How to shoot Travel Photography


Travel is back! After a year and a half of scrolling through old travel photos, the time has come to get out and explore new places. And we don’t know about you, but we couldn’t be more excited.

Whether you plan on vacationing in your home state or jetting off overseas, you’ll want to document all of your new memories. Here are some of the best tips for improving your photography, so your photos perfectly capture all of your adventures.     


Be prepared


What’s worse than a bad photo? No photo at all! Whether you plan to shoot on your phone or a more advanced digital camera, make sure your battery is fully charged and your memory has enough space.

Preparation isn’t all about your gear, either. If you’ve decided to dedicate some of your vacation time to photography, you’ll want to scope out the best locations beforehand and do some research on the area. Are there any particularly stunning landscapes? Are there any local events taking place? Once you’ve found your perfect location, make sure to note where the sun will rise and fall in that spot.  


Find the right lighting


As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to shoot midday under harsh sunlight. This can create sharp shadows and end up bleaching out your photo’s details. Plan to get to your favorite location just before sunrise for the most epic shots and for a smaller chance of running into other tourists or photographers. Not a morning person? The evening’s “golden hour” is another great time to catch beautiful lighting conditions. 


Play with angles


We’ve all taken photos standing up with our phone or camera held out in front of us. To take your photography to the next level, switch up your position and experiment with different angles. You might get some stares from passing strangers, but if you want that perfect shot, don’t be afraid to explore and find an angle that’s unique to what you’re capturing. Try getting down on the ground or (carefully) climb up something for a higher viewpoint. Don’t forget to try different distances too!


Focus on composition


Composition is key to elevating your travel photography, and you don’t need to be a National Geographic photographer to nail the basics. Here are two important concepts you should keep in mind when composing a photo:


Leading lines

Your photo’s subject should be easy to locate (it is the subject after all), but it doesn’t need to be centered in the foreground either. One trick to composing a visually pleasing and creative photo is to use leading lines. In landscape photography, you might capture a river leading up to a mountain (the focal point) in the background. Or if street photography is more your style, you might use the facade of a building to direct the viewer’s eyes to the subject. 


Rule of thirds

One of the most important of all travel photography tips is the rule of thirds. Imagine splitting your image into thirds using two horizontal or two vertical lines, or both. The goal is then to place key elements into those thirds. For example, try placing a person on the right grid line instead of directly in the center for a more visually pleasing photo. Or place a horizon in the upper or lower third rather than dividing the image in half.  


Explore the unexpected


While there are certain “rules” for composing a good photograph, don’t be afraid to go crazy with your creativity. Great travel photography doesn’t always need to be picture perfect, panoramic landscapes and cityscapes. Look for interesting details, fun colors, quirky shapes, and unique cultural features. You want your photos to be as special and exciting as the memories they’re capturing. 


Need some more ideas? Follow us on Instagram at @theoriginalpanamajack for travel and lifestyle photography inspiration!