Instagram is more than a place to show off the best parts of your life. It’s a window for inspiration, to engage, and to celebrate what’s truly beautiful about the world. If you’re like me, then that means it’s the perfect place for gorgeous travel photos.

However, it takes a lot more than an iPhone camera or a selfie stick to take and publish great Instagram travel photos. Here, we’re going to look at the tips and techniques you should know, photography-related and otherwise.

Play with your angles

Get an idea of what subject material you want to capture. However, instead of simply standing in place, start moving around it and take snaps from different angles and distances. The change in perspective can do some surprisingly awesome things to the photo in question.

If you’re using a smartphone camera, then traditionally you hold it “right way up” for portrait-style photos. However, one way to play with perspective is to turn your phone upside down. This gets the lens closer to the ground, which gives the subject an imposing looming look over the photo.

Adjust your focus

Too many Instagrammers ignore the focus tool on their phones. The majority allow you to adjust the depth of field by sliding your finger up and down a bar to the side. If you feel like the shot isn’t what you wanted to capture or a little “off”, it could a focus mismatch.

Blurry background with a focused object in front can give it sharpness and sense of scenery around it. A blurry foreground with the focus on the background can work just as well.

Don’t just stick to the most famous sights

Yes, you’re going to want a picture of the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and Mt. Fuji if you get the opportunity. However, you should have your camera out and ready at any moment. 

Sometimes, the smallest, most mundane scene can catch a sense of place and time just as well as a monument.  Be ready to capture whatever scene grabs you at the moment and don’t worry about whether or not it’s showing the best of the destination.

Look the part

Sure, those gorgeous vistas and iconic landmarks make for some excellent subject material. However, people are following you, they’re not following the locations you’re photographing. Don’t be afraid to put yourself in front of the camera.

If you do feel comfortable showing some personality in your photos by appearing in them, make sure you got the style to pull it off. I like to pack at least one or two really photogenic outfits when I travel. Sites like FarFetch make it really easy and cost-effective to buy brand clothes like Alexander McQueen, too, so it’s worth doing a little online shoppers research.

Don’t expect professional results from strangers

No, the picture that a random bystander took of you in front of that monument is never going to look as good as you want it. If you need someone else to take pictures of you, then they should be traveling with you and you should be open to giving them tips if they’re not a professional.

Otherwise, bring a tripod and set up your shots in advance before taking them. There are a lot of lightweight travel tripods you can find online.

Don’t let a little rain spoil your fun

Yes, I’d love it to be sunny all the time during a beach vacation or city break. Especially when taking photos. However, the elements of nature can add even more to a photo than they can take away.

Puddles and reflections, dramatic clouds over rolling horizons, sunrays and rainbows. They’re all fantastic tools and could allow you to show off a travel destination with a lot more personality than you might usually see.

Take many, post few

It’s often easier to end up with some phenomenal shots when you shoot organically rather than trying to plan too much. You may have a scene or idea in mind, but you should keep shooting and shooting from different perspectives just to see what comes out.

However, don’t post every photo you take and don’t post just for the sake of it. Find those that spark joy, as Marie Kondo says, and make sure your feed is one of pure curated quality.

Are you ready to add some glam to your ‘Gram?

With the tips above, you should be able to turn your Instagram feed into a collection of gorgeous vistas with no trouble. It can still take a little time for the appreciation and comments to roll in but, at the end of the day, quality always shines out.

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