A perfectly filtered image of your bowl of ramen, a photo of your little one doing something cute, a snap of your family at the beach… whether we care to admit it or not, Instagram is ruling the roost of our lives. It’s one of the first things we check when we get up, something we regularly update while on holiday and something we can’t help but want to master. So why not ask the pros? These guys have seriously aesthetically-pleasing feeds, and we’re low-key obsessed (some have even done so well with Instagram, it’s their full-time job!) so, we asked them what their absolute top tip is to get the perfect Instagram travel photos.
Tips for taking the perfect Instagram Travel photos on Instagram:
Ashley is a 20-something-year-old girl from Wisconsin that fell in love with Australia (and consequently moved there.) When she’s not at home in Brisbane with her partner and doggo, she’s exploring (and photographing) the rest of the country and falling more in love with it by the day.
Top Tip: Don’t go out and try to capture the same photo you saw scrolling through Instagram. I am guilty of this from when I first started. I scrolled through Insta and I was like oh, yes I need this shot. I’d go to the destination and stand exactly where they were standing and get the SAME photo. Like really? It’s kind of embarrassing—haha! There is nothing wrong with scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest to find inspiration. These platforms are made for that and it’s amazing. Just be creative, be yourself and do YOU. Don’t compare, don’t look at the numbers, f the algorithm and DO YOU. Do not try to be like someone else because it won’t work and it ruins the fun.
I’m a multi-award winning travel and lifestyle blogger who has spent the last 11 months backpacking around Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Originally from London, my vision is to travel as consciously as I can, sharing stories and images from around the world. My favourite destination of 2019 has either been Sri Lanka or New Zealand!
Top tip: Try and find your angle, rather than recreating something that’s been done a million times! At the Taj Mahal, we bypassed the queue of people taking the tried and tested shot and found an alternative. Lots of praise for the image was that it hadn’t been seen before! I also always shoot underexposed to give more control in editing; it’s easy to brighten an image but much harder to correct something overblown.
Leah Shoup owns the travel website GringaJourneys.com, is a content creator and Spanish to English translator. She has a knack for finding colourful places wherever she goes (see for yourself on Instagram) and will never say ‘no’ to gelato while travelling. She currently splits her time between Atlanta, Georgia and Santiago, Chile, but is always looking for the next up-and-coming destination to explore!
Top Tip: Wake up early! If you don’t mind getting up for sunrise, definitely do it. You’ll not only beat other tourists to the most popular spots but many times, locals won’t even be up this early! This way you’ll have the top photo spots all to yourself without crowds of people in your photos. Plus, the lighting at sunrise is soft in comparison to the harsh lighting that will create shadows in your photos later in the day.
CO-Founder of the ’Award-Winning’ creative and production agency Dream Beach Media Josh has travelled and worked on productions in more than 27 countries in three years. Developing and producing multi-media campaigns for the biggest brands, airlines and tourism boards in the world such as MTV UK, Visit Malta, Visit Britain, Visit Western Australia, Visit Malta, Jet 2, STA Travel, Panasonic and many more.
Top Tip: My top tip is to connect with the local photographers through Instagram to get the perfect location/time of day and route to the desired location(s) you want to shoot. Search the location hashtag and destination viral pages and get insider knowledge. Instagram is a very social platform, use it positively and connect with local people, this can save you time and open up new ideas.
I’m Nicola, a 25-year-old travel photographer + blogger based out of New Zealand. I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past five years seeking out unique travel experiences in over 56 countries across the globe and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!
Top Tip: My top tip for taking the perfect IG shot is getting the lighting right as this can make or break a shot. I love shooting around sunrise or sunset as this is when the light is the softest and sky is often painted with beautiful colours.
Travel photographer and content creator living in Boston with her husband and their daughter. She believes island life is the best life and is always planning their next adventure.
Top Tip: Capture what you are doing, don’t do something to capture it. Forget waking up at 4 am to beat the crowds – real people, real places and real energy behind a photo will make sure it is authentic and original. Perfectly imperfect, and hopefully a snapshot of a special memory.
Jenny is a family travel and lifestyle blogger, mum to two adventurous young boys. You can find Jenny exploring the world with her family, from trips to the Scottish islands to the delights of Peru, they love to travel together home educating along the way.
Top Tip: My top tip would be to try different angles. Some people seem to take several photographs without moving from the spot. Whereas I like to experiment and take lower (or higher) shots, moving closer and further away, left and right until you find a composition that looks good to the eye. Consider the different leading lines of interest that take your eye into the picture and also where the light is coming from.
Jessie is a NY-based travel and lifestyle blogger with a love for off-the-beaten-path adventures. She wants to inspire people to explore the world, make meaningful connections, and leave a positive impact.
Top Tip: Get there early to avoid the crowds and get the best light! And make some movement in your photos so that the poses come out looking more candid and natural.
Hailing from Lewisham in South-East London, Lucy is a photographer and writer with a deep affection for unpredictable weather and the hustle and bustle of city life. Always observing the world around her, Lucy’s eye is drawn towards capturing something about the people she sees in her home town and the destinations that she visits intimately, but at the same time creating her version of who she thinks the person is.
Top tip: Visiting tourist spots when you travel to a new city or country is pretty inevitable, but I find it much more fun and interesting to take unique shots of popular travel destinations. My favourite travel photo tip and a great way to capture the essence of any destination is to capture a portrait of a local person. If you’re shooting from a distance this shouldn’t be a problem.
But, if you want to take close-up portraits, be polite and ask permission first. It can be so much fun and adds to the cultural experience. You don’t have to be fluent, but a friendly smile and a little “hello” in the person’s native language will make them feel more comfortable. Ask if it’s ok to take their photo, but if they don’t agree, it’s ok, thank them and move on.
Alexx is a twenty-something Kiwi solo traveller, currently on a mission to visit a new country every week for a year, with the route based off the cheapest flight available each week. Phew! She posts about all her adventures (and misadventures) on Instagram and on her blog, and she shares travel tips every week to show how to get the ultimate experience in each place she visits.
Top tip: You know what they say, the early bird gets the best photos! If you’re looking for good lighting and landmarks without swarms of tourists, an early start to the day is your best bet. ‘Golden hour’ is the name of the period just after sunrise, where the sunlight makes everything look warm and beautiful, the ideal conditions for travel photos. You can use an app like PhotoTime to get the exact time for golden hour, but if you’re out shooting around sunrise time then you’re guaranteed to get some stunning natural lighting for your shots.
Aside from perfect light, early mornings will mean you can get some of the most famous landmarks to yourself! Plan your early morning photo adventures to tick off the busiest places first to ensure you’re there before the crowds. You might have to deal with a couple of professional photographers, commuters walking or riding past or other savvy hobbyists like yourself, but there’s unlikely to be any selfie stick-toting tour groups hanging around at 7 am. Plus, get all your photos done in the morning and you can spend the rest of the day soaking up the good travel vibes without a camera or phone permanently attached to your hand. The dream!
Stacy is a travel photographer based in the UK with a passion for discovering unique places, off the usual tourist map. Her blog ‘What Stacy Did’ was born out of a love of travelling, be it island hopping around Thailand, riding camels through the deserts of Saudi Arabia or staycations at home in the UK discovering gems on her own doorstep. Through her work and brand collaborations, she constantly strives to showcase the very best travel destinations, uncover hidden gems and promote businesses who fit her ethos.
Top tip: When it comes to taking a good photo there are three main elements you should really focus on – lighting and framing. Try and aim to shoot in the early morning or around golden hour when the light is at its softest – you don’t want the harsh shadows of midday sun! Then try and find a way to frame your image, be it an archway, a tree or some flowers. Besides from looking really pretty, it will add extra depth to your photo and draw your eye to the central focus of the photo. I’m forever hiding in bushes or ducking into flower beds to add that perfect frame to a shot! Whatever I’m shooting, I’ll always look around me for some element to frame it. Even if I have to pick up grass or leaces and hold them in front of the lens to create the same effect. Try it next time you’re taking a photo and see how much difference it makes to the end result!