No trip is complete without a cache of photos. In today’s digital age, photographs are the best souvenirs you can collect during your travels.
Engaging in travel photography is like having a portable time machine. It allows you to capture the destination’s look and feel, freezing memories and giving others the opportunity to understand the local culture, people, and stories.
Ready to transform your travel photography into powerful images that tell a story?
Get travel photography tips from Dubai’s top photographer. The practical tips, creative ideas, and ingenious hacks in this article will allow you to capture great travel images that produce memorable results.
1. Get up early
Want an epic postcard shot to share on social media or with friends and family? You’ll have to wake up early for that. Early morning is the best time for amazing photo opportunities. The soft warm light will allow you to make the most of your subjects, whether they’re people, animals, or landscapes.
The best thing about waking up early? You won’t have to deal with a horde of tourists ruining your perfect shot.
2. Stay out late
Everyone appreciates a good sunset. In fact, no travel photo album is complete without at least one sunset opportunity. And if you’re not a morning person, then you’ll want to be out in the late afternoon to capture the last rays of the day.
If you’re looking for an amazing sunset photo, be ready to shoot an hour before sunset. This is the golden hour of photography and it will bathe your landscape in soft, golden light, making for a dramatic, beautiful sunset photo.
3. Do your research
You’re only at your destination for a few days/weeks. It pays to be well-informed. Before traveling, read travel guidebooks or scour the internet. Becoming more knowledgeable about interesting landmarks before you travel will allow you to better capture the essence of your destination.
Pre-trip location scouting will also ensure you maximize your photography time while you’re out there.
4. Know your equipment
Having new equipment does not always translate to better photos. According to the premier family portrait photographer in Dubai, knowledge, not equipment, makes for dramatic and unforgettable photos.
Take some time before you travel to get familiar with your equipment. Don’t travel with new equipment or gear you haven’t tested beforehand. You may find yourself fumbling with the new gear, missing out on that crucial shot you’ve been waiting for.
And as always, shoot in manual mode and experiment, experiment, experiment.
5. Bring a travel tripod
Arranging the perfect composition for your image does not happen by chance. And more often than not, you’ll need a tripod for that. Few camera accessories are as versatile and useful during your travels as a travel tripod.
A tripod will allow you greater creative control. It provides opportunities to shoot at much slower shutter speeds and use smaller apertures.
6. Take portraits
One of the best things about traveling is meeting local people and getting to know the local culture. Portraits are some of the most compelling, realistic photographs you can take of a place. However, documenting the local culture and its people requires you to be authentic.
Being respectful of your subject will go a long way in creating a meaningful connection with the person you’re capturing. Before taking someone’s photo, take the time to talk to them. Find out how to correctly say “hello” in the local language so you can start a conversation. Ask for their permission to have their photo taken.
Engaging with your surroundings may lead to unexpected but unique opportunities to create stunning images.
7. Embrace spontaneity
While it is important to think about what you want to shoot before you reach your destination, embrace your gut feelings. Some of the best travel photos ever taken have come from people willing to go off the beaten track. Trust your gut. If you use your instincts, you may be surprised by the shots you produce.
But spontaneity does not mean machine-gun-firing your camera. It’s still important to consider composition, lighting, and setting when trying to capture a new perspective.
The most important rule of all?
While these seven rules will result in better compositions and more dramatic images, photography is all about having fun. You should have fun while you capture a moment or the feeling of the local culture. After all, you are on holiday.
So have fun and happy shooting!
About the Author
Stefanie Descheemaecker is the Studio Manager at Stu Williamson Photography at The Palm Jumeirah – Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. She has been with the company for almost 3 years and is the driving force behind the success of the business. A keen amateur photographer, Stef combines her natural creative eye with a strong business acumen to help Stu Williamson Photography become the most trusted and successful photography business in the UAE.