How to Photograph Your Trip

TL;DR

  1. Tell the story behind your photos.
  2. Include the locals who helped you on your trip.
  3. Always backup your photos.

 

One of the greatest advantages of constantly carrying a smartphone is the ability to draw the device and have its camera ready to take pictures at any moment. However, we want our travel photos to look good so we can share them with family, friends, and on social media.

 

We separated a few tips to help you better photograph your trip.

 

How to Photograph Your Trip
Photo: Andreea Pop

 

Tell the story 

Your photos aren’t just about frozen faces in an ocean of pixels, it’s about the story behind it. You want to be able to look at the photo and remember where you were, who those people were, what you were doing, and what you experienced at that moment.

 

Even if you don’t share that photo on social media, take the time to frame you and your travel pals with a background and some small details that tell the story of that particular moment. You can even try taking several photos to see which one is best or shoot from different angles so the photos make more sense when in a group or the same album.

 

Add as much context as you can to your photo in addition to the people with you, and years later, when you scroll through the pictures of that one trip, you will thank yourself for not just clicking with your camera, but also for giving yourself the elements to remember the story behind that photo.

 

Research each spot

Before you take off to your next adventure, it’s a great idea to study the main spots you’re taking your photos and selfies, so there are no surprises. Since you might want to travel somewhere else on your following trip, taking that one special photo might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

 

One of the most useful tools to research great spots or angles for photos is Google Maps, especially if you take the time to explore its Street View features. There you can “wall” around and find out if there’s something particular about the area you’re visiting that is worth including in your pictures.

 

Another way to do this is by asking locals. This one is a bit trickier since not everybody feels comfortable stopping people on the street to ask them about information, especially where to take pictures. That’s why I strongly recommend hiring one of our Catts for this task. They can guide you to places you didn’t even know existed and help you with a unique background for your photos.

 

How to Photograph Your Trip
Photo: Christopher Sardegna

 

Wake up early 

I know, I know. Nobody wants to wake up early when they are traveling. Well, at least not everybody. However, for some locations, it is very important to wake up early so you don’t have to compete with other travelers for that one special spot.

 

It is also a great opportunity to photograph certain areas with not many people or cars around. You can take your time to reduce as much “noise” on your background by being somewhere before everybody else, and avoid strangers in your pictures.

 

Another great advantage of waking up early to photograph your trip is the ability to enjoy the sunrise somewhere else. There is always that one street, park, rooftop, or beach — depending on which coast you are — that offers a great view of the sunrise. When it works, it’s a great reward, and also the perfect excuse to find a local diner for a delicious breakfast.

 

Ask the locals

Usually, when you travel, your destination is somebody else’s home. The people you see and meet there were probably either born or raised there and know a lot about its secrets and hidden gems. Never underestimate the power of local.

 

If you want to take your trip photography to a new level, you have to interact with locals and ask them about their recommendations. A lot of people will be more than happy to give you directions and even walk you to their favorite spots.

 

Once you have these interactions, ask the locals if they are comfortable taking a photo with you. To help your memory experience again all the most important moments of your trip, include in your collections the pictures you took with the locals who helped you in both good and struggling moments like those two guys to pushed your car out of the mud when you were stuck. These situations might feel stressful at the moment but they sure give you a lot of stories to tell.

 

How to Photograph Your Trip
Photo: Artem Beliaikin

 

Use accessories

There are plenty of different accessories you can bring with you to help you take better photos. If you are a professional or semi-professional photographer, you probably have a backpack full of batteries, tripods, and lenses as your photography arsenal. If that’s not your case, even though you are happy with just your phone camera, that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to its features.

 

You could add a second lens to your phone — usually attached to the case — to help you take sharper photos or even with different effects. For instance, if you have access to a fisheye lens built just for mobile photography, your pictures can register a much wider angle of where you are and even make your selfies look very different, so you can make them stand out on social media.

 

Adding a gimbal to your device list also improves the options for different photos without having to awkwardly hold your phone. This one is great if you are near cliffs or somewhere high where you wonder if you are going to drop your phone. Plus they work great for videos too.

 

BONUS: Backup your photos

What is the point of taking photos if you are going to lose them? Make sure you have the right apps to backup your photos once you take them. If your data plan offers unlimited data, you should be safe but if it doesn’t, you should leave your device uploading all the photos overnight while you sleep.

 

Here are some apps and services you can use to backup your trip photos:

  • Amazon Photos 
  • Dropbox 
  • Google Photos
  • iCloud Photos
  • Mega
  • OneDrive

 

Have them ready before your trip starts so you can keep your photos safe.

 

Have a good trip!

 

• • •

 

That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!

 

Photos: unsplash.com

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