9 Travel Photography Tips and Tricks for Beginners

By Alice Ross | TRAVEL TIPS

Feb 08
travel photography tips and tricks

Traveling gives you a chance to practice and enjoy photography. So, if photography is something you're interested in, you can make the most of finding yourself in a new place and use this opportunity to improve your skills. If you’re new to it, there are some travel photography tips and tricks that you may want to learn to produce a good result. 

An essential part of travel photography is that you have to be ready. And to be prepared, you need to have the right equipment to make sure that you can capture incredible shots. So, before I talk about some of the tips and tricks I personally use to get some incredible travel pictures, let's take a look at what kind of gear you should consider traveling with. 


Must-Have Equipment for Incredible Travel Photo Ops

As you probably know, photography can quickly become expensive if you want to invest in some of the best equipment to level up your photography game. However, before making a big investment, you must know exactly what you need. After all, who wants to waste money?

Of course, choosing the right travel camera is the first and foremost thing you need to do. There are some characteristics you need to consider to find the best camera for your needs. Here are the some of the key features you should look at.

travel photography tips and tricks choose right camera
  • Available lighting modes – indoor, outdoor, bright light, low light, etc.
  • Zoom capacity
  • Portability

In most cases, it's a good idea to get yourself a DSLR with a changeable lens. Having different lenses will allow you to adapt the settings to different types of subjects, shooting conditions, and desired results. This range and flexibility might allow you to apply more of our top travel photography tips and tricks.

Other things to consider are the types of features the camera has to offer. Make sure to know what you need – are you looking for one that you can use in low light, for landscape photography, or to take both pictures and videos? Make sure to ascertain your purposes for buying a camera and to define what you will mostly use it for. From there, it will be easier for you to find the perfect model.

Other Equipment to Consider Buying for Travel Photography

travel photography tips and tricks use a tripod
  • Lighting gears: This is important for low light or indoor shoots and to create different looks for your photos.
  • Tripods: Using a camera tripod will help you to stabilize the camera and place it anywhere and at any height you want. A tripod coupled with a camera timer will also allow you to take great photographs of yourself while traveling without relying on strangers to snap you (often badly!).
  • Different lenses: As mentioned earlier, you may need your camera for different purposes. Different lenses are better for landscapes or portraits, so make sure to think about which ones you want to have.
  • Photography props: These could be any accessories that help to create an exceptional or striking picture.
  • Travel bags: Your main priority is to protect your camera when you’re traveling. Buy a camera bag that is specifically designed for the camera you have.

Useful Travel Photography Tips and Tricks

Even if you’re inexperienced, it’s possible for you to capture incredible photos that you can take home with you along with priceless memories. You see, I’m not a professional photographer, but I pride myself on taking some decent pictures that get a handsome number of likes on Instagram. Here are some of my favorite hacks and techniques.

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1. Add Drama

When you add drama to your photoshoot, your photos are going to come out more visually interesting and arresting. Showing scale is one of the best ways to add drama to your photographs. You may want to add people, landscapes, or natural features to make your composition more striking.

2. Clean Up the Clutter

Whenever you're in a new place and seeing exciting new things, it's easy to overlook the background. But before hitting the shutter button, look around first. Watch out for clutter that may ruin the picture. Always keep in mind that the smallest detail can affect the overall look of your photo.

3. Add Authenticity

Regardless of where you are in the world, always add touches of authenticity – whether it is by featuring local people or local attractions that make the place unique and interesting. If you decide to take pictures of the locals, make sure to ask for permission first! It’s rude to take photos of people without their approval. Or at the very least, tell them after taking the picture and ask if you can keep it.

4. Make It Candid

Taking candid photos often makes for more interesting and authentic shots. This means that you don’t even have to make a big effort to stage your picture. Sometimes, you don’t need to look for something special or unique – when you know, you know.


5. Add a Story

If you've had enough of the candid style, well, adding a bit of storytelling can also work wonders. Going to the beach? Then bring your tripod and take a picture of you from the back, as if you’re watching the sunset. You can also for instance attend a cooking class and take a picture of you and the teacher while cooking. When you get home from your trip, you can gather the shots that you think highlight and tell the story of your entire trip and upload them all at once.

6. Shoot at the Right Time of the Day

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If you’re in a foreign place, two of the best times of the day are during dusk and dawn. This is when the light is warmer and softer. At those times, the sky is usually bluer and moderately darker. This will definitely add high definition tone to the scenery: the lights will pop up more vividly and the colors will come out brighter. If you’re planning to take a picture of an open green space, this will add great contrast to the overall look of the photography.

7. Shoot in the Right Mode

This is one of my favorite travel photography tips and tricks. Shooting in JPEG and RAW modes will give you better flexibility when it comes to editing your travel photos. However, this also means that you have to make sure you have enough memory for all the photos you’re taking. If you’re planning to take a lot of pictures, it’s a good idea to always bring your laptop, and if possible, your hard drive for extra storage. It will also make organizing your photos a lot easier.

8. Look for Inspiration


If you have no idea what to expect at your destination and you’re wondering where in the area to take pictures, then search online for the places most commonly visited by tourists. Instagram is one of the best places to do this. Simply type the name of the location in the search bar, and a series of photos taken there will appear. After Instagram, Pinterest can also the best place to find inspiration from.

9. Take Notes

Every night, after taking a lot of beautiful pictures, you may want to write down some of the things that you feel you learned. By doing this, you can always look back and redo something you did before that worked.

Read more: 10 Tips for Editing Your Travel Photos Like a Pro

Last Words

Culture is an amazing thing and pictures that reflect culture are among the most beautiful and captivating things you will see. This is why traditions and lifestyles that are new to you can influence you and widen your horizons. Some of the most important things that travel photos can capture are religion, cuisine, housing, tradition, art, music, and a lot more.

solo travel

Keep in mind that not all pictures are going to turn out as good as professional shots, and that’s okay. Just like other skills, photography can be improved with practice. As a beginner, taking travel photos shouldn’t always be taken too seriously. Have some fun with it! Don’t get stressed if you think you’re not getting good pictures at first, that's a normal part of the learning process.

Taking travel pictures is always fun, and usually exciting. I hope these travel photography tips and tricks help you with your next trip! If you have any questions regarding this topic, or other tips you'd like to share to make this article more useful, let us know in a comment below! And don’t forget to share this article on your social media pages to help your friends who are looking to improve their travel photography as well!

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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