Travel photography may seem like the easiest job ever at first glance. You just travel the globe and take pictures to earn your living.
In reality, though, it’s one of the most complex and difficult genres in photography. It’s a combination of many other genres such as portrait, landscape, street or architectural photography. Sometimes it’s all these genres in one single picture.
Unlike traditional portrait photography, travel photography requires you to get closer to people you haven’t met before and who probably wouldn’t understand if you spoke to them. In some countries or communities, the attitude to the travel photographer can even be hostile. You need to possess excellent social skills in addition to your trained eye and expertise to take a great portrait that will tell a story.
Even shooting landscapes during travel is more difficult. You don’t always have the luxury to go back to the scene again and again, at different hours or seasons. You need to take a great photograph here and now.
And the complex nature of this genre is just the beginning. Just like with traditional landscape photography, you always face the challenges of weather and quickly changing light conditions. This makes both taking care of your gear and getting the perfect exposure extra difficult.
Travel photography also requires a great deal of planning ahead. You surely don’t want to take a photograph of that famous temple in Indonesia at peak season (unless you want to shoot the thousands of visitors, that is). Or get there at midday when the light is the harshest.
To get the images you want, you will almost always have to devise a detailed schedule and follow it strictly. This doesn’t really sound like just going on vacation with a camera in your bag.
Talking about bags, weight is one of your top considerations when you do travel photography. Away from home and probably your car, you can’t afford to go out with just a camera bag. So the size, weight and amount of your gear really matter. You might have to do with just one lens or choose lighter and more versatile camera and tripod.
All in all, there are numerous things to think about before you go to your first (or next) shooting adventure. You may just grab your camera and head on, learning everything in the process. Or you may choose to save a few years and delay your next trip perhaps but prepare yourself better.
Over the years I have gained a lot of experience as a travel photographer, ranging from location scouting to editing on the go. Here I’ve compiled all the articles on this website related to travel photography. They’ll give you resources to get inspired from or tips that will make your travel images better.
Feel free to comment or ask me questions about any of the topics I’ve covered. I’ll be glad to share my knowledge and experience with anyone who’s hit the bumpy but exciting road to travel photography.
Tuutorial and Guides
18 Best Photography Books for Beginners (5 Categories)
If you are looking for the best photography books for beginners, you are in the right place. You don’t need an academic degree to become an expert in the art and practice of photography. There are numerous resources on the internet, in shops, or in libraries that can teach you everything you need to know about it. The rest is, of course, practice. The internet is full of forums, blogs, and websites where you can learn about…
Top 25 Best Travel Photographers Share Their Favorite Locations Around the World
Finding the perfect location is a big part of travel photography. Before thinking about shooting techniques and composition, you must do extensive research and planning. For me, it takes a couple of weeks, prior to the trip, to pinpoint all the locations I want to visit and photograph. This time, I decided to hack the process, and instead of doing the heavy lifting myself, I asked top travel photographers to share their favorite photo locations around the…
What’s In My Camera Bag – My Travel Photography Gear
It’s been over three years since I published the list of my photography gear. What I recently realized is that the contents of my camera bag have tremendously changed over that period. Since I changed camera brands by switching from Sony to Fujifilm, I think this is the perfect time for an update. It took me about three months to sell all my Sony equipment and acquire new Fuji gear. At this point, I am fully equipped…
Backup Strategy for Travel Photographers
The photography industry is moving forward at an astonishing speed. Technology constantly changes the way we take, edit, share and publish photos. In the last years, my photography workflow has completely changed. Since I switched to mirrorless, it feels like I have a computer in my hands instead of a camera. It will not be long before a camera won’t be any different from a smartphone and more like a mini computer whose primary function is to…
Mobile Editing Workflow for Travel Photography
My desktop computer is the central piece of my travel photography editing workflow. This is where I keep a master copy of all my photographs. The backup process is automatically triggered as soon as I add new photos to my master photo library. In my photography workflow, my laptop is an extension of my desktop computer. For each trip, I create a temporary Lightroom Catalog on my laptop and I continuously add new photos to it as…
Virtual Photo Scouting – How to Plan and Scout a Photography Trip
Don’t you hate it when, after spending hours driving and hiking to an amazing spot, you realize that you missed the sunset by 15 minutes? Or the scene of the Milkyway over an iconic mountain is ruined by a full moon?. Those are the moments when you truly understand the importance of planning and scouting in travel photography. For a long time, traditional in-person scouting was the only way to go. You visit the location in advance…
How to Become a Travel Photographer – the Blueprint
If you want to learn how to become a travel photographer, you in the right place. It was a beautiful day in Montreal. I was on a regular afternoon jog listening to a popular photography podcast. The topic of the episode was travel photography. The guests of the show were two professional photographers with the years of experience. At the end of the podcast during the listeners’ question and answer session, the first question immediately grabbed my…