How Do You Capture Stunning Travel Photos?

How Do You Capture Stunning Travel Photos?

How Do You Capture Stunning Travel Photos?

To help you take your travel photography to the next level, we’ve gathered seven invaluable tips from professional travel bloggers and photographers. From understanding the importance of cherishing light and composition to learning how to capture the feeling, not just the moment, these experts share their secrets to capturing stunning travel photos that truly encapsulate the essence of the moment.

  • Maintain a Clean Lens
  • Utilize Natural Light and Patience
  • Master Light, Shadow, and Composition
  • Embrace Crowds in Your Shots
  • Research Before You Shoot
  • Harness the Magic of Golden Hour
  • Capture the Feeling, Not Just the Moment

Maintain a Clean Lens

My #1 tip for capturing stunning travel photos is to keep your lens clean. Simply wipe your lens with a microfiber cloth or even your shirt to take off dust and dirt. This will make sure your photos are super-crisp.

As a travel blogger, I’ve taken thousands of travel photos. The easiest way to up your travel-photography game is with a clean lens for sharp images. This works great even with a phone camera.

Lauren MooreLauren Moore
Founder, The Traveling Moore Blog

Utilize Natural Light and Patience

As a Disney travel blogger, I have a lot of experience with this. For snapping those travel pics that really make you feel like you’re back in the moment, lighting is everything. Natural light, especially during sunrise or sunset, gives this magical, warm glow that just elevates the total scene.

So, my go-to tip is to be mindful of the light and try to shoot during those golden hours. And don’t rush it—sometimes you’ve got to wait for that perfect moment when everything lines up just right. That patience often leads to those jaw-dropping travel shots.

Heather NoyesHeather Noyes
Owner, WDW Travels

Master Light, Shadow, and Composition

I’ve spent years traveling the globe, taking street and travel photos.

The biggest tip I can give for better travel photography is to photograph when there’s good light. That usually means photographing in the morning and evening around the golden hour. You don’t have to photograph exactly during the golden hour, but it helps. The harshest light, which is more likely to give you uninspiring results, is at midday.

Related to this, your photography will improve immensely if you pay attention to the light when you’re taking photos, regardless of what time of day it is. Finding compositions where there are pockets of light and shadow within the frame is a great way to create dramatic, dynamic photos that capture the viewers’ attention.

An additional tip I would give is to put some thought into your composition. Instead of just taking a photo of something straight on, think of an object or person that you can put in the foreground to create a layered composition.

Brandon BallwegBrandon Ballweg
Editor, ComposeClick

Embrace Crowds in Your Shots

I used to try to capture the “perfect” photos when I was traveling. Beautiful scenes that were empty of people and, frankly, entirely unrealistic as a result. I finally realized that there’s no avoiding the people, especially when I’m photographing popular tourist destinations that always attract a crowd.

So, I started embracing capturing those images and making a point of including the people. Some of my favorite travel photos now are the ones where it’s obvious there’s a crowd of people enjoying the scenery or moving through the scene. I’ll play with slow-shutter speeds to catch the blur of them moving around or shoot through them at wide apertures to blur them and focus on the main subject. I love the challenge of capturing a popular scene even with the crowds!

Sarah WayteSarah Wayte
Copywriter and Brand Photographer, Sarah Wayte Creative

Research Before You Shoot

My top tip for capturing exceptional travel photos is research. Before visiting a new location, I spend time looking up images online, like a simple Google image search for “[Location] Photography.” This helps me find inspiration from photos taken by others and ensures I don’t miss any iconic views. While it’s important to create your own experiences, being aware of the must-see spots of a destination can really enhance your photography.

Andy FeliciottiAndy Feliciotti
Travel Photographer, ihitthebutton

Harness the Magic of Golden Hour

To truly capture the spirit of a moment or a place, my top recommendation is the Golden Hour Principle. Shooting during the golden hour, which occurs shortly after sunrise and just before sunset, provides a soft, diffused light that adds a magical touch to photos, enhancing colors and reducing harsh shadows.

On a trip to Santorini, Greece, I had the perfect vantage point overlooking the iconic blue-domed churches and the caldera. While midday shots were beautiful, they lacked a certain depth due to the stark sunlight. However, waking up early the next day and capturing the same scene during the golden hour transformed the entire photograph.

The buildings were bathed in a warm, golden hue, and the sky displayed a gradient of colors that felt almost surreal. It was a moment where everything felt still, and the image I captured then is one I cherish to this day. That experience reinforced my belief in the magic of the golden hour, making it a photography tip I always swear by.

Aaron FriedmanAaron Friedman
Founder, AMF Creative

Capture the Feeling, Not Just the Moment

Travel photography is a personal experience. It’s not just about capturing the moment; it’s about capturing the feeling you get when you’re there, and then sharing that feeling with others.

For me, the key to capturing great travel photos is to just be in the moment. When I’m walking through an ancient temple or exploring a new city, my eyes are open and my senses are heightened. When I’m at home, it’s easy for me to get caught up in everyday life and miss out on all the surrounding beauty.

So when I go on a trip, I make sure that I take time each day to really soak in what’s around me—and then make sure my camera is ready for when those moments happen!

Mac SteerMac Steer
Owner and Director, Simify

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