Photography and Editing

How to Take Better Travel Pictures

think gypsy with austin and hippie bus
The more we travel the more we want to be able to capture our adventures! They say we take pictures to be able to return to a certain moment but nowadays it is so much more than that. It is about being able to share experiences with the people around us and show off a destination from its best side! In the world of social media, travel photography is all about letting your followers see the world through your eyes.

So how do you make sure that you get the perfect shot from your latest vacation? How do you know what to take a picture of and how to make sure it tells the story that you want it to? Well whether you are struggling to feel natural in front of a camera or are simply looking for a few tips to up your travel picture game, here are a few tricks that I have picked up throughout my years of traveling!

Tips for taking pictures while you travel:

1. Ignore the looky-loos

This is first on my list because it was the first thing that I had to get used to when taking pictures on my travels! People will always stare! I mean really stare, sometimes even gawk and point. That's just part of the game. And as uncomfortable as it used to make me, I learned that the people who laugh at you while you are taking the picture are also the people who comment how much they love the picture once it is done. So ignore the stares and have fun with it! I always try to remember that I will never see these people ever again, that usually helps!
think gypsy at stanglwirt

2. Don't be afraid to stage

Sometimes a picture doesn't capture everything! You go to a location and it feels so tropical but you can't seem to get that feeling to show in your pictures. That's when staging can come in handy! Don't be afraid to work with props to bring your picture to life. Personally, I am a huge fan of flowers!
flowers for staging
think gypsy in flower bath pic sarasota modern

3. Sometimes it's the simple spots

So we all want to get that epic shot in front of the Eiffel Tower or that gorgeous picture of the famous gates in Bali. But sometimes those aren't the pictures that you should be aiming for. Sometimes it can be as simple as an amazing pizza place you found while exploring a city or a sunny field you came across during a hike. If spot brings out an emotion in you then that is something worth sharing.

This one I took on the side of the road in Iceland! No special tourist spot, I just thought that the mountains looked amazing!
think gypsy in iceland

4. Patience is everything

For those times that you do really want to take a picture in a touristy spot, don't expect to get the perfect picture right away. Certain places are famous for a reason and they will definitely be super crowded. When this happens I try to pick my angle and I will sit there until I see an opening and then take as many pictures as I possibly can before another tourist walks into the frame.

Funny Fact:
When we shot this picture in Vienna the rooftop bar was so crowded that we didn't get the table we needed for the picture. Instead of giving up, we waited until the people at this table got up, ran over to the table with our drinks, snapped like 500 pics, and got back to our table before the waiter even noticed.
think gypsy and nina in vienna

5. It's not one simple click

Setting my camera to shoot continuously always gives me the best pictures! Those candid pictures don't happen from one click, they need genuine movement and interaction! So keep clicking, even through the bloopers! Some of my favorite pictures have been accidental ones because they just give off a more realist vibe.
think gypsy with coconut on beahc

6. Move, don't pose

Speaking of realistic, unless you are a fashion blogger taking pictures of detailed outfits, do not pose!!!! I can't stress this enough. There have been tons of shoots that have gone into my trash bin because I just hated how unnatural and posed I looked. Now I always try to add movement by twirling or dancing and even running. It just helps your picture capture your audience more. I also always try to make myself laugh during shoots. If you ever take pictures with me I guarantee you will hear me giggle under my breath the entire time… I just feel like a smile that comes from a laugh always looks better than a fake smile.
think gypsy running on the beach

7. Don't be afraid to look at the camera

Oh boy did I struggle with this one for a long time! When you travel you are trying to show off a location and chances are, you don't always remember to pay attention to yourself. One summer, I ended up posting at least 15 pictures in a row that didn't have my face in them. That's a no no!! You want people to be able to see your expressions and your emotions when you are traveling. It adds to the overall tone of the picture and makes them a lot more interesting! My mom always used to tell me to channel my inner victoria secret model and smolder but most of the time I just ended up looking like a serial killer... I think I'm slowly getting the hang of it haha what do you think?
think gypsy looking into camera

8. Pay attention to your outfit

This may not seem super important but you don't want to end up with a super busy background and a super busy subject! It just gets overwhelming. So, plan accordingly! Match your colors with your destinations to give your picture a sense of harmony. I like to stick to simple pastel colors because I feel like they look good in any environment.

9. Editing is your friend

Editing your pictures is key! Investing some time and money into learning how to edit can be a complete game changer! Editing with large software can seem intimidating but they really do help you bring your pictures to life. A picture that may have seemed a little blah at first can be completely transformed!! It happens to me all the time that I feel like a picture doesn't really capture the mood of a spot until I start to play with the colors!
think gypsy and austin at art ovation

10. Try to capture more than just a picture!

Taking travel pictures has become so much more than just a click of the camera. Anyone can buy expensive equipment and learn how to use it, but what makes all the difference is when you genuinely have a love for what you are doing and where you are going. When I take pictures on the road, I always try to ask myself “what is the point of this shot?” If something feels too random or too fake I try to give the picture a reason or a story. Instead of just standing in a pretty field of flowers, try having a picnic and capturing that moment. I guarantee it will look a lot more natural!
think gypsy in iowa
These are just a few things that I think about on a daily basis when I am out and about taking pictures. They may not be the ultimate guide to taking perfect travel pictures but I do hope that they help you feel a bit more confident when you head out on your next adventure!