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You’ve spent all winter dreaming of and planning out the most perfect summer vacation. Now, the time is here and you’re ready to catch that flight or hop in that mini van!

Along with packing all of your vacation essentials, don’t forget to pack your camera! We want you to remember your favorite travel memories for years to come, so we’re giving you our top tips for grabbing those perfect travel shots.

1. Plan ahead

As you’re planning the places you’ll be visiting and staying, check out Instagram and look at geotags of the location you’ll be in. By looking ahead and finding inspiration, you won’t miss any of those Insta-worthy indie coffee shops or incredible nature scenes you’d want to capture.
 

2. Wake up early

If you want to take photos with some amazing light, get out and start taking photos first thing! The “golden hour” is the period right after the sun rises (or before it sets), and leads to some pretty incredible images.

By heading out extra early, you can also avoid mass crowds of people, allowing you to photograph more challenging subjects with a bit more ease and less chaos.
 

3. Use the rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a compositional technique to help you frame your shot. If you think about dividing up your picture into three sections vertically and three sections horizontally, you’ll want to place your subject where two of the lines intersect. This method is great for landscapes, important pieces of architecture and portraits – all photos you’ll definitely want to capture when you travel.

Pro tip: If you’re using your phone, most cameras have a grid built right in, that you can turn on and off in the camera settings.

And don’t be afraid to try other photography techniques, too. You can change your perspective by crouching down, look for reflections that you can capture, or try shooting in black and white. The more creative you get, the more unique your photograph of a popular destination will be!
 

4. Pack the right gear

It’s important to keep in mind your skill level and what you’ll be doing on your vacation when packing your camera gear.

If you’re a novice photographer, an iPhone camera or pocket sized point & shoot would probably be enough. Keeping it light is also smart if you’re going to be doing a lot of hiking or outdoor adventure, where you’re unable to bring a lot with you.

If you’re a bit more advanced and are using a DSLR, you might want to pack a few more accessories. A lightweight tripod is great to have for a more steady shot, and a ring light can add some extra power to indoor and nighttime shots.
 

5. Take SO many photos!

Our top travel photography tip is to take a LOT of photos! The best shots can come when you least expect them to, so it’s important to always be capturing the moments happening around you.

Try taking many photos of each subject wherever you go. Try different framing, lighting, camera settings, etc.

If it seems like you’re going to be stuck with too many photos at the end of your trip, we recommend going through your camera roll at the end of each day to favorite the best of the best, and to delete some of the ones that didn’t work out. This makes it super easy to share your photos with family and friends or print out to keep in tangible form!

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