8 tips for better travel photography

We obviously love travel photography but realize it can be hard. In the beginning, we even had our problems getting started, learning the basics and buying the right equipment. Here are our top tips to get started:

1) Use your phone

Just because you have a better camera don’t ignore the smartphone in your pocket. It is always with you, their cameras are getting really good and you can photograph something within seconds.

2) Research your locations

Scout the destination before arriving to have an idea of what you want to see and photograph. Search on Instagram, Pinterest and Google Image. If heading to Kyoto, go on to Google Image and search for Kyoto photography.

3) Wake up early, stay out late

Light is one of the most important components of a good photo and the golden hour around sunrise and sunset is perfect for this. We always make it a habit – especially for activities popular among tourists – to get up early and beat the crowds. When visiting Kyoto, we headed to Fushimi Inari-Taisha shrine at 7 am and were completely alone. On the way down a few hours later we passed thousands of tourists.

4) Invest in a tripod

We were hesitant at first but finally invested in a tripod. Much better result than asking strangers for taking photos and great for shooting timelapses as well. Our preference is Peak Design’s Travel Tripod but there are other alternatives available as well.

5) Learn on YouTube

Neither one of us has any formal photography training and pretty much everything has been learned online and especially YouTube. There are great channels with everything from general photography to travel, action, street, and landscape photography.

6) Ask for portraits

This one was hard for us as well and took some time to get comfortable with. The big change for us was in Bali when asking an elderly man and being greeted by the biggest smile. Quickly shot and in no way our best photo, but it was a starting point. So if you see someone you want to document, don’t be afraid to ask and do so politely. The worst that could happen is that they say no.

7) Think outside the box

Try to find something unique about your photo and composition. Shoot from the low on the flow? Move around and maybe try to get some elevation? Try a different lens? It might not be so easy at touristy destinations but try to find a combination of “safe” shots and more creative ones.

8) Use the photos

After your trip is done, use your photos. Post them on social media, print them out in frames or upload to an image stock site for some extra revenue.