How to take better travel photos

Brooke Saward
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How to Take Better Travel Photos

Invest in Quality Camera Gear & Get to know the Product

If you’re a frequent traveler you might want to consider making an investment in the gear you use for your travel photos. In the above slider you can see some of my favourites that I use during my travels – most notably the Canon 60D, GoPro, and not included – the iPhone 5S. But it’s one thing to make the investment and another thing to actually use these devices to the best of yours and their ability. Be sure to spend at least a few weeks practicing with your new camera and learn all of the functions before your trip.

journey brooke

Patience is Key

When you’re walking down a cute or quaint side street and see the perfect photo opportunity, consider waiting a little longer to see if it can get any better. If you wait for an interesting person to walk into frame or a bike rider to pass by, this could make the world of difference for your capture. Patience is key!


Include People in your photos

Capturing people in an interesting city or country you are visiting can give a backstory to your shot. Particularly when the person is displaying a different culture or tradition, this can really offer more for your travel photos and spark your memories when you return home.

something for everyone

Take note of the small things

When you’re looking at a building from far away it can appear very impressive, but up close it can be incredible. Even capturing signs with the local language, flowers, fruit, and anything you find intriguing and different to your life at home.

four seasons prague

Look for colour

Seeking out colour in your travels can not only make your photos more interesting and evoke an emotion for viewers, but can also evoke an emotion for yourself during your travels. I always intentionally seek out colours everywhere I turn to brighten my day!

vltava river prague

Edit your photos but don’t over-edit them

Professional photographers may not need to do much editing to their photos, but most will still make a few minor adjustments – don’t be afraid to play around to make your photos look better. Just be sure not to overdo it and get lazy by throwing on random filters – there’s a fine line!


Capture a feeling

If there’s something you come across that makes you feel a certain way – happy, sad, nostalgic, inspired…. try and capture that. Think about taking a number of photos in various perspectives and see what you can come up with. Don’t be afraid to take risks!


You can never take too many photos

The golden rule – you can never take too many photos! Be sure to always have your camera at the ready so you can capture moments as they happen instead of regretting the photos you didn’t take afterwards.

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    Tips to take better travel photographs
    December 9, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing views about how to take better travel photos while travelling in the world. Because life is like a camera focus on what’s important and capture the good times for the future. So clarity of the travelling photos should be rich.

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    Map Destinations
    July 2, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    When I take photos of people, almost invariably they try to set up the shot themselves, arranging themselves and companions in a way that they think might make a good picture. And as often as not, they arrange themselves such that I would be shooting straight into the sun, or with half of the group in shadows, or with one person almost completely obscured by another person.

    Andy@Digital signature
    June 30, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    So nice to see your work and learn from you. I will keep these things in mind from my next trip so that all my travel trips will become memorable forever.

    June 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you! Hoping to get a nice but not to intensely bulky camera-how do you like the Canon 60D?

    June 17, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks, these are very helpful tips!

    I recently bought a new camera – in between a SLR and a compact camera – and can’t wait to go and experiment!

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    January 10, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Love these tips Brooke! One of my travel resolutions this year is to take better travel photos. I’m just wondering what photo editing program would you recommend? πŸ™‚

    August 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Great tips! I’ll keep these tips in my mind while I’m on travelling πŸ™‚

    August 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I am a photo addict and truly believe that you can’t take too many – but but an external hard drive in case you do:) Great post. When I started scrapbooking it changed how I took vacation photos. It was no longer about the destination, but the journey.

    August 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I don’t like to take TOO many pictures while im travelling – it stops me experiencing the whole moment in my own body, the authentic feelings and the actual moment of BEING in the present. Yeah of course photos are super good to look back on and a good way to capture beauty but ultimately travelling is about seeing and experiencing things with your own eyes and body! πŸ™‚

    August 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Simple and practical tips! Timing, indeed, is everything.

    Gaia Swanenberg
    August 4, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Are these your own pictures? i love them!

    Southern Adventurer
    August 4, 2014 at 12:03 am

    This is a great post! I always do research on how to take a memorable photo while I travel. I have made some mistakes before and over edited my pictures or missed an opportunity. Thank you for sharing!!

    -Southern Adventurer

    Juliana Borges
    August 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Nice post!

    August 3, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Great post and thanks for the tips! Not until recently have I been interested in investing in proper photography equipment, but it really makes a difference.

    Glamourous Traveller
    August 3, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Cool tips. Technology has come so far that I now find myself traveling and taking pictures mostly with my iPhone 5S. It’s good enough especially during the day for some good shots. (Of course, good… not great).

    Best to also make sure you have enough memory on them. The downside of taking pics with the phone is you can’t really tell if it’s a good shot or not until you see it on your laptop. Which means you don’t really want to delete any pictures just in case one of them’s a good one

    August 2, 2014 at 1:15 am

    These are great tips! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ I need to get more people in my shots I think. Do you use a tripod a lot?

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    Virginie @ Writer In Progress
    August 1, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I love it when a picture makes me feel proud! It means I have captured the intended vibe!
    I very much agree about being careful not to use too many filters–I prefer none at all except for a bit of vibrancy

    Clipping Path Outsource
    August 1, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    “The more you read the more you learn.” so we should take more and more but not expensive πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Great tips!

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    August 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for the tips, I will work on including more people in my photos, that is a good idea. I also think taking as many photos as possible is necessary, even though I hate going through all of them on the computer, I am often wishing I had taken even more!

    August 1, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Great post! I pretty much use the same products; a Canon DSLR, GoPro and my iPhone/iPad mini. My tripod is from Manfrotto and is not too big, so easy to carry. It’s not super light, but the good thing about this is that it doesn’t move or fall down while making photos (or while using the self-timer).
    Love your blog, it’s very inspiring!


    August 1, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Awesome tips! Thank you πŸ™‚
    XO Janina

    August 1, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Great post! I agree, you can never take too many photos. πŸ™‚

    Laquel @
    August 1, 2014 at 3:28 am

    These are great tips!

    I love taking pictures when I am on vacation but sometimes I am too quick to snap a pick right then. I love your idea of waiting a bit and seeing if it gets better.

    Another useful tip is while looking in the viewfinder, pan it around a bit to see if you like other compositions better. Sometimes as you look through the camera there is something that leaps out at you that you may have missed before.

    Now if I can just make the time to go through all of the pictures when I get back, lol.

    Victoria - WildWanderlings
    August 1, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Great tips. You really never can take too many photos. I always end up with thousands of photos at the end of a trip.

    I just invested in a new camera. I love my Canon Rebel XT, and it has served me well. But a girl can’t live with 8 MP forever.

    Out of interest: you say the tripod you use is light, but is it collapsible? I’m looking for something very compact, but I’m worried I’ll wind up with something flimsy. I’m going to be going to a few places next month with only a backpack and my camera bag, so I am looking to buy a tripod that will fit in a standard backpack. Suggestions are welcome!

    May Casson
    July 31, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    My boyfriend and I are going for our first trip overseas and this info was definitely helpful. I love your pictures and blog.

    July 31, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks for the tips! πŸ™‚ I think it is also the light that matter a lot in the photographs πŸ™‚ Sometimes it worth to go around the object you want to take picture of and find the best lightning πŸ™‚

    KarolinaPatryk Travel blog
    July 31, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Great tips thanks :). Definatelly the best travel pictures are the one including people and feelings!

    Abi S
    July 31, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Great post and I love your tips (and photos!) I’m interested in photography and it’s a strong hobby of mine. I love the tips especially about the not over editing one because over edited photos almost look more like paintings sometimes! Great post! Abi πŸ™‚

    July 31, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Haha I always make too many pictures πŸ˜€
    My iphone and the SD card are full with pics from the same object but in thousand different ways… In the end this is really the key to find the perfect shot, because sometime I like the photo/perspective most that I didn’t pay much attention before.

    Greetings from Bali,

    July 31, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    these are cute tips. go pro is an awesome investment btw. in my experience go pros are actually even used professionally.


    July 31, 2014 at 11:59 am

    People always tell me that my travel photos are beautiful, and I tell them that it is because I put in a lot of time and effort into them!

    Having an eye for good composition is key for taking any type of a decent photo! So, before I start snapping away, I always “take a photo” with my eyes, deciding what things to include and what not to!

    I particularly agree that taking notice of small things is important to make your photos more interesting. Also looking for nice patterns always makes a picture more interesting. And of course, lie you say, taking plenty of pictures! however, sorting them out later can be a bit of a hassle…

    Kate @
    July 31, 2014 at 11:36 am

    “You can never take too many photos” – that is DEFINITELY my motto on vacation! I love the “capture a feeling” suggestion too (as long as you avoid the hot-dog legs picture on the beach, which, to be fair, is also a “capture a feeling” type of picture haha)