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How to Take Better Travel Photos

How to Take Better Travel Photos

Everyone wants perfect travel photos, right? Beautiful photos help you remember your trip, and they look lovely displayed in your home. Today, with some help from my sister, we are tackling how to take better travel photos. Whether you want to take photos of people or places, here are some simple tips to help you take the better photos.

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For Taking Photos of Places:

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Timing Can Be Everything

Maximize the first hour after sunrise and the hour or two before sunset and you will get the best photos. The light has a magical quality during this time. You can usually get photos without crowds of people in the early morning too.

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iPhones Do Well with Challenging Lighting

iPhones have great cameras and they do well at capturing sunrise and sunset photos.

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Follow the Rule of Thirds

Image two lines dividing your image in thirds both vertically and horizontally. The intersection of those lines is a good place for the action to happen in your composition.

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Find Something Interesting

Photos look better when they have a focal point. A photo of a stone shed within a field of lavender is more interesting than just a field of lavender.

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Portrait Mode is Your Friend

Portrait mode just makes everything look better.

Automatic Shooting is Also Your Friend

Confession – when I am traveling I shoot in auto mode. There is no way that I would remember to change the settings each time I took a photo – and sometimes I would miss the photo opportunity if I was messing around with settings.

For Taking Photos of People:

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Turn a Little

If you are staring at the camera straight on, it probably won’t do you can favors. Just rotate your shoulders a little.

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Put Your Hand on Your Hip

It gets your arm away from your sides so that it won’t get swished look bigger than it is. Putting your hand on your hip slims your arms and defines your waist. Smushing your arm against your side will make you look bulkier than you are. Moving your arms out from your side will make you look leaner.

Shoulders Back

Standing up straight with your shoulders back makes a big difference.

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Stand on Your Toes

Even just doing this a little makes your legs look longer and leaner.

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Shoot the Eye Level or Higher

This is an easy way to avoid unflattering angles. When I was in London went to an photo walk with a “professional” photographer so that I could get some photos taken of myself. The photographer insisted on taking most photos from a low unflattering angle.

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Weird Camera Angles are Weird

Another gem from that photography session in London.

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Have a Hat

It’s the best way to cure bad hair days, and an easy solution getting your hair to stop blowing everywhere.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Sunlight creates harsh lighting and lots of shadows.

Try Wearing Sunglasses

This is the solution to wanting a photo and not wanting to squint. Also, people always look cooler in sunglasses.

Add Little Lip Color

At least add a little color to your lips – I like to use the Kiehl’s Lip Butter for this. If you really want good photos, add a little more makeup than you normally would.

Be Honest

The best way to take better travel photos of people is to be honest. If I am doing something awkward, my sister will just tell me.

how to take better travel photos

Shoot Head to Toe or Intentionally Crop

It’s common to quickly take a photo chopping off someone’s feet or the top of their head, but these tend to provide an awkward end result.

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Try Holding Something

Sometimes you just don’t know what to do with your hands! Try holding something – your handbag, a hat, flowers, or a coffee cup – it can lead to more natural looking photos.

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Try Moving

Photo after photo of you standing still can look dull, instead try walking down the street.

My Favorite Camera Equipment

I believe that less is more. I rely on versatile camera equipment so that I am not carry around lots of heavy gear. On my last trip to Europe I brought only one lens, a 24mm that is amazing for travel and very compact. I also bring my iPhone. I did just purchase the Canon G7X Mark II, which is a point and shoot that takes high quality images and video – plus it is under $700.

How to Take Better Travel Photos - a guide to taking better photos of people and places.