How to Plan a Travel Photography Trip? (A Detailed Guide)

Who doesn’t love a good road trip? And if this enthralling venture helps you build your photography portfolio, why not use it to your advantage? However, if you’re planning to capture some stunning images during a trip, you need to have proper planning in place.

It can get very overwhelming if you’ve ventured to a photogenic location, as you will constantly be stopping to take more shots. Moreover, without proper planning, you’ll end up with more of a snapshot of your vacation rather than professional photographs.

Additionally, if it’s your first time going on a travel photography trip, you will need to do your research, as there are several aspects you’ll need to take into account to have a fulfilling and fruitful trip. This guide will elaborate on all the factors to consider when planning a photography trip.

Related Guide > How to Become a Travel Photographer?

How to Plan a Travel Photography Trip?

Here is the top 11 Tips and Tricks that you must follow before shoot travel photos.

01. Choose Scenic Destinations

The first order of business when planning a travel photography trip is choosing scenic destinations that are photo worthy! At the end of the day, if you’re going through the hassle of traveling to a place(s), then you should be aware of all the possibilities you can find to take breathtaking photos. Here are a few ways to go about selecting a destination:

Check WikiTravel

Wikitravel is a website that people can use for free if they need guidance for anything travel-related. Its information is comprehensive and up-to-date, making it a great resource if you want to ensure your trip is a worthwhile one.

Decide the Areas You Want To Visit

To narrow down the exact destination you’ll travel to, note down the kind of sceneries you’d like to capture, such as:

The kind of areas you’d like to visit will depend on the types of photos lacking in your portfolio, or what you’d like to explore personally.

Research on Pinterest or Other Social Media Platforms

With the overload of inspiration that is easily accessible online, it has become a lot easier to research the best travel locations for photography. Just search relevant hashtags, such as #travelphotography in the explore tabs of different online platforms such as:

  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Reddit
  • Quora

02. Focus on Quality, not Quantity

As the saying goes, it’s better to focus on quality rather than quantity. In this case, particularly, it may be tempting to photograph everything in sight, but to set yourself apart from other photographers, you’ll need to choose your compositions intentionally and carefully.

Pick fewer locations and try different angles and photography styles to capture quality shots. Most importantly, tap into your creativity and let inspiration take over.

03. Select the Right Season

Depending on the area for visit, choose the right season to take exceptional, non-cliché, photos. The season you travel in can drastically change the kinds of shots you will get. This is because the length of the day and natural lighting opportunities will change in every season.

Moreover, it will also impact whether you’ll find wildlife. As the behavior of animals may vary depending on the season, you’ll need to prepare for all these elements.

04. Set Time for Photography Sessions

Depending on the length of your trip and how you’ll be traveling around, you’ll need to allocate a specific number of hours for photography sessions and driving. It can get quite hectic when you’re on a tight budget and schedule.

Furthermore, while commuting, eating, and exploring, it can be hard to find time to focus on photographing your surroundings. So, you’ll need to plan ahead and ensure that you have timings specified in which you will only focus on taking beautiful shots.

05. Select the Right Travel Partners

When you’re going for a travel photography trip, it’s best to travel with individuals who are well-versed in photography, as they can help frame the perfect shot. Moreover, even if they aren’t qualified to take pictures, they may be able to show you different perspectives, and can also be the subject of more artsy shots.

06. Take Suitable Gear

Of course, no photography trip can be complete without having a kit with your best cameras and lenses. However, you’ll need to be wary that if you’re flying, there will be a weight and size restriction, so you’ll need to pack accordingly. Conversely, if you will be driving in your own car, then you won’t need to worry much about the kind of gear you can carry with you.

However, the kind of camera(s) and lens (es) you take will need to be appropriate for the types of photos you want to take. While you can use your phone’s camera, it will fail to give the quality results that a DSLR provides.

Moreover, you can carry multiple kinds of lenses to add diversity to your shots. For example, for landscape photography, zoom lenses would be perfect. For wildlife and birds, go with a long lens, and for flower photography, a macro lens would be ideal.

07. Create a Shot List

Do your research and identify the sceneries or elements that you want to capture. This will immensely help you to pack your gear accordingly, and also know what to expect from this photography trip.

Moreover, you can always refer to it in case you feel like you’re caught up in the moment and can’t think of the kinds of shots you wanted. You can also create a theme in the photos you’ll capture, for example, indigenous people, funny signs, abandoned buildings, and more.

08. Get Inspired By Your Surroundings

As much as it’s great to plan out everything to a T to keep on track and get the shots you wanted, many times, you’ll encounter some positively unexpected locations or moments.

Keep an eye out for those! Furthermore, sometimes, nature can just inspire you. So, be ready to capture it at all times. If you are feeling inspired while crossing a specific place, stop your car and go shoot!

09. Take Sunrise and Sunset Shots

Sunrise and sunset shots define a road trip. Come up with ideas to make these images mesmerizing. Moreover, to ensure you get these shots, you will need to plan ahead!

Thankfully, due to the internet, you can easily look up what time the sunset and sunrise will take place. Try to get there at least half an hour before, and stay for half an hour after. It’s best to keep a wide lens on hand for this, as well.

10. Try Different Techniques

Never be afraid to try something new! Even though having a signature style can be a good way to market yourself as a photographer, it can pay off to play with different photography techniques. There are so many you can try, such as reflective photography, which can help you capture astonishing photos.

11. Narrate a Story

Take the time to research the region’s history and culture, so you can tell a story with your photographs. Capturing the essence of the place you’re in can be very moving for viewers, and can make for enticing shots.

For example, take pictures of ruins, locals in the distance, and historical sites. Maybe even take high-speed photos of crowds, animals, cars, and lights.

People Also Ask

What are composition rules to know for travel photography?

One of the most important compositions is the ‘rule of thirds.’ This entails separating your photo into three parts, either horizontally or vertically. Each portion is equal and has a different subject.

For example, a landscape photo where the first two-thirds is just sky or a mountain, and the third part has a person standing on them. You can also figure out how to space out the thirds with the grid option in your camera. Other rules to consider are framing, leading lines, and color themes.

Should I get a tripod if I’m going on a travel photography trip?

A tripod can be considered crucial for landscape photography because human hands may not be able to stay perfectly still. This can be an issue when you shoot at a low shutter speed, as the image can get blurry when your hands move even the slightest bit.

A tripod allows you to experiment with long exposure shots, such as those of waterfalls or a still sky, without worry. It’s also great for self-portraits, group photos, and couple photos when you do not have a person to hand the camera to.

How can I protect my equipment and easily carry it while traveling?

A camera bag can be great at keeping you organized and make sure to buy a comfortable strap, such as a sling. Make sure to purchase from a good company, as this can be a great investment. Using a clear ultra violet filter with a sun hood to protect lenses from scratches.

What is a good travel photograph?

An excellent travel photograph narrates a story. You can take aesthetic shots that follow a series of cohesive ideas. That said, your images should be dichotomous in nature. This means it should have a certain degree of abstractness, allowing the viewer to see it from their own perspective.

Wrapping Up

A travel photography trip is a great way for both novice and experienced photographers to expand their portfolios and capture some amazing shots! Plus, it’s a fun learning experience that can immensely help you grow personally and professionally.