Learning how to take better photographs will forever be a life-long journey, but here are seven tips I can share with you on how I’ve fine-tuned my photo-taking skills while traveling for the past two years.
1. Take the time to learn your equipment.
Don’t expect to buy a shiny new camera and learn all of its functionalities immediately. It’s important to take the time to play around with, practice and learn your equipment before taking it on the road. Many times, moments are missed because you’re trying to fidget around and change the settings of your camera – all while missing the actual shot you wanted to photograph.
Research your camera, along with the settings and any lenses that you may need or currently have.
I had a GoPro for a few years and decided to upgrade and get the Hero 4 Black (currently the newest version) from Enjoy. I typically use a GoPro for photos and video – it’s probably one of the best inventions ever made, and has helped me create beautiful content while traveling.
Here’s a video that I filmed + edited from my recent trip to Colombia, all with my new GoPro Hero Black 4 from Enjoy.
What I didn’t realize was how little I actually knew about the settings and options – there’s a night mode? Burst mode? What?
So the awesome part about Enjoy is that whenever you buy a tech product from them, one of their experts will meet you at your apartment, office or favorite coffeeshop to hand-deliver, unwrap, set up and walk you through using the product for you – all for free.
Frances, from Enjoy, came over to help me set up my GoPro Hero 4 Black and showed me settings that I never even knew were options – including a quick shoot mode that allows me to start recording video without having to turn the camera on first. No more missed moments fidgeting with the on/off button.
So I’ve got an Enjoy referral code for you guys – $50 off anything (except Boosted Boards, Tile or products under $100). Just use the code: RAF-INSPO
It expires on April 15, 2016 – so click here to get to shopping!
2. Introduce yourself.
Some of the most beautiful travel photographs are of the people – but when shooting portraits, it’s important (and respectful) to ask for permission.
I used to get nervous to walk up to someone random and ask them for their photograph, but I now see it as an opportunity to get to know them better AND get them to open up a bit more. You’ll be surprised at how much people open up to you after just a few short words of small conversation so that they’re not nervous and more comfortable around you.
3. Beat or avoid the crowds.
If you don’t want a million people in your photographs, go early, at night, or in bad weather. Get invested in your photos! Sunrise is an early wake-up time, but it makes for some of the most beautiful photographs.
When it’s raining or snowing, most people will not want to be outside, so use this time to your advantage. Get out there with protective clothing/gear and use the location like it’s your own personal photography playground.
4. Don’t stop after you take the photo.
Editing can help boost colors, increase lighting, decrease shadows, or give your photograph an overall mood – something that can be accentuated with photo editing applications. If you’re taking iPhone photos, I recommend downloading photo editing apps. Avoid using harsh/strong filters – this will only decrease the quality of your photo and make it look amateur.
Some of the most breathtaking photos you’ve seen are edited to bring out the best parts of the photograph, so don’t be afraid to take the time to edit your photographs.
5. Don’t be lazy about bringing your camera everywhere.
You kind of need the camera to take the photograph, right? There have been so many times where I’ve looked at my cameras and shook my head no, sighing, “Don’t feel like bringing you.”
Only to have ended up in one of the most magnificent places doing the most magnificent thing and having no way to document it.
Keep your camera on you at all times – get invested.
6. Bring a tripod.
Bringing a tripod can be cumbersome and will add more weight to your load, but it will very easily become your best friend at night.
Some of the most beautiful moments throughout your trip will be at night – gazing at the stars, or watching the sun sink into the sea – having a tripod will allow you to get photographs that you would not be able to get without one.
7. Venture off and get a little lost.
Research the location you want to visit beforehand, especially how long it takes to get there if you’re trying to beat the crowds.
But I find that I am led to the most beautiful places when I venture off and get a little lost. Walk down a different road, take a different turn, and you’ll tell a different story. Add a few extra hours to your schedule to leave wide open to exploring a bit.
Go where you haven’t gone before to find new angles of the same location/monument – i.e. the Eiffel Tower – or to find a new, untouched location altogether.
Thank you so much for reading this post, sponsored + inspired by Enjoy. Do you have any tips + tricks for taking better travel photos? Leave a comment for us below!