How To Be Your Own Travel Photographer

Hey, guys! When we were looking into where we wanted to honeymoon, Jules and I considered three main elements: romance, adventure, and photography. We wanted to see exquisite things and capture them beautifully as keepsakes we could always treasure. Photography was, is, and always will be a big part of our plans. It brings us joy and personal fulfillment, and I’d even go so far as to call it a type of therapy for me.

When it comes to photos of me and my wife, I don’t want to look back 20 years from now at selfies of us from every place we ever visited. Selfies serve a purpose and I’m not opposed to them, but you can only get so much of the story from them. You don’t get to capture an entire scene — most of the time they look like they could have been taken anywhere.

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Additionally, my favorite style of photography is capturing the things we do together. I love photographing my beautiful wife, but I also love photos of us together on our adventures. For our honeymoon, I wanted us to be able to be the subjects of our photos while still enjoying a private beach, just the two of us.

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I always tell Julianne we need a key photo. Whenever we are at a really cool site I’m always looking for the key photo I’ll be most proud of — you know, that one that will definitely go in a frame. My goal is never to leave with a thousand shots but rather the one winner where you look at it and you think, “Whoa! We really captured that moment beautifully.” My key shot from our honeymoon was definitely the one of Julianne and me in the field looking at the elephant.

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If you’re looking to up your photo game, I’d start with these two items:

1. Travel Tripod
I suggest something light and sleek, so you can take it everywhere and travel simply. There are many brands to check out, however I went with a Gitzo tripod. It’s high quality, sturdy, and travels extremely well. (not sponsored)

2. Remote Trigger
These are great because you can snap your photos right from your hand when you’re ready rather than rely on a timer. Some cameras connect to your smart phone, which was an awesome solution for us when our remote broke mid-trip. This app also allowed us to view the photo from where we stood to see if we need to re-shoot.

Packing a tripod and remote trigger was the best decision we could have made. Rather than asking someone to take a photo of us and hope they have a good eye, we were able to set up the shot where we wanted it, frame it the way we believed would be best, and feel great about the memories we could celebrate forever.

You certainly don’t need a pro camera to take quality photos — it’s more about having a good eye and considering how your shot is set up. Know where the light is and understand what direction will best compliment your shot. I always say shoot less and take time to set up the proper shot. Quality over quantity. Make it your goal to shoot something not everyone has seen before.

To me, photography is so great in the unexpected moments when you’re traveling. It gives you something to do in between the big moments, when you’re waiting for a plane or a ride, or when you’re awake before the other person. These are the times I like to get creative and see what I can do or what I can capture in that moment. The challenge of finding specific photo opportunities and attaching a certain message of empowerment, love, or inspiration.

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Comments 8

  1. My tip:
    – Do not pose for 99% of the time.
    Have some delicious spontaneous photos instead of /everything/ perfectly posed and placed.

    Love the photos you shared.

  2. Hi Brooks (and Jules!), Any tips for how to carry gear around with you? Sometimes, the camera, the many lenses, the tripod, the iPhone, etc. all of it becomes heavy and a burden. How do you decide what to bring with you and what to leave?

  3. Really like this advice Brooks and I want to look into that remote and travel tripod. I think those would be super beneficial since I love great key shots too from a trip (and sometimes you’re at the mercy of a stranger walking by and then I don’t get the shot I really wanted). Keep up these photography posts!!! Simply Enjoying!!! 👍🏻👍🏻 Troy

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