Traveling is one of the best things in life, so it’s no surprise I’ve been dedicating more and more of my time to getting to know new places. And returning home with an Instagram feed filled with amazing photos with the trip you planned for so long simply warms the heart!
So I gathered a few travel photography tips–because I want to show you that great photos don’t simply happen. Some involve planning, some creative exercise and, of course, a lot of fun!
1. Be early to your locations
Most people try to be at tourist attractions after breakfast, without much rush. This can be between 08:30 and 10 in the morning. If you want to have the whole place to yourself, you better plan to get there super early. I mean at around 6am. This is especially important for open spaces such as squares, parks, famous beaches, instagrammable monuments, Times Square, you name it.
Getting out of bed early is worth it. Besides having the whole place entirely to yourself, you’ll probably get there by the golden hour. This you’ll give your pictures a magical atmosphere that no filter can compete with!
2. Explore different angles
A lot of us will save inspiration photos for our trips and try to copy them. And I totally get it. But beyond the risk of falling victim to @instarepeat’s feed (which I actually love because who doesn’t love clichés?), it’s not always possible to pose in front of that very specific spot. Sometimes it will be crowded, closed for security reasons or another five people will be trying to take the exact same picture. There’s also the fact that what works for someone won’t necessarily work for you. So be creative, explore your surroundings. You might be surprised!
3. Be patient and respectful
Everyone that’s on Instagram knows for a fact that it is rare to get a good photo on the first click. Not just because of the pose, but because the background is also constantly changing. People will walk by, other tourists will be there, locals will do their thing… And we have to work with what we got. It’s part of being in public spaces! Most people, when they see they’re about to walk into a photo, will politely pause (for a brief moment). But it’s imperative to understand that the places we go aren’t there to entertain us, they exist in spite of us. Enjoy the experience! Maybe a good story will come from it?
4. Use a camera and a tripod
When always have our phones in our pockets it’s easy to forget about the camera. But the phone is supposed to be a backup, while the camera’s sole purpose is to capture images. It isn’t optimized for selfies, small spaces and it doesn’t have obvious lens distortions. If you have a camera, don’t forget about it. And why not bring a light tripod along? There are countless models of tripods available today (including for cell phones) made precisely for travelers that want to capture magical moments without asking the help of strangers.
Another great benefit of the tripod: it allows higher quality photos in lower light when you need a longer exposure.