12 tips on travel photography

Documenting travels is a very important part of travel blogging. Travel photographs can take you back to a moment in time and can also allow others to experience that place through photos. The number of people who have told me they feel like they are travelling through my photos is phenomenal! Each and every city or country I’ve visited has had its own culture, stories, streets and people and I love looking back at my photos to relive all those things again.

So I’m not a professional photographer by any means, it’s just something I really enjoy doing! I love creating beautiful colour combinations with my outfits and the places I visit and I love learning about photography. YouTube tutorials, online blogs have been a great help but for any beginner the one thing I would recommend is to practice and practice. You could complete all the photography courses in the world but the only way you will really find your niche is by practice.

So here are a few travel photography tips that I myself have been using for the past 3-4 years.

1) Mobile photography

York, UK.

When I started travelling and travel photography I bought a Canon 600D fully intending to upgrade to a better camera later on. I thought the better and more expensive the camera, the better my photos will be. I then did a trip to Wales where I forgot to take my camera and ended up taking all my photos on my mobile. I had an iphone 6 back then. That trip changed my life and since then I’ve only been using my mobile to take travel photos. It’s so much more convenient and easier to carry around and if you really get to know your phone you can take some amazing photos. I’m currently using an iphone X for my photos. Another thing you’ll need to know inside out is your editing software.

2) Snapseed

Snapseed is a photo editing app made by Google. It’s available for Android and iOS. And Snapseed is excellent.

From basic tuning such as adjusting saturation, contrast, brightness to vintage and HDR filters, the app has it all. I’ve been using it for years now and, like I said before, with practice I can almost look at a photo and work out exactly which settings I’m going to use on the app to edit it later on. For people like me who are in a full time job and find it difficult to make time to edit photos, having an app on your mobile makes it so easy. I often edit photos on the way to work and upload it directly to social media. I will definitely do another blog on all the editing options on Snapseed!

3) Research

Santorini at morning and night (Slide to see)

Research is key and researching the best time to take photos in a particular place is most important. Certain places look very pretty during sunrises, some during sunset. I love taking photos of the same place in daylight and night time to capture the different atmosphere and colours. Some people say taking photos during midday is never a good idea. I agree to a certain extent but the harshness of the sun can create a lot of drama in photos too!

On another note, for Instagram influencers who love fashion blogging, I always recommend going to take photos early in the morning. Since there will be less tourists around at the time it means you can take all the photos you want without people disrupting your photo shoot. Secondly and, most importantly, you won’t be disturbing their trip either. Even though I love taking photos of myself during trips, there is nothing more annoying than watching a person take 100 photos of themselves in one place with complete disregard for other tourists. Responsible tourism is important.

4) Take photos of everything not just iconic places

Marrakech, Morocco

Don’t fall into the trap of making a “list of places to see” and ONLY taking photos of those places. For example, when I went to Marrakech I was more mesmerised by the streets and souks and intricate doorways. It’s all about keeping your eyes open while travelling and really experimenting with different types of photography. Incorporating local people and crowd into your photos can add more dimension to them and provide you with a real feel of the place. Also, remember that everyone else will be taking photos of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the blue domes of Santorini, Eiffel Tower in Paris so it’s really important to have a different perspective so that your photography stands out from the rest and also so that your photography reflects YOU.

5) make a list of places to photograph and places to visit

Florence, Italy

Make two lists: a list of places to photograph and a list of places to visit. The two aren’t necessarily the same thing. Many museums, religious places and historical establishments aren’t necessarily made to photograph, they’re more about learning the history of a place. Photography might not even be allowed in those places or it might be considered insensitive and culturally/ religiously inappropriate to take photos there. Often when we plan a trip we simply search for places to visit but it’s important to specify which places are the most photo worthy. A list of places to photograph are places that you will probably have seen scattered all over Instagram.

6) making a list of places to photograph

Istanbul, Turkey

So how do you actually make a list of places to photograph. To make my list of places to photograph here’s a few things and places that I check/do:

  • Google “most Instagrammable places” in xyz.
  • Check Pinterest.
  • Check postcard stands.
  • Ask people who have visited the place for “hidden gems”
  • Flickr
  • Join travel photography groups on social media

7) make time for travel photography

Tarbet, Scottish Highlands

Actually set out some time to take photos, especially if you find a really stunning place worth spending that extra few minutes on. I understand that most of us take photos throughout a trip, however, if you do find a nice place make a mental note to go back there another time to specifically take photos. A little bit of experimenting and time can go a long way.

8) Think outside the box

Hassan ii Mosque, Casablanca
Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

Always look out for different angles and viewpoints different to the ones you usually find online. I know it’s difficult to think outside the box especially when it comes to recognisable landmarks but you can still use the elements to your benefit. Utilise light and shadows, climb a tower for panoramic views, find a window to frame the scene.

9) pack a tripod

Duden Waterfalls, Antalya, Turkey

Tripods are excellent for more than just self portraits. Since I do mobile photography, I always bring a Gorillapod with me. I use the Joby Gorillapod. These tripods are small, flexible, compact and lightweight. The legs are designed to bend and wrap around railings etc so you can set them up pretty much anywhere. The legs are also magnetic to provide for better security.

I’ve used my Gorillapod extensively to take long exposure photos like the one above. Long exposure photos require the camera to be completely still so you must use a tripod to stabilise your camera.

10) work the colours

Hitchin Lavender Field, UK

As a girl who loves dressing up when travelling, this is something I learnt a bit later down the line. Some colours look better in photos and in particular places even if you won’t necessarily wear them on a day to day basis. So, I rarely wear shades of purple but for my trip to the lavender fields I opted for this light lavender dress which stood out so beautifully! Bright colours look amazing in photos although I tend to wear more creams, maroons and beiges.

Take a look at photos on Pinterest for this. Pinterest is a great way to discover different ideas for photography since the platform is so big on maintaining quality of photos. It’s also a great way to see which colours have been over worn in certain places.

11) get lost…

Sighisoara, Romania

….but also stay on track. Ok, I’ll explain.

The way I travel is to ideally walk from one point of interest to another (ofcourse this depends on the city itself). But whilst I have a specific point in mind, I always make sure to step outside the track whenever I see anything interesting or eye catching nearby. An alleyway that looks like it could lead to something interesting, a colourful building in the distance. Ever walked from Calton Hill in Edinburgh to Edinburgh Castle? How many vintage alleyways do you come across, interesting shop fronts or cute cafes? Hundreds.

12) back up photos!

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Back up your photos. I can’t stress this enough. See this photo of Paris above? I lost most of my photos from that trip because I didn’t back them up on time. Thankfully since I had shared a few on social media I still had those.

Firstly, I always back up my photos the same day I take them. I upload them straightaway to Flickr (privately). Get a pro account on Flickr for unlimited storage – I eventually needed it. Ofcourse if you use other similar platforms that’s great, but I do recommend uploading photos everyday just in case you lose your phone (remember I take all my photos on my mobile) or if it gets stolen or damaged.

Secondly, as soon as I get home, I transfer all the photos onto my external hard drive. I have a Transcend 2 TB Slim Hard drive. You can order one from Amazon. I’ve had mine for almost 3 years and it’s still perfect!

final words…

Travel photography is fun. It’s as simple as that. Some of my best photos are the ones that I’ve planned the least for. I know the internet is now full of travel photos, some excellent and inspiring ones, but don’t fall into the trap of comparing your photos with others- unless you’re doing it to learn about photography and develop your skills. Remember everyone travels differently and just because someone’s photos are more aesthetic than yours doesn’t mean yours aren’t good, some people are just more passionate about the photography aspect of travelling! Your pictures will always be beautiful because they’re your memories!


  1. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing your photography tips! I just loved the colour you choose for the lavender field photography! May be in future you can consider adding your outfit bio or link! 😊Mashaallah you are such an inspiration!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rudmila ayan

    Its so helpful post …Much informative
    I also face these types of problems while
    travelling. Also thought DSLR is everything but day by day I learned how to take good photos in my iphone…Could you please tell me the cost of unlimited storage flicker account?
    Thanks in advance

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rehnumah Insan

      Thanks a lot! You need to get Flickr pro which costs €49.99 per year. I completely agree using my mobile to take photos has made everything so flexible and I actually think photos come out better!


    1. Rehnumah Insan

      If it’s a particularly photo worthy place for example the three blue domes in Santorini I always go early in the morning to spend more time taking photos. Otherwise I will take pictures throughout the day whenever I come across something nice but not spend as much time


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