These days, the traditional photo album is dead, with most Millennials preferring to document their travels on Instagram garnering a mix of wonder and envy from their faithful followers. This includes celebrity A-listers like Gisele Bündchen (14.7 million followers) and Emily Ratajkowski (18.8 million followers) who post travel pics on an almost daily basis.
While clever photo-editing apps and tech-savvy smartphones allow everyone to “be a photographer”, there’s still a lot you can do to create better photos, gain new followers and receive oodles more “likes”.
Here’s our selection of fool-proof tips to take your Instagram photos to the next level.
1Pay a professional photographer to make you look good
In order to capture the perfect travel moment on Instagram, one is often forced to ask one’s long suffering partner or, indeed, a complete stranger, to take the picture. This usually results in a photo that is either blurry or unflattering (or both). If you’re serious about capturing some truly fantastic photos on your travels, consider employing a photographer to take the pictures for you. This doesn’t have to be a vast expense, and can result in a much more enjoyable travel experience for both you and your companions.
Dovetail Experience connect travellers with professional photographers and offer affordable, tailor made photo shoots in more than 60 destinations from Bangkok to Bogota. Customers supply their dates and locations, and Dovetail handles the logistics. The professional photographer will also act as a guide, helping select beautiful destinations to take the photos that are away from the tourist masses. Photo shoots cost $250 per hour for all locations (except Iceland). First-time customers will receive a discount of $30 off for their first booking.
2The early bird gets the best shots
Lighting is key when it comes to Instagram. If your picture looks drab or out of focus then it’s not going to garner much attention. The best lighting is achieved in the early morning – as the sun rises it creates a soft, natural light that is ideal for landscape pictures and photos of the beach. If you get up early, you’ll also avoid the crowds and create the impression that it’s just you alone with nature.
Inspiration: Roxy Vespa’s (@roxyvespa) early morning pics of #beachlife in Tel Aviv are a great example of soft, natural lighting which really showcase the peaceful vibe of the city.
3Focus on the beauty of your surroundings
If you’re interested in travel photography, leave the selfies to the fashion & beauty posse and focus on showcasing the destination. That’s not to mean you can’t be in the picture – after all these are your photos and your memories. Think about ways you can use your presence to showcase the primary subject: the scenery. For example, ask someone to photograph you from behind looking thoughtfully into the distance, or use your body to help to provide scale and perspective to the shot.
Inspiration: French travel blogger Coralie (@bycoralieblog) is present in most of her Insta pics, usually staring away from the camera towards a beautiful landscape, such as these lavender fields in the Valensole Plateau in Provence.
4Blue is the colour
Whether you are using a smartphone or a DSLR camera, some colours come up better than others. One such colour is blue, which is why we love taking pictures of oceans and infinity pools on our travels. According to research by online marketing platform, Curalate, mostly blue images on Instagram receive 24% more “likes” than their red or orange counterparts. Blue is also associated with calm, nature and relaxation, all of which help to develop the wanderlust bug.
Inspiration: Matthew Karsten (@expertvagabond) often posts photos with blue as the dominant colour, whether it’s a landscape photo or the blue-washed buildings of Chefchaouen in Morocco.
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The sun beats down mercilessly, setting every color around me ablaze – and since everything is blue, I feel like I’m walking above the clouds in a mythical sky kingdom. – But this is no myth, it’s #Chefchaouen. Located in Northern Morocco, the city’s signature color is a variety of calming shades of blue that lower your blood pressure in seconds. – Known as Morocco’s “blue pearl” or “blue city”, the buildings in Chefchaouen are painted using a talc or chalk-based paint that looks so beguiling. – Exploring a labyrinth of narrow blue alleyways smelling of spice, incense, flowers, and fresh oranges — was one of the highlights of my journey to Morocco. Plus it’s a photographer’s dream! – ▶️ Click the link in my profile to read my new blog post & plan your own trip!
5Try to go filter free
It may be tempting to add a filter to your Instagram photos, but sometimes this goes too far and they come across as insincere and overexposed. There are so many wonderful and beautiful places to discover, but it can be a little disappointing if the reality is very different to what’s been posted online – the Northern Lights are a perfect example, as the separation of colours can only be achieved by clever camera tricks. Rather than adding a filter, try adjusting the brightness and saturation of the photo. This will make the colours brighter and the image sharper, but it will still be a faithful representation of what’s in front of you.
Inspiration: Dale Von Rooyen (@travellerdale) claims not to use filters in his Instagram photos, yet still achieves stunning results, such as this view from Coron in the Philippines.
Disclaimer: this article was sponsored by Dovetail Experience