6 Tips for Taking Pictures on your Travels

6 Tips for Taking Pictures on your Travels | Bad with Directions Blog

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Many people find it important to document travel experiences so that you can look back on them and reminisce. Living something is, of course, the ultimate way to actually experience it, but you can also share a lot with other people by capturing sentimental moments on film. Taking pictures and videos of your vacation is so important, and keeps us more connected to the things we are experiencing.

Now, some people just like to randomly snap as they go, and this is fine. But others (like me) like to have structure when they go away. Not sure where to start? Here are some top tips for taking pictures on your travels.

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1. Ask permission

One of the first things you should definitely consider is asking permission before you photograph someone. This is not only common courtesy, but it may well be hugely offensive in that culture to not ask permission! Never just assume you can take a snap of somebody — where possible, always try to get consent. Sometimes you will have to do this with specific places as well (if it’s a historical sight or a very religious space for example).

Getting permission for the perfect photos with culture and language barriers ranks as one of my top travel challenges that I have to deal with. But it’s worth it for getting that stunning picture at the end of the day.

2. Be alert to opportunities

The next tip is to always be alert to opportunities for photographs. The ideal travel snap can often present itself at the most unexpected times in the most unexpected places. Rent a car and take a drive out to places that might offer more options. Make sure you choose the right rental car and get yourself covered so you won’t have to worry about breaking down in search of the perfect snaps (I have definitely been there before)! Think carefully about where you are and what is going on around you. Keep an eye out for potential photo opportunities, and make sure you always have your camera to hand. Also, don’t be afraid to look at things from a different perspective.

6 Tips for Taking Pictures on your Travels | Bad with Directions Blog

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3. Lighting matters

Many travel photographs will also tell you it’s important to understand that lighting plays a big part if you are serious about taking better travel pictures. Of course, you don’t have artificial lighting to work with, so it is important to think about the best way of utilizing natural light. I would advise keeping the sun at your back as much as possible, in order to enjoy crisp and clean images, but you can also experiment with lens flare techniques too.


4. Get a good mix of pics

The best way of really getting a load of enjoyable travel snaps is to make sure you have a good mixture of photos that you are taking. This means you need to get some portrait pics, as well as plenty of environment shots as well. Try to make the most of your surroundings, and get a good mixture of varied pictures so that you have an impressive vacation album to look back over.

5. Consider different camera options

When you go travelling you need to think about the right sort of camera to use that will allow you to get the perfect snaps. Many people like to rely on their smartphones, and there are many smartphones out there with some truly wonderful cameras attached, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. However, a lot of people like to take actual cameras with them for more in-depth photos, and this is definitely a great option as well.

6 Tips for Taking Pictures on your Travels | Bad with Directions Blog

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6. The ‘Rule of Thirds’

You might not be familiar with the Rule of Thirds when it comes to photography. I wasn’t but once I discovered it I found it to be a real game changer for me. The Rule of Thirds is a technique that helps achieve more balanced pictures – the idea behind it is splitting the image into three horizontal and vertical sections. This can help you to take more balanced and striking images. You can also YouTube a lot of awesome travel YouTubers who utilize this in their pictures.


These are some of the best ideas to keep in mind to help you capture the best photos. It may take a little while to perfect, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got it!


Do you have any other tips for taking pictures on your travels? Let me know in the comments.



1 Comment

  1. November 27, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    This post is really helpful! I’ll definitely take those tips into consideration for my next trip 🙂

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