17 Travel Photography Tips for Taking Amazing Tour Photos | Orioly

17 Travel Photography Tips for Taking Amazing Tour Photos

To help you in creating high-quality material out of the best moments of your tours, we’ve prepared some travel photography tips that you can check in this article.

The best way to promote your awesome tour is to make your potential customers feel the atmosphere of the experience: excitement, fun, happiness, lust for life, pride…

But how can you evoke such an atmosphere? With amazing visuals!

That means sharing videos and/or images of your guests enjoying your experience. No stock images for you!

Before listing the travel photography tips, you need to understand the importance of professional tour photos for your travel business.

Why do you need professional images of your tours?

travel photography tips rafting experience

According to Gerald Zaltamn from Harvard Business School, around 95% of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously.

But how to reach the subconscious mind of a customer? The answer is simple, through emotions.

This rule is especially true in the process of planning and booking a trip or experience.

You can write several pages about how great your tours are and how travelers have so much fun during them. But the description itself cannot produce big emotions. A tour photo or video can.

Why is it a bad idea to use stock images on your website or social media?

So far we have discussed only why you need visuals to promote your tours, but why you cannot use stock images for that?

As Chris Torres has pointed out in his book, Look Into Bookers, customers can tell if the image is stock. This gives the perception that your offer is also false.

Same thing for poor-quality images. They give the impression that your product is also of poor quality, or they can give a misperception of the emotions you are trying to evoke.

That’s why investing in amazing photos of your tours is utterly important for your digital marketing efforts. Make your own pro stock tour photos.

Time for the travel photography tips we have prepared for you.

4 Travel photography tips for your setup

man setting up camera travel photography tips

The setup phase may sound boring, but it’s very important. This is something you need to do before taking your pictures, otherwise, you can miss the perfect photo.

Doing the setup means preparing your camera or phone and ensure that they are working properly.

These are the travel photography tips that we have for you concerning your device setup:

1. Get familiar with your device

Explore your camera or phone features and make sure that the photo quality is as great as possible.

2. Protect your equipment

Always have your camera or smartphone with you. But be careful, protect it with a good waterproof mask or dry bag.

Pelican offers great camera cases. For your smartphone, check out Lifeproof Nuud and Otterbox Preserver cases.

3. Give special attention to your lenses

Clean your camera lenses before every tour, just in case.

If you’re taking photos of wildlife during a tour, you need to have a camera with the longest possible zoom lens.

According to Wirecutter, the best camera lenses you can attach to an iPhone, are Moment mobile lines.

4. Be prepared for long ours of shooting

If you’re providing a whole-day tour, bring external battery chargers and remember to empty your memory space.

You can automatically save the pictures from your phone to your cloud storage by activating the auto-upload function of your device.

Now check out our travel photography tips to capture the perfect moment for a tour photo.

3 Travel photography tips to capture the perfect moment

man feeding llama travel photography tips

To capture the best tour photos you need to be in the right place at the right time.

Considering that you know well the route of your tour, you need to think in advance about the best places and landscapes for taking a good travel picture.

You also need to be alert in order to detect the perfect moment that can evoke most emotions and determine when is the best light for shooting.

Each type of tour has an emotion that you want to evoke. That is the emotion your guest is looking for when booking with you.

These are the travel photography tips to capture the perfect moment:

1. Shoot the best scenarios of your tour

peruvian woman farm

No one knows better your area than you.

Think in advance which places are the most beautiful to capture on a photo, and take a picture of them while you’re alone and on a tour. This way you have two perspectives to use on different occasions.

Try to take photos that capture the unique background of your tours. If you offer trekking tours, take amazing pictures of the mountains, waterfalls, buildings or any other element that will excite tourists during the tour.

For safari tours, photos of the wildlife to show the glory of the wilderness. For relaxing tours, capture the sea horizon. Bike tour photos can show the buzz of urban life.

Make the viewer feels as if he or she is there. When not shooting your travelers, try to capture local people in traditional clothes, local vehicles or local food to depict a destination.

2. Show the emotion of your guests

young friends on thrilling roller coaster ride

Photograph your travelers in the most memorable situations. Do not take boring photos of your travelers in front of some attraction.

While they are on a tour, they are experiencing much more than just seeing new landscapes. They are creating a bond with their friends, family, and the people around them, overcoming fear or accomplishing a personal goal.

With experience, you will know how people will react at every moment of your tour. Try to picture the peak of a traveler’s excitement and they will share the picture of that special moment on their social media profiles.

This travel photography tip is basic, yet frequently skipped by amateur photographers.

3. Get to know the right timing

professional camera stand on tripod

For shooting landscapes, lighting is crucial and the best light is 1 – 2 hours after sunrise and before sunset. If you’re guiding a morning and/or an evening tour, that’s the best time for shooting.

During the day, the ideal position is when the sun is behind you and your subject is in front of you. If you’re holding tours during the midday when the sun is high up, it’s better to go indoors.

Take photos of your travelers inside museums, cafes, markets, or restaurants while they eat traditional food.

10 Travel photography tips on how to take good travel pictures

young man rope jumping in rapid waters of a river travel photography-tips

The story behind your pictures plays an important role in bringing up emotions in your potential customers. But all the effort can be useless if the quality of the images is not top-notch.

There are some techniques that professional photographers use to take the best photo possible. Using them will make your images more interesting and appealing.

These are our travel photography tips to help you take the best quality images of your tours:

1. Always hold the phone horizontally with both hands

woman takes a picture with a smartphone

Be still or use a tripod to prevent shaking. If you are using a smartphone, Glif is a good choice for a tripod.

2. Use the rule of thirds for the best composition

man holding camera

When you look through your screen, imagine three horizontal and vertical lines that are crossing and giving 9 rectangles. The subject you shot should be placed where the lines intersect. You can use grids on your phone. If you’re taking a picture of a person, the focus should be on his/her eyes.

3. Adjust the ISO for low ambient light

back view of woman with backpack taking picture travel photography tips

If you’re taking pictures at night, the ISO (camera’s level of sensitivity to light) needs to be higher, for example, 3200 or more.

4. Use the focus of your camera

yellow flowers with blurry mountain background

Play with focus effects with blurry foregrounds or backgrounds. If you’re using a phone, download the Camera+ app and use its clarity filter.

5. Don’t zoom, crop

image being cropped

It’s better to move closer to your subject or taking the photo from the distance and crop it later. By zooming you lose image quality.

6. Contrast the foreground with the background

car and mountains travel photography tips

A good photo idea is to position an object in the foreground that highlights the landscape in the background. For example, a house, a rock, an animal, or even better, a human in front of a mountain. This line up gives a great perspective.

7. Use the scenario to frame your subject

corona arch utah

This travel photography tip is very simple. When taking a picture, have your guests framed by the vegetation, e.g. branches and trees, or frame them with doors and windows.

8. Be creative on your pictures

man next camel

When you’re shooting an attraction, try not to be obvious. You can take the picture from different angles, e.g. from a low angle or from above. Use water surfaces, mirrors, sunglasses, or metallic surfaces to shoot the reflection of the scene. Create a sense of depth with pictures of roads, train tracks, and paths through the woods.

9. Capture the motion of the moment

surfer on a wave travel photography tips

If you want to freeze the movement of some action (surfing, running, traffic, crowd, etc.), you can do that with the burst mode of your phone. If you have a professional camera, use the fast shutter mode. Alternatively, you can capture the motion of the action by using a longer shutter speed. If you have an iPhone, a good app for that is the Slow Shutter Cam.

10. Be simple

woman standing salar

Use the empty space in your favor, such as the sky, sea, walls and so on. That emphasizes your subject and helps to evoke the emotions of your viewers.


If you follow the travel photography tips described in this article, the chances are high that you will have amazing visuals of your tours that will help a lot with your marketing.

Post the tour photos on your website, blog, and on every social media that you are present in. Describe them properly, use the right hashtags, and include backlinks leading to your booking page.

Don’t forget to send the photos to your travelers. Also, tag them on social media to generate engagement.

If you liked those tips you should join our LinkedIn group. There you can find valuable content for tour operators to grow their business online.

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