5 Photography Tips for Better & Memorable Travel Photography
If there is one thing my travel partner knows to be true, it’s that it takes a lot of picture-taking to capture an experience.
Jon pulled on my picture taking arm many of times to hurry up, before one day saying “I shouldn’t give you a hard time about your picture-taking, because I always appreciate having such beautiful photos after.”
I will admit, Jon still hurries me along on our travels from time to time, but what I want for you is what Jon and I feel while looking at my travel photos post-trip: everything we felt while we there.
Today, I wanted to share a few tips that will help you capture those dreamy + impactful travel photos.
The kind of photos you can’t help but look at over and over again.
The kind of photos you can’t help but share.
The kind of photos that people can’t help but fall in love with.
5 Photography Tips for Better + Memorable Travel Photography
Tip #1 Look up the sunset times
When you're traveling, the days whiz by so fast. In winter, even faster.
It’s a good idea to look up what the sunset times will be in the city you’re visiting so you can make sure you see, and photograph, all the important stuff while it’s well lit. You can maybe even plan a dreamy location for sunset (like heading to a waterfront, or looking out from a tall tower.)
Tip #2 Capture the “essence” of the city
How does your travel destination feel?
What about it feels different than your home?
Look for all the little things that make up the fabric of where you’re visiting—all the little things that make it feel a certain way.
Look for textures, colours, streets, architectural tendencies, tree + foliage that are different than what you recognize at home.
Don’t be afraid to capture some photos in “little bits”. So often we think if we’re seeing, say the Eiffel Tower, we need to capture the whole thing in the frame. Instead, try finding little pieces of interest in whatever scene is in front of you to capture, as well as the scene as a whole.
Tip #3 Use what you got
If it’s a sunny day, look at what direction it’s coming from, what kind of interesting shadows it’s casting, and what it’s backlighting or illuminating. Recognize the depth + interest the sun adds to photographs, and use it to your advantage.
If it’s an overcast day, appreciate the free range you have to photograph anything without having to account for any distracting highlights and shadows.
Tip #4 Layer on top of your subject
Add dimension to your photos by making the attraction you’re photographing a background element and layering something in front of it.
Whether it’s putting the focus on a coffee cup on a ledge with the Louvre in the back, or focusing on the trees’ leaves in front of Big Ben, add some depth, and your own spin to whatever photo you're taking.
Tip #5 Dress the part + invest in a wireless remote
Your travel photos will be some of your most precious memories—you’ll want to be in front of the camera in some of them as well! Wear clothes that make you feel as confident as they are comfortable (you might find this post a little helpful for what to pack.)
Ask a friend, a stranger, or a self-timer to capture more candid moments of you (and any travel companions) experiencing your travel destination.
I bought n a wireless remote for my DSLR (it was about $6 at Best Buy.)
The remote + balancing our camera on a stack of coasters on a neighbouring coffeeshop table is how we captured the above shot!
If you shoot on iPhone, I recently stumbled across an app that will let you use your travel partner’s phone as a wireless remote. This could be a great way to get some "selfies" sans-stick.
And there you have it. What’s your best travel photography tip?
If you’re looking to find out more about how I shoot + edit my photos…
To living + capturing memories,