Travel Photography : 6 Steps to looking like a Pro on Instagram

by Beatrice

Vacation images are the pictures you’ll cherish for years to come. And we are thinking, why not get a brand new ‘Avatar’ every time you are on vacay ? Yes, we are suggesting, pretend to be a cool ‘Travel Photographer’ a few times a year….. as we help you with some insider tips 😉 …and who will know ? unless you tell let the pictures tell the tale.

So, take your time to think “Outside the Postcard” and create some candid and iconic images that will forever remind you of your epic travel stories and fun memories, making you smile every time you open the photo album. . We gathered some great Travel photography tips to help you have the most incredible vacation (photos)!

Think like a professional Photographer

There are multiple things to highlight in your photographs, here are some suggestions you could use that a professional would think of displaying.

  • Introduce the culture and characteristics of the land, culture, country, or place where you are visiting
  • Display events or activities specific to the place, people or culture.

Photography Equipment – Camera and Lenses

Whether you are a professional or a beginner, you might want to know that not every camera is right for everything. That is why some pro photographers suggest the exact type, brand, and several lenses to travel with if you want to make your photographs look professional.

Travel as Light as Possible

If you want to make your photographs look great, then you should opt for a lightweight camera that has everything you need. Sometimes, it’s not an easy task, but when you do find the right one, you will know.

There is no need to take 5 lenses with you on travel.
Choose three:
Wide angle,
Long range zoom, and
Fast prime 35mm or 50mm lens.

If you want to make your photographs look great, then you should opt for one, lightweight camera that has everything you need. Sometimes, it’s not an easy task, but when you do find the right one, you will know.

Every destination is different, but these tips are eternal for all people who want to bring some wonderful photos back home from traveling.

Travel photography tips

#1 The Human Element

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The human element adds interest to your images. You don’t want only pictures of the pretty landscapes. So, prove you were there! 🙂 Pass the camera around and don’t forget to take group images  – you’ll definitely regret not snapping a few shots of everyone in attendance. Include even people you meet at the location – locals, people who made you laugh, who were nice and interesting.

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When photographing people it’s best to have them looking into the frame, but you can capture great expressions and moments when your subject isn’t aware that the camera is pointed at them. Capturing candid moments will more likely evoke memories than posing in front of landmarks, which can feel touristy and boring. 

#2 Get Closer – Details Matter

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The closer you get to your subject, the more detail and interest you can capture in a frame. Details are the ones which snap some wire in our brain and we start to remember smells, tastes, moods of the day.  Zoom in on the details and feel the frame with the entire subject or crop it afterward. Fill the entire frame with a close up of one particular subject such as shells from the beach, a flower, cocktail, airline tickets or dictionary in your hands.

#3 Shoot Local

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Include signage written in the local language in your pictures, names, baskets of ripe fruits at colorful markets. Find creatively painted store signs, city street signs, paint-chipped door or an architectural window can capture the spirit of a place.

As a foodie, some of my favorite memories are experiencing local cuisine. Pick a table by a window or on the terrace so you can get good light and photograph your #foodgasm of local delicacies by using Macro mode or zooming in tight on the dishes.
Related: 10 Ways to Earn Money as a Freelance Photographer

#4 Fill the Frame

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If you want to improve your photography, move closer. Simple as that. To exculude too much extra information in a photograph, the trick is to fill the frame with your subject and nothing else. When you think you’re close enough to your subject, take a few steps forward. It’s a common problem that we often think we’re filling the frame when in fact we’re not even close. Here, the brain plays a mind trick on you. As you’re concentrating so intensely on your subject, your brain is tricking you into thinking that your subject is closer than it actually is.

#5 Know Where The Sun Is

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Think about the light, not the view.

The easiest way to flatter your subject is to put it in the best light. Consider the time of day.  If you want to catch the glistening of light in the ocean, take the photo when the sun is low enough to bounce off the waves.

Sunrise or sunset (the famous golden hour) is the perfect time to take compelling, interesting and even stunning travel photos. Sunrise, in particular, can produce very striking images. People aren’t used to sunrise light as they are on the sunset, so the images have a different feel to it.

#6 Use Apps to Postprocess Images and Have Fun

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The 360 Panorama app takes panoramas to a new level. It creates interactive scenes that you can pan and scroll to look around and see what lies beyond the photo frame. For a different view, you can also switch to “stenographic” mode. It will morph your shot into a globe-like scene, where you’re at the center.

10 of our fave Travel Photographers to Follow

While you’re on the topic of getting more inspiration, here are some of the best we are loving right now ! Covering tropical places and mountains, people, and places and all the other best things about Travel Photography <3 Enjoy!

1. Chris Burkard

Even though we can’t say that by looking at his photographs, this guy is self-taught! Can you imagine? He takes fantastic travel photographs while surfing, including both nature, animals, people, and some exotic places. From Yosemite to Island – his photos will leave you breathless.

2. Eric Rubens

If you were ever wondering how golden hour photography looks like Eric Rubens has the right answer – his Instagram feed. He said that his late grandfather has inspired him to start doing travel photography since he was exploring the Cape Town with him. His photos of Amalfi Coast, French Polynesia as well as California will transport you right there. He catches the golden hour and makes wonderful photos that you should take a look at.

3. Chelsea Y.

If you like to see people in photos, then Chelsea is the right girl to follow. She includes herself in the travel photos, and they can’t be more perfect. From Finland and cold weather to Hawaii sea diving – you can find her anywhere where the incredible places are.

4. Lauren Bath

Lauren is the first Australian Instagrammer. Her photos are full of colors and very light. If you like travel photography to include animals, then Lauren is the right person to follow. You will simply fall in love with the photos of elephants, lions, and other wild animals. She catches the moment of joy and play that you will surely adore.

5. Renee Roaming

Light photos, a lot of seasides, and extraordinary nature – all these things can be found on Renee’s Instagram feed. She also writes a blog, where she explains the places she visits. Renee is an Australian travel photographer and blogger, currently living in the States. However, she travels a lot, so she is not easy to catch. Her photos are Instagrammable, great for your travel wanderlust inspiration.

6. Johan Lolos

This is one of those profiles that will leave you speechless. Johan photographs places, mostly in Europe and make them look perfect for his Instagram feed. He has another profile, where he catches portraits of people he finds on his travelings. He spoke on TED and wrote a book called Peaks of Europe.

7. Samuel Taipale

Samuel is a Finnish photographer, living in Norway with his wife and child. His photos are cheerful, full of colors, people portraits, as well as moments he captures with his wife. You can see their passion for photography since his wife has a popular Instagram account as well. You can shop his Lightroom presets if you want your photos to be like exactly like his.

8. Kiki

If you like to see photographers that are blogging at the same time, then this profile is great for inspiration. Her stream contains fun, colorful, and quite inspiring photos of places, people, food – simple moments she captures with her camera or drone. She is quite an adventurer – she scuba dives!

9. Alex Strohl

Alex is one of those must-follow travel photographers. His landscape and adventure travel photography will make you instantly fall in love with both his profile and photography. Minimalism, blue hour and a lot of snowy lands – that is what you can expect to find on his profile.

Related: How to Become a Great Photographer in a Few Months

10. Kirsten Alana

On Kirsten’s feed, you will find less nature and more urban travel photography places. She is a New-York-based photographer with the addiction to traveling around the world. Her passions are city breaks, art, culture, and luxury. Her photographs are alive, with people, houses, and animals.

Travel photography is a great hobby. It also serves to remind us of moments we have spent somewhere, alone or with friends and family. Don’t forget to take pictures. Don’t count on them only as something to post online. Be present at the moment.

Nowadays it is usual for people to take photos with their phones. They stay in our clouds forever, and in the end, you don’t even know where the photos are. Hopefully, this guide has changed some views and maybe got you inspired to try new things while on vacation.

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