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26 Sept 2022

Here’s how to take the best Instagram travel photos this summer

Here’s how to take the best Instagram travel photos this summer

There’s nothing quite like a folder of gorgeous, sunny and exciting holiday photos – and that is what our Instagram accounts have really become.

So, if you are off on holiday soon, or simply have some fun days out and park trips planned and you’re keen to get some cracking snaps to document the adventure, read on. We asked influencers and photographers for their top tips on how to take the best Instagram travel photos this summer…

Don’t overthink it

Social media can come with a heap of pressure to make everything look ‘perfect’. According to influencer and blogger Charlotte Emily Price, who takes most of her own body-positive social media content (@charlotteemilyprice), it might be best not to overthink it.

“As long as you’re happy with the photo, then post it,” says Price. “Don’t stress about anything being Instagram-worthy because it’s usually all enhanced in some way or takes a lot of time. I think the worthiness of a picture is all perspective based.”

So first and foremost, post the snaps you want to share and which make you happy!

What story does the picture tell?

Olga Chagunava – traveller, photographer, and the creative mind behind @liolaliola on Instagram – believes that the story within a photo is what’s most crucial.

“When the picture tells a story, evokes emotions and transports you to a different space and time, that makes an Instagram-worthy travel picture,” she says.


Use a cracking editing software to enhance your images

There’s no rule to say you have to edit your photos. But it might be fun to play around and get creative, if it’s something that appeals. And if there are a few little bits of colour and lighting that don’t look right, they are reasonably easy to fix these days.

Price uses Lightroom to enhance her photos. “I never distort my images, but I’ll colour enhance to brighten, create contrast, or colour correct. This way you can brighten up the blues of the skies, and swap the grey tones to blue tones.”

Step out of the sunlight

Price explains that good lighting is vital. “Sometimes if it’s too sunny, your pictures will become overexposed. I’d say take shots in the shade, because the lighting will still be amazing but without the obnoxious sunlight,” she suggests. “You can also reduce the brightness and exposure after you’ve snapped the pics too, on Lightroom or most free photo-editing apps.”

And don’t be dismayed if it’s a bit cloudy, as bright sunshine isn’t always the best backdrop. “Dark clouds and skies often create ideal weather conditions to take beautiful images. The light isn’t as harsh, meaning you have a good chance to have a well-balanced picture, with depth and good contrast,” says Chagunava. “My advice would be to try to shift all the attention from the skies to other objects and focus on capturing details.

“This can be anything – unique architecture, a cute house façade, a bench in the park, or simply a cup of coffee or a book on the table. The devil is in a detail.”

Go for the golden hour

Equally, different times of day will create more exciting and beautiful shots. Photographers often rave about golden hour light – and for good reason.

“Try to avoid shooting in the afternoon, when the light is sharp. It’s always worth waking up early in the morning and photographing the location during golden hour,” adds Chagunava.

“Not only you will be able to take beautiful pictures with soft light and pastel colours, but you will also be able to escape the crowds and get that postcard-like perfect photo. Alternatively, try to shoot in a shade or through objects that help to defuse light – for example, trees if you are outside, or curtains if you are at home.”

Use a tripod to get everyone in the shot

It can be tricky to get a good group picture with everyone in it on holiday. The answer? Tripods.

“I always bring a mini gorilla pod or tripod with me, and a phone attachment. Whack the timer on, attach the gorilla pod to a tree or post or railing, and you’ll get that perfect group shot,” says Price. “The 0.5x lens on the iPhone is amazing too if there’s a big group of you, and you still want to get a portrait shot rather than landscape.”

For a less staged photo, don’t tell everyone how many shots are being taken.

“Try to act natural, as if there’s no photographer in front of you. I always try to incorporate action – I ask my clients to chat, laugh, move, walk and play while a photo is being taken. Take as many images as possible,” says Chagunava.

All about angles


Since most holiday photos will be taken on a phone these days, it’s important to angle the phone right to get a really pretty shot. Don’t be afraid to play around – you can always delete things that don’t work.

“For portrait shots, I love a low angle with 0.5x lens on an iPhone; I find it captures the most of your location and I personally just prefer any people travel shots from that lower shot,” says Price.

“For landscape, I only tend to take photos like this if it’s of a sunset or photo without people in. I take these shots at shoulder height and tilt forwards or backwards, depending on my positioning to the scene I want to take a photo of.”

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