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Travel Photography: 8 Great Tips For Beginners

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Hello Explorers! Today I bring you a sweet blog on “8 Travel Photography Tips For Beginners.”

There is an essential thing we need to clarify before we continue with these tips. What is the purpose of photography?

As you can figure out, this questions applies to every field of photography, not just travel. In my opinion, we can summarize it in the following two things:

  • Tell a story: Try to explain what is going on in the frame
  • Show something: for example, a mighty volcano exploding

It isn’t a must that each photograph has these two. Most of the pictures don’t, and they are still impressive!

Although having the two in one place will create a better image!

That explained, let’s go to the:

Travel Photography: 8 Great Tips For Beginners

1.- Include a subject in your images!

I consider a subject as the main actor in your frame! Either it is a volcano, yourself, a volcano and yourself! Having a subject is the best way to drive attention to your image!

Common mistake: there is “nothing” to look at in the picture.

2.- Compose Properly

Having a proper composition is essential to create a story within your images. Always try to keep some basic rules of composition like rules of third or symmetrical shapes (more information here) to create pleasing images!

3.- Crop if needed!

It is hard to nail down composition in-camera, that’s why I always recommend cropping your images in Lightroom for that final touch of excellence.

4.- Shoot, Locals!

While it is always lovely to be in a picture, travel photography is more about the place instead of us. That’s why try to make some great portraits of locals or only photos of them in their daily life!

Surely, that doesn’t mean you can’t be in the picture! Many famous Instagrammers have managed to create travel photography about them in the place. However, this is more of an “influencer” than “travel photographer” game.

5.- Avoid Tourist Masses

Either you are taking pictures of locals or yourself in a particular place, having tourist in your frame -sometimes it’s just inevitable- is kind of amateur.

Always try to take pictures without foreigners, take a long exposure image or just use photoshop to take them out.

Be sure to check: “Travel Photography: 15 Tips For Excellent Results.

This picture of the bean it is useless for professional purposes. Wait until there’s less people to take the shot

6.- Edit you Images

Recovering highlights in your images and color correcting is one of the best ways to create a piece of art!

Explorers, editing your image is like going to the hairdresser. It will make it look better!

If you want to make your images pop up, then having a nice edit in your pictures will truly make them shine.

Suggested: Lightroom Editing Tips: Do’s and Don’ts.

7.- Research!

Yes explorers, do your homework! Before you reach any particular place, do take the time to look in Instagram, Flickr or even Google so you know are the primary locations!

Knowing how to get there, where are the hot spots and having and idea of what you will do once you get there, are time-saving actions. In the world of photography, timing is of extreme importance! Sometimes a beautiful sunset can last 5 minutes, that’s why you need to be shooting during those 5 minutes instead of trying to figure out what to do.

Pro Tip 1: Always think of how can you differentiate your image from what already exists.
Pro Tip 2: If you have time, try to look for places that aren’t so known! People have already seen the Huachina Oasis in Perú, but have they seen the dunes?

8.- Find Models!

Remember tip number 1, the one about getting a subject in your pictures?

As we have discussed already, a subject could be yourself or, even better would be to have a local!

A great way to create fantastic images is to ask locals to “model” for you. 

What do I mean by “model”?

We aren’t talking about catwalks models, instead, a photoshoot. 

How do you convince a person to do it?

Just ask him or her if you can take pictures of them while they are doing their activities! Of course, don’t go directly to them saying “hey, can I take pics of you?“. That’s an immediate no.

My winning formula is to say “hi” to that person (be sure to smile). Ask about the most random things you can come up to, like “How hot do you think it is? I could do a beer.” You need to “warm-up” the saucepan before you put the burger in!

Before asking for a photo shoot, get into a “confidence” zone. Guaranteeing you that success is not about how good of a photographer you are, it is about how much the subject trust you.

Sometimes, they might ask for a payment. Use it to your advantage! People don’t know how much to charge, $5-10 should be more than enough! Think about it, for $5-10 you can get a unique picture that no one else in the world has!

The Winning Formula into Practice. Place: Ollantaytambo Perú

I was running late to visit some ruins when I met a Quechua woman. You can watch the entire story in the video down below, but summarizing, this woman told me that the entrance of some ruins was closed, I decided to ask her “what are you going to do now”, and she replied, “will prepare some chicha (drink)”. I just asked her “can I help you?” 

As a result, I end up making the best Youtube video I’ve made so far with some of the best pictures I’ve ever taken. Besides the incredible experience of end up cooking in her kitchen!

Now that you have read “Travel Photography: 8 Great Tips For Beginners…

I want you to take your camera and put in practice the steps I’ve mentioned before. While this is a Travel Photography tutorial, you can practice these tips in your neighborhood.

Shoot with frames, created interesting compositions and edit your pictures. Do you have any local grocery store? Take some time, talk to the owner about random things, own his confidence and tell him “can I ask you a few pics while you refill the aisle? I will send you some great pictures for you to have!”

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