I’ve had the good fortune to travel quite a bit, and the even better fortune to spend my days leading California bike tours with people on their own travel adventures in Los Angeles. Over the years I’ve learned quite a bit about taking trip photos and here are my top 10 tips for traveller photos.

  1. Trade cameras once in a while with your travel companion, that way you get more photos of you on your vacation.
  2. Join a photo sharing site like Cluster, especially if traveling in a group. That way you can all upload to the private sharing site, that lets you order prints.
  3. When posing in front of sights, take the full body photo, but also move in and take a shoulders up, face close up; sometimes the full body shot can be hard to make out.
  4. For human subjects think about where you’re holding the camera. Slightly higher than your human subject is more flattering. Angling up from the ground will give an impactful power stance, which can be great for bike tour posed photos, architecture or car photos.
  5. For inanimate objects a low to the ground, or straight on about belly-button level is best; move in closer than you think.
  6. More for short videos, but think about investing in camera specs. These will get you great 1st person POV videos, and capture more of a memory point in time. My spec videos get the most views on social media, plus they’re not as imposing as a go-pro style camera.
  7. Take the pic! I get a lot of people on tour that I know want to take an Angel Wings pic, but they’re shy, or don’t want to seem silly. Just do it, it’s your vacation, make memories, and who cares what anyone thinks-don’t be shy!
  8. In the movie Mystery Train, the character Jun takes photos of the room, remarking that’s the part you will forget, and he’s right! Take a few photos of the room (when its clean), the view, you and your travel buddies getting ready for a night out, or enjoying morning coffee on the balcony. Those are the moments of care-free bliss on vacation.
  9. When framing a shot be aware of how much ground, and how much sky is in the frame. Sometimes putting a subject right in the middle, leaves you with a picture that is one third ground/floor, when sky is more pleasant.
  10. Finally, don’t forget to forget the phone/camera sometimes, and just live in the moment with no one watching. Too many photos and your vacation can turn performative, and not relaxing. If you’re headed to the beach to enjoy a glass of wine at sunset, just enjoy without the pressure to capture every magic moment.


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