Photography Tips for Traveling

Travel Photography Tips - A Fabulous Fete

September seems to be a big travel month for the girls here at A Fabulous Fete. Most of us have a trip planned at one point or another this month, so it only made sense to have our go-to girl, Kimi Domino, give some great travel photography tips for all of us [and you] to use when you’re on the go and just have to capture the moment!

Travel Photography - Tips and Tricks - A Fabulous Fete


There are a lot of different ways to find good light in a scene, but the easiest way I have found is to use my hand. Hold your hand out in front of you at arms length (duh) and use it to see where the shadows are falling. It is subjective to find the “right” light, and that’ll depend on what kind of mood or style you’re going for and what you use most often in your feed. Either way though, your hand will show you where the light is soft, harsh, somewhere in between. Play around with the lighting and see what works best for the style you like!

What to do in harsh sunlight?

If you find yourself in places where you want to take a photo, but you don’t have all day to wait for Golden Hour, then there are a couple things you can do to help alleviate the harsh shadows.
First, find a shadow from a nearby building, tree, etc. and use the shadow to get that perfect soft light on your subject. The shade will give your photo more contrast in the moment so use your phone or camera to edit the photo afterwards. The easiest way is to boost the shadows in your editor and use the contrast control to even out the light. You can also play with the exposure, highlights and blacks to find the perfect tone. From there apply your filters and you’ll be much happier with the end result.

Be Intentional with Landscape & Scenery Shots

When taking landscape shots of the ocean, cityscape, mountain range, etc. it’s easy to just throw up your phone and take a couple snaps. That strategy will get you a good photo to show your friends but if you want a more polished image follow the Rule of Thirds. The rule of thirds is as easy as it sounds, break your image up into three even spaces from top to bottom and left to right. You want the horizon of your subject to sit at either 1/3 from the top or 1/3 from the bottom. If the horizon goes straight across the center, it confuses your viewers eyes as they can’t choose which part to look at. Make the decision for them. If you have a subject (yourself, a friend, a couple, etc.) in the image put them on either the left or right third of the image as well.

As with all rules, you can break them and center everything up if that is what you’re going for. The most important thing to remember is to be intentional with your story. Make the decision to have the horizon at the top if below the horizon is more interesting. In a cityscape, the top of the horizon is probably more interesting, but in a beach photo maybe the clouds are really interesting or the reflection in the water is really captivating. Take a minute to breathe in the moment and the scenery, find what speaks to you and make the decision to frame that moment in your camera.

Check your camera for a remote setting or app

If you want to get a photo of yourself staring out of the balcony, looking away from the camera or otherwise get a self portrait, don’t feel like you need to rely on a timer setting in your camera, ruuuuun all the way to the spot you chose, and get in your pose before the 10 seconds are over. These days many cameras either have built in wi-fi or can be modified to connect to your phone or a remote control in some way. Do a quick Google search to see what options there are for your camera and use that to snap your photo without the whole 10 second timer rush!

Clean up your photos

Whether you’re taking a quick picture of yourself on the sidewalk or snapping a photo of your food, take a quick second to scan your scene for clutter. Is there a trash can nearby - can you walk forward a couple steps to get it out of the image? Are there used or not cute napkins on the table? Are there distracting items with colors that don’t fit in the image that can be removed? Is your friend casting a weird shadow? Take a minute to address those pieces of clutter and remove them as best you can from the image.

Travel Photography Tips - A Fabulous Fete

What are some of your favorite photography tips + tricks?

Let me know in the comments!

Photography Tips + Images by Kimi Domino