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8 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos With Your Phone

By Isabelle | Inspiration

Do you ever come back from vacation and scroll through your phone’s camera roll only to feel disappointed in the photos you took? Does it seem like you’re never able to fully capture the joy, excitement, and newness that you experience in the moment? Oftentimes our travel photos feel static and unoriginal. But the secret isn’t necessarily better equipment or a better camera – smartphones these days have pretty powerful lenses. Rather, it’s knowing exactly when to take your photos and how to best use the tools you already have. 

In this article, we’ll cover our top 8 tips for taking and posting better travel photos with your phone, including how to elevate your photos with BeFunky’s powerful mobile photo editor

1. Think About Composition

For any form of photography, it’s important to consider your composition and framing. First, ask yourself, what is the subject of your photo? It could be a person, an animal, a building, a landmark, or a cluster of any of these. To decide where to place your subject in the frame, you’ll have the best results using the rule of thirds. You can also look for interesting lines and symmetry. But if your composition misses the mark, you can always crop your photo and edit out clutter using the Photo Editor.

travel photography composition

2. Use Unique Angles & Subjects

There are a million photos out there of the Taj Mahal or Eiffel Tower. What will make your photo stand out from the rest? One way is to try unique angles, like from a bird’s eye view (up high) or worm’s eye view (down low) rather than taking photos straight on. Utilize reflections and other interesting types of lighting.

travel photography unique

Another way to personalize your photos is to simply include the people you’re traveling with, or yourself. This will make your photos actually unique and special to you. If you’re traveling solo, you can still use the self-timer feature on your phone to get some amazing shots. 

travel photography more unique

3. Follow the Light

Lighting can greatly impact how your travel photos turn out. Golden hour, just after sunrise and just before sunset, is an especially great time to take portraits and landscape shots. High-contrast times of day, around noon where there are lots of shadows, are better for photographing architecture. These days, even phone cameras come with ways to take long exposures, so nighttime photos are a great option for cityscapes – just make sure to stay still or use a tripod!

travel photography lighting

In the end, you don’t have to stress too much about lighting – you can always adjust the exposure, contrast, and color of your photos later. Here’s an article on how to edit a low-light image using the Photo Editor!

4. Arrive Early

If you want to take unique photos, it’s best to choose unique locations. But sometimes a certain spot is popular for a reason! If you’re really determined to take good photos at a popular tourist destination, then it’s best to get to your location as early as possible. For especially crowded locations, try before breakfast, between five and seven a.m. You’ll have the added bonus of capturing some great lighting.

travel photography arrive early

5. Take Bursts

If you’re in a rush or at a busy location and don’t have the time to frame your photos exactly how you want, it’s a good idea to take bursts. Just hold down the camera button on your phone to take a bunch of quick shots in a row, and pick your favorite later. 

6. Change Your Settings

Newer phones often come with the ability to take photos in better quality than the default settings. For instance, you can switch your camera to HDR (high dynamic range) for better photos in very bright or very dark lighting. You may also be able to take videos in 4K for higher resolution and choose stills from the video. These photos will have more detail and capture movement better, making cropping and editing easier.

travel photography settings

7. Capture the Everyday

One of the best parts of traveling is witnessing the everyday, ordinary moments of another place. For unique travel photos, try taking photos in side streets and out-of-the-way spots, or even in the forgotten corners around popular landmarks. Look for beauty in the small, mundane moments. You can also try connecting with other people and asking permission to take their photos.

travel photography everyday

8. Use a Good Photo Editing App

Most phone cameras have a few default editing tools. But to really make your travel photos stand out, you should use an app that can do more than just the basics. The mobile Photo Editor allows you to change background colors, fix blemishes, erase clutter, edit lighting curves, and more. You can also choose from a wide variety of filters and effects that will elevate your photos with a single click.

travel photography edit after
travel photography editing before



Make the Most of Your Phone for the Best Travel Photos

To take better travel photos, you don’t need a fancy camera or any complicated equipment. All you need is to put a little bit of thought where, when, and how you’re shooting. With these few tips, you’ll be able to take photos that really capture the essence of wherever you’re traveling – even if you’re armed with nothing but your phone. To really take your photos to the next level, whether it’s little tweaks or big transformations, just check out the BeFunky mobile app for all your editing needs!

Photo Editing. Simplified