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27 ways to take your vacation photos like a social media professional!

27 ways to take your vacation photos like a professional travel blogger!

Whether you are new to travel and just heading for your first dreamy vacation or you are a brave (or crazy) soul like myself, quitting your job to travel the world, let’s be honest, amazing photos are part of the dream!

The breathtaking landscapes, unforgettable moments, and awe-inspiring sunsets are certainly on the photo menu. Yet, there is only one magic key to the cherished memories passed down from generation to generation, and that is the one-of-kind photo of yourself.

So if you’ve taken a million vacation photos already and all of them look…oh well, so the same, don’t despair.

You see, I was just like you. Before, I quit my job to travel the world and before I started this blog, my repertoire of travel photos was just a rich collection of your standard: here-is-me-standing-next-to-a-famous-landmark-with-a-big-smile-hoping-for-the-best photo.

Well, thankfully, since then I got introduced to amazing and creative travel bloggers, started my Instagram account and became totally inspired.

So if you are ready for a change, ready to live boldly and take some fun travel photos while at it, here are 27 ways to take your vacations photos like a professional travel blogger!

1. Find You. Be You.

If you have not heard about the famous couple, where a man is led by his girlfriend around the world, it’s time to hop on Instagram right now. The man is a famous photographer Murad Osmann and the girlfriend and now his wife is a model, Natalia Zakharova. Together they travel the world and as the luck would have it, one day an impatient moment created the idea for a photo series that became an inspiration for others. Since their fame began, many tried to imitate the famous couple to no avail. Because travel photography is not about trying to copy others. It is truly about finding you and infusing you in every picture. There are no rules to follow, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Don’t be afraid to capture the world exactly how you see it. You never know, which unexpected moment may be the one to remember forever.

2. Capture the energy.

The good news is, you don’t have to be famous to play with the camera. The travel photos of you are truly for you. The camera gives you the freedom to do anything you want to do. So, this is me, Mag . When traveling to Wave, Utah, one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world, where only few lucky lottery winners can enter the site, we took full advantage of having this marvelous place to ourselves, strapped our GoPro on continuous burst mode and just enjoyed ourselves. No posing and smiles just for the picture. Just us, being kids and truly having fun.

3. An Incomplete Trip Without an Eiffel Pic

So what do you do when you visit a place with millions of tourists around and no room to roam? Travel blogger, Gloria Atanmo from The Blog Abroad has a perfect advice: “Most people get so excited to see the Eiffel Tower for the first time that they think their best photo with it will come right under it or near the lawn area of where it is. If so, you’ll probably get a few dozen or hundred people in the shot with you. All you have to do is follow the carousel and walk upwards, cross the bridge, towards a museum where you can stand on a ledge that has the Eiffel Tower in perfect distance in the background so that your shot has no one but you and that glorious monument in it ;)”

4. The Hidden Gem

How about if there are no famous landmarks or breathtaking scenery around? Travel blogger, Janet Newenham from Journalist on the Run shows the ultimate creativity! During her trip to Asia, when visiting the Chu Chi secret tunnels of Vietnam, with no marvelous sites above the ground, she managed to snap this wonderful gem. Janet recalls: “It wasn’t too difficult to set up this photo. I just squeezed my into the tunnel, then positioned the wooden blank on my head and asked my friends to spread the leaves back over it so I was half disguised. Then my friend just snapped away while I tried to get back out of the tunnel!”

5. Know your angles

So what do you do when you finally get the breathtaking views? The crystal clear waters, ocean breeze, soft sand underneath your feet…It’s show time. Travel blogger, Oksana Radionova from Foxy Oxie  mastered the art and here is her secret: “You’ve seen the photos of travel bloggers facing the vast ocean, arms raised with glee while the salty wind caresses their hair. That is quite possibly the quintessential travel photo, but oftentimes, it’s a lot harder to capture than one may think. Instead of simply facing whatever picturesque view you’re trying to capture, try angling your body a bit to the side to add some visual depth to the photo.”

6. Traveling solo? Kiss the llama!

And if there is no beach around, find the second best thing, the llama in Peru! There are simply to better pictures than the ones with the cutest animals encountered during your travel.  Travel blogger, Johnny Ward from One Step 4Ward captured it perfectly! With over 150 countries under his belt and million of stories to tell, this one must be the cutest! Instead of only taking some photos of the magnificent site of Machu Picchu in Peru, Johnny went for the kiss and captured the perfect site as a backdrop to his adventure.

7. No llama? Find a donkey!

There were definitely no llamas in Cappadocia, Turkey where we ventured out for the world-famous hot air ballooning but nothing was stopping us. Being animal lovers, we’ve are grateful to have made friends with elephants and tigers in Thailand, dolphins in Mexico, cows in Switzerland and we were determined to befriend this little, lonely donkey standing in the middle of Cappadocia mountains. Initially she was very shy and almost ran away, but then something changed. She began to trust us and could not get enough of our hugs. We spent many hours playing and feeding her that day and we just had to snap that selfie with our dear Cappadocia friend! Memories for a lifetime!

8. 100ft under

Travel blogger, Alyssa Ramos from My Life’s a Movie travels around the world and has a great eye for beautiful nature. Instead of taking a simple photo of the Antelope Canyon in Arizona, she pointed the camera upwards to capture the feeling of being 100Ft below the ground. Truly stunning shot!

9. Embrace the culture

But travel is so much more than having fun and that’s why we do it. It is enriching, eye-opening and life-changing. So don’t be afraid to dig in, embrace the culture and create the memories for a lifetime. Travel blogger, Donna Wanderelust, from Haute Culture Fashion is an expert in this area: “As a travel blogger you’re always looking for weird, funny, unobvious angles to learn about a new place. Writing about cultural costume and fashion in different countries around the world gives me so much opportunity to get push guards down and straight up ask “can I do, try, wear, ride that?” more often than not people are proud that you want to be more involved with their culture.”

10. See the world through your sunglasses!

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😎☀ @lespecs #lespecs

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But the travel photos, especially those at the beach are not just about bikini and pina colada. Sometime, showcasing the view through your sunglasses can add a personal touch. Travel blogger, Rachel Jones from Hippie in Heels took this cool shot at her favorite restaurant: “I eat lunch there about 2x a week. The view never changes and I didn’t want to post the same photo I always do, so I decided to try and show of my accessories in the photo – it’s harder than you would think to make your watch face the camera!”

11. The world at your feet... or wheels?

Yep, the beach was just around the corner, but having a quad for the day and driving the winding roads of Mykonos was so much more fun! So instead of heading directly for the white sand and crystal clear waters, we stopped on this hill with magnificent views of the Paradise Beach. The views were stunning, but being able see it from the quad, dirt, rocks and all, was a definitely a highlight of the day.

12. Catch of the day

Another option when at the beach is do some fishing. Any fun activity could be an amazing opportunity for an outstanding shot, especially if the catch of the day is participating. Travel blogger, Matt Karstenfrom from Expert Vagabond is an…well, Expert at that. Matt has been traveling the world for over 4 years and is famous of phenomenal photos, unique angles and new approach to capturing the travel moments. This shot, captured by his friend Stephanie Be from Travel Break, cleverly focused the attention on the fish itself, while including Matt as a background to this story.

13. Spotted in New York

Speaking about travel blogger, Stephanie Bee from Travel Break, here is a phenomenal shot from her trip to New York City. This is definitely a very difficult shot. One would have a minute or two during green light to set themselves right in the middle of the crazy traffic, in order to capture this moment, but it was so worth it. When it comes to NYC, is there anything thing else more iconic than yellow cabs or Flatiron Building as a backdrop?

14. Sky high in Dubai

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Hi I'm on top of the world #burjkhalifa

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And while high in the sky, make sure to take advantage of the view and glam it up with a bright, red lipstick! Travel blogger, Dannielle from: While I’m Young and Skinny made it look effortless, but admits the task wasn’t so easy: “This selfie is taken on top of the highest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai! Most people only go up to the 124th floor but I went for the VIP experience and travelled all the way up to the 148th floor to live the high life (literally) in the ‘At The Top’ sky lounge. Not for the faint hearted! Dubai is famed for its extravagant, bigger and better architecture and the Burj Khalifa exemplifies this, but be quick – it’s title of tallest building in the world is going to be stolen soon!

15. Seeing Red

And if you don’t have a red lipstick around, find red anywhere else. Red or any vibrant colors are a phenomenal choice for a travel photo. They automatically add energy and a strong visual effect. I saw this red display in Guilin, China and I instantly knew I wanted to capture it, while matching the energy of the place. So, I did a quick run from the side and while I was more of less in the middle of the display, I went for a jump. The Chinese girl next to me looks completely baffled, which reflects the authentic feeling of the place.

16. Hold on!

Ok. Cliff jumping can be a little (or A LOT) scary so let’s just stick to admiring it. Anita Hendrieka took this great shot of the Cornwall rugged coastline while still infusing a bit of herself into the view to reflect the actual experience: “This photo was taken on a side of a cliff in Southern England, Cornwall.  Sometimes travel photography is not as glamorous as it looks. It was blowing a gale while I was holding on for my dear life and yelling at my boyfriend to get the perfect picture of me taking the perfect picture!”

17. Look up!

Sometimes, though, your entire plan for a perfect photo gets turned up side down, when you see views like this. Travel blogger, Anna French from Spin the Globe Project had completely different intentions when she took this breathtaking shot:  “I took it with the GoPro pointing straight up on a tripod and I actually went out on a walk to get a picture of the white snow contrasting with the green leaves of all the trees because they seemed mismatched but then couldn’t stop looking up at how pretty the sunlight was coming through the tree tops and decided that try to capture that instead.”

18. Keep looking up...

Other times the perfect view is just right in front of you. This is my one of my favorite streets in Bejing, China.  This beautiful gate was so awe-inspiring. Despite hundreds of people around, the street became almost empty and I decided to go for it.  

19. Being awesome!

But awesome trees are not needed, if you have the cutest quokka ever who wants to join you in on the fun. Travel blogger, Allan Dixon has master the art of the selfie with the four-legged creatures and keeps inviting others to join: “Keep being awesome!”

20. Sunset Love

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Sunset love

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Who said sunset are for lovers? Travel blogger, Leah Cole from Little Travel Bird is traveling solo and when she sees an amazing sunset, she takes the opportunity for the perfect shot.  “I am currently traveling south east Asia and doing it solo. My passion is to explore and I love chasing stunning sunsets. I got a paddle board the other evening and found myself in the middle of the ocean watching this unreal sunset.”

21. Sunset Romance

But if you do happen to travel with your loved one, Gemma from Two Scots Abroad is here to provide inspiration for the stunning sunset photo. Instead of trying to get the perfect picture of yourself, focus on capturing the perfect silhouettes against the dazzling sunset.

22. Run!

And if you find yourself stranded (or making your dreams come true) in the Bolivian salt flats with bunch of strangers, here is what you do. The Two Scots Abroad went into action and using perspective created took this great shot.

23. Tropical winter wonderland

And if Bolivian Salt Flats are not on your path and you find yourself in another winter wonderland without the snow, you simply must capture this phenomena. We’ve snapped this photo in Pamukkale or a “Cotton Castle” on our journey through Turkey! The day was hot and sunny and the white travertines looked like piles of snow. I jumped on one of the the travertine walls right above the hot springs and we captured this moment of total disbelief.

24. When you don’t want to have a boring picture from London

London is an absolute travel gem, but let’s be honest, travelers from all of the world have snapped millions of photos there, so how can you stand out? Travel blogger, Ellie and Nina from Follow the Sisters offer a great advice: “We’ve seen beautiful, inspiring, breathtaking pictures from London but we’ve noticed that most people don’t “break the rules” while there for some reason. We definitely didn’t want to leave London without at least several pictures to make us laugh every time we look at them.”

25. A bird in the hand is worth…..

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My new friend from hike up to Joffre Lakes, Canada

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…an astonishing photo! Travel blogger, Martina from Dreaming and Wandering captured this one-in-a-million touching moment: “In October I hiked up to Joffre Lakes in Canada. At the end of the trail, I sat down by the lake to have a snack, enjoy sunset in mountains, turquoise lake and crackling glaciers hanging upon me. In a while I’ve heard some noise behind me just to find out that I am surrounded by six beautiful and curious birds. They were flying around me, getting closer and closer and soon sitting on my head and shoulders. This beauty is one my new friends :)”

26. Feeling famous?

Wondering if you’ve seen this place before? It is the same location where movie “The Beach” was filmed! Travel blogger,
Sonal from Drifter Planet  visited the island back in 2013 after hours and stayed till the next morning to watch the sunrise. To make it memorable and truly the the famous vibe: “Our tour operator made us jump 50 times to capture the perfect jump shot to replicate the one from the movie. It was serious hard work!”

27. Don't let it rain on your parade. Put it into perspective!

But what do you do if you arrive to an amazing beach destination and instead you get rain? I mean dark clouds, grey sky and all. I say:  don’t let it rain on your parade and put into perspective. This happened to us in Bulgaria. We were ready to soak up the sun but were welcomed by the rain. So instead of crying about it, bunch of uu ventured out to the beach and had an amazing time playing with perspective. It’s a hard work but it’s also ton of fun and certainly photos to cherish forever.

Bonus: No travel required

Finally, the good thing about taking picture is that you absolutely don’t have to travel far or travel at all to have some fun with your camera. I snapped this picture in my apartment in Sydney. I was just preparing a dinner when all of a sudden the sky started turning pink, orange and red. I ran out to the balcony and froze in awe. The sun was just setting over Sydney and the combination of city lights and the glorious sunset was absolutely breathtaking. Then I grabbed my camera, moved the coffee table to the middle of the room, set the chair on top of the coffee table, a pillow on the chair and placed my camera on top. The auto-timer finished the job. No travel required, yet my favorite moment captured forever.

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