Capturing a city in all its glory can be hard when you’re wrapped up in the excitement of traveling, and usually with a time constraint as well. Travel photos are incredible pieces of art, and they showcase just how beautiful every corner of the world is. However, while trying to get the perfect Instagram shot, it’s sometimes easy to forget to take a picture proving that you were physically in the location, or to capture the landmarks everyone will recognize. While you may not be looking to capture the same image that every other person who visits that city has, those are the photos you’ll remember and associate with that city for years to come. They also make sharing your journeys much easier.
So, while you’re snapping colorful doors, hand painted signs, and that incredible brunch, don’t forget to get these five shots!
5 Photos to Take Every Time you Travel
1 // View from Above or Panoramic Shot
Cameras are becoming more and more incredible. The fact that we can now capture an entire skyline or epic vista in one shot is proof of that – so make sure you take the time to really capture your destination in its entirety! Taking a shot like this not only gives you a great excuse to check out a rooftop bar or the tallest structure in a city, but when you’re running around for a couple of days, it’s amazing to see all of the ground you’ve covered from above, even if it’s just through a rainy window. Plus, who wouldn’t want to get an entire city (or a large portion, at least) in one incredible shot!?
Tips for Getting an EPIC Panoramic/View from Above Shot
- If you are taking a photo on your camera, invest in a wide angle lens! We absolutely love our Sigma 10-22mm lens – this will let you capture more of the location without using a panoramic function.
- For phone photography, purchase a pack of clip-on lenses. Most sets include a fish eye, wide angle, and macro lens. You can just pop them on your phone for a quick photo and it makes all the difference!
- If you regularly take panoramic photos, consider purchasing a timelapse stabilizer. This will keep your camera steady as the panoramic is shot, resulting in a much smoother photo. It’s also possible to get a phone holder, so this can be used for iPhone photography, as well!
2 // You! (and your travel buddies, of course)
You can find pictures of landmarks and restaurants and phenomenal views on the Internet. You can’t find pictures of yourself experiencing those things…unless, of course, you remembered to take a picture! There is nothing worse than coming home and realizing you don’t have a single decent picture of yourself. So don’t forget this one – if anything, do it for your mom who is dying to see a picture of you actually experiencing the world. If you’re with a friend or your significant other, this is also a great way for you to remember the trip together. We have framed travel photos of the two of us all over our house!
Tips for getting photos of yourself that you’ll actually want to share
- Bring a tripod! We used to laugh at the idea of carrying a tripod everywhere, but now take one with us on every trip. It’s such a game changer for individual photos and couples photos, but also for travel photography in general. We usa a MeFOTO RoadTrip Tripod and are obsessed with how portable and versatile it is!
- If you have a tripod, you’ll want to ensure you have a wireless remote as well. We use this Amazon Basics remote – it’s under $10 and gets the job done.
- Take a test photo to set your camera settings before relying on a passerby/tripod to take the photo. Get your settings exactly how you want them so literally anyone can take the photo for you and it’ll turn out how you pictured it.
- Don’t be afraid to take multiple photos. Seriously, ask someone to try again, or find someone new. There’s no point in settling for a subpar photo when you have time to get a new one!
3 // An Iconic Landmark
Tower Bridge in London. The Eiffel Tower in Paris. The White House in Washington, DC. What image pops into your head when you think of a particular city? Who cares if everyone else already has a photo of the Taj Mahal – you went, you saw, and you deserve to capture the moment, too! Go get that picture, from your perspective.
Tips for getting the photo so many other people already have
- Add your own flair! Each traveler, photographer, and blogger is totally different. Whether you capture something that is happening at the landmark, a unique angle, or just take the photo on a rainy day, your photo is going to be different.
- Be patient. If there’s a cloud passing, let it pass. If there is someone blocking half of the landmark, wait for them to go. You didn’t go all that way to get half the shot you wanted to get!
4 // A Hidden Gem
All you Instagrammers can finally breathe a sigh of relief! This is the photo you’ve been dying to take. One of the best things about traveling is discovering those off-the-beaten-path restaurants and shops, secret gardens, or beautiful neighborhoods. However, when you find them, you don’t necessarily have to keep them to yourself! Snap a picture and share with your friends, so they can have the same great experience that you did.
Tips for capturing hidden gems
- Imperfection is beauty! If things are messy, or a sign is wonky, that’s exactly what you want to capture. Don’t stress over perfection when capturing these hidden gems – there’s so much beauty in them the way they are!
- When shooting in low light situations (i.e., inside that really cool dive bar you visited), use a lens that allows for a really wide aperture. We shoot with Nikon and love the 35mm f/1.8G Lens.
- Capture as much detail as possible. You’ll want to savor everything about this gem for years to come, so don’t forget the details!
5 // Local Food, Craft, or People
The best thing about any place is it’s culture. Each area of the world brings with it its own people, food and drink, and celebration. It’s a phenomenal thing to experience, and a great thing to share with others throughout the world. Capture something that you’ll associate with that location, and only that location, throughout the rest of your travels.
Tips for shooting the “personal side” of a destination
- If you are taking an up close photo of a market stall, or a group of people, ASK! Not only is it more respectful to them, but you’ll probably also get a better photo if you’re not trying to do it in a sneaky way.
- For food and craft photography, play around with your camera settings to make the items really stand out. We are no experts at this yet, so cannot tell you the exact settings, but have found that we’re always happier with the photo after toggling with the settings a bit.
- A photo isn’t the only way to remember! If you absolutely love a trinket or treat, purchase it. Travel souvenirs are so special and you can display them in some really cool ways. The food ones don’t last quite as long, but they’re yummy and that’s all that matter.
Hopefully these tips will help you up your travel photography game and come back with all the photos you hoped to capture! Check out these amazing photos of the world for some travel photography inspiration before heading out on your next adventure. Oh – and don’t forget to take a photo of yourself!
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What are your travel photography tips? What picture do you try to get every time you travel?
Let us know in the comments below!
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