- June 07, 2017
- 10 min to read
15 Travel Photography Tips for Beginners
From capturing captivating photos of people, to inspiring shots of landscapes — taking a camera on your adventures can open your eyes to your surroundings in an entirely new way.
If you’re just getting started in the world of photography and are looking to make the best out of your trip, here are 15 of our most useful travel tips.
Keep them in your back pocket (or your backpack) as you move from place to place.
1. Travel Light
Go for one camera and one lens. Or, opt for a simple point and shoot camera that is lightweight and easy to carry or throw in your bag. Bring a spare battery and a spare card or two.
2. Find the Why
Why are you traveling? Is it for the people, the food, the scenery? Most likely, it’s bits and pieces of all of the above. But if you find the why, and follow it, chances are your passion will be felt in your photos.
3. Make it Simple
Using natural light in photos can make things less complicated. So can setting your camera settings to auto. If you keep things simple, you’re less likely to become frustrated (and more likely to get memorable shots).
4. “Bad” Photos Are Okay
Sometimes, we need to take a bunch of mistake photos to get us to that one good photo.This could be as simple as taking shots of a wall until finally, a person comes into view. You snap the shot. And all is good. Know that taking “bad” photos, isn’t always a bad thing.
5. Take a Break
When you’re traveling, it’s good to keep in mind that you’ll need time away from your camera. So stop shooting. Look around. Observe your surroundings and see what you find.
6. Make Friends
Try to team up with other traveling photographers in the area or even, local photographers. Together, you can work to find secret spots and good photo ops.
7. Photograph the Boring Stuff, Too
When we travel, our experiences seem to be grand and often exaggerated, our emotions heightened. But don’t forget to photograph the otherwise boring stuff, too — like waiting in line at a bus stop or watching the trains come at the station.
8. Encourage Spontaneity
While planning is always good (to some degree) when you’re traveling, try to leave some room for spontaneous days, too. Maybe this means only planning one day ahead, and giving yourself the freedom to choose your experiences as they come along.
9. Travel Locally
It’s not always possible to hop on a plane and jet off to a faraway destination. Keep in mind, especially if you are just starting out, that it can be exciting and creatively invigorating to travel locally, too.
10. Locate the Sweet Spots
In every place, there are certain sweet spots where people congregate, which makes for intriguing photo opportunities. Venture downtown. Check out the coffee shops, the bakeries, the pubs. Go near the water or explore the parks.
11. Find the Twinkle Lights
Using natural light like we mentioned above is great — so, too, is using things like street lamps and twinkle lights. These can illuminate night time scenes and create some magical shots.
12. Go Shopping
A great way to get a taste for the local flavor — is by going shopping. Photograph the clothes and the food. From thrift shops to grocery stores, exploring the markets of the surrounding area can provide a flavor for the region.
13. Practice at Home
Practice shooting travel style shots at home. Take photographs of the nature that surrounds your house, the food that you plate, the people you interact with. As with all things, practice. So when it comes time to travel, you’ll be prepared.
14. Take Notes
Bring a notebook along on your travel journeys. Jot down the things you see, how you feel, what you ate, where you went. All of these keywords and descriptions will make it easier to remember the specific things you documented via photography.
15. Enhance & Share!
Enhance your shots quickly with an automatic program like Photolemur and share them to social media. From Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram — social media is a wonderful way for beginners to connect with the photography world around them.
From all of us at Photolemur, happy travels! May your trips be filled with moments that invigorate your soul and ignite your senses.