If you are a newbie travel photographer then I have a few tips that will take your photos to the next level. Everyone starts somewhere and I promise you my first travel photos were definitely not great. It didn’t even have anything to do with my gear, I just didn’t get creative or think outside the box. These days there are so many travel photographers that you really do need to set yourself apart and focus on capturing the best photos you can.
Be an early riser
The best time to take photos I have found while travelling is early in the morning. Getting up at sunrise is really more than worth it. When travelling tourist spots are usually way emptier ( remember to check if places have opening times! ) This way you can get your shots and get a bit creative before the crowds come. Recently in Thailand we headed to a temple at midday and although it was still such a beautiful place to explore, my photos just could not do it justice. There were people everywhere, the shadows were harsh and trying to get a decent shot actually became frustrating to the point of not taking any at all. I have spoken to other photographers that got beautiful dreamy shots there and they all visited as the temple opened. That way you can enjoy a location as well as taking beautiful photos of it.
Planning ahead when going to take photos can save you a lot of time and stress. If you shoot mostly landscape photography then double check the weather, tides, sunrise and sunset and all the things you might not be familiar with in a new place. You will avoid a lot of frustration when you have a better understanding of your location. If you are in photos like I am plan your outfits and also check if they will be appropriate for the area.
What I like to do before going to shoot at a location is read as much about it as I can. I visit blogs, go on instagram and check facebook groups. In some cases if possible I visit multiple times to shoot in different lighting or weather situations to see which shots come out most like I had in mind.
Get off the beaten path
It’s so tempting to take that shot everyone gets and looks really awesome. There is also nothing wrong in taking it but always try and go a bit deeper when travelling as you might be surprised at what you will find. Visiting lesser known areas and even destinations gives you a chance to come up with that lust worthy shot no one has gotten but now everyone wants. Just remember to not venture where you are not allowed, always stay safe and respect locals!
Don’t make excuses
So many times I have heard newbie photographers complain that they don’t have expensive gear and that is why their photos aren’t great. I am here to let you know that is 100% not true. Almost everyone has smart phones these days and if you are really passionate and you work really hard at it you can take some pretty amazing photos with one. I have seen smartphone photos that have actually blown me away! Everyone has to start somewhere and my first camera was also entry level with a stock standard lens. I made it work for me until I could afford something better. Even if you are a newbie travel photographer you can still rock it!
Get a different perspective
Changing up your angles can really do wonders. The easiest and least embarrassing shot is likely to be the worst so take some chances and try and see a place in a way that no one else has.
- Include a local ( with permission )
- Take a night shot
- Shoot with backlight
- Get a drone shot ( if you are allowed to )
- Use a wide angle lens or get nice and close for some detail.
- Try and get a shot from really low down
- Get some props for a shot
- Use different photography techniques
- Take a shot from further away or change your angle to something completely different.