Today we welcome back Laura Nelson, winner of our “Happiness” Photo Challenge. Laura is an avid travel photographer, and we asked her to share her tips for how to take amazing travel photos.
Who doesn’t love to travel? Traveling is wonderful in so many ways: experiencing different cultures, delicious foods, amazing sceneries and interesting people. There is nothing like it! My heart flutters just thinking of the Italian countryside, experiencing things I have never seen with my own eyes and being able to capture that to always cherish.
So today I wanted to share some tips for travel photography so you can have some better ideas how to tell your vacation story through photos.
- When you take a trip, travel with someone you trust & enjoy being around…also someone who doesn’t mind you stopping every 5 minutes to take a picture! [Editor’s Note: Perhaps you will be traveling with your family and need tips for keeping the little ones happy. Be sure to check out Traveling with Kids and Cameras for tips to keep them happily busy while you are shooting. ]
- Plan out places to see, but also plan time to just relax.
- Travel with a couple of lenses you love. You don’t have to bring every piece of gear when traveling. I mainly shoot with my 50mm 1.4 and have found that I don’t usually need any other lens.
- I also always bring my little Instax 210 camera with me when traveling. I love Polaroids & film! It’s fun to capture things with a Polaroid camera because it’s instant, you have this memory forever and I cherish them so much. Polaroids are great for your travel journal too! All of our travel Polaroid photos are hung on the wall in our living room in a heart shape
- Each day, back up your photos on a computer or device so you have lots of free room on your cards. Especially if you shoot in RAW!
- If you are visiting a touristy area, try waking up early to take photographs. The light will be beautiful and the area less crowded with people.
- Look for different ways & perspectives to capture the scenery. I always look up the best viewpoints when planning a trip & make a list so it’s easy to find that great shot of the city scape. Don’t just photograph things from
eye level, look up or get down low and capture buildings or scenery from a new perspective.
All About the Details
- Capture details around you that help tell the story of your adventure. It’s so easy to forget the little, but wonderful things after your vacation is over, like that beautiful dessert you shared together or the messed up bed that was so comfy. I don’t know about you, but I get really excited about traveling because I get to eat lots of good food, so it’s fun to capture those memorable dishes before you dive in.
- Keep a travel journal. I love this! Write a little note about the photos you take, the way the city or beach makes you feel or anything at all that will help you remember your journey. It will be so fun to look back years from now and reminisce.
We Were There
Everyone has those photos with their arm stretched out taking a picture of themselves. My husband and I take turns taking pictures of each other then I make a collage with the images so it looks like we are together. You can have a passerby take a photo of you two together, but those don’t always turn out. You don’t know how many times I have asked someone to take our picture and my husband is totally cropped out, haha! I have recently discovered to look for the tourist with the biggest camera, they probably know what they are doing!
One Last Tip
Finally, remember that “Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.” I love that quote by Roy Goodman. Sometimes I get stressed if I’m not getting that perfect shot, but I try to remember to enjoy every moment of this adventure and those beautiful photos will happen themselves.
There are going to be things that go wrong on your vacation, but that is what makes it an adventure. And hopefully, these tips will help you come home with wonderful photos of your travels.
Laura is a fine art portrait photographer in Southern Oregon & obviously loves to travel! To view more of her work click here & ; follow on Facebook. Laura’s travel blog is Polaroids & Kisses. She also has a blog for photographers to learn, grow & be inspired called Leaves of Light .