When I started my travel blog I was lucky that I was able to ask for basic photography tips from professionals I had worked with. You see, I’m a professional makeup artist by trade, and often work with A-list photographers, such as Joe Edelman. I’ve learned a lot about photography by paying attention while on the job, asking questions, then practicing a lot, and trying new ideas.
If you have a travel blog, then you know good photographs are a must. Whether you shoot landscapes, food, or people, the photos should tell the story, with or without some text to go along with the photographs. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take interesting and well-composed photographs.
Basic Photography Tips For Travel Blogs
Here, I will share some tips with you that I’ve learned along the way, mostly by trial and error.
I created the photos for this article using a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. No matter which camera you choose, I think you’ll find a tip or two that will save you some time and some tears.
Tell A Story With Photographs
1. Travel photography should tell a story. Even if your blog is very specialized take a variety of images. Of course, you’re going to write some text to go along with the photographs but the photos should be a visual illustration of the text. In other words, you can communicate that you had a delicious cappuccino simply by taking a nicely composed photograph. It can make the story more interesting if you also have some shots of the café, (interior and exterior) and maybe even a shot of a waiter or the barista, at work.
Practice A Lot
2. Take a lot of photographs. That’s the beauty of digital. If your memory card is full you can always download images to your laptop or another storage device. Or you can just delete the images that are a total bust.
Try Shooting From A New Perspective
3. Look at your subject in new ways. Try different angles. Look at it from all sides. Try shooting with your camera angled up, or get low. Make something normal and common look unique and different. Sometimes that means you have to take a lot of photographs until you begin to see things in a new way.
4. Get Close To The Object You’re Photographing
Detailed images work well on blogs.
Choose The Best Time To Photograph Your Subject
5. Get out of bed! I’ve taken some of my favorite photos in the early morning hours before everyone else is up and about. This is really crucial if you want to take photographs in areas around popular monuments and you hope to get a clean shot, without too much clutter in the background. It’s also a great time to photograph interiors as the odds of encountering masses of people are small.
Preparation is key for Travel Photography
6. Be prepared. Carry a quart-size plastic Ziploc bag or two with you. If it rains you can use it to shield your camera. They are also handy waterproof storage for extra batteries, lenses, memory cards, and anything else you need to carry with you.
What will you photograph?
7. Choose a theme or subject. Food, colors, churches, people, and markets, all make great subjects to build a photo story.
Find the best light
8. Plan ahead. Think about what you want to shoot and the best time of day to do so. Early morning and sunset provide the best available light for landscape and outdoor photography.
9. Work out! Photography can be athletic. The best way to see an area is to walk it. I go to Italy frequently and there are lots of hills, cobblestone streets, and stairs. It’s aerobic! I also know a guy who likes to ride his bike while shooting in urban areas – it’s easier than driving and parking.
Aim for perfection in the camera
10. Compose in the camera. Don’t rely on editing software. Aim for perfection before editing.
Finally, join photo groups online. Read. Go on photo walks. Most important of all, go out and shoot.
What do you like to photograph? Leave a comment below.
All materials copyright Penny Sadler 2012 – 2013.