I hate to admit it- but one of the things I love about traveling is the montage of pictures that make it back home with me. Flipping through them later, the nostalgia always melts my heart; reminders that we can belong to a place we’ve never visited before, even if only momentarily.
Instagram has made travel pictures an art form, with everyone striving to create a beautiful news feed to show off tales of their explorations through images rather than words. Since a picture’s worth a thousand words anyway, here’s your guide to achieving Instagram-worthy holiday snaps:
1. Get the right frame:
While most of us agree that it’s the natural asymmetry in a landscape- the wild flowers, rocks strewn about disorderly, snow scattered on mountain peaks- that makes it so beautiful, capturing that beauty sometimes requires an order to the chaos. When taking a picture of yourself in a vast landscape, position yourself closer to the edges instead of standing right in the centre. I usually follow this rule when there’s a single object or a building (or even the sun) in the picture. If there’s a building in the picture make sure either its completely in the frame or is proportionally cut out. Make use of corners, benches and edges to plonk yourself there and become a part of the prop!
It doesn’t have to be a sunset in the hills or the quintessential beach picture. Fancy walls, arches and colourful doors sometimes become the perfect backdrops for full-length pictures.
3. You don’t always have to look at the camera:
I love getting pictures clicked with my back to the camera or with a side angle that gets the view and the background at the same time. These are big on Instagram as well.
4. Get creative with props:
You don’t have to carry funky hats and fancy shoes- just regular dressing used interestingly could give you the perfect picture. If you’re camera shy you could use hats to cover your face partially. Shoes make for great props in pictures when you’re at a height and the view is visible under your feet (from mountain tops or skyscrapers with glass floors). You could also use cocktails and food to curate fun pictures that depict the cuisine of the place you’re visiting.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask strangers to click your pictures: This doubles up as an ice breaker to get a conversation going with fellow travellers and locals. You could also offer to take pictures for other people and request them to return the favour once you’ve clicked their picture. This usually always works and a positive exchange with a stranger has a way of making solo travel seem less daunting.
6. Let it be as natural as possible:
Bad news for the posers, no doubt. But travel pictures are different from #OOTD pictures and fashion posts. You’re not required to pose as much. In fact, great pictures usually come when you pose the least. It’s important to loosen up though and have fun with the camera!
7. Pick natural lighting:
Early morning light and evening light (sunrise and sunset) is the best for pictures. The light orange hue gives the landscape and object a glow that is otherwise difficult to obtain when the sun is directly overhead. NeverÂ shoot against the light- always face the source of light.
8. Editing apps I use:
I usually manage most of my editing with Snapseed, Instagram and VSCO- all on my phone. When I’m on the move it’s usually difficult to carry a laptop all the time. VSCO is a reliable and handy replacement for Lightroom, with its own set of free and purchasable presents.
9. Give it a colour pop:
Some prefer darker pictures to add character to outdoor themes, but I prefer colourful pictures with bright colours to add a rich tone of happiness and sunshine. Since holidays are all about the merrymaking, be as vibrant and buoyant with your pictures as you please!
Author: Nikita Butalia
Nikita Butalia is the founder/editor of Stumbling Around Delhi. A 20-something travel blogger who shows off her experiences in witty and informal blog posts based on luxury weekend getaways around Delhi, short trips around the country and solo travel experiences abroad. She dreams of checking the entire world off her bucket list, Antarctica being at the top of that list!