10 Simple Travel Photography Tips

Practical tips I wish someone told me if I started traveling all over again:

1. Clothing: All black merino wool everything:

Merino wool is the ultimate clothing for travel. Warm when it’s cold, and cool when it is warm.

Buy a black merino wool t-shirt, black merino wool leggings, black merino wool socks (buy them from Amazon).

Every evening wash them in the shower with shampoo, then hang dry. You only need 2x of every item.

For boxers, get the Exofficio Boxer Briefs.

2. One backpack

Cindy face shadow

Keep it simple. One backpack for everything. No checkin luggage, all carry on.

For backpack, I recommend ThinkTank Perception 15, or if you have more gear the bigger Perception Pro.

I’ve traveled the world with this backpack, and sing the praises of backpacks. Less shoulder strain (I don’t recommend messenger bags for travel).

3. Shoot pictures inside hotel lobbies


Some of my most interesting photos are in hotel lobbies. It doesn’t even have to be a hotel you belong to.

Rolls Royce in front of Sheraton hotel. Saigon, 2018

I recommend checking out fancy hotel lobbies, and shooting photos inside them. I treat hotel lobbies almost like public parks. You will find interesting folks to shoot in hotel lobbies.

Also I recommend shooting outside of hotel lobbies; people waiting for taxis.

If shooting inside a hotel lobby, pretend to be a lost tourist just shooting the walls or architecture inside.

Hotel room lobby. Istanbul, 2014
Hotel room lobby. Istanbul, 2014

4. Make artistic portraits of your loved ones

At the hotel or airbnb, at dinner, or while out and about in town. Don’t just shoot locals; photograph your loved ones (the most valuable subjects to photograph).

5. Photograph at the water

Photograph at the beach or waterfront. People congregate there, and you’re more likely to see interesting photo opportunities.

Marseille man beach

6. Photograph juxtapositions in culture

New vs old. Modern vs classic.

Photograph the young and elderly. Try to make interesting juxtapositions in your photos that compare and contrast certain values of that society.

7. Photograph people against colorful murals or backgrounds

Don’t just photograph strangers in the middle of the street. Ask them to move a bit.

By incorporating colorful backgrounds, you will breathe more soul into your pictures.

8. Have fun!

Don’t just travel to shoot photos. Have fun! Enjoy yourself!

Chat with strangers, explore new restaurants or coffee shops you might like. Photography is an important thing, but also equally important is learning about a new culture, and taking this wisdom and applying it back to yourself when you go home.

9. Photograph inside restaurants or dining establishments

Don’t just shoot out in the streets. Ask for strangers inside food restaurants to take portraits of them! Or do it candidly.

10. Blog while you travel

Cindy walking ghost

Bring a laptop, or your phone or tablet. Blog about your experiences while you’re on the road, and the experiences are still fresh!

I recommend wordpress.com for newbies, or for the more adventurous, sign-up for bluehost.com and install WordPress.org (which powers this site).


Travel photography is simple:

Photos you make while traveling away from home.

Cindy project

Make photos of anything and everything. Photograph what you see, what you eat, the people you meet, and selfies of yourself!

Cindy moving staircase high angle

Travel to expand your mind and soul. Use travel as an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop.

Never stop traveling!

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