted a lot of these on my own photography tips blog so really appreciated the depth of information you put together 🙂

Thanks so much.

I love your photos! I have to start using my selfie stick!

Thanks. I am photography junkie. Just can’t help myself.

Love this post! I love taking photos and slowly but surely getting better at doing so over the years has been so rewarding. Great read <3

I like the rule of thirds– I have started using this recently and the composition is so much better!

It is where you eye tends to focus

Thanks for these helpful tips, Jolayne! Will have to try putting some of them into practice ?

Lots of great advice. I love taking photos when I’m traveling, I just need to practice with not making them on auto. We had the general Sherman tree without others since we visited at the end of April. There was another couple and we took pictures of them and they of us.

Very useful guide as I have a trip coming up! I was especially interested in the lens you recommended. Thanks!

Very helpful tips. Thanks for sharing your favorite camera equipment. That’s very helpful!

You certainly demonstrate a deep understanding and expertise. The images are mesmerizing and simply awe-inspiring. The autumn shades of the trees, in particular, capture my heart. It’s as if the leaves are giving a standing ovation to the changing seasons!

Great tips. We are constantly taking blurry pictures while running. Advice for being patient is definitely key.

Great Post! I bought myself a camera as a Christmas present a few years ago and I’m scared to death of it. So many settings to navigate through. I definitely need to take a class to get some of the basics down. Lots of great information here. Thank you!

Really some great and some easy-to-implement tips in this post! Thank you for putting this together.

Great post. Mastering photography is on my to-do list.

So many great tips here! And I definitely need to start practicing how to take better photos of myself, LOL!

Great and detailed post. This will definitely help our followers!

Great post! Definitely will give this a closer read later. I consider myself a decent amateur photographer, so really appreciate all the info and great tips!

You have some lovely photos on this post. I find these tips very useful and will try to remember them the next I am out and about. Thanks for sharing!

Awesome post!! Needed this reminder as a content creator

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Eight travel photography tips and tricks for beginners

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Whether you’re shooting on a phone or camera, Liam Fawell has some travel photography tips for you. 

Whether you’re backpacking around Europe, on a family holiday in Fiji, or embarking on a bucket-list once-in-a-lifetime trip, one thing is sure: you’ll be taking plenty of photos along the way. Travel photography is a genre of content creation that involves documenting the landscape, people, culture, customs and environment of a particular place. From architecture, food and events, to urban and natural environments, animals, people and portraits, travel photography is a creative way to capture memories and moments while exploring new places. Liam Fawell is a well-travelled creative director, photographer, videographer and Nikon Z Creator, and he has some expert travel photography advice for budding snappers and experienced clickers alike. 

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The best ways to capture the ‘essence’ of a location 

Liam says the best way to capture images that really communicate the essence or spirit of a location is to seek out subjects that resonate with you. “For me, it’s people. I also love capturing landscapes. Figure out what you’re most inspired by and naturally gravitate towards when picking up your camera. That should be your subject because if it interests and intrigues you, you’ll continue to shoot it,” says Liam. “Finding your style of photography while on the road and travelling is important. There’s no rulebook as to what the best things to capture are, so whatever feels the most authentic to you, that’s what you should photograph.” 

How to take travel portraits of yourself and your travelling companions 

Being ‘in’ the moment – and photographing that moment – is when authentic and real images are captured, says Liam. “When an image is authentic, real and raw, you can tell. It’s a moment being lived, and someone just happened to point a camera. Use your camera as an extension of yourself to capture fleeting moments with the people around you,” says Liam. 

aerial view of Fraser island

Travel photography rules 

Seeking out alternative perspectives, using photographic equipment you’re familiar and comfortable with, and knowing when to put the camera down, are Liam’s top three key rules. 

  • “Travel light. On the road, there are so many moments that constantly happen before you. If your gear isn’t easily accessible and you don’t know it well enough, you’ll miss it. Your gear should be able to enhance your vision, not detract from it.”
  • “Try and look at things differently. Change up your process to alter the way you look at things, therefore capturing different perspectives.”
  • “Learn to put the camera down. Some moments are worth taking in with no thoughts about framing and composition. Take in the whole moment with every sense you have, not just visually. You’ll become more grateful for the opportunity you have in front of you to travel and document.”

Deserts of Abu Dhabi

Safety tips for travel photography 

The key to travelling safely yet functionally is finding equipment that strikes a balance between security and accessibility. “Camera straps and lens caps are a must while on the road, they’re simple, easy and will make a world of difference if something ever went wrong,” says Liam. “Always have equipment insurance, especially overseas, it’s an absolute non-negotiable.” 

The best lenses for travel photography 

“I’ve always been a fan of zoom lenses for travelling. My trusty NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8 is always with me on every trip I go on. That range is adaptive enough to capture 90% of the frames I want,” says Liam. “I’ve also scored some incredible captures on my NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 on a couple of trips. If I have the capacity to bring that sort of weight with me, I’ll always do it. With film cameras, I love having a fixed lens for some shots, a 28mm or 35mm is perfect for little moments in day-to-day life.”

Whitsunday coastline and european coastline

Liam’s top three iPhone travel photography tips

  • “Just get out there and shoot. Learn what you like to take photos of then start to figure out how you can develop that further.”
  • “Learn the basic rules of photography, such as composition, framing, lighting, and learn camera settings back to front so that if you were to use an actual camera, you could create the images you want to.” 
  • “Explore, shoot, edit. Find inspiration and constantly keep trying to create imagery that feels authentic to you. “ 

Travel photography tips for beginners

“What makes a good travel image is completely up to individual interpretation, which is the beautiful thing about it. What someone loves in a photo, another person won’t at all,” says Liam.

  • Keep your subject towards the centre of the frame, it’s where the eye is drawn so you want the viewer to see the whole image from first glance. 
  • If you’re shooting people, focus on the eyes, it’s the first thing we all naturally look at. 
  • Think heavily about composition and framing. Although there are no rules, these things are what will make or break a travel image. 
  • Colour and angles are both very individual stylistic choices. Depending on the scene just think about how you want to tell the story and what feels authentic to you. 

Mountains at sunset

What’s the best time of the day to take travel photos? 

Whether Liam is shooting people or places, sunset is his favourite time to get out and about with the camera.  ”I will forever be obsessed with the dreamy light and colours that fall into my frame as the sun goes down and disappears below the horizon,” says Liam. “However, I’ve been loving shooting coastal beachy scenes around midday on 35mm because of how beautifully the light is captured on film. I’m obsessed with how that time of day can produce nostalgic summer feelings on film.” 

Read more: 

Three dream destinations for photographers Five underwater travel photography tips The most photographed places in the world

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The Ultimate Solo Travel Photography Guide: 20+ Secrets for Taking Photos Alone

March 5, 2023 by Lauren Melnick

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Lauren Melnick


“You want me to take travel photos of myself by myself? In public!?”

A sentence I uttered way back in 2016, followed by a wave of anxiety, fear, and cold sweaty palms.

If you scroll far back enough on my Instagram feed , you’ll see that my first foray into the world of solo travel photography consisted of only landscapes.

I was  waaaay  too terrified and shy to take photos of myself when travelling solo.

Ask someone to take my photo?  The level of awkwardness and cringe is too damn high.

Do it myself with a tripod?  People will stare, laugh, and I might die of embarrassment. No, I definitely  will  die of embarrassment.

After repeating this cycle for about a year into my solo travels, I realised something while scrolling through my gallery.

I had been to  sooo  many incredible places, but I wasn’t in any of my photos. I was missing out on capturing memories because I was concerned about what other people thought.

Sound familiar?

If so, it’s time to give your insecurities (and anyone who has made you feel small) a giant f**k you. Learning how to take better photos of yourself is not vapid, vain, or cringy.

It’s empowering. It will boost your confidence. 

And when you get home from your next holiday, you’re going to have banging photos of yourself instead of a suitcase of regret.

Without further adieu, I present my findings on everything I know about how to take travel photos. This is the only solo travel photography guide you’ll need to master your camera and start capturing your memories like a pro. 

No Insta Husband required!

Psst…Want more solo travel photography tips? Check out these other posts:

  • Gifts for Travel Photographers: The Ultimate Photographer Gift Guide
  • How to Photograph the Milky Way (Step by Step!)
  • 20+ Most Instagrammable Places in Cape Town
  • 10 of the Best Camera Bags for Women Who Love to Travel

Table of Contents

What Camera Lens Should You Use for Solo Travel Photos?

The best dslr tripod for solo travel photos, the best smartphone tripod for solo travel photos, get an attachment for your smart phone, buy a remote bluetooth shutter, download the camera app for your dslr, buy an intervalvalometer, start shooting on continuous self-timer, shoot on 4k video & take screenshots, how to get epic travel photos from strangers, go early, like sunrise early, shoot at golden hour, research locations for photos, practice your posing at home, use movement in your photos, safety tips for taking solo travel photos, the most important thing for solo travel photos have fun, try the classic back-to-camera, make triangles with your body, editing your solo travel photography, taking photos when travelling alone: final thoughts, how to take photos of yourself when travelling solo.

waterfall in bali

The best part about solo travel photography? There are so many methods you can use to get the perfect shot.

Below you’ll find all the different gear and all my solo travel photography tips I use when travelling alone.

Choose The Best Camera for Solo Travel for Your Budget

One of the top questions I get in my DMs?

“What camera do you use?”

It’s a valid question, but the answer is not as important as you think.

The best camera for solo travel is the one you have.

Let me explain.

You don’t need to have the most expensive DSLR cameras to take incredible solo travel photos.

Smartphones these days are more than capable of snapping jaw-dropping pictures. Both can give you high-resolution photos as long as you know how to use them.

So whether you have a smartphone or a DSLR, take the time to watch YouTube tutorials and learn how the camera works. Your photos will improve with a basic understanding of the functions, settings, and things like an  exposure triangle .

But if you’re in the market, here are some of the best cameras for solo travel:

  • Best action travel camera:  GoPro Hero 11
  • Best mirrorless travel camera:   Sony A7 III or A7 IV
  • Best travel vlogging camera:   Sony RX100 VII
  • Best budget travel camera:   Canon 2000D (my first DSLR)
  • Best smartphone camera for travel:   iPhone 13 Pro
  • Best travel drone: DJI Spark or DJI Mavic Mini 2

In case you’re curious, I currently shoot with a Canon D80 and a Sigma Art 1.8f/s 18-35mm . 

However, it’s a BULKY set-up for solo travel photography. When my next upgrade is due, I’ll be moving towards a mirrorless range as I do believe a lightweight option is the best camera for solo travel.

When travelling and taking photos, you want to keep your set-up lean. You don’t need five different types of lenses to get a good shot.

All that’s going to do is weigh you down.

Instead, invest in a versatile wide-angle lens you can use in 80% of your shooting conditions.

What does that mean?

You want a lens with a decent range to zoom in on far-away features and zoom out to fit everything into the frame.

At the moment, I shoot with a 18-35mm lens, which I love. However, I’ve noticed I need a bit more focal length and don’t want to lug around a second lens. So I’ve started saving up to upgrade to the more versatile  Sigma Art 24-70mm 2.8 f/s .

Sigma Art 18-35mm F1.8

Invest in a Tripod

A tripod is your BFF as a solo traveller.

It wakes up at the same time as you. It doesn’t complain when you ask for “just one more photo”. Most importantly, your trusty tripod won’t give you blurry photos, cut off your head, or move your frame.

There’s only one problem…

…Which tripod should you buy for solo travel photography?

I highly recommend the  Manfrotto Element Traveller tripod . I bought mine in Bali , and it’s incredibly lightweight, sturdy (which is super important because my lens and body weigh about 2-3kg) and packs up small.

It isn’t the cheapest tripod on the market, but the quality is worth the investment.

You have a few tripod options for smartphones to match your travelling style.

  • Want something that can fit in your handbag and requires ZERO set-up? Pick up a gorilla pod . It’s a small, lightweight tripod that can grip almost any surface. While you won’t have the height, you can still get the shot if there is something tall to wrap it around.
  • What about the best selfie stick for solo travel? The  Andowl Selfie Stick  is the perfect camera accessory for solo trips. It can open its feet to form a cellphone tripod, or you can extend the only upper portion into a selfie stick.
  • But if you want something more traditional with height, the  Manfrotto Element MII Mobile  is the best iPhone tripod for solo travel. It reaches up to 160 cm and folds down to 42.5 cm. Plus, you get a Bluetooth remote and a clamp to connect your phone to the tripod.

Again, Manfrotto’s aren’t cheap cellphone tripods, but the quality is unmatched. If it’s out of your price range, Takealot has a range of more affordable brands.

And remember, you don’t need top-of-the-range photography gear to take amazing pictures . As your skills improve, you’ll want to invest in more high-quality equipment, but start with what you can afford.

I started with a cheap as chips Fuji stand-and-shoot camera. I only upgraded to a DSLR two years into my travels.

manfrotto tripod

If you have a tripod for a DSLR camera, you don’t need to buy a second one for your smartphone.

All you need is a cellphone attachment.

I use the  LASA Tripod Phone Mount Holder Screw Rotatable Bracket . It makes it easy for me to switch between my different cameras and get the shots no matter where I am.

cellphone attachment mount

Do you know what’s a workout?

Setting up a timer and running into the frame for every. single. photo.

It’s time-consuming, and it takes you out of the zone.

One of the best investments I made was buying a remote Bluetooth shutter for my DLSR and iPhone.

I use the  Photographic Wireless Remote Control for Canon DSLR Cameras  and this smartphone  Remote Shutter .

Tip:  If you don’t use a Canon, search [camera brand name] + remote shutter on Takealot. But before adding it to your cart, double-check it supports your camera make!

Here are some photos I’ve taken with my remote shutter. You can easily hide the remote by cupping it, holding it behind your back, or concealing it in a pocket.

remote shutter

Does your DSLR have a WiFi feature?

Then there’s a good chance your camera brand has an app you can use, which WILL change your life.

Do you find yourself getting frustrated with setting up a shot? Maybe it’s figuring out how far or close to stand from the camera or if you need to change the angle.

Are your photos out of focus? Maybe your DLSR keeps focusing on things in the foreground or background, and it’s taking you too damn long to get the perfect shot.

The camera app will solve all your solo photography woes.

You can see in real-time what your camera sees and adjust your settings like:

  • Focus points

Here are some photos I’ve taken with my camera app. I usually hold the phone and angle my body so you can’t see it, or I put it on the floor.

sandhoff lillies in namibia

There are times when I’ve tried to take a photo of myself with the above methods, and it’s FAILED.

I was too far away from the camera, and my phone or remote lost signal. 

As someone who lives for tiny humans in epic landscapes, I knew I needed to invest in an intervalometer.

…Errr a what now?

An intervalometer, also called an interval meter or interval timer, is a device that allows you to operate the shutter at regular intervals over a specific period.

As a solo traveller, you can set up your frame, adjust all your settings, and jump into the frame. Your camera will continue to take photos every 2 seconds, 10 seconds, or 60 seconds – it’s up to you!

I love this because it lets you move around and capture a candid moment without having to remember to click a button or hide your remote. Plus, you can stand further away from the camera and get the shot.

Love taking photos of the stars? You can use your interval meter for time-lapse photography and create epic star trails!

Tip:   Some cameras will have built-in interval timers. Check your camera model before deciding to invest in another gadget.

Shooting on continuous mode is a game-changer.

If you’re someone like me who loves movement in your photos, this feature will help you capture that perfect candid moment.

So what is it?

It’s a setting on your phone or DSLR camera that will give you 2 to 10 seconds to run into the frame and then shoot 3+ rapid-fire pictures in a row.

Basically, it’s the equivalent of burst mode WITHOUT finding someone to tap the shutter button on your phone furiously.

The only downside?

You may need to run back and forth between your camera.

Here are some photos I’ve taken with self-timer continuous:

girl at the orchid garden in singapore

One of the best tips for taking travel photos by yourself in public is to shoot on 4k video.

It gives you the freedom to move around and pose without worrying about remotes or timers.

You can let the video roll, and when you’re done, grab screenshots.

And bonus! You have some rad video content for TikTok or Reels.

…But what about the photo quality?

Shooting in 4k means, you’re getting the equivalent of 8.8 MP in each still frame (depending on the camera you use).

Now, if you’re a pro photographer, that 8.8 MP file is probably not enough, but the rest of us? Most of our images are going up on Instagram, and you’re not blowing them up for canvas prints.

Do you need a DSLR to shoot in 4k? Absolutely not! Most smartphones like the iPhone 12 pro let you toggle between 4k and HD video quality.

trip photography tips

Sometimes you might need to ask a stranger to take a photo of you, or maybe you’re travelling with a friend or partner.

The only problem?

9/10, you’re going to get a kak photo.

How do you solve this problem? With these three tips:

  • Use burst mode on your phone or high-speed continuous on your DSLR : This will allow you to move around while the shutter goes off. You’ll get dozens of photos to choose from instead of one blurry image you hate.
  • Set up the shot beforehand:  I usually take an example photo to show the person and leave the gridlines on. Then I use these lines to explain where I want to be in the frame.
  • Lay down the laws of the land:  Before going into the frame, tell the person not to move your frame and not to zoom in or use any weird features like Portrait Mode. Zooming in reduces your image quality, and the Portrait Mode on phones usually ends up blurring something it shouldn’t, and it looks fake.

Photography Tips for Solo Travellers 

girl on top of lions head in cape town

When you’re learning how to take pictures when you travel alone, there are a few things you can do it nip fear and anxiety in the bud.

If there’s one thing that will quickly turn you into a morning person, it’s photography. The more you do it, the more you’re going to chase that good light, and nothing beats sunrise (sorry, sunset).

Besides the gorgeous soft light, no other humans are awake. You’ll have some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders and tourist attractions all to yourself.

That deals a quick one, two punch to the horror of having people watch you take travel photos alone.

signal hill in cape town

As I mentioned above, the best time for photos is between sunrise and sunset. 

An hour before the sun dips or comes over the horizon – the light is spectacular. This is known as golden hour, and I’ll wake up at 4:00 every single day for it.

If you’re not sure when golden hour starts, download an app called  Photo Pills . It is a paid app, but if you’re starting to take travel photography seriously, it’s well-worth the R200.00 investment.

The quiet morning hours are my favourite for two reasons:

  • Fewer photo bombers
  • I prefer the softer light to the more intense orange you get at sunset photoshoot

Read More: 10 Magnificent Sunset Spots in Cape Town You Need on Your Bucket List

girl in kolmanskop

Before I go to a new destination, I spend a good chunk of time collecting reference shots.

Why go through this effort? It eliminates “ I don’t know what the f**k I’m doing ” syndrome.

You’ll know exactly what to expect from the location, what angles you like and what poses you want to try out.

I collect reference photos on Pinterest and in a folder on Instagram. The night before, I’ll screenshot or download my favourites onto my phone in case I don’t have data or signal at any of the photo locations.

girl at emily moon

Dust off your smartphone or DSLR and have a mini photoshoot at home. Figure out what poses flatter your body the best and what movements you like in your pictures.

When it comes to shooting in the real world, you’ll have a posing bank to draw from, and you’ll avoid the trap of “ I don’t know what to do with my hands!”

If you look at my Instagram, you’ll see that I reuse the same poses all the time. I have no shame in that. I like what I like, and no one expects me to drop a pose like Kendall Jenner.

girl in deadvlei

Adding movement to your photos does two things:

  • It makes your photo more visually appealing.
  • It creates beautiful candid shots (and takes the stress out of posing).

I still feel like an awkward potato in m photos unless I’m moving around. It’s where I am most comfortable because I’m in the moment and not hyper-focused on what my face looks like.

Before you set up your camera and run into frame, here are some things to keep in mind to make sure you (and your belongings) stay out of harm’s way.

  • Keep your valuables nearby: Don’t leave your bag or jacket unattended with your passport, credit card and money. Use it as a prop or keep it out of frame without breaking your line of sight.
  • Listen to your spidey senses: If you’re getting the “ick” feeling from being in a quiet area or the people around you – leave. Trust your intuition. A photo is never worth your safety.
  • Stay close to your camera: I’m usually only a few steps away from my tripod. Using a wide-angle lens helps me capture more of the screen without having to leave my camera far behind.


Seriously, your photos will come out 10x better if you’re genuinely having fun. 

We can all pick up on stiff body language and forced smiles.

Let go and enjoy the moment. Emote the emotions you’re feeling at the destination, whether it’s excitement, bewilderment, or amazement.

I continuously work on this because I’m someone who lives in my head…a lot. It holds me back, and it’s not a pattern I like to reward.

Remember, solo travel is fun . Keeping that mind brings me back to the present moment, and I always end up liking those images way more than the ones I’m trying really hard.

How to Take Travel Photos Alone: Solo Travel Photography Poses

Need some pose ideas for your next trip? Here are some tried and true tips that are easy to do and instantly make taking photos alone easier.

girl on top of kloof corner in cape town

This is my all-time favourite pose. As someone with a lot of social anxiety, I feel the most comfortable looking away from the camera.

Try running away from the camera, looking to the side, or twirling on the spot.

babanango game reserve review

If you’re a victim of the “OMG, I have hands! Now what?” pandemic, always bring a prop. It will give you something to hold or play with and take your mind off your hands doing weird things.

My go-to is a hat or playing with a flowy dress.

girl at chapmans peak

Want to *instantly* improve your posing as a solo traveller? Create triangles with your body.

Making shapes with your body elevates your photos, and you’ll effortlessly look like a fancy model.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by LAUREN | SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL (@thewanderlustmovement)


Now that you know how to take amazing travel photos, let’s discuss the final and most important step: EDITING!

This is where the magic happens.

With a dash of adjusting your exposure, a sprinkle of raising your shadows, and a seasoning of a preset, you can take almost any photo from drab to fab.

My go-to editing app for my photos is Adobe Lightroom. I have the desktop version and mobile app and use photo editing preset packs to colour-grade my images.

Adobe Lightroom Mobile is free to download, but the desktop app does require a monthly subscription. However, you don’t need the desktop app unless you want more control over your edits.

Some other editing options:

waterfall in rawsonville south africa

There you have it.

All the solo travel photography tips I’ve picked up over the years while travelling the world.

Hopefully, you feel more confident and prepared to go out into the world and snap your dream travel photos WITHOUT having to always rely on an Insta Husband.

Got more questions about how to take travel photos of yourself or the best camera for solo travel? Did I leave out any good solo photography ideas? Hit ya gurl up in the comments and let me know! 

If you like it, then you better put a pin on it

About to go on our first solo trip? Here's the only solo travel photography guide you need to make sure you document your trip like a pro.

About Lauren Melnick

Lauren Melnick is the founder of Wanderlust Movement, Wander to Here and is a South Africa travel blogger. She's been travelling the world as a full-time freelance writer since 2016 and has visited over 40 countries.

When she isn't typing up a storm, you can find her conquering overnight hikes around the Western Cape, rock climbing, and hosting sold out group travel trips around South Africa, Namibia and Morocco.

Reader Interactions

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September 14, 2022 at 9:08 pm

I have noticed that I get asked a lot more to take photos of people when I am holding a “serious” looking camera than when I am holding a compact point-and-shoot or a phone. Maybe that would be another small tip for when you ask a stranger to take a photo for you: look for someone who looks like an experienced photographer (ideally with the same camera as you).

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September 20, 2022 at 8:09 am

Yes! That is a winner for making sure your feet or head don’t get cut off lol

' src=

October 15, 2022 at 1:15 pm

You are doing a fantastic job, helping us all with your ….. EVERYTHING YOU POST

' src=

March 16, 2023 at 8:55 pm

Loved the post! Keep it up.

' src=

January 2, 2024 at 6:20 pm

Great post! Going on my first solo trip in March and this is fab advice.

March 5, 2024 at 10:48 am

Thanks Tim! Hope you have an amazing solo trip this month!

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Passing Thru Travel

Passing Thru Travel

Capture the World in 2024 – 12 Expert Tips for Travel Photography Essentials and Techniques!

Posted: February 29, 2024 | Last updated: February 29, 2024

<p><strong>Travel photography is about telling a story, preserving memories, and seeing the world through a different lens. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a passionate amateur, understanding the right gear and techniques can elevate your travel photography. This guide will explore essential equipment and practical tips to help you capture stunning photographs embodying your spirit of travel.</strong></p>

Travel photography is about telling a story, preserving memories, and seeing the world through a different lens. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a passionate amateur, understanding the right gear and techniques can elevate your travel photography. This guide will explore essential equipment and practical tips to help you capture stunning photographs embodying your spirit of travel.

<p><span>Selecting the right camera is the first step in travel photography. For professionals, a DSLR or a mirrorless camera offers versatility and high-quality images. These cameras provide manual control over settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, allowing for more creative freedom. </span><span>Compact point-and-shoot cameras or advanced smartphones can suffice for casual photographers or those with space constraints.</span></p> <p><span>They offer convenience and increasingly high-quality results. Consider factors like weight, size, durability, and functionality when choosing your camera. Remember, the best camera is one that fits your travel style and photography needs.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Invest in a good quality camera bag with padding to protect your equipment during travels.</span></p>

1. Choosing the Right Camera

Selecting the right camera is the first step in travel photography. For professionals, a DSLR or a mirrorless camera offers versatility and high-quality images. These cameras provide manual control over settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, allowing for more creative freedom. Compact point-and-shoot cameras or advanced smartphones can suffice for casual photographers or those with space constraints.

They offer convenience and increasingly high-quality results. Consider factors like weight, size, durability, and functionality when choosing your camera. Remember, the best camera is one that fits your travel style and photography needs.

Insider’s Tip: Invest in a good quality camera bag with padding to protect your equipment during travels.

<p><span>Mastering lighting is crucial in travel photography. The best natural light is typically during the golden hours — shortly after sunrise or before sunset—when the light is soft and warm. Harsh midday sun can create strong shadows and overexposed spots.</span></p> <p><span>Learn to work with available light by adjusting camera settings or using techniques like backlighting to create dramatic effects. In low-light conditions, a tripod can be invaluable to stabilize your shot and avoid blurriness.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Use a reflector or even a simple white sheet to bounce light onto your subject for better illumination.</span></p>

2. Understanding Lighting

Mastering lighting is crucial in travel photography. The best natural light is typically during the golden hours — shortly after sunrise or before sunset—when the light is soft and warm. Harsh midday sun can create strong shadows and overexposed spots.

Learn to work with available light by adjusting camera settings or using techniques like backlighting to create dramatic effects. In low-light conditions, a tripod can be invaluable to stabilize your shot and avoid blurriness.

Insider’s Tip: Use a reflector or even a simple white sheet to bounce light onto your subject for better illumination.

<p><span>Composition is key to creating visually appealing photographs. Familiarize yourself with basic rules like the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to find unique ways to capture a scene.</span></p> <p><span>Don’t be afraid to play with symmetry or break conventional rules for a more dynamic composition. Pay attention to your foreground and background to ensure they complement rather than distract from your subject.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Sometimes, stepping closer to your subject or changing your vantage point can drastically improve your composition.</span></p>

3. Composition and Perspective

Composition is key to creating visually appealing photographs. Familiarize yourself with basic rules like the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to find unique ways to capture a scene.

Don’t be afraid to play with symmetry or break conventional rules for a more dynamic composition. Pay attention to your foreground and background to ensure they complement rather than distract from your subject.

Insider’s Tip: Sometimes, stepping closer to your subject or changing your vantage point can drastically improve your composition.

<p><span>The lenses you choose can greatly impact the style and quality of your photographs. A versatile zoom lens is practical for travel, covering a range of focal lengths without switching lenses frequently. With their fixed focal length, prime lenses offer superior image quality and wider apertures, ideal for portraits and low-light photography. Consider the types of subjects you’ll be shooting most often to determine the best lenses for your travel kit.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>A wide-angle lens is excellent for landscapes and architecture, while a telephoto lens is ideal for capturing distant subjects like wildlife.</span></p>

4. Lens Selection

The lenses you choose can greatly impact the style and quality of your photographs. A versatile zoom lens is practical for travel, covering a range of focal lengths without switching lenses frequently. With their fixed focal length, prime lenses offer superior image quality and wider apertures, ideal for portraits and low-light photography. Consider the types of subjects you’ll be shooting most often to determine the best lenses for your travel kit.

Insider’s Tip: A wide-angle lens is excellent for landscapes and architecture, while a telephoto lens is ideal for capturing distant subjects like wildlife.

<p><span>Travel photography offers a fantastic opportunity to capture the essence of local cultures. Respect and sensitivity are key when photographing people. Always ask for permission before taking someone’s photo. Try to capture candid moments that reflect the everyday life and traditions of the place.</span></p> <p><span>Local markets, streets, festivals, and events are great for this type of photography. Engage with locals to understand their story, which can add depth and context to your photographs.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Spend time in one location to observe and understand the rhythm of life there, which can lead to more meaningful photographs.</span></p>

5. Capturing Local Culture

Travel photography offers a fantastic opportunity to capture the essence of local cultures. Respect and sensitivity are key when photographing people. Always ask for permission before taking someone’s photo. Try to capture candid moments that reflect the everyday life and traditions of the place.

Local markets, streets, festivals, and events are great for this type of photography. Engage with locals to understand their story, which can add depth and context to your photographs.

Insider’s Tip: Spend time in one location to observe and understand the rhythm of life there, which can lead to more meaningful photographs.

<p><span>Different climates and environments pose various challenges for photography. Protect your gear with waterproof cases or bags in humid or rainy conditions. Keep your camera and lenses clean and protected in dusty or sandy environments like beaches or deserts.</span></p> <p><span>Cold weather can drain your batteries faster, so keep spares in a warm pocket. Adapt your camera settings to suit the environment, such as a faster shutter speed for windy conditions or a polarizing filter for bright snowscapes.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>In challenging environments, taking extra precautions with your gear can save you from costly repairs or damage.</span></p>

6. Dealing with Different Climates and Environments

Different climates and environments pose various challenges for photography. Protect your gear with waterproof cases or bags in humid or rainy conditions. Keep your camera and lenses clean and protected in dusty or sandy environments like beaches or deserts.

Cold weather can drain your batteries faster, so keep spares in a warm pocket. Adapt your camera settings to suit the environment, such as a faster shutter speed for windy conditions or a polarizing filter for bright snowscapes.

Insider’s Tip: In challenging environments, taking extra precautions with your gear can save you from costly repairs or damage.

<p><span>A tripod or stabilizer can be crucial for certain types of travel photography. They’re essential for long exposures, time-lapses, or shooting in low-light conditions. For travel, consider lightweight and compact tripods that are easy to carry around. A stabilizer or gimbal for video shooting can also be beneficial if you capture moving subjects or shoot while in motion.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Some compact tripods double as monopods, offering greater flexibility when on the move.</span></p>

7. Travel Tripods and Stabilizers

A tripod or stabilizer can be crucial for certain types of travel photography. They’re essential for long exposures, time-lapses, or shooting in low-light conditions. For travel, consider lightweight and compact tripods that are easy to carry around. A stabilizer or gimbal for video shooting can also be beneficial if you capture moving subjects or shoot while in motion.

Insider’s Tip: Some compact tripods double as monopods, offering greater flexibility when on the move.

<p><span>Post-processing is vital in travel photography to enhance your images and achieve the desired effect. Familiarize yourself with photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Basic adjustments such as cropping, adjusting exposure, and color correction can significantly improve your photographs.</span></p> <p><span>Be careful not to over-edit; the goal is to enhance the natural beauty of the shot, not to create an unrealistic image. Organizing and backing up your photos regularly is also crucial, especially when traveling for extended periods.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Learn to shoot in RAW format for greater control during editing, as it captures more image data compared to JPEG.</span></p>

8. Editing and Post-Processing

Post-processing is vital in travel photography to enhance your images and achieve the desired effect. Familiarize yourself with photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Basic adjustments such as cropping, adjusting exposure, and color correction can significantly improve your photographs.

Be careful not to over-edit; the goal is to enhance the natural beauty of the shot, not to create an unrealistic image. Organizing and backing up your photos regularly is also crucial, especially when traveling for extended periods.

Insider’s Tip: Learn to shoot in RAW format for greater control during editing, as it captures more image data compared to JPEG.

<p><span>Street photography is a compelling aspect of travel photography, capturing the essence of a place through its people and everyday life. It requires a blend of patience, observation, and, sometimes, spontaneity. Use a lens that allows you to maintain a respectful distance from your subjects.</span></p> <p><span>Be aware of your surroundings and look for interesting scenes, expressions, or interactions. Street photography often involves quickly capturing fleeting moments, so being ready and comfortable with your camera settings is crucial.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Blend into your surroundings and observe without interrupting the natural flow of the street to capture authentic moments.</span></p>

9. Street Photography

Street photography is a compelling aspect of travel photography, capturing the essence of a place through its people and everyday life. It requires a blend of patience, observation, and, sometimes, spontaneity. Use a lens that allows you to maintain a respectful distance from your subjects.

Be aware of your surroundings and look for interesting scenes, expressions, or interactions. Street photography often involves quickly capturing fleeting moments, so being ready and comfortable with your camera settings is crucial.

Insider’s Tip: Blend into your surroundings and observe without interrupting the natural flow of the street to capture authentic moments.

<p><span>Wildlife and nature photography can be incredibly rewarding but requires patience and respect for the environment. Use a telephoto lens to capture animals from a safe and respectful distance. Understanding animal behavior and being patient is key to capturing compelling wildlife shots.</span></p> <p><span>For nature photography, consider the landscape’s vastness and use a tripod to achieve sharp, well-composed shots. Be mindful of the natural environment and adhere to local guidelines to avoid disturbing wildlife or delicate ecosystems.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Early morning or late afternoon often provides the best natural lighting for wildlife and nature shots.</span></p>

10. Wildlife and Nature Photography

Wildlife and nature photography can be incredibly rewarding but requires patience and respect for the environment. Use a telephoto lens to capture animals from a safe and respectful distance. Understanding animal behavior and being patient is key to capturing compelling wildlife shots.

For nature photography, consider the landscape’s vastness and use a tripod to achieve sharp, well-composed shots. Be mindful of the natural environment and adhere to local guidelines to avoid disturbing wildlife or delicate ecosystems.

Insider’s Tip: Early morning or late afternoon often provides the best natural lighting for wildlife and nature shots.

<p><span>Regularly backing up your photographs is essential, especially during long travels. Invest in portable hard drives or cloud storage solutions to safeguard your images. Consider having multiple backup methods to ensure the safety of your photos.</span></p> <p><span>Organize your images in a way that makes them easily accessible for future use or reference. Losing photographs due to a lack of backup can be a traveler’s worst nightmare.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Use a wireless hard drive to back up photos directly from your camera or phone without needing a laptop.</span></p>

11. Backup and Storage Solutions

Regularly backing up your photographs is essential, especially during long travels. Invest in portable hard drives or cloud storage solutions to safeguard your images. Consider having multiple backup methods to ensure the safety of your photos.

Organize your images in a way that makes them easily accessible for future use or reference. Losing photographs due to a lack of backup can be a traveler’s worst nightmare.

Insider’s Tip: Use a wireless hard drive to back up photos directly from your camera or phone without needing a laptop.

<p><span>Ethical considerations in travel photography are paramount. Always respect local customs and people’s privacy. Be aware of and sensitive to cultural norms, especially when photographing religious sites, ceremonies, or local communities.</span></p> <p><span>Ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in close-up situations. Your responsibility as a photographer is to capture beautiful images and do so in a way that respects and honors the subject and the environment.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Research and understand the cultural and ethical photography guidelines for each destination you visit.</span></p>

12. Ethical Photography

Ethical considerations in travel photography are paramount. Always respect local customs and people’s privacy. Be aware of and sensitive to cultural norms, especially when photographing religious sites, ceremonies, or local communities.

Ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in close-up situations. Your responsibility as a photographer is to capture beautiful images and do so in a way that respects and honors the subject and the environment.

Insider’s Tip: Research and understand the cultural and ethical photography guidelines for each destination you visit.

<p><span>Travel photography is an art that combines technical skill with creativity and cultural sensitivity. It’s about capturing moments that tell a story, convey an emotion, or reveal the beauty of the world. With the right gear, techniques, and ethical approach, your travel photographs can transcend being mere snapshots to become lasting memories and powerful narratives of </span><span>your journey.</span></p> <p><span>Remember, the best photographs often come from a deep understanding and connection with the subject. So, immerse yourself in the environment, engage with locals, and explore different perspectives. Your camera is not just a tool but a passport to experiencing the world in a unique and profound way.</span></p> <p><span>Keep shooting, keep exploring, and let your photographs be a celebration of the incredible diversity and beauty of the world around you. Happy shooting, and may your travels bring endless opportunities for stunning photography!</span></p> <p><span>More Articles Like This…</span></p> <p><a href="https://thegreenvoyage.com/barcelona-discover-the-top-10-beach-clubs/"><span>Barcelona: Discover the Top 10 Beach Clubs</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://thegreenvoyage.com/top-destination-cities-to-visit/"><span>2024 Global City Travel Guide – Your Passport to the World’s Top Destination Cities</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://thegreenvoyage.com/exploring-khao-yai-a-hidden-gem-of-thailand/"><span>Exploring Khao Yai 2024 – A Hidden Gem of Thailand</span></a></p> <p><span>The post <a href="https://passingthru.com/travel-photography-essentials-and-techniques/">Capture the World in 2024 – 12 Expert Tips for Travel Photography Essentials and Techniques!</a> republished on </span><a href="https://passingthru.com/"><span>Passing Thru</span></a><span> with permission from </span><a href="https://thegreenvoyage.com/"><span>The Green Voyage</span></a><span>.</span></p> <p><span>Featured Image Credit: Pexels / Zukiman Mohamad.</span></p> <p><span>For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.</span></p>

The Bottom Line

Travel photography is an art that combines technical skill with creativity and cultural sensitivity. It’s about capturing moments that tell a story, convey an emotion, or reveal the beauty of the world. With the right gear, techniques, and ethical approach, your travel photographs can transcend being mere snapshots to become lasting memories and powerful narratives of your journey.

Remember, the best photographs often come from a deep understanding and connection with the subject. So, immerse yourself in the environment, engage with locals, and explore different perspectives. Your camera is not just a tool but a passport to experiencing the world in a unique and profound way.

Keep shooting, keep exploring, and let your photographs be a celebration of the incredible diversity and beauty of the world around you. Happy shooting, and may your travels bring endless opportunities for stunning photography!

More Articles Like This…

Barcelona: Discover the Top 10 Beach Clubs

2024 Global City Travel Guide – Your Passport to the World’s Top Destination Cities

Exploring Khao Yai 2024 – A Hidden Gem of Thailand

The post Capture the World in 2024 – 12 Expert Tips for Travel Photography Essentials and Techniques! republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage .

Featured Image Credit: Pexels / Zukiman Mohamad.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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Why Travel Photography Offers More Than Just Pretty Pictures

Why Travel Photography Offers More Than Just Pretty Pictures

Sometimes, the benefit of photography goes well beyond the pretty pictures.

Like most of you, photography began as simply a hobby for me. I may work as a professional photographer now, but when I first started, the pursuit was little more than a temporary diversion from the drudgery of a day job and a relief from thinking about the hurdles of my film career. It was literally a hobby that I discovered by accident when a batch of vacation photos came back from the developers disastrously executed, and an impulse buy led to me suddenly finding myself with far more camera than I knew how to use. Almost immediately, I found myself going out every weekend with my newfound expensive toy to visit local festivals and events just to have an excuse to make my money back on my investment. Once I felt as though I had photographed the whole of Los Angeles twice over, I started looking for other subjects. After a couple of hours spent in line at the passport office and some money spent on plane tickets, I was off to Italy. Not that I knew anyone in Italy or even how to speak Italian. All I knew was that my camera was calling out for a new adventure, and it wanted to take me along for the ride.

trip photography tips

Now, I should be clear. I am not a travel photographer. I am not a documentary photographer. I am only occasionally a street photographer, and that is only usually when I lack other things to do. So, this is not meant as an article demonstrating how to be the best travel photographer in the world. There are many others far more qualified to claim that distinction. Rather, this is an appreciation of how my camera allowed me to interact with the world in a way I had never considered. And, in the process, added more to my life than my portfolio.

When I look back at all the travel images I have taken in the ensuing years since my photographic pursuits grew from hobby to vocation, I very rarely find myself in love with the photos themselves. Again, that’s not my genre, so I’m hardly looking for work to add to my portfolio. But when I look back at those images, I see something almost just as valuable. I see a memory. I see a snapshot I took while strolling through The Louvre, and it reminds me of the two-week trip I took with my dad, traipsing around Paris. There’s that shot I took in Hong Kong at the base of Tian Tan Buddha when I was going through my over-reliance on filters phase. I remember hiking every one of the 268 steps to reach the top. I remember spilling my water on the train trip home only to look up as I was cleaning the floor to see a sign banning food and drink on the train. Apparently, for good reason. I look at those Italy photos, taken so fresh into my photo journey that I didn’t even properly know how to use my settings, and I can’t help but think back on the beautiful Italian woman I met on the plane and my hopes for a storybook romantic Roman holiday being dashed when her boyfriend picked her up upon arrival.

trip photography tips

I realize that this article is going out on a photography website, but when I think about travel photography, it’s rarely the photography itself that I’m thinking about. It's the travel. It’s the chance to connect with other cultures and learn about the world firsthand. To see sights I’ve only ever read about in books. To create stories that will live on in my mind far beyond when the images themselves will have cycled off my social media feed.

There are tips I’ve learned along the way about how to be better at travel photography itself. But, the great gift photography has given me over the years is to give me an excuse to seek out experiences that have bettered me as a man. The camera itself is a passport into new worlds. A way to help me see beyond the lens. I may never be the most legendary travel photographer in the world, but photography has already given me so much. The process itself is well worth the journey.

Christopher Malcolm's picture

Christopher Malcolm is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle, fitness, and advertising photographer, director, and cinematographer shooting for clients such as Nike, lululemon, ASICS, and Verizon.

The Frustrations of a Landscape Photographer

The Experiences, Memories and connections i gained from 11 months far surpassed any of the photos I took on that trip. god dammit now i want to travel again haha!

Maria Szekelyhidi's picture

Love travelling, love learning new languages, get to know new cultures.

G S's picture

"...but when I think about travel photography, it’s rarely the photography itself that I’m thinking about. It's the travel." That has a Zen ring to it (archer, arrow, target stories, and the like). And that is why your photographs are so good!

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trip photography tips

Best spots in Moscow for photo maniacs

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  • Capturing the Kremlin and central Moscow: the higher, the better

trip photography tips

Of course, pictures of the Kremlin shot from the Red Square are no doubt iconic and must-have, but they are taken by thousands of tourists every day and can hardly make a wow-effect on your friends on Instagram and other social networks.

Another problem with shooting from Red Square is that the photos do not fully represent the scale of the medieval fortress of Kremlin. So, you need to make some steps further and higher to catch the right shot. You’ll be surprised by the fact that the panoramic views of the Kremlin are pretty easy to get. We have four hints for you: Zaryadie, Ritz Carlton, Patriarch bridge, and Radisson riverboat.

If you want to not only make beautiful photos but also to learn something interesting about the history of Russia, we recommend an individual tour of the Kremlin. You can order it online here .

trip photography tips

First, go to Zaryadye, which is located right next to the Red Square, behind the St Basil’s Cathedral, on the closest Moscow river bank. The most impressive views over the Kremlin are unfolded from the so-called Flying bridge of Zaryadye and Glass Dome building in the back part of the park.

Zaryadye is the new place of attraction in Moscow. It’s a landscape park, opened in September 2017 by the Moscow government on the hill where the giant soviet hotel ‘Rossiya’ located before its demolition in the early 2000-s. As a bonus, you’ll get an incredible view over one of Stalin’s skyscrapers, located on the opposite bank of Moscow river — the so-called Vysotka at Kotelnicheskaya, used as a residence of many Russian famous people and officials.

  • The roof of the Ritz Carlton Hotel

This option is ok only in case if you’re ready to pay the average bar bill of over 2500 rubles (about $40). Visit the O2 Lounge Bar on the roof of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where all the global celebrities take their Moscow pictures, from Angelina Jolie to Robert Downey Jr.

But such photo investments seem to pay off immediately. The deck of the bar makes an excellent panorama point for the Kremlin walls and towers, the Historical Museum, the Great Kremlin Palace, and the Kremlin cathedrals. All these landmarks are not too far away, which makes them perfectly recognizable, even in the background.

  • The Radisson riverboat

trip photography tips

This hint will be useful in case you’re traveling to Moscow in the cold season. River transportation in Moscow doesn't stop in winter. Many enclosed and heated tourist yachts with panoramic windows and ice-breaking equipment can be found in the Moscow River. For instance, one of the most recognizable is the flotilla Radisson.

Their route goes past all the main sights of pre-revolutionary and Soviet Moscow – from Stalin's skyscrapers (Ukraina hotel and Vysotka at Kotelnicheskaya) to the Kremlin and the Novodevichy Convent. It is possible to go out to the open deck and take photos of you and your family or friends against a backdrop of the city’s lights and their reflection in the river. The cruise lasts 2.5 hours. You can book a tour with a car roundtrip transfer from your hotel to the pier and back: book online here

  • Patriarch bridge

trip photography tips

The bridge is located further from the Kremlin, than Zaryadye or Ritz Carlton, so the Kremlin walls on your photos will look smaller. The brighter side of walking through the bridge is that you can do more fabulous pics of the Moscow river and city center landscapes. The Moscow river and the pretty recognizable giant statue of Peter the Great are ideally viewed from the bridge. Be prepared that it’s a famous and popular pedestrian area for tourists all over the world so the bridge may be crowded.

Also, the bridge is a part of a long promenade which leads from the Christ the Saviour Cathedral through the Balchug island to the opposite bank of the Moscow River, where another pedestrian area — Museon embankment — is ready to joy you with its cafes, cozy lawns and impressive views over the river flow, ducks and boats.

  • Moscow City

trip photography tips

The best spot to shoot the famous Moscow business downtown is located on the Taras Shevchenko embankment. To get there you need to come to the metro stations Vystavochnaya or Delovoi Tsentr, then go to the Bagration bridge (use the metro navigation, the path is tricky), cross the bridge — and voilà! You’ve reached the best spot for shooting, posing, sending selfies, and Instagramming.

  • Ponds and orangeries

trip photography tips

There are two ponds in Moscow, that deserve your attention in summer: the Chistye ponds (actually there is only one pond, but it’s worth it) and the pond in Gorky Park, which is full of small boats and catamarans. Both lakes are lost between the green alleys and are drowning in all the shades of green. Those are the perfect spots to catch the moment of peace amid the madness of big city life.

  • Banya: Russian steam bath read
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  • Russian Souvenir: what to bring home from a trip to Russia read
  • The Top 10 Unusual Things to Do in Moscow read
  • Christmas Festival in Moscow read


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Hire Your Moscow Vacation Photographer

Book a photoshoot to celebrate and beautifully capture your marriage proposal engagement anniversary beach vacation solo trip babymoon love for travel romantic getaway marriage proposal honeymoon family trip bachelorette

01 Easy to book

Choose your dates and book your favorite available photographer.

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Edited high-resolution digital photos in 5 business days

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Vibrant photos of moments you will cherish forever

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Best local secrets for what to see, eat, & do in town

Vacation Photographers in Moscow

Handpicked and vetted by our team for quality, style, and skill. Make sure to check availability early so your dates don’t get booked up! Can’t pick your favorite Moscow photographer? Check who is available for your travel dates.

Best Photography Spots for a Moscow Photoshoot

Moscow, the capital of Russia, is a photographer's dream, where the grandeur of historical landmarks meets the vibrancy of contemporary urban life. The city's iconic Red Square, flanked by the colorful domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, offers an irresistible backdrop for architectural and cultural photography. The Kremlin's majestic walls and the monumental GUM department store provide a rich tapestry of visual subjects. Explore the Arbat Street's bohemian charm, the sleek modernity of Moscow City's skyscrapers, or the timeless allure of the Moscow Metro stations adorned with intricate mosaics and chandeliers. Moscow's energetic street life, cultural celebrations, and the juxtaposition of tradition and modernity create endless opportunities for visual storytelling. Whether you're capturing the city's elegance, its dynamic pace, or the rich tapestry of Russian life, Moscow promises an enchanting visual journey for photographers seeking to capture the essence of this iconic metropolis.

Red Square, Moscow's iconic and historic centerpiece, is a photographer's dream come true.... read more

The Kremlin

The Kremlin, Moscow's historic fortress and political heart, is a captivating photo spot w... read more

Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro, often referred to as an underground art gallery, is a captivating and un... read more

Gorky Park, a lush and vibrant urban oasis in Moscow, is a picturesque photo spot that off... read more

Moscow Photoshoot Packages

Invest in forever capturing postcard-perfect vacation moments. After you check out of the hotel and your return flight lands, these photos will be a cherished souvenir for years to come!

Short & Sweet

For Those On-The-Go

30 Minute Mini Session

with a Professional Photographer

Private Online Gallery

with All the Best Shots

15 Digital Photos Included

Beautifully Edited & High-Res

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Timeless Souvenir

Couples & Small Families

1 Hour Photoshoot

30 Digital Photos Included


Most Popular!

90 Minute Photoshoot

45 Digital Photos Included

Groups & Photo Lovers

2 Hour Photoshoot

60 Digital Photos Included

What's included in my photoshoot package?

trip photography tips

Peace of Mind

Choose from vetted and highly rated personal photographers. Hassle-free booking and a travel-friendly refund policy.

trip photography tips

Quick Turnaround

Receive your gallery within 5 business days of your photoshoot, but usually sooner! Download your choice of 15, 30, 45 or 60 digital photos depending on your shoot package.

trip photography tips

Expert Photo Editing

All photography is edited for light, color, & sharpness to make your vacation photos gorgeous. Advanced beauty edits are available for purchase.

trip photography tips

Your personal photographer also acts as an informal tour guide with all the best photography spots and local secrets for what to see, eat, & do in town.

trip photography tips

Print Release

Turn your digital photos into cherished travel prints & wall art! Use our printing partners and get FREE SHIPPING - as low as $1 USD for 4×6 luster prints.

Frequently Asked Questions

trip photography tips

Prices vary by city, ensuring you the best rates according to the local market. Choose between photography packages that range from 30 minutes up to 2 hours. The high-resolution photos are professionally edited and delivered by email in a private online gallery within 5 business days. See pricing for your destination here.

Check your dates, and then you'll be notified by email which photographers are available. Book your date and then your local professional photographer will work with you to go over all the best photography spots, when the best light will be, and how to beat the crowds to capture magical moments without tons of other tourists in the background. Local Lens vacation photographers are handpicked artists for quality, style, & skill. Not only will they take amazing photos, but they will edit them to be beautiful photo souvenirs you’ll treasure for years to come.

All photos are  professionally edited  for vibrance and composition and delivered in a  private online gallery  where you can download your favorite photos in  high-resolution  jpg format. Additional files and high-quality prints from our professional partner labs are also available for purchase. You should receive an email with your photography gallery link within five business days.

Hello from Moscow!

Find ideas & inspiration for your romantic getaway, family portraits, engagement photos, bachelorette party, honeymoon, save the date, or anniversary gift!

Ready to finally return home with beautiful vacation photography?

Miami is where the magic of sun, sea, and style mix so seemingly and where photos come out incredible! ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ With its iconic Art Deco architecture along Ocean Drive, pristine sandy beaches, and a rich cultural mosaic, Miami offers a diverse range of photographic opportunities. So, are you ready to pose and snap some photos in this interesting destination?⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Check out the top photo spots in Miami:⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍South Pointe Beach — With its powdery white sand, azure waters, and a backdrop of towering luxury condominiums, it offers a quintessential Miami beach experience.⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Lummus Park & Beach — The wide promenade, lined with palm trees and iconic lifeguard towers, offers a lively backdrop for capturing the essence of Miami’s sun-soaked lifestyle.⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Vizcaya — A magnificent Italian Renaissance-style villa turned museum in Miami, is a photographer’s dream, offering a glimpse into the opulence of the Gilded Age.⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Pier Park at Sunny Isles — The pier, extending gracefully into the Atlantic Ocean, offers a stunning vantage point for capturing breathtaking ocean views and vibrant sunsets.⁣ ⁣ 📸 Captured by Natasha in Miami, USA⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣⁣⁣ ▶️ #locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ #coupletravel #coupleshoot #proposalideas #proposalphotography #miamiphotographer #miamifl #miamiphotographt #visitmiami #travelmiami #miamiflorida #floridaphotographer #floridaphotographers #floridaphotography #proposalinspiration #surpriseproposal #proposalphotography #weddingproposal

trip photography tips

Imagine popping the question in Machu Picchu? 🤯 Sounds like a unique and beautiful way to start the next chapter of your lives as fiances. ⁣⁣ ⁣ And while it sounds incredible, there are some things you need to keep in mind to make your Machu Picchu proposal a reality. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 1️⃣ Buy your entrance ticket at least a month in advance. ⁣⁣ 2️⃣ When buying your ticket, pick a morning timeslot.⁣⁣ 3️⃣ Expect to stay longer if you’ve purchased a morning entrance. ⁣⁣ 4️⃣ Bring your passport to get a special Machu Picchu stamp. ⁣⁣ 5️⃣ Don’t forget sunblock, bug spray, and layers of clothing. ⁣⁣ 6️⃣ And remember, small backpacks only!⁣ ⁣ 📸 Captured by Marco in Machu Picchu, Peru⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣ ▶️ #locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ #proposalideas #proposalphotography #cuzcoperu #cuscocity #cuscoperu #visitcusco #7thwonderoftheworld #couplephotoshoot #machupicchu #machupicchutravel #machupicchuperu #travelsouthamerica #cuzco #visitperu #travelperu #ig_southamerica #surpriseproposal #proposalinspiration #weddingproposal

Seville is ‘bonita’ and a photographer’s paradise. The city is the perfect mix of history, culture, and architectural gems, making it an excellent destination for a photoshoot.  ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Here are some of our favorite photo spots for a Seville photoshoot:⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Plaza de España — The most popular spot! This architectural masterpiece wraps around an enormous square with fountains, moats, and tiled walls and offers plenty of photo opportunities. ⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Barrio Santa Cruz — This captivating and historically rich district was formerly the Jewish quarter of Seville, characterized by its ancient alleyways and meandering streets.⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Royal Alcazar — Looking for a royal vibe in your photos? Renowned for its diverse gardens and historical influences, the Moorish Royal Palace is one of Spain’s most exquisite structures.⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Parque Maria Luisa — Maria Luisa Park, situated just behind Plaza de España, is an ideal location for photography with its flourishing flower gardens and scenic tree-shaded pathways.⁣ ⁣ 📸 Captured by Tatsiana in Seville, Spain⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ▶️ #locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ #sevillespain #sevillephotographer #sevillecity #sevilletravel #visitseville #visitspain #familyphotoshoot #familyphotoideas #familyphotography

If you’re a soon-to-be momma, you deserve a babymoon in Europe to spoil yourself before the sleepless nights begin!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ A babymoon, more than a trip is the perfect time to spend time with your partner, relax and mentally prepare for all that lies ahead. And there is no better place than Europe and its many destinations perfect for future parents. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Here are some of our favorite babymoon destinations in Europe: ⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Prague ⁣⁣ 📍Lake Como ⁣⁣ 📍Santorini ⁣⁣ 📍Lucerne ⁣⁣ 📍Sintra⁣⁣ 📍Amsterdam⁣⁣ 📍Madrid⁣⁣ 📍Valencia⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Any other destination we should add to the list of babymoons? Let us know in the comments!⁣ ⁣ 📸 Captured by Victor in Prague ⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ▶️ #locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ #charlesbridge #charlesbridgeprague #pragueoldtown #praguetrip #praguephoto #coupletravel #praguephotography #pragueworld #visitprague #praguestagram #instaprague #praguetoday #czechrepublic #praguecity #praha⁣ #praguephotographer #babymoon⁣ #momtobe #mumtobe #pregnancyannouncement #pregnancyphotography ⁣

Da Nang, a vibrant coastal city in Vietnam, is a fascinating destination that offers an interesting mix of natural beauty and modern urban life. ⁣ ⁣ And for those visiting, the city is also the perfect place to get photos in some of its most beautiful spots, like its stunning sandy beaches and lush landscapes.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Check out some of the best photo spots in Da Nang: ⁣ ⁣⁣ 📍My Khe Beach — This stunning stretch of sandy shores and serene blue waters provides a picturesque backdrop for capturing the essence of a coastal paradise.⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Marble Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son) — These ancient limestone outcrops are dotted with caves, pagodas, and sacred shrines, providing an array of visual inspiration.⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Dragon Bridge — This iconic bridge comes to life in the evenings with a thrilling fire-breathing dragon show, creating a dynamic and visually spectacular scene.⁣⁣ ⁣ 📍Linh Ung Pagoda — The pagoda is renowned for its giant Lady Buddha statue, and it’s the perfect spot to capture Vietnam’s cultural richness and natural beauty.⁣ ⁣ 📸 Captured by Trung in Da Nang, Vietnam⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣ ▶️ #locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ #coupletravel #visitvietnam #travelvietnam⁣ #couplephotoshoot #danangbeach #danangtravel #danangphotographer #danangphotography #danangtrip #danangvietnam #danangcity #proposalphotography #proposalideas #proposalinspiration #surpriseproposal⁣ #weddingproposal

Bangkok is a cultural treasure with many beautiful temples that are a must-visit if you are looking for an enriching experience. ⁣But the choice is hard, as Bangkok has more than 400 temples. So, which one to pick? ⁣⁣ ⁣ Luckily, we have made a top 5 pick of the best temples or ‘wats’ to visit in Bangkok. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 1️⃣ Wat Arun Ratchawararam (Temple Of Dawn) — An ancient temple dating back to the Ayutthaya period and considered a Royal Temple of King Rama II with a stupa considered one of the most beautiful and gigantic stupas in that era.⁣⁣ ⁣ 2️⃣ Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Ratchaworamahawihan (Wat Pho) — Home of the Reclining Buddha, with various interesting ancient Thai cultural murals around the temple.⁣⁣ ⁣ 3️⃣ Wat Saket Ratchaworamahawihan (Phu Khao Thong) — One of the famous highlights of this temple is its spiral staircase, which has 344 steps.⁣⁣ ⁣ 4️⃣ Wat Trai Mit Witthayaram Worawihan — This temple is home to the solid gold Sukhothai-style Buddha called the seated Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon, known as the world’s largest golden Buddha statue.⁣⁣ ⁣ 5️⃣ Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple) — As its name states, the temple’s ordination hall was constructed of marble imported from Italy.⁣ ⁣ 📸 Captured by Suriyathepjuti in Bangkok, Thailand⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣⁣⁣ ▶️ #locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #bangkokthailand #bangkokcity #bangkoktrip #bangkoktravel #travelphotography #travelandleisure #bangkokspirit #beautiful_bangkok #thailand_allshots #thailandtrip #thailandtravel #adayinthailand #thailandinstagram #amazingthailand #bangkokphotographer

Being a new parent can be both beautiful and unnerving — it is a big responsibility! And if you feel you need some guidance and to set up some goals to help you get your groove back, start by setting some resolutions for this new year. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 2024 it’s all about taking care of yourself, and being a new parent doesn’t need to limit that. Here are a few ways you can be the best version of yourself while handling this incredible new role: ⁣⁣ ⁣ ❤️ Take a moment to evaluate how you are feeling⁣ ❤️ Take time to reconnect with yourself⁣ ❤️ Take time to reconnect with your partner⁣ ❤️ Enjoy the time you manage to be alone⁣⁣ ❤️ Rekindle friendships⁣ ❤️ Have dates, just you and your baby.⁣⁣ ❤️ Reassess how you are feeling at the end of every month and change your goals accordingly⁣ ⁣⁣ Any other advice you have for new parents? Let us know in the comments!⁣ ⁣ 📸 Captured by Rojeena in Maui, Hawaii⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣ ▶️ #locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ #hawaiiphotographer #hawaiiphotographers #hawaiistagram #hawaiiphotography #hawaiibestphotos #hawaiilove #beachphotography #mauiphotography #mauihawaii #mauistyle #travelhawaii #visithawaii #hawaiitrip #hawaiivacation #hawaiibeaches⁣ #mauiphotographer⁣ #babymoon⁣ #mumtobe #momtobe #pregnancyphotography #pregnantstyle

Okay, a new year has begun, and now it’s time to commit to those resolutions. Yes, it can be challenging, but with the right tips, you can make your wishes a reality and make 2024 the year you stick to your resolutions!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Here’s what you have to do to achieve your new year’s goals: ⁣⁣ ⁣ ☑️ Start small⁣⁣ ☑️ Create goals for different areas of your life⁣⁣ ☑️ Write them down⁣⁣ ☑️ Prioritize your goals⁣⁣ ☑️ Break down bigger goals⁣⁣ ☑️ Include friends and other peeps⁣⁣ ☑️ Keep it interesting⁣⁣ ☑️ Celebrate progress⁣⁣ ☑️ Adjust as necessary⁣⁣ ☑️ Have patience⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Now tell us, what are your 2024 resolutions?⁣ ⁣ 📸 Captured by Julia in New York City⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣ ▶️ #locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ #nycphotographer #nycphotographers #nycphotoshoot #nycphotography #newyorkcitylife #newyorklife #newyorkgram #newyork_ig #newyorkcityphotography #newyorktravel #newyorkstyle #newyorktrip #weddingproposal #proposalinspiration #proposalphotography #proposalideas #newyorkstreets #newyorkphotographer #newyorkphotography #newyorkphotos⁣⁣ #surpriseproposal

New adventures are around the corner. And this 2024 will be filled with new memories, destinations, health, and happiness. ⁣ ⁣ Happy New Year from Local Lens! ✨🍾⁣ ⁣ 📸 Captured by Christopher in Singapore ⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣⁣⁣ ▶️ ⁣#locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ #singaporeinsiders #singaporetravel #singaporecity #exploresingapore #singaporeig #singaporephotography #singaporediaries #singaporetourism #singaporephotographer #travelasia⁣ #surpriseproposal⁣ #proposalideas #proposalphotoshoot #proposalinspiration

What a year! 2023 has been a year full of blessings, and many captured memories. ⁣ ⁣ Just this year, our local photographers have captured over 4,000 shoots around the world!! From families to engagements, anniversaries, and solo traveling, we love being there and creating memories with you. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Thank you for a fantastic year, and we hope to be with you next year, capturing your next chapter. And like they say, cheers to many more! 🥳✨💫⁣ ⁣ 🌐 www.locallens.com⁣⁣ ▶️ ⁣#locallensphotographers⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ .⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ #destinationaphotographer #surpriseproposal⁣ #proposalideas #proposalphotography #proposalinspiration #weddingproposal #familyphotography #familyphotoshoot #familyphotoideas

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The Present Perspective

Moscow Travel Guide: Best Things to Do + More [2023]

· everything to know about visiting moscow, including the best things to do and how to get around. ·.

the red st basils church in moscow on a white winters day

Moscow is Russia’s vibrant capital city, and it also happens to be the largest city in all of Europe. The city’s long and infamous history makes it one of the most unique places we have ever visited.

The architecture ranges from centuries-old palaces to uniform, gray concrete buildings. The people range from cold and private to warm and welcoming. Moscow is a city is strong juxtapositions, and we learned a lot during our time there.

This post will break down all you need to know about visiting Moscow, including the best things to do, how to get there, how to get around, and more.

man and woman standing in front of main church in moscow

The Best Things to Do in Moscow

1. explore the red square.

The Red Square is the heart of Moscow. Most of the city’s top attractions can be found here, including just about everything on this list. The Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and Lenin’s Mausoleum are all located here, and the State Historical Museum and GUM are not far from here, either.

The Red Square is a common home for parades, protests, and seasonal celebrations. There are massive Christmas celebrations here, with food vendors and carnival rides set up in numbers.

red orthodox church in moscow russia red square on a winter day

2. Check Out the Ziferblat

The Ziferblat is a café in Moscow that is unlike any café we have ever been to. While most cafes charge you for your drinks and food, the Ziferblat charges you for your time.

Upon arrival, you are given a clock. When you leave, the barista calculates how much time you spent in the café and charges you accordingly. This concept was created to help visitors to be more intentional with their time, and the cafe itself is incredibly charming.

For a detailed look at everything you need to know before you visit, make sure you read my post about visiting the Ziferblat Cafe in Moscow .

white lcocks on a table

3. Marvel at St. Basil’s Cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic churches in the world, and it was the single thing we were most excited to see while in Moscow. Built almost 500 years ago, St. Basil’s Cathedral is recognized by its colorful domes and whimsical style. The church is of the Russian Orthodox faith, and the inside is just as wondrous as the outside.

St. Basil’s Cathedral is located on the edge of the Red Square, making it incredibly convenient to visit. Entrance for non-worshippers costs 800 rubles, and tickets can be bought at the church

woman in winter jacket standing in front of St Basils Russian Orthodox in moscow on a winter day

4. Explore the Kremlin

The Kremlin is the largest active fortress in Europe, and it is the site of most of Russia’s government affairs. In addition to government buildings, the Kremlin Complex is filled with courtyards, towers, and museums that are open to the public. If you have the time, you could spend a couple of days fully exploring all that there is to see in the Kremlin.

selfie of man and woman pointing to the Kremlin in Moscow

5. Walk Through Lenin’s Mausoleum

Vladimir Lenin is one of the most important figures in Russian history, and his body is located perfectly embalmed in a mausoleum in the Red Square. The Mausoleum is open to the public to visit, and as long as you are willing to go through a few security checks, it is easily one of the best things to do in Moscow. Its convenient location in the Red Square makes it a can’t miss attraction.

There is absolutely no photography allowed inside the Mausoleum. Do not test this rule.

red exterior of lenins mausoleum in moscow russia

6. Wander Along Arbat Street

The Arbat is a very popular street in Moscow that is lined with stores, cafes, and other touristy attractions. It is one of the oldest streets in the city, dating back to the 1400s. This street is both quaint and trendy, and there are many walking tours that introduce tourists to the neighborhood’s wonders and highlights.

man in sinter jacket standing in arbat street moscow at night with glistening white lights strung from the buildings

7. Catch a Show at the Bolshoi Theatre

As a lover of the arts, it is hard to think of Moscow and not think of ballet. Russia has always been a top dog in the world of fine arts, and Bolshoi Theater is one of the best places to catch a performance. We were lucky enough to attend an Opera here, and it is a venue that you don’t want to miss out on if you enjoy opera, ballet, or orchestral performances.

8. Visit the State Historical Museum

The State Historical Museum is one of the most respected museums in Moscow. Despite its name, it is not really focused on the history of Russia as a nation. Rather, it contains a collection of artifacts from all throughout Russia’s history.

The museum’s collection is very broad in nature. It houses some items from indigenous tribes that used to occupy the region, pieces collected by the Romanov family, and more.

9. Wander Around GUM

GUM is an absolutely massive mall within walking distance of the Red Square. It isn’t just the size that draws visitors here; it’s the sense of luxury. The mall is so beautiful inside, much like the metro stations.

While visiting a mall might not sound like it belongs on a bucket list, this mall does. You will not want to miss out on visiting GUM while in Moscow.

people walking inside GUM mall in russia with christmas lights

10. Admire the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

While St. Basil’s Cathedral is the most iconic church in Moscow, it isn’t the only one. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is absolutely stunning, with massive golden domes. It is the tallest Orthodox church in the world, and it is the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow.

It is located just about a mile from the Red Square, just south of the Kremlin Complex. You can walk to it from the Red Square in about 20 minutes.

How to Get to Moscow

Flying to moscow.

Moscow has three major international airports: Sheremetyevo (SVO) , Domodedovo (DMO) , and Vnukovo (VKO) . All three of them are directly connected to downtown Moscow by the Aeroexpress trains, which leave every 30 minutes throughout the day. By Aeroexpress train, you can expect to get to the city center in 25-45 minutes depending on the airport that you fly into.

Sheremetyevo is the biggest and busiest of the three airports, and it is the one you are most likely to fly into – especially if you are coming from outside of Europe or the Caucus region. We flew into Sheremetyevo on a direct flight from New York City.

I usually provide backup airport options, because flying right into the city isn’t always the cheapest way to get where you’re going. Unfortunately, when it comes to Moscow, don’t really have a choice other than to fly right into Moscow. It is a very remote city, and it is usually the cheapest place to fly into in Russia as a whole.

Since Sheremetyevo is so busy, you will probably find a great flight option anyway. I wrote in  my post about finding cheap flights  that using hub airports will lead to more affordable airfare, and the same logic applies here. Even though Russia’s national airline, Aeroflot, is no longer a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, Moscow is still a major hub connecting passengers from all over the world.

trip photography tips


Train or Bus to Moscow

Trains and buses are one of the most popular ways to get around Europe. However, they’re of very little use when you’re trying to get to Moscow.

Moscow is hundreds of miles from the nearest major cities. The only major European city that can even be reached within 8 hours on the ground is St. Petersburg, and even the Baltic capitals of Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn are over 12 hours away.

If you want to get to Moscow, the best option is almost always to fly. While the train routes to Moscow are scenic, they simply take forever.

How to Get Around Moscow


Moscow has one of the most memorable metro systems in the world. Its metro lines are very deep underground, and the stations are absolutely stunning. Each station has its own unique style, but all of them contain escalators that seem to go on forever.

turned-on chandelier on ceiling of moscow metro

The system was built in an effort to showcase the power of the Soviet Union and its bright future. The plans were a form of propaganda, but they resulted in what is still one of the most visually appealing subway systems on earth.

Moscow’s metro system isn’t just pretty. It is also very useful and accessible. The system has 17 lines that connect the city and its surrounding area.

But wait; there’s more!

The Moscow metro system is also incredibly affordable, with each ride costing less than a dollar. The metro is by far the best way to get around Moscow, as it is almost impossible to beat the connection times and the low cost to ride.

Tickets can be bought at electronic, English-speaking kiosks in stations, or directly from ticket counters at certain larger stations. There are also day passes available, which are a very solid option if you plan on riding the metro several times per day.

long gray escalator in moscow russia

The metro is by far the best way to get around Moscow.

In addition to the metro system, Moscow also has a network of buses, trams, and trolleys. This system is nowhere near as convenient or well-connected as the metro, though, and is likely of little use to you during your trip. There is no Uber in Moscow, but a similar app named Yandex is available if you need a ride in a pinch.

How Many Days Do You Need in Moscow?

Moscow is the biggest city in all of Europe, and it is absolutely loaded with things to do. You could spend weeks in Moscow and still find new things to do. Of course, most travelers don’t have that kind of time to spend in one place!

I recommend spending no less than three full days in Moscow, and ideally closer to five or seven.

Moscow is very spread out, and it can take some time to get from one major point to another. There are also so many places that are nice to just sit back and relax, which is hard to do when you’re in a hurry trying to cram activities into just a few days.

If you only have a week to visit Russia, I’d advise spending all of the time in one city. If you decide to split your time between Moscow and St. Petersburg, I recommend not trying to squeeze in any day trips beyond those two cities.

moscow bridge at night with lights

When Is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Moscow?

There are two different ways to approach this question. Personally, I think the best time to visit Moscow is around Christmas and New Year’s Day. While the weather will be absolutely freezing, Moscow is a surreal winter wonderland in December and January.

We were in Moscow right before Christmas. While it was very cold, you can always bundle up. Exploring the Christmas markets and pop-up ice skating rinks throughout Moscow is one of my favorite memories from anywhere I’ve traveled, and I dream of going back to do it again.

If you aren’t fond of the cold, Moscow is beautiful in the summer. It tends to get pretty cold in the shoulder seasons, so if you want warm weather, you should plan to visit in the summer. Moscow actually gets pretty warm in July and August, and there are a bunch of fantastic places to soak up the sun within the city.

The best time to visit Moscow is either around Christmas or from late May to August.

group of people walking in moscow red square at night with christmas lights everywhere

Is Moscow Safe to Visit?

While Moscow is a truly wonderful city, there’s no denying that visiting Russia comes with risks. As the country is run by an infamous communist dictator, concerns about visiting are valid. While we didn’t experience any sort of threat or negative treatment during our time in Moscow, we visited in a peaceful time.

In our experience, Russia doesn’t seem to detain normal Americans or Westerners to use as pawns. As a regular person, as long as you don’t commit any crimes, there is a slim chance you will run into any issues. However, Russia will not hesitate to enforce its laws against foreigners, and illegal behaviors will likely land you in a very compromising position.

Russia will not hesitate to enforce its laws against foreigners, and illegal behaviors will likely land you in a very compromising position.

To make matters worse, Russia has a bad reputation for gang violence. While the Russian mafia has very little interest in normal Western tourists, they won’t hesitate to pick a fight with anyone who ventures into their sphere of influence. If you seek out illegal substances or activities, you could be a target of the mafia.

If you seek out illegal substances or activities, you could be a target of the mafia.

Finally, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, things are all very different. Russia is currently at war, and there are battles raging within 8 hours of Moscow. While it is still relatively safe to visit, that could change at any time as the war with Ukraine continues.

Is Moscow Worth Visiting?

Without a doubt, Moscow is worth visiting. It is one of the most unique major cities we have ever visited, and we hope to make it back one day. The Russian Orthodox churches are stunning, the city’s history is unlike any other, and the food is to die for.

While many visitors prefer St. Petersburg to Moscow, I think Moscow deserves a lot of hype of its own. Moscow is the beating heart of Russian culture and history, and it’s a place I highly recommend checking out if you have the chance.

woman in head scarf hugging bronze statue of angry bear

That’s all we have for you about Moscow! I hope this post was helpful as you plan your trip to Russia’s capital.

Have you been to Moscow? Or is this your first time visiting? Comment below if you have anything to add to our travel guide!

Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.

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Why You Shouldn’t Point Your Smartphone Camera Directly at the Sun During Today's Solar Eclipse, According to NASA

And what to do instead.

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LeoPatrizi/Getty Images

It’s eclipse day, and while you may want to take photos of the rare phenomenon, NASA warns it could actually damage your smartphone camera.

Ahead of the eclipse happening on Monday, the agency warned on X that the bright sun could damage the phone sensor, just like any other camera when pointed directly at the sun

“This is especially true if you’re using any sort of magnifying lens attachment on the phone. You would need to utilize the proper filters just like on any other camera,” NASA wrote in its post. “The best practice would be to hold a pair of eclipse glasses in front of your phone’s lenses when photographing the Sun at any point other than totality.”

The total solar eclipse , which has been dubbed the Great American Eclipse, is expected to cross the country from Texas and go all the way to Maine, starting near Eagle Pass, Texas, at about 1:30 p.m. CT. The eclipse is an especially big deal since the next total solar eclipse won't be visible from the contiguous U.S. until 2044, according to NASA .

For those who do want to capture the phenomenon on film (or camera roll), NASA does have a few tips to save your lens.

First, use a filter. A filter for your camera is just as important as wearing good solar eclipse glasses to protect your eyes — and NASA said you can even hold those same glasses up to the camera to capture photos. But if you’re in the path of totality, remember to remove the filter when there is 100 percent coverage “so you can see the Sun’s outer atmosphere – the corona.”

Second, remember there’s more to photographing a solar eclipse than the actual sun.

“The real pictures are going to be of the people around you pointing, gawking, and watching it,” NASA photographer Bill Ingalls said in a statement. “Those are going to be some great moments to capture to show the emotion of the whole thing.”

Lastly, remember any camera can be a good camera, but there are certain pieces of equipment that can help like a tripod to steady your shots (especially in low lighting).

Seeing the total eclipse from 33,000 feet

Despite the pilot’s best efforts, delta’s eclipse flight didn’t offer passengers the best view of totality.

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SOMEWHERE OVER ARKANSAS — As skywatchers gathered across North America on Monday to peer up at a total solar eclipse, a plane full of Delta Air Lines passengers hoped to get a unique view from above the clouds.

But despite the efforts of the pilots on the route from Dallas to Detroit, a glimpse of totality proved elusive for many of the people who had reserved a spot on a flight that promised special maneuvers to get everyone a peek.

Passengers crowded near windows as the plane made a series of turns. However, the angle of the sun in the sky through much of the flight meant it was difficult to see much at all without craning your neck. Questions of “Did you see it?” bounced around the plane.

Kyle Carter, 40, a stay-at-home dad and private pilot from Orlando, said he didn’t see much of the actual eclipse during the flight, but he was happy with what he experienced.

“What I wanted to see, more than the actual eclipse itself, was just the shadow racing toward us from behind,” he said. “I did see that. You could see the darkness come towards us.”

Attorney Scot Kees and his daughter Gabrielle, 8, came from Atlanta for the flight. He said they “got a sliver” of the eclipse.

“Even though we didn’t get it completely, it was a fun community experience,” he said. He pointed out that clouds were an issue for many on the ground, so he’s not sure he would have seen more if he’d traveled somewhere else. “I’m glad we got to see what we did.”

2024 total solar eclipse

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Before people on the plane flew into a few minutes of totality, the lights were dimmed and the sky outside grew darker. Flight attendants and the pilot offered a couple of heads-ups. Seat-back screens showed the scenes elsewhere along the path of totality, including Mexico, then Texas and up through Indianapolis.

Passengers got a bag of swag that included “solar eclipse” Sun Chips, a Moon Pie, eclipse glasses, and Delta-branded socks and hat that said “climbing the cosmos.”

Captain Alex Howell said in an interview after the flight landed that he didn’t look at the sun during the flight, but saw the sky turn into a “dark version of dusk.”

“The city lights came on because of the darkness,” he said.

In the lead-up to the eclipse, several airlines publicized their best-chance flights for a prime viewing spot, with more than two dozen crisscrossing the country on Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska and other operators. They were careful to include caveats and make no promises.

“While Delta flight plans have been designed to maximize time within the path of totality, this is subject to change due to factors outside of Delta’s control such as weather and air traffic control that could impact timing and aircraft,” the airline warned.

Delta operated two dedicated eclipse flights from Texas on Monday, including one from Austin. On the flight from Austin to Detroit, a couple wearing eclipse shirts got engaged after passing through totality.

“Everyone was clapping and yelling and just really happy for them,” said Delta spokeswoman Catherine Morrow, who was on the flight. The captain piped up from the flight deck to ask the outcome.

In Dallas, the airport scene was festive Monday morning. Passengers walked under a celestial-themed balloon arch to board, airline representatives handed out glasses and a Yorkie named Delilah posed for photos with her humans.

“It’s her first eclipse, how could she miss it?” said Alan Goldberg, 70, an attorney who lives in New York City and Florida. Monday was Delilah the dog’s second birthday.

Thomas Iwinski, a 34-year-old meteorologist from Detroit, flew to Dallas Monday morning to get on the flight back home that would transport passengers along the path of totality. He described the mood at the gate as “ecstatic, joyful, elated.” He rented a home in Tennessee for the 2017 eclipse but didn’t want to take a chance on clouds this time.

“It’s definitely going to be something that I’ve never experienced before,” he said.

The airline had been planning for the flights for months.

In October, an operations planning staffer mentioned the upcoming eclipse. That led to some brainstorming and spitballing, said Chris Clisham, a flight superintendent at the airline, in a phone interview.

“And dot dot dot, here we are,” he said.

The logistics sound like an SAT word problem: If the plane is traveling at 400 mph and the moon’s shadow is racing at 1,600 mph, where will they overlap? And for how long? Throw in the angle of the sun while you’re at it.

“Fortunately, even though I am a math major, I didn’t have to bring any trigonometry into this equation,” Clisham said. Flight-planning software did the heavy lifting.

The airline first announced an Austin-to-Detroit flight in mid-February, describing it as “specifically for umbraphiles to be able to spend as much time as possible directly within the path of totality.” That flight sold out in a day, so Delta quickly added another one, this time from Dallas.

Jamie Larounis, a D.C.-based travel industry analyst with UpgradedPoints.com , had no special plans to see the eclipse. He was intrigued by Delta’s first flight, but it sold out before he could snag a seat. Then he saw a news release about the Dallas flight.

“Within 30 seconds, I had it booked,” he said. “I dropped everything.”

Before the flight, he said, he dropped 107,500 airline miles to book a first-class seat on the left side of the plane, equivalent to about $1,149. Anyone who heard about the plan assumed he has an extreme interest in eclipses, but he said he is more of an aviation buff.

“They all think I’m some sort of meteorologist, am I some sort of physics whatever,” said Larounis, 34.

Melanie Elliott, 36, of Chapel Hill, N.C., was disappointed to have missed the Austin flight so she leaped at the chance to fly out of Dallas. An astronomy fan who got a degree in physics, she was wearing astronaut earrings, a solar system necklace and a star and moon ring. After the flight, she said the view of totality — as she “was like laying on the right side of the seat” to try to see — was “a little disappointing.” She said she’ll watch her next eclipse from the ground.

But there was one huge perk for her: Astronaut Scott Kelly spoke at a post-flight party in Detroit and posed for pictures with passengers.

“Scott Kelly touched my moon tattoo,” Elliott said. “Kind of worth it.”

During the last eclipse visible from North America, in 2017, photographer Jon Carmichael tried to win a spot on a special Alaska Airlines flight so he could photograph the eclipse from the sky. He lost out, but pored over flight schedules and compared them with the eclipse path to find a Southwest flight from Portland, Ore., to St. Louis.

With the help of the pilots — one of whom even cleaned the window outside Carmichael’s seat before taking off — he took about 1,200 photos that formed an iconic photo mosaic documenting the eclipse.

Carmichael, who has also photographed an eclipse from land, said there are pros and cons to being in the air. The experience on the ground is more immersive; there are temperature changes, reactions from wildlife and the view is not obstructed by parts of a plane.

But in the sky, clouds are much less likely to get in the way. And, he said, it’s possible to see the moon’s shadow moving across the earth on the ground — a view unavailable to eclipse watchers for most of human history.

“We’ve only been flying as a human race for a little over 100 years; that’s only the blink of an eye,” he said. “It really gives you a sense of the scale of the universe that we’re part of this huge incredible celestial system where you actually can see the moon’s shadow being cast onto the Earth, moving across the Earth.”

A total solar eclipse passed across the United States on Monday, April 8. See photos and videos from the path of totality and read our reporters’ coverage from scenes across the nation .

Looking ahead: Missed this one? The next eclipse visible in the United States won’t be until 2044 — and then we’ll see another shortly after in 2045. If you did watch this eclipse but without proper eyewear, here’s what to do if your eyes hurt .

The science: This eclipse appeared especially dramatic because the sun was at its most active period in two decades. In the past, solar eclipses have helped scientists learn more about the universe . Here’s everything else to know about the solar eclipse.

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Solar eclipse 2024: How to take photos of the eclipse and not damage your eyes or camera

Experiencing this eclipse will be one of those moments we likely will want to remember, especially since there won't be another until 2044.

But, before you head out and try to take photos of the celestial event, there are a few things to know for the safety of you and your camera.

When is the solar eclipse in Delaware?

Though Delawareans won't be able to see a full eclipse of the sun, the partial eclipse begins at 2:07 p.m.  and ends at 4:34 p.m. on Monday, April 8.

The maximum eclipse begins at 3:23 p.m.  

Eclipse 2024: It's total solar eclipse day 2024! What time is the eclipse, how to follow path in Delaware

Protect your eyes and your phone

In much the same way one should  protect their eyes  while watching the eclipse by  wearing eclipse glasses , one should protect their phone when taking pictures of it.

For taking casual photos with a phone before or after totality , use solar film or hold eclipse glasses over the lens to protect it.

Remember to protect both your eyes and your phone. If you are viewing from an area where totality will be reached, eye and lens protection can be removed during those two to four minutes of totality only, but Delaware is not in the path of totality so if you are here, leave glasses on.

If you are using a telescope or binoculars with a phone, use a solar filter to protect against concentrated sunlight.

Samsung recommends using a solar filter when taking longer exposures during the event when using its phones.

What if I don't use a filter to shoot the eclipse?

Photography experts caution against shooting without a filter. Cameras can magnify the intensity and brightness of sunlight,  B & H Photo and Video reiterates, and this can damage equipment.

Experts also warn that pointing a phone at the sun could "fry" the device. They instead emphasize shielding the lens with eclipse glasses  or obtaining a solar lens ahead of time.

Don't try to capture an eclipse selfie

With a proper solar filter, you can capture the sun with the front camera lens during the solar eclipse, but it won't make the best selfie.

Stocks said the camera will have trouble focusing on both you and the sun. She recommends taking a photo focusing on each and blending the two with editing software.


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