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Travel Tips: Travel Photography – A Beginner’s Guide

Flags flying. Photo by Austin Allaire

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a thousand pictures are worth a million words. The time I have spent in Europe this summer has left me with more stories than I could ever possibly tell, which is why I am thankful for the power of photos to capture important moments and memories. While I have been taking formal classes in marketing and international business, I have, at times, felt as though I was taking a third, hands-on course in travel photography. With the increasing desire – and expectation – to document one’s experience using photos on social media platforms like Instagram, I thought I would use this post to share some of the insights I have gained over the past six weeks.

  1. Use your resources

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take amazing photographs – you just need to know how to utilize your resources. Although I carried an entry-level DSLR throughout the course of this trip, I had many friends who simply used their iPhones to snap photos along the way. Oftentimes, our photos turned out surprisingly similar due to the vast number of educational and editing resources available for free. One of my favorites is VSCO – a photo editing application that provides a number of high-quality filters that can enhance the quality of your image when used properly. Another simple tip for iPhone users is to utilize the enhance feature on Photos – this often greatly improves image clarity.

  1. Mix it up

When it comes to travel photography, variety is, indeed, the spice of life. One of my goals as I traveled was to get a variety of shots: with people and without people; portrait and landscape; up close and far away. As I traveled, I wanted my photos to be a holistic representation of this wonderful journey abroad, which is why I opted to capture many perspectives. These various perspectives, I believe, tell a more complete story than taking pictures of only architecture or only food – while both are great, they each only tell a portion of your story from afar.

  1. Get out from behind the camera

As one of the designated photographers for our group, I often found myself taking more pictures than your average student. While photography is certainly a passion of mine and I greatly enjoyed getting to take pictures for my friends, I also found it important to get out from behind the camera and live into the moment. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but an experience fully enjoyed can be worth even more. Oftentimes I would leave my camera behind in order to get the most out of an experience – be it a sunset stroll in Barcelona, a morning brunch in Munich, or a night on the town in Prague. Intentionally getting out from behind the camera allowed me to fully engage in these experiences – and many others.

Photo by Austin Allaire

When you return from your study abroad program, your camera roll is going to undoubtedly tell a story. The question is: what kind of story will it tell? By utilizing the resources available, mixing it up, and getting out from behind the camera, I believe your camera roll will tell a holistic story you will be excited to share with your friends and family – photographer or not.

About Austin Allaire

Austin Allaire – Baylor University

My name is Austin Allaire and I am a junior Accounting and International Business major with a minor in Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. This summer I will be spending five weeks studying International Business and Marketing at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. I am excited to be studying abroad with a number of my close friends, and I am even more excited about the independent travel opportunities this program provides. I hope you will join in on our journey through this blog and my Instagram (@austinallaire)


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