Photography Travel Tips

10 tips for taking better travel photos

It’s hard to deny that travel and photography go hand in hand, especially today with all the social media and constant documentation. But whether you’re part of the social media culture or not, you’re probably going to want some memories of that special moment. After all, if you’re having a once-in-a-lifetime moment or heading to that dream trip you’ve been saving for, you’re going to want to do all you can to remember every single moment!

However, coming home with those inspiring travel photography’s isn’t always the easiest thing. The light isn’t right, there are too many tourists everywhere, you’ve run out of ideas for that original snap, or you simply have a difficult time with getting the right settings on your fancy camera.

To help you avoid any and all of these situations during your next travel, here are 10 tips to help you take some amazing travel photos!

Research Locations Before you Arrive

This is probably my best tips for taking some great travel photos. Before I go anywhere, I try to find as much inspiration as possible, going through travel blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, and simply see what I can find.

For Pinterest, I make a new board and fill it up with all kinds of inspiration related to that travel. Not only is it super inspiring, but it gives some great ideas of beautiful places, pictures, and things. Simply type in “Paris” or “London” or wherever you’re going, and start pinning those magical moments.

For Instagram, I search for tags, places, and also try to find travel bloggers and Instagrammers from that specific place. A good tip is also to search for the tourism board’s Instagram and scroll through their feed. Some are better than others of course, but it’s a good place to start.


Lighting is key

Lighting is so so so important, terrible lighting really screws up a nice picture. I personally prefer bright and colorful images, so I make sure to take most of my pictures during the day and set the manual settings quite bright.

Early mornings and afternoons usually give a very nice light, and if you get up early enough for that beautiful sunrise light, odds are you’ll also be able to take some really beautiful pictures without having loads of tourists in the picture.

Weather depending

A big factor is of course the weather, it’s often overlooked by travellers, but it does make a difference in your photos! Your pictures of Stockholm will be brighter and more colorful during the summer months, and if you’re travelling somewhere with a lot of nature, you’ll get those beautiful fall colors during the autumn. It’s a good thing to keep in mind when you plan for your next travel!

Bring the right equipment

Don’t bring what you don’t need. Unless you know you’re going to use it, don’t bring it – you probably won’t end up using it. Overpacking usually have more cons than pros, and you don’t want to be dragging around a bunch of stuff you don’t need.


Get some editingΒ skills

You don’t need to be a pro photo editor to tweak your pictures. Simply download some editing apps and have at it! It does take some time to find “your” editing style, but the apps I would start with are VSCO Cam, Snapseed, or simply edit your photos in Instagram. I edit all my photos in the app ColorStory and then finish it up with Instagrams editing tools, but simply play around and see what you like!

Subtle changes are usually the best way to go, bright images usually look better than dark once, and it’s better to take some extra time really getting the shot you want – than having to spend too much time editing it after.

Get creative with location

You know that spot that is set out as a great “photo spot for travellers”? That crowded observation deck all tourist gather to get that great shot? Ditch it. Well, maybe get a photo or two from there, but then have a look around and see where else you can get that amazing shot. A lot of the time’s you’ll have to work for it – climbing up a mountain, jumping over a fence, or ditching the group for a bit. Make sure you keep safe – but try to find a more creative location than the one right in front of you.

Check out some postcards

Running low on inspiration? Head to the nearest tourist shop and have a look at their postcards, you’ll find out the most popular sights and attractions, and you’ll get some great ideas for angles, lighting, places, and things to photograph.


Timing is everything

If you’re not too keen on climbing mountainsΒ or jumping fences, consider heading to the observation deck before everyone else. Get where you want to go for that beautiful photo before people even get out of bed!

Invest in the right equipment for you

The most expensive camera isn’t the best one. You don’t need a fancy camera to take great photos, sure they help – but not if you don’t know how to use them. If you’re not interested in learning about settings and how the camera works, get a simpler one. There are plenty of options, do some reaserch or go to a camera store and ask some questions.

Practice makes perfect

You’ve probably heard this one before, but it really is true. The more pictures you take, the better you’ll get at it! Make sure to bring your camera when you do things, experiment with the settings and different ways of editing, try new things and play with lightning. Do some research on how to take better photos, composition, equipment, and keep learning.

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  • Reply Happy Coconuts Travel Blog August 9, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks I needed to read this today, struggling a bit with my travel photo, lighting I particular! Great tips!

  • Reply Amy Scott August 9, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Great tips! Insta hashtags are an awesome way to scope out new places, I do this a lot! Looking for unique shots in a place swarming with tourists is something I also try to do!

  • Reply NiciaBrighteyes August 10, 2016 at 3:40 am

    When I went to Paris, I only took pictures with my phone. I wish I would’ve taken my Canon!! Such great tips.

  • Reply Ania September 11, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Lovely post! I really like the postcard tip. I always try to research a place that will give me a bird’s-eye, panoramic view of the city I’m in. I love taking a step back and admiring a city from afar (or high up).

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