Accor Vacation Club travel photography tips

Travel Photography Tips

Story by Jacqueline Hamilton

Photos and videos are our way of freezing a moment in time, waiting to be enjoyed for years to come.

It’s a physical collection of tender moments, sights and adventure. It could be a snap of fascinations never seen before, the story of a face showing the culture of a community, the spirit of a stunning landscape and instant flashes that will never come again. A photo is one of the easiest souvenirs we can bring home with us to remind us of the perfect holiday.

With that in mind, here are some great travel photography tips to help create that ideal image.



That said, now a few words about protecting your camera. Theft is rife in the dodgy areas of our world (and the not so dodgy too!), however you would be amiss if you thought packing your camera in your suitcase was completely safe. Make sure to carry your camera and accessories with you onboard your airplane with you. This should protect it from theft and damage to a greater extent. Don’t flash it about in “dodgy” areas, you may find yourself a target. Overall, insure, insure, insure. Travel Insurance is vital, with the added extras clause ticked and serial numbers documented. We would hate for you to have all those lovely shots held in your camera and to have it whipped away from you the day you are coming home.


Memory, Batteries and Backups

Nothing worse than a beeping camera to tell you there is no memory left.

Oh no, you should have bought that extra memory card and battery out with you today. When you think you are covered, slip an extra battery or memory card in your pocket anyway, believe me it will be required when you least expect it.

And I cannot stress enough the importance of backing up. You could use Cloud technology, or you may even want to carry a small hard drive with you to load up. Move your prized images to another device, that way they are secure, you can transfer the images anywhere you need them plus you have all that lovely memory back again.

Learn how to improve contrast, sharpen image elements, soften color tones, reduce highlights, boost shadows, minimize sensor noise, and adjust exposure levels (without going overboard) using the software.



Ask yourself, what are your key points and where do you place them within the frame? The Rule of Thirds is one of the most basic understandings when creating a more balanced photocomposition. Essentially split the image into three imaginary areas both horizontally and vertically. These will help to frame the most important parts of your image in a way that is most pleasing to the eye.



By experimenting with your camera you get to know its abilities (and you’re your own!).

Try differently angled shots of the same element. Standing straight on, kneeling, from an elevated height or get right down and shoot upwards from the ground.

Different distances will also change your perspective of a composition. Panoramas, wide angled shots are very different from the more mid-range “generic” shots most people take. And then there is the up close and personal framing that will give you a more in-depth look at part of a building or landscape,or the intricacies of a face – just pay attention to where the shadows are and your source of light, it makes all the difference.

Use your Rule of Thirds to create a pleasing composition – experiment with this too.

What does it look like if you sit the main element to the right, or left? Does it create more interest? Or do you prefer dead centre? It’s your personal preference, so go for it. After all, if you are not happy with it, delete and try again. And again, until you get it just right.



Walking up to someone and asking to take their picture can be difficult in Australia, let alone a foreign country.

It’s natural to be nervous, after all they are simply living their lives and you are virtually invading their space. Will they say no or get offended? Will they understand you?

If you want to take a portrait, especially if they are going to be up close and personal, get to know the person a little first. Basically, touch base and start with “Hello”.

Chat a few minutes before asking to take their photo – compliment them on something, buy a souvenir from them, ask directions etc. Once you have a line of communication open, asking to take their picture is a lot less intrusive. You may even make a lifelong friend too!

Just remember, not everyone will say yes. Some people will say no. Others will see the opportunity to make some money. Don’t stress if the answer is no, there is always another opportunity around the next corner! And… some people will be just fine with you taking a pic.

Plus, it’s always a good idea to learn the phrase for “Can I take your/your child’s photo?”, “Thank you” and “No problem”. It always pays to be polite.


Waiting for the ‘Soul’ of an Image

Photography is about seeing what’s right in front of you. Yet, it’s not just about framing the perfect composition or getting the lighting spot on, although both are important too, your photo should have soul. Use your eyes to see, but attune your emotions, heart and mind to the soul of the image.

Before you press the shutter, take time to slow down and feel. Pay attention to your surroundings, community, culture, even the weather. Be prepared to wait out the weather or light (your research will come in handy here), sit ready for a truck or person to move into or out of frame, have an idea in mind as you look for the face in the crowd that shows the emotion you are trying to capture. Most professional photographers understand they need to have extreme patience and are prepared to wait for that one single moment so they can reap the rewards of a fabulous photo.

Take the time, and look for the soul of the image.

Every destination is different, and every portrait is unique. What are you waiting for? Grab your camera and let’s start! Need some ideas for iconic destinations? Speak with an Accor Cruise and Travel Solutions Specialist at AU: 1800 70 80 90 or NZ: 0800 45 19 97.

To plan your next holiday escape visit