Travel Photography Tips To Prepare You For Your Journey

Travel photography is favored by many different photographers because it gives them the chance to extend their skills and abilities to photograph in a variety of different situations. Digital photography has made taking images while traveling even easier than ever before.

Before you can even begin to learn how to take the best pictures while on the road, you need to know a few tips about the actual traveling part of the travel photography. Here are some tips for creating the very best travel photography trip possible.

compass on the old world map
compass on the old world map via Shutterstock

Planning the Trip

Of course, the main highlight of travel digital photography will be planning the trip. You will need to choose a destination that will provide you with plenty of different photography options. Keep in mind that landscape is only one part of travel photography. There are numerous different options for amazing photography, including architecture, specific sites and even people. There are many different places that you could travel to see amazing photography opportunities. Once you decide where you want to travel, you will need to know some tips so that you can have the best experience and the most opportunity for amazing digital photography. Here are some travel tips that will most certainly help you.

Do not act like a tourist.
When you make it obvious that you are a tourist, you will become very conspicuous, especially if you are carrying around a big camera. Not only will you be opening yourself up to being the prey of pickpockets, but in some regions, you may find that people do not trust you very much. In addition, when you act like a tourist and you go to all of the touristy spots, you will be missing out on numerous different opportunities for travel photography. Everyone can take a picture of the Eiffel Tower, but what about that fascinating out of the way French Bistro that few tourists would ever see? Start thinking like a native and not like a traveler and you will find that you have many more opportunities for photography.

Do not go on the tours.
Of course, going on guided tours may seem like the easiest way to get around, but it will definitely constrict your digital photography. You will only be taken to the touristy spots, and as mentioned above, you will be missing out on many opportunities for unique and special images. In addition, guided tours will cost a great deal more. Take the time to do research and create your own travel plan.

Look for out of the way hotels.
When you first start looking for hotels, you will find that they are very expensive, modern and located in the tourist areas. When you travel for digital photography, you will be more interested in photographic locations with fascinating architecture or visual appeal. The best way to do this will be to look for out of the way hotels. The added bonus is that these hotels will likely be much easier on the wallet.

Be sure to do something new.
The more you get into travel digital photography, you will find yourself being drawn to the places you have been before. It is true that you may find more photo opportunities in the same spots, but if you truly want to hone your photography and you want to get more diverse images, you will most definitely want to mix up your travel locations. This has the added bonus of seeing numerous different parts of the world.

Vintage articles for travel
Vintage articles for travel via Shutterstock

How to Pack for Travel Photography

Of course, anytime that you will be travelling very far from home, you will have to consider packing very carefully. It costs a great deal of money to take much luggage with you and you will need space for your regular items like clothes and toiletries. You will also need to take the right digital photography gear. You cannot take it all, so how do you decide what to take and what to leave at home? The best thing to do is create a checklist for a travel kit. Once you get more involved in travel photography, you will find that creating your travel kit will become like second nature. Just what should you take along? Here are the items that should be essential to your digital photography travel kit.

As a reminder, it is never a good idea to check luggage with your camera equipment. Checked luggage is treated fairly roughly while being loaded on and off the plane. This could equal damaged equipment. In addition, checked luggage does get lost from time to time. You certainly do not want to lose all of your digital photography equipment. It is better to make use of your carry on for your personal items and to store all of your camera equipment so that you can make sure it is cared for properly. Just what camera equipment should you take?

The camera bag. Of course, you need a way of carrying around your camera. For travel, it is a good idea to choose a camera backpack so that you will not have to set it down anywhere and risk losing it.

Your number one camera. Of course, you will need this camera. There is no way to take travel photography without it!

A backup camera. Most travel photographers know that there is always a chance of camera failure. If you have a small camera, like a point and shoot, then you can make sure you always have the capability of taking images.

No more than three lenses. You may be tempted to take them all, but you simply will not have the room. Try to choose a diverse selection of lenses.

Memory cards and lots of them. You can never have too many memory cards but you certainly can have too few.

Battery charger. You certainly do not want your battery to die, so make sure you pack the charger and the cord.

Extra battery. If your battery does die, make sure and have an extra charged battery with you at all times.

Digital photography can be an absolute joy when you make the move to travel photography. In order to really get into travel photography, you most certainly need to plan accordingly by packing properly and choosing the right trip.

Top feature image Photographer at Taj Mahal via Shutterstock


  1. says

    I’m suprised that you didn’t include a spare battery and wipes for cleaning the lenses (all the more so if going to hot, dusty location).

    I’m travelling from Ireland to Liverpool this weekend and have packed my walkabout lens (17-50 f2.8) a 100mm macro and 70-200 f2.8 lens. Yes, I know the last lens is big and heavy but I’ll be walkabout for a few hours only each day so should be okay with it in my slighshot bag.

    I also packed my compact, spare battery and my details in case bag gets lost and some kind person wants to give it back.

    Also a map of the city with landmarks I want to visit highlighted, a mini tripod stand that’ll take a Dslr, a few filters and that’s it.

  2. tribal images says

    i just come back from thailand i was there for 3 weeks and the 70-200 L never came out the bag much but i guess it depends on what kind of images your looking to get, i took 24-105 f4 L (used that most of the time)50 1.4 17-40 4f L for close up and landscape stuff my body is a canon 5D MK3 so i was able to crop the pic’s quite a bit with out losing detail on close up of bugs ect.I found the blackrapid strap a god send with all the walking around i did and no neck ache!

  3. Ron says

    Polarizing filter is a must. I also take a wireless remote (radio transmitter type) trigger sits in my pocket and I can take canded photos of people with the camera on my side. Set to wide angle and I switch shutter to silent mode

  4. Mike says

    I am surprised that you didn’t mention a tripod. I am taking my compact Manfrotto with me to Disney in a few weeks. It’s small enough to fit in my suitcase and I would need one to do night photography.

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