I have done extensive traveling around the world working with a nonprofit telling stories through video and photo including, Kenya, Dubai, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Cambodia, Honduras, Bolivia and other areas. During my travels, I have noticed that many travelers in an area that is new to them often have trouble taking the best photos possible of their new experiences.
Seeing this in others made me want to come up with a list of tips when traveling internationally that will hopefully make you be a better photographer while staying safe and having fun!
Here are my top 10 tips for taking international photos:
- Use a camera you are familiar with. You’ll already know the little tricks to use in order to get the best shot
- Ask people before taking their picture (for close range photos). Be polite! Most people will say yes, but some may not want a photo taken and deserve to have this right respected.
- Log your location so you remember what you are taking pictures of. Take a small Moleskine Notebook to help you jot notes down.
- Take time to look around and take in the experience without the camera in your hand.
- Try and tell the story as it actually is. Don’t paint a picture of perfection if some of the areas aren’t perfect or show a less-than-glamorous side to where you are.
- Be careful when taking pictures of kids. Think to yourself, “would I want a stranger taking pictures of my children?”
- Put your camera in your bag when not using it. There is no better way to say, “I’m a tourist, come rob me!” than having your camera strapped around your neck 24/7.
- Capture a diverse set of photos including the food you are eating, your accommodations, nature, architecture and all your transportation methods!
- Bring extra batteries and memory cards! You can never have too many.
- Don’t be afraid to use your cell phone camera. Sometimes you will capture your best “in the moment” pictures with it because of how convenient and easy it is to use!
Traveling can be one of the most eye opening experiences and fun times! I thoroughly enjoy travel no matter what, but some of my best times were when I put my camera down and just spent time with the people and culture. Don’t feel the pressure to capture “everything” and have a great trip!