Catching that early morning glow in Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico
Taking in the views with the Santa Monica Pier in the background in this post.
Braving the freezing temperatures for this shot of the mountains in Aspen, Colorado.
The Effiel Tower in the distance at Tocadero Park in Paris, France.
The incredible gardens at La Foce in Tuscany, Italy.
Under the Joshua Tree
How to Take Good Travel Photos
Over the lifetime of this blog, I’ve been very fortunate to have gotten to travel the globe capturing some of my favorite photos ever taken. And throughout these trips, I’ve learned how to take good travel photos in a variety of situations. Today’s post is entirely dedicated to sharing these tips for your own adventures. So there they are…
1. Get Up Early
The best trick to every photo to avoid tourists and get the best light. The only way I was able to get these Eiffel Tower photos is because we got there at 7am before it was crammed with tourists. I check the weather app on my iPhone to see the exact times for sunrise and sunset. There are also apps like Sunrise that give you a map of where the sun will be at specific locations and times.
2. Do Your Research
Save photos of the best locations from Instagram, Pinterest. Create a shot list of where you want to shoot, when and what you’ll wear. I like to have an outlined schedule of the places I want to visit and photograph every morning and evening to rate the best light. Any touring and photos shot in between is just a bonus.
3. Tour the Location
Whenever I arrive at a location, say a hotel, I take an hour to walk around the property. This lets me know the amenities that are offered (maybe there was a hidden pool I didn’t know about before), and get a feel for the property to decide where I’d like to shoot while I’m there. That’s how I found this beautiful hallway in Cabo and this hidden room in Bluffton.
The next morning I schedule 2 hours,usually 7-9 am, for good light and fewer guests to be in the way. Just note that the light does change throughout the day. Sometimes a place that was magical in the afternoon can be dreadfully dark in the early morning. Again- estimating where the light will be can save you heartache.
4. Travel With Someone Who Likes Taking Photos
A fellow friend, blogger, photographer, etc. There’s nothing worse than trying to convince your signficant other who dislikes taking photos to try and help you get the “perfect shot.” Passion and focus need to come from both sides of the lens for the shot to be as good as possible. Take the time to try different angles. It’s rare to get the perfect shot on the first try. But if you have someone who is patient and willing to be experiemental you’ll get much better photos.
5. Bring Props
I’m notorious for this. Not only are my outfits and accessories part of the photos, but so are my props. I carried my streamline luggage all through the streets of Paris for these photos. I was lucky that the luggage also came in handy as a picnic basket for these photos in front of the Eiffel Tower. A suitcase is also a useful to bring your change of clothes with you.
6. Take Chances
Now, Im not saying sit on the edge of a building or risk getting hit by a car. No please dont risk your life for a photo. I did it once and I shouldn’t have. It sets a bad example of “doing it for the shot.” But if you’re not taking the photos simply because you’re too shy, just suck it up and do it.
You wouldn’t believe how many people were on the bridge when we shot these photos. It was almost uncomfortable but I did it anyway. It can take practice to get over that shyness, but eventually you’ll get more comfortable taking photos in crowded places. If you’re not sure if you can take a photo in a particular spot you have two choices: just do it or just ask. The worst they can tell you is “no.” I’ve been told no so many times. Even kicked out of the Grove for trying to shoot there. Note: they don’t allow professional cameras there, only iPhone photos.
7. Hire a Photographer
It can be frustrating when you don’t have anyone with you to take your photos or if your travel buddy doesn’t enjoy it. Sometimes I’ll take Taylor with me. She’s an amazing photographer and travel partner. I also often search for a local photographer on Instagram (search the local hashtag #citynamephotographer) and reach out to a few people. You might have to pay a fee, but they can also be your tour guide and show you the best places to shoot in the city. That’s what happened with on our trip to Aspen. Alexis took us off the beaten bath and shared some of the best places to see in town.
8. Join a Tour
I was just in Georgia and we took a hop on hop off trolley tour. (The Old Savannah Tours to be exact.) Not only did it give us a good history of the city, it also allowed us to see multiple photo locations in a matter of hours. You can even ride the entire tour like we did (if it’s not too long) and then decide afterwards which places you’d like to shoot and just stay on the trolley until you return to that location again. Although I haven’t posted any photos from Savannah, Georgia yet, I will soon.
Hope these tips help with your future travel photos! If you’d like any location and travel suggestions you can search my trips in the sidebar and in my travel menu. As always, thanks for stopping by.
Do you have any tips on how to take good travel photos? Share in a comment below!