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When it comes to capturing content on the road, there are a few tricks to the trade. My top photography tips to up your travel photos are ones I’ve been using for a few years now.

5 Photography Tips to Up Your Travel Photos

Since most of my work is photography based, I’ve learned the hard way on how to get “the shot.” One of the worst feelings is coming home and feeling like I didn’t do a place justice or captured what I envisioned. So with a few tips and tricks, these 5 photography tips are my tried and true. The kind that certain to up your travel photos on your next trip.

5 Photography Tips to Up Your Travel Photos

1. Have the right equipment.

This is my number one tip. Do you have the right equipment to capture what you envisioned? Those dreamy IG photos are almost always taken on a DSLR (here is a blog post to what’s in my camera bag). If you’re not ready to invest into a full kit yet, consider a hybrid in Sony’s line like the A6000. Moving from your phone to a proper camera is the first step in having the proper tools to capture photos.

5 Photography Tips to Up Your Travel Photos

2. Research your locations ahead of time.

I shared this in my Dolomites photography guide — location scouting is crucial. So many times you see a photo online and it’s challenging to find the exact coordinates. I use a site called Location Scout and it’s brilliant for finding those spots. Almost every popular place you see has been tagged on there and a photographer has shared details around it. That’s how I found this famous spot in the Dolomites.

Before you arrive, if you really have your eye on photos you want to capture, do some research to be prepared.

5 Photography Tips to Up Your Travel Photos

3. Know your lighting and what is best for each location.

This one has been the toughest for me to sort out over the years. I remember showing up to Big Sur to photograph the blue waters in a cove, only to find the water was not quite that color. My problem? You need high sun for the water to look saturated in color. So each time we consider a location to go take photos, I consider the time of day first.

Time of day is often based on the demand — if it’s a busy spot, we will always go early. For locations that need color, we often go a high sun (though you run the risk of sharp contrast). Have a look at other photos from the location — what did you love about it? That will usually give you a clue about what time of day is best for lighting.

5 Photography Tips to Up Your Travel Photos

4. Photograph what captures your eye.

It’s easy to get distracted in a digital world where there is plenty of other photos to look at. I do this myself as well — I see a photo that I love and want to recreate it. The result? After processing the image, it’s not quite what I wanted to capture.

It’s good to draw inspiration from others, but ultimately capturing what captures your eye will better your travel photos.

5 Photography Tips to Up Your Travel Photos

5. Take the time to edit your photos.

Another trick of the trade is streamlining your editing process. I use Lightroom exclusively with my presets to keep the tones similar. It also helps to keep the process really simple. Lightroom has often been a very overwhelming tool to use but now more than ever, it’s rather simple to use.

One other idea if you want to edit on your phone is to use the free Lightroom app (very user-friendly) and consider creating your own presets there. You can also check out my mobile Lightroom presets as an option as well.

5 Photography Tips to Up Your Travel Photos

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5 Photography Tips to Up Your Travel Photos

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

I use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

I use for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

I use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Rental Car

Self-driving is the best way to explore most destinations. I use Discover Cars for our rental cars, select full coverage insurance, and opt for a reputable company like Alamo, Hertz, or Sixt.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

I use Priority Pass to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


1 Comment

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post, so thanks for sharing your top tips! I had never heard of Location Scout but it sounds great so I’ll definitely be checking it out.


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