Your next vacation is worthy to be documented. It can even be the springboard to a successful career as a travel photographer. With platforms like Instagram providing you with opportunities to showcase your travel experiences, it’s easy to get started posting impressive and unique perspectives of the places you visit.

However, when you’re aiming to be a professional travel photographer, you must know what it takes to overcome the noise. There are plenty of people with blogs and social media pages that feature photos of local and international destinations. It’s a challenge to start coming across as a newcomer in the field; you will need all the advice you can get to find success. The guide should lay down a few fundamentals:

1. Check if you’ve made the right decision

As with any other career, you will have to know if travel photography is the right field for you. Don’t focus too much on the endorsements and free airfare you would get as your career takes off. You should also learn about the possible challenges you will be facing, especially in the first few months.

For one, you may have to pay for transportation, accommodation, and food out of pocket. You may also have to spend on professional equipment or at least a smartphone with a decent camera feature.

Unless you have a genuine passion for photography and travelling, you might find the field more of a burden. The sooner you clarify your interest in travel photography, the better it is for you to overcome the hurdles.

Photography and Travelling
Photography and Travelling

2. Invest in the right equipment

Although it pays to use only basic equipment on your first foray into travel photography, getting the right tools offers a big advantage. You may want to rent or purchase a second-hand DSLR camera. Even though there are already smartphones with high-resolution cameras, nothing could outmatch what a DSLR can do. 

A DSLR camera provides less noise, and you’ll find greater detail in the final results. They are also ideal for taking both dynamic and static situations, from wide-angle landscape views to fast-paced urban settings. 

If you have some cash to spare, consider purchasing a sturdy tripod and a high-resolution zoom lens. It’s a lot of money taken together, but it’s still important to start with what you have and practice your composition skills first.

3. Sign up for workshops

The ability to take impressive travel photos is something you can develop. Even if you need an eye for great composition, you could learn about the basics through mentors and courses. Fortunately, there are photography workshops you can join that teach you how to take photos of any subject. You could also learn how to adjust your camera settings for dramatic shots. It costs time and money, but formal training can help you master your photography skills and develop your style.

4. Focus on stories, not places

One misconception about travel photography is that it’s all about taking shots of famous attractions, from the Eiffel Tower to the Kremlin. What many overlook is the fact that the field is more about telling stories, particularly about the environment itself. 

Everyone has already taken different angles of the houses and beaches of Santorini, so consider documenting daily life there. Pick unique subjects in situations that suggest a story. You can also focus on the food or architecture of the place and take dramatic shots showing their importance to the locals.

Telling Stories with Photography
Telling Stories with Photography

5. Don’t hesitate to seek help

When you’re in a foreign land looking for interesting vantage points, don’t rely heavily on your intuition. To lessen the risk of getting lost or endangering yourself, consider travelling with a local guide who can show you places only a few tourists have ever discovered. 

It also helps if you join with other photographers on a photo walk. Vienna and Montreal are just some of the best cities for this, but you can also look for other interesting places around the world and connect with other successful travel photographer there. 

6. Show your best work

As your travel photography career starts to blossom, it would be the perfect time to build an online portfolio where you can upload your best shots. Start with Instagram and upgrade to more professional platforms like Behance and Zenfolio. 

You can also post some of your shots on Facebook. From there, influencers and companies will start reaching out and pitching collaborative ideas. Take these opportunities to develop your skills and grow your following. 


Are you ready to become a successful travel photographer? Don’t expect success to arrive swiftly. Use the right approaches and never shy away from any creative opportunity, and you’ll be surprised where your skills will take you.