More and more often I’m being asked questions and complimented on my photos, particularly those from when I’m travelling to different places. So I wanted to share a few of my top tips to get those wanderlust worthy snaps, here’s how to take instagrammable travel shots!
Know your settings
If you’re using a DSLR and you haven’t already learned the settings on it then please do this. It will make photo taking so much easier and more enjoyable as you’ll be able to get the shots you want. As I mention below with taking photos after sunset, you’ll need a tripod to keep your camera steady as you’ll be using a longer shutter speed. If you’re not sure what that means then check out this article on how to change shutter speed. Likewise, if you keep missing that perfect shot of a wild horse running across the savanna (happens all the time, I know), you need to up your shutter speed to stop it being a blurred mess.
Time of day
Pay attention to the time of day and think about where you want to be for it. Remember to keep the direction of the sun in mind – it rises in the east and sets in the west so if you want to get some great sunset shots don’t go to a spot that’s facing east unless you want silhouettes. If you can get up high then you can make the most of using the light from different angles.
Everyone knows about golden hour but try sticking around for twilight and blue hour too. Using a tripod is best if you have one but you can always makeshift one by using a wall or stacking things. If you want to avoid people in your shots then definitely go for sunrise rather than sunset. The light is often a bit more magical and usually you’ll see some things that you wouldn’t at other times of day (like wild animals and low clouds).
Switch it up
Popular places like Venice have been photographed millions of times in millions of different ways. It’s impossible to be completely original but there are ways to avoid the cliché. Think about how you can change your perspective, shoot through a window to show the inside as well as the view, get up high or down low, focus on close up details or put your own props in the shot. It’s all about finding your own style, this can also include how you edit your images but I could write a whole other post about that.
Get in the shot
Putting yourself in the shot is the easiest way to add something unique and show your personality. This obviously isn’t as easy if you’re a solo traveller but investing in a portable tripod is a great idea or ask strangers to take your photo. If you want to step it up then think about what you’re wearing too, plan your outfits to suit the surroundings, whether you want to stand out with a pop of colour or blend in to co-ordinate.
Avoid the crowds
Travelling out of peak season is the best. We take a trip to Scotland every January and it’s much cheaper and much quieter than the summer months. Winter travel photos can be absolutely stunning and it means you can visit places like Glencoe and have it all to yourself instead of battling with coach loads of people to get your photos. Of course, summer holidays are lovely too so to avoid the crowds in the busy months take the back roads and alleyways and get to tourist hot spots early in the morning.
Lastly, but most importantly, just enjoy yourself. Relax and don’t stress and the photos will come. Some of my favourite travel photos have been ones that weren’t planned at all. Sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time and the perfect shot just comes together.