5 Travel Photography Tips from the Experts

Exploring a foreign location from behind a lens is one of the most rewarding aspects of travel. Whether scouting the most vibrant scenes in India, observing the Big Five in Tanzania, or zooming in on the flaky layers of a Parisian croissant, taking photographs while on the road is a special part of every traveler's playbook. But with so many gadgets and cameras (not to mention smartphones) available, mastering the art of travel photography seems more complicated than ever. To enhance your travel photography experience, Indagare polled several professional photographers who have explored the globe with their cameras for their tried-and-true tips on capturing the best shots while on the road. Contact Indagare to plan a photography-focused journey. Our Trip Designers can match you with the perfect destination and arrange special, photo-focused excursions.

The experts

Francesco Lagnese is an

Italian-born, German-raised photographer, based in NYC, who specializes in interiors and portraits. In addition to several books and exhibitions, his work has appeared in dozens of publications, including Condé Nast Traveler, Architectural Digest and New York Magazine.

Roger Fishman left the corporate world more than ten years ago to indulge his wanderlust and never looked back. Since then, he has traversed the far corners of the earth on daring photographic missions. His most recent journeys have included Botswana, Antarctica and Greenland.

The winner of several prestigious photography awards, Jessica Sample is the former deputy photo editor at Travel + Leisure and has travelled extensively across the world shooting places such as Tibet, Bhutan and Indonesia. She has shot for dozens of publications including Food & Wine, Goop and National

1. Know your subject.

Two giraffes in Tanzania

Giraffes in Tanzania
"Do your research so you know what you’re getting yourself into" says Roger Fishman. "Take a look online and see what other people have captured. What makes you fall in love with the visual story? How do you want to make the subject your own? That way, you will have inspiration and images in your mind before you visit.” Related:

 The Experts’ Carry-On: The Best of Travel Essentials

2. Learn how your camera works before you go.

A Canon DSLR camera

A Canon DSLR camera

“Take time to get to know your camera inside and out," says Francesco Lagnese. It’s crucial to understand each setting and the specific purposes of each. And while learning, be patient with yourself. “If you are a first-time camera-user, do a test run in your neighborhood. Have fun with it, and make mistakes!” says Fishman, who recommends an entry-level Nikon or Canon DSLR with a zoom lens. “It’s best to start small, and you can always invest in a different lens or better camera later. Before buying, ask around and consult someone you trust rather than just the salesman at the store.”

Related: The Travel Bucket List

3. Plan ahead.

“Begin with the end in mind,” advises Fishman. “What will you do with your photos? Are you posting them on social media or printing them? Be sure to decide this before you shoot.” When on the ground, carry your camera with you everywhere during the trip. “You never know when an opportunity will present itself,” Fishman says. In addition, it is recommended to always have a second, fully charged battery and memory card on hand. Use a lens cloth and lens cap to avoid scratches; create a system of storing them so you know where everything is (pockets, flaps).

Related: Go It Alone: The 13 Best Places for Solo Travel

4. Understand light.

Golden hour in Santorini, captured by Indagare Trip Designer Colin Heinrich
Golden hour in Santorini, captured by Indagare Trip Designer Colin Heinrich

“You want to make the light work for you. This will either hinder or enhance an image,” advises Fishman. Mornings offer softer lighting, which is generally better for photos, though in the evening, the sun casts a glow, which can make for beautiful shots as well. “As they say, the early bird gets the worm,” says Francesco. When working with light, make use of filters, which can be useful to block out light (the UV filter helps with sun, while a polarizer shoots underwater). That said, "don't discount a cloudy day," notes Jessica Sample. "While they may not be the best for a landscape, clouds provide very soft and flattering portrait lighting." And when done properly, even shooting at night can render beautiful images: "About 20 minutes after the sun sets, the sky turns a bright blue," she says.

Related: The Art of Solo Travel: Seven to Know

5. Don't forget...

Don’t worry too much about the technicalities. It’s more the feeling and the message you bring across in an image that makes it a successful one.” says Lagnese. "Have fun while you shoot. Always ask people before you take a picture. It opens possibilities. Send them a copy if you can.”Contact Indagare to plan a photography-focused journey. Our Trip Designers can match you with the perfect destination and arrange special, photo-focused excursions.

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