5 travel photography tips and tricks by 5 travel bloggers

When reading a travel blog there are several elements that are essential. One of those is photos. So, as a travel blogger it is important to know a thing or two about great travel photography. So I asked some bloggers with great photos to share their tips!

This list is in no particular order. There is no one tip that is more important than another. It is just important to understand the information these amazing bloggers share and to put it into the context. So enjoy reading and learning from these pros!

Voyaging Joe on travel photography

The main reason I use photography is to capture the most memorable moments during my adventures. That way I can show them to my godchild or my future kids. Along the way, I heard that my mother always showed my pictures to her friends. Most of the time these people are not able to go on an adventure or have doubts about doing it. So every time I notice that I inspired someone to do a similar trip or to go out and start their own adventure, I’m proud that I have such an influence on people with my pictures. That’s why I started a blog, to inspire people through pictures (and stories) to go on their own adventure.

On the other hand, I like to experience the real breathtaking moments without my camera, I just want to stay in it, without any distraction. Things like a beautiful hidden waterfall in Greece or watching two male deer battle during the mating season in Belgium are so unique I don’t want to capture it on camera, I just want to live the moment, right there without distractions. Beautiful things like that don’t ask for attention.

Travel photography tip by Hole in the Donut

Travel photo tip by Hole in the Donut
Travel photo tip by Hole in the Donut

When I first hit the road to pursue my passions of travel writing and photography, I would literally wait an hour to get that perfect shot of an iconic site without people in the frame. Then one day my Dad, who followed my blog avidly, emailed me with a criticism. “Where are all the people in your photos?” he asked. He explained that he didn’t want to just see pretty pictures. He was curious about the local people, what they look like, how they dress, what they’re doing, etc. 

Since my blog focuses on culture I had to agree with him, and it totally changed the way I take photos. These days, I may wait for a large crowd to clear out enough that the site I am photographing is clearly in view, but I’m happy to include people in my shots.

The travel photography of Dalibro

photo tip by Dalibro
Travel photo tip by Dalibro

One thing I learned on my travels is that the most amazing iconic locations as such often don’t work for me as a photographer. Sure, places like the Mesa Arch or the Horseshoe Bend are stunningly beautiful. But they tend to be incredibly crowded and hence a stress factor in the creative process. Moreover, there are already billions of spectacular images of such places.

On the upside, the surroundings of these locations are usually criminally underexplored, as photographers get blinded by the main attraction, stuck on the main viewing platform or ignoring the light conditions. Sometimes it’s enough to walk around for a couple of minutes and you’ll find a unique perspective of that main attraction or even a completely new photography subject. 

Also, even if you’re in photography heaven, don’t forget to enjoy and appreciate the unique place you are at! Without a camera, without a smartphone. After all, isn’t it what travel is all about?

Traveling With Sunscreen on photography

photo tip by Traveling With Sunscreen
Travel photo tip by Traveling With Sunscreen

I go back and forth on photography – on the one hand, I enjoy taking pictures and love having high-quality photos from my trips, but on the other hand I HATE carrying around an expensive camera. The lighter the better! But, usually iPhone pictures just kind of suck, and besides, I’m usually carrying a cheap and low-quality travel phone. So I go for something in between a phone and a DSLR – a compact but high-quality travel camera (I have the Panasonic Lumix ZS50 which I got for a bit under $300 in early 2019). 

I usually keep the camera in my pocket while walking around cities. It’s easy to get out quickly and it doesn’t weigh me down. And, most importantly, it wasn’t a major disaster when I got robbed in Mexico City – as it would have been if I’d had a $1000+ DSLR! And the photos, in my unprofessional opinion, are pretty good! Much better than with a phone, at least. Even the newest generation phones still seem far worse than a quality stand-alone camera. And no phone has any substantial optical zoom, which is pretty limiting in a lot of situations. 

This photo-taking strategy has served me well in about 60 countries so far, most recently in the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia. So, for now I’m planning on sticking with my travel camera + travel phone combo for our upcoming trips!

Tjapke Op Reis about travel photography

Travel photo tip by Tjapke op Reis
Travel photo tip by Tjapke op Reis

Travelling and photography are two of my favourite things to do. When I am discovering new places I will always bring my camera with me. This also means that every time I travel, I come back home with thousands of photos. This was definitely the case when I came home with about 5000 photos after my trip to Slovenia this summer. 

What I prefer to photograph are the nature, the beautiful views, the cities, but most of all I can really find beauty in the little details : water drops on a leaf, a beautiful flower, a butterfly… I also very much enjoy watching and photographing the sunset. I find it a lot harder to take pictures of people and since I am the person behind the camera, I must admit that I don’t have a lot of photos with myself on them. Sometimes I regret it, but for my blog it doesn‘t really matter, because I want to show the beauty of the destination instead of promoting myself. 

This brings me to the fact that I usually don’t edit or stage my photos. I like to keep it real. I don’t want to get up at 4 am to pose in the prettiest dress on an amazing location by sunrise and edit my picture afterwards with the most beautiful preset. For me it would feel like lying to my audience. That is not the way I travel nor who I am. Of course it doesn’t mean that I don’t like those photos or  do not have respect for those who prefer doing this. Personally, I just prefer enjoying my travels to the fullest, discovering new places and taking pictures along the way, without the pressure of needing the perfect pictures when I come home.

Bonus by me, Fred

Travel photo tip by frederic paulussen
Travel photo tip by Frederic Paulussen

I would like to share a tip too. Have your camera in an accessible place for you to grab at any point. Too often I make the mistake to hide my camera in my backpack again. Only to think ‘meh, this isn’t worth taking my camera out for’.

And spoiler, it is always worth to take your camera out for that moment or place. Keep it close to you. Hanging around your shoulder for example. Or just in a backpack that is really easy to quickly open and close.

The best and most important travel moments are the ones that are gone in a second. Though, you wish you could remind those for years!

Disclaimer: There is none, I just really wanted to write this piece of content for you. <3

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4 thoughts on “5 travel photography tips and tricks by 5 travel bloggers

  1. Great tips! Now that I’m using my phone as my camera, I have it handy most of the time, because you just never know when an opportunity comes up.

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