One question I get asked quite often on Instagram by my followers is how can they take better travel photos. It’s not an over night thing but there are some tips and tricks to help you along the way.
Here are ten things I wish I knew about photography when I first started travelling!
Be Comfortable with your Equipment
Whether you use a phone or a big fancy camera you need to be comfortable in using it to get the best results. An expensive camera can sometimes give you worse results than your iPhone when in the hands of someone with no experience. Before traveling practice shots that you might want to get and see what settings and angles work for specific types of photos.
You need a camera that you are willing to carry around with you everywhere you go. And be able to get out and take a photo at a moments notice. We usually take all our equipment everywhere. I carry the smaller things like Gopro’s and phones in my bag. Mike carries his camera bag on his back with our drone and cameras inside.
Plan your photos ahead of time
Something that I love doing is thinking about what types of shots I would like to take before we head to a destination. Even if I have never been there before it helps me be prepared and focused. Sometimes things change and I come up with completely different shots but it is always great to have that safe guard to fall back on.
I also try and schedule times to go for shoots that will be less busy so that usually means early morning. If you plan your shoots you will also have a better idea of what equipment you will need to have with you and what you need to pack in terms of clothing or props.
Be creative with your shots
I always think of new ways to make my photos interesting and unique. This is especially true when I visit a place where I know lots of other people have gotten shots before. A little trick to help me get more creative while shooting is to start off with a normal or generic shot. Then take a different shot each time after until you find something unique that you love. Experimenting is really the only way you will find your style and get that unique and epic shot!
Take lots of photos
Some people might disagree and tell you to just take one great shot. I say take all the shots and you might end up with more than one great one. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put effort into them though. The only thing I ever think while looking back at our travel photos is, Ahhhh I should have taken more! This also helps you improve your skills and be more confident in taking photos. I also use multiple photos from the same spot over and over because I have so many different angles and poses to choose from.
Always have editing in mind
Take your photos in raw whenever possible and always know that whatever you are taking it could look a lot better after editing. It’s not for everyone but I absolutely love it. You also don’t need to go all out, sometimes its just about brightening a dark photo or bringing out the true sunset colours in another. So many times I have taken one photo and left it because it doesn’t look great only to get home and edit it to perfection wishing I had more options. Now I have a positive outlook and I continue snapping knowing that I could probably fix the problem in post.
Don’t fall for the cliche photo trap
I have fallen for this plenty of times which is fine if you also get other photos. Imagine getting home and having 50 photos of you doing a follow me too at the Eiffel Tower or holding the Leaning Tower Of Pisa. That would be pretty frustrating if all you actually want is a beautiful landscape photo. Have your fun but always remember to try some different things and don’t get caught up in the moment and then lose out.
Experiment with angles
This is something I learnt from Mike and now I know how important it is. I sometimes have a set idea of exactly what I want a photo to be and then when Mike takes it he goes from different angles and I get frustrated. Most of the time however I actually end up preferring one of the angles I didn’t request when I look at it on a bigger screen. If you take more there is more to choose from and you can’t always see it like that in the moment.
Capture candid moments
Some of my favorite photos lately have been ones that were taken after the shoot was officially done. Mike might snap a few more of me while I am walking back towards him. Or while he is telling me something funny when we are done. Those completely un-staged photo bring out a playfulness and vulnerability thats not easy to capture otherwise. As soon as your subject lets their guard down you will usually get the best photos.
It also works great for shots where you want to bring some life and energy into them. For example jumping into the ocean off a cliff or running on the beach.
Go off the beaten path
Don’t trespass but do find slightly off the track places. When we were in Switzerland we would go for walks and find epic spots to take photos I had never seen anywhere. Don’t be too sad if somewhere you go is crazy busy and full. I can almost bet on it that you will find a better less crowded spot nearby if you just take the time to look.
Patience is key when shooting even when you have limited time while travelling. Don’t rush yourself or you will more than likely be disappointed with your photos. It’s also great to wait for light to get better ( or go back when the light is better ) or wait for people to get out or your shot. I would never ever tell anyone to move because I want to take a photo so I have learnt to be patient while shooting. Not everyone is there to get a perfect shot , some people just want to enjoy a place which they have every right to. 🙂