How To Improve Your Travel Photography: Tips From A Pro

Kait Labbate is a travel writer and photographer based in Ottawa. Influenced by her background in journalism, her work seeks to capture moments through visual art by displaying everyday life from around the world. To help you improve your photography on your next getaway, we asked her to share her best tips.  

In my work as a travel photographer, I receive a lot of questions about how someone can improve their own photographs, and which camera and lens they should use. But, a great photograph can be achieved with any special lens or camera if it finds the balance between subject, light and composition in the following ways.

Landscapes

Add perspective. Add character to a landscape with perspective, by including a person in your image to accentuate the depth and scale of the landscape.

Try a new angle. Taking a few steps back or crouching can reveal a whole new perspective of the landscape. You may also find an angle with fewer obstructions (such as signs, objects or other people) that can detract from your image.

Look for lines and symmetry. Lines can accentuate the landscape and help create a balanced photograph. The placement of objects on the horizon and the levelling of the foreground will add beauty to the shot.

Move your feet. For wide-angle images, try your best to move around with your feet instead of holding your camera out or zooming in.

Use movement. My favourite photos are ones that capture motion in a landscape; a passing car or passerby that adds dimension and story to the scene.

Food & Drink

Find the light. Natural light is the key to great food photos. If you’re able to get a spot window-side, you’re in for a savoury shot of your meal.

Set up your shot. Simplify the backdrop or tabletop by removing clutter and filling your frame with your subject (the food or beverage).

Make it real. A personal favourite tip is to make the food look enjoyed: take a bite and leave your fork in the photo to capture the enjoyment of savouring a beautiful dish.

People

Use sunlight. While shooting with the sun directly on your subject may cause some watery eyes, it’s your best chance for avoiding heavy undereye shadows and silhouetted figures. If it can’t be avoided, use shadow to your advantage by lighting just one side of your subject’s face or by silhouetting your subject against an intriguing backdrop.

Try a window. Another option is to head indoors and have your subject sit by the soft, diffused light offered window-side.

Ready to start taking amazing travel photography? Don’t forget to take a few epic selfies. Here’s a list of the best spots to take a selfie in Porter destinations.