How to take the perfect travel photos

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Whether you’re taking photographs of the scenery and activities for your own enjoyment, documenting your trip for friends and relatives back home, taking images in the hopes of selling them upon your return, or simply snapping your adventures for your scores of Instagram followers, few things in life provide as much pleasure as capturing travel photos. These days, there are numerous ways to record your explorations, including using good ol’ film, utilizing the many talents of a digital camera, or recording short videos to immerse your viewers in your adventures; the media you use to take your images is of little consequence as long as it suits you, but it pays to know HOW to capture each moment.

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Never leave home without your camera… and other travel photography tips

While this first hint sounds ridiculously patronizing, it is the first rule of travel photography; how many times have you ventured away from your hotel room, campsite, or car, discovered the most amazing site you’ve ever witnessed, and then realized that your camera is back at home charging? Hopefully the answer to this is rarely, if ever, but you never can be too careful. In addition to keeping your (fully-charged) camera on hand at all times, it is also a really good idea to make a list of the equipment you’ll be needing to pack long before you go; spare batteries (where applicable), a couple of lenses, such as prime and zoom lenses for different shots, and a tripod or stand can all be useful to budding photographers, although it is essential that you pack as light as possible – particularly if you’re likely to be wandering very far.

Another top tip is to remember to pack a laptop, memory stick or portable hard drive in order to make second, and even third, copies of your precious images. Researching locations and subjects and setting up shots beforehand are the best ways to guarantee that winning picture. Want to avoid the crowds? By taking the path less traveled, heading out early, and keeping your eyes peeled, you stand a better chance of taking photos that others may miss; these will be most valuable if you’re hoping to monetize your snaps. As a final, but by no means less important, piece of advice, be sure to research your craft; travel photos are normally relatively casual and easy to take, but it is a good idea to learn about lighting, positioning, and detail before you head anywhere.

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Using your photographs and videos once you’re home

As well as showing your vacation snaps to friends, family, and online followers, there is also a huge market out there for travel photographs. Simply check out the array of photos on just about every travel blog, destination website, photography guide, or media site. These shots have to come from somewhere, after all, so why not share your photos with a few professionals upon your return? Videos are also a fantastic commodity and can be used in advertising, demos, and more; what you may consider a simple vacation show reel could be invaluable to somebody else’s business. We are, by nature, nosey creatures; poring over somebody else’s travel snaps can be cathartic as well as fun. Sharing images via Pinterest, Instagram, or other social media can be a great way to gain a following for your photography and encourage companies to browse your portfolio. If leaving it down to luck isn’t your thing, try approaching various companies that use the sorts of snaps you’ve been capturing; by contacting them before your travels, you may even manage to strike up some sort of deal and decide upon the type of images you’ll be taking beforehand. Stock Photos by Dreamstime are sold to other companies, artists, creative media types, and individuals looking to explore the world of visual arts, so be sure to browse the types of images on offer before you make any final plans about the pictures you’re going to take.

While taking vacation photographs and videos can be incredibly fun and acts as a surefire way of stirring memories in a few years’ time, travel photography is also big business. Whether you’re a nature photographer approaching media moguls, a shutterbug hoping to find an outlet for your work, or a creative type that just wants to see your work appreciated, it really is worth sharing your images once you’ve returned from your travels; you never know where they’ll take you.