10 important tips for travel photographers


The buzz word on social media these days is ‘travel photography’. Colourful shots of picturesque locales stare at you, the moment you log into your social media profile. Your friends, family and acquaintances who own a DSLR become travel junkies and display a sudden love for photography. It all seems so good – travelling, experiencing a new place, telling stories through pictures – but there are things you need to take into account before you actually pack your bags and venture into the unknown.

Taken while hiking the length of New Zealand

Travelling can be long and expensive. Before you can actually venture into unknown parts of the country, make sure you plan your trip well. “Take time in choosing your destination. It’s a good practise to prepare well before you undertake your journey,” says Rajesh Kathuri, Director of Photography (DoP), and faculty at AISFM. “You don’t want to be surprised when you reach the destination. So prepare well and run a thorough background check. Recording your memories on camera is no mean feat,” he says.

ample storage

Check your memory card before you leave. “As a travel photographer the idea is to visit unexplored locations. There are chances that if you run out of memory space, the local stores might not have what you want. So check before you leave, and always be prepared,” suggests GL Vara Prasad, faculty, AISFM.

India Hornbill Festival

When visiting a new place, take time out to soak in the culture. The more you know, the better stories you can tell. “Experience the culture of the place you visit. Some of the best stories are told through pictures that capture the essence of the location. India is a culturally rich and diverse country. And each place has its own story to tell. Find that culture connect; find that story,” says Kathuri.

local connect

Make friends. Travelling to a new place comes with a lot of challenges, but the moment you befriend locals, your job gets a lot easy. “Don’t be holed up in one place or stick to what you have read during your background check. Speak to locals, befriend them. They will give you some valuable inputs and point you out to unexplored and unique locales, something you might not find in books and blogs,” says Vara Prasad.

Mingling with locals also helps you keep safe. They are the best people to tell you where to go and where not to venture.

pick season

Choose your season well. There are many places in the country that have a lot to offer during a particular season, but are grossly underrated. For example, Goa – the state boasts of lush green fields and trees that come alive during the monsoons. But people usually prefer the beaches during winter. Take a chance; choose an unconventional setting during a particular season and tell a different story.

early bird

The most important thing in photography is light – primarily sunrise and sunset. “Don’t be in bed till noon. Choose a good location, wake up early and exploit the natural light. But most importantly, be alert. You never know when you might lose the perfect light,” suggests Kathuri.


Every place features a unique character – identify that, and capture it. “People always click the Charminar and that has become a character in the Hyderabad story. But look beyond it. A cup of Irani Chai with Osmania biscuits on plate spells Hyderabad too! So identify the unique character, and click away,” says Vara Prasad.


While one might still want to go and click the important landmarks of a particular place, Vara Prasad suggests to ‘bring variation’ to the pictures. “For example, take a mandatory picture of the Charminar or the Golconda Fort. But at the same time, click the Satyam or DLF Building in HiTech City, take a picture of the Mecca Masjid or Alpha Tea outside Secunderabad station – these places are also an important part of the city’s DNA. It shows the city through a different perspective and brings variation into an otherwise boring and repetitive photo-story,” says Vara Prasad.

travel light

Travel photographer should always travel light. Invest in a good, waterproof backpack and carry clothes sufficient for your travels – not more, not less. A good pair of trekking shoes, mosquito repellent and tripod is also a must.

Zoom lens

“Never forget your zoom lens. They are a must for all travel photographers,” says Kathuri, adding, “Don’t invest in fancy lens just because everyone else is buying. It’s a complete waste of money. Buy what you need, not what’s popular.”





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