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No inspiring travel blog is complete without engaging images, which is why every successful travel blogger always has their camera at the ready. Whether you’re shooting a photo story, adding visual context to your content or looking to increase your following on social media, check out our top 15 tips to get the best shots at your next location.

  1. Before you embark for your destination, get travel insurance and ensure both you and your equipment are covered. Remember to always take your camera and small equipment such as lenses as carry-on luggage. You never know when a checked bag might become lost in transit.
  2. Carry your memory cards in a card wallet instead of carrying them loose to avoid losing or damaging them. Backup any photos you take with your smartphone to a cloud system such as Dropbox as often as you can, or email them to yourself. This will allow you to delete as you go and avoid running out of space, and ensure your pics are lost if your phone gets damaged or lost.
  3. Make the most of the ‘magic hours’ at sunrise sunset. Not only do these times offer beautiful light, but there will also be fewer people about to get in the way of your shots, especially in the early morning.
  4. Get creative with composition to make your photos more visually interesting and appealing. Try employing the ‘rule of thirds’, where you place your subject within one third of the frame, to shoot a striking image. If you’re shooting with a smart phone, enable the grid feature to help you compose your shots.
  5. Plan for the unexpected and always have some camera on you during your journey. You might need to leave your DSLR at the hotel on days that you need to travel light, but be sure to have an alternative compact camera or smart phone on you just in case. You never know when a great photo op may present itself.
  6. When it comes to angles, don’t be afraid to mix things up. Moving your camera higher or lower than eye-level, or even trying to find a bird’s eye view, can take your pics to the next level.
  7. When using your DSLR, it’s best to use Aperture Priority mode when photographing landscapes. This will help you achieve a maximum depth of field so both the foreground to background of your scene is sharp.
  8. If you’re travelling to a location with opportunities for water shot, invest in a waterproof phone case or camera housing unit such as an Aquapac. This will offer good protection and even allow you to take underwater photos.
  9. When using your smart phone, always shoot your original photos in portrait or landscape mode – even if you plan on Instagraming your pics later. Setting your phone to shoot in the preset square means you’re stuck with that crop. Cropping after the photo has been taken allows more opportunity to play with composition.
  10. Don’t miss out on a great image. Capture fleeting quickly moments by knowing your phone’s camera shortcuts.
  11. When using your smart phone, tap the screen of your camera viewer to change focus and adjust lighting.
  12. Invest in wide-angle and telescopic lenses to up the ante on your travel photography. You can pick up clip-on lenses for smart phones relatively cheaply. Grab an external wide-angle lens to get amazing close-up. If you’re shooting on DSLR, use a telephoto lens to capture great portraits of locals while blurring out distracting backgrounds.
  13. Clean your lenses regularly. Salt-spray from coastlines and dust from urban areas can cloud your lens and lead to blurry pics.
  14. Shoot panoramas of scenic viewpoints, rather than in a wide angle which can make everything appear small. Your smart phone likely has a preset panorama mode, so make use of it! You can create your own panoramic shots with a DSLR by shooting several images of a scene and then stitching them together in photo editing software when you get back home.
  15. Landscapes and monuments are fantastic subjects for travel photos – but don’t forget to include people in your shots! People respond more strongly to photos with people in them, and candid shots of locals are a great way to give context to your images and tell a better story about your destination. Including people in your pics can also help to give a sense of scale to surroundings.