professional photos
March 13, 2017 ·  3 min read

How to Get Pro Travel Photography Results With Your Smartphone

I find it extremely difficult to leave people and places I’ve built connections with while traveling. The only thing that gets me along is the fact that I can take home some travel photography to look back on.

Travel and photography go hand in hand. With the convenience of modern technology, individuals with no knowledge on how to operate a professional camera can easily master the smartphone. Here are some tricks and tips to get the best shots of your travels and spice up your social profiles.

Use a subject

travel photography

Travel photography cannot be done without humans. Landscape shots are great, but it’s better when there is a person there to act as a scale to show the vastness of the place. Even if you use just a hands or feet, it can go a long way. 



There’s something so idyllic about seeing the sky reflected in a body of water. There’s a reason why we love seeing that — our eyes are drawn to it. Reflecting off surfaces like cars, puddles, glass, mirrors and even shadows is a great way to give your photo more dimension.



Posing for pictures was so elementary school when our parents took our photos. You don’t have to look into the lens. Sometimes it’s great to shoot candids. Your subject will thank you for the kind surprise.

Keep it simple


Steve Jobs used to say, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” And he was clearly onto something. It’s okay if you don’t get the entire building in your viewfinder. Focus on the arch or a window or the tower alone. Sometimes details are more important than the bigger picture.

Landscape – never square

travel photography

Even if you want to post it on Instagram as a square photo, try your best to shoot in landscape. This way, you can always have the option to crop later.

Change up the angles


Don’t be shy about getting on your tippy toes or squatting down to catch a good shot. Angled photos automatically become more intriguing because they allow the viewer to see the world in a new way.

Explore beyond the tourist spots

travel photography

To set yourself apart from the other travel content creators, take a detour. Not only will you see more local culture, but you’ll have a unique perspective.

Do research

travel photography

I often find myself without inspiration to set up my photo so I just search the location on Google or Instagram and also see what other professional photographers are doing. I’ll try to copy some shots but use a different subject or change the angle.


travel photography

Before taking the photo, make sure you know your focus in the image. When you find it, tap it on your screen and you’ll see a small yellow box around it. This will create a focus and blur the background a little. This will really help give emphasis to your subject and enhance you travel photography.

Patterns lines curves and perspectives

travel photography

Repetitive patterns are very pleasing to the eye — they appear whenever strong graphic elements are repeated over and over again, like lines, geometric shapes, forms, and colors. These patterns can make a strong visual impact, and photographing something like a beautiful, tiled floor can be enough to create a striking image.

Follow the rule of thirds


One of the easiest and best ways to improve your mobile photos is to turn on the camera’s gridlines. The “rule of thirds” is a photographic composition principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically in 9 parts. When you place points of interest in these intersections or along the lines, your photo is more balanced and allows viewers to interact with it more naturally.

So, what are you waiting for? Get photographing!