The next time you’re off exploring the plateaus and mesas of the American Southwest, the cobblestone streets and historic architecture of Stockholm, or the souks and red sandstone walls of Marrakech, take some time to capture all those incredible sights around you.
There is no better time than during a vacation to take some of the most unique and memorable photographs. After all, a vacation doesn’t happen every day. Make sure you have your digital camera on hand to seize every precious moment.
Best Practices for Travel Photos
If you want to create a photobook full of gorgeous images, don’t expect to arrive, snap a photo, and leave. Sometimes you get lucky this way, but usually you need patience to capture that perfect shot.
For nature photos, you need to find the precise moment when the colors are at their best, when the wind patterns and the sun’s light combine into a stunning arrangement.
For wider shots of markets or urban scenes, you definitely need to factor light exposure into your timing. You also need to frame the shot so you have activity in the foreground and the background.
Consider bringing a polarizing filter to reduce glare or a UV filter to cut down on hazy shots. You might want to check weather conditions for your chosen city so you can compensate for dark, bright or wind-blown shots.
And now, here are our recommendations for the top photos you should take to ensure your trip finds an everlasting home in your very own travel photobook.
1. Boarding Pass & Passport
Your trip begins with a passport and boarding pass in hand. Why not snap a photo? This way, you’ll always remember the exact date and time your adventure began.
Then all you need to do is make sure your DSLR or film camera is primed for all the exceptional shots you’ll take on your journey.
Iconic landmarks like the Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower are expected to make an appearance in your photobook. But this doesn’t mean you should do what everyone else is doing.
Make your own mark on what these landmarks represent, and capture the way the architecture appears to morph with the seasons. To put your own spin on the photograph, try shooting from another angle or from a fresh perspective.
Snap a picture of the Eiffel Tower or other tall structure from the ground level, to capture the full landmark in the frame. Do not be afraid to get your pants dirty for that perfect shot.
3. Local Markets
Wandering into a market like Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, Venice’s Rialto Market or Bangkok’s Chatuchak is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the neighborhood culture.
Here you’ll meet everyone from locals buying fresh ingredients for the day’s meal to tourists searching for the perfect souvenir. Exploring a market makes for exceptional memories and even better photos.
To capture the bustling street, try to find a spot that allows you to take an overhead shot, or birds-eye view, of the local market.
4. Bucket List Activity
Remember the bucket list activity you came to do, the one that you can’t do anywhere else? You need to capture it.
Whether it’s swimming with sea creatures in Ningaloo Reef, island hopping around Greece, hiking to Machu Picchu or watching the sunrise from the Charles Bridge, you’ll be glad you did it and captured the moment. With a click of the camera, you’ve added one more memory to your bucket list photobook.
5. Traditional Foods
Travel photobooks aren’t complete without some images of the traditional foods and local cuisine you experienced on your vacation. You’ll feel great knowing you can reminisce about the first authentic Japanese sushi roll you had – and have a picture to prove it.
Use grid lines to take the perfect flat lay photo from above your plate. To show grid lines on your iPhone go to Settings > Photos & Camera.
6. Main Squares & Side Streets
It may seem silly to take a picture of streets, squares, or street signs, but it’s moments like these – such as passing by a cobblestone alley, discovering a colorful street sign with a unique shape, or wandering into a busy town square – that remind you of what the atmosphere was like on your trip.
7. Local Animals
A vacation is also a time to capture the beauty of native wildlife in motion. From the orchid mantis of Southeast Asia to the lowland streaked tenrec of Madagascar to the chacma baboons of Zambia and South Africa, the natural world presents endless photo-ops at any time of day.
Vacations are all about experiences, so don’t pass up the chance to experience wildlife in its natural habitat. Capture it all.
Catch those breathtaking views at the end of each day of your journey.
To capture all the shades of color in a sunset, try dialing back your brightness. Then when you flip through your travel book in the future, you’ll see all the ways you captured the best show in the world.