Picture Great Vacations!

Check out these simple tips for taking impressive travel photos on your next trip

As a photographer who works with families celebrating significant life milestones, Dawn Aiello enjoys challenging her skills while on vacation. “It’s a fun element of travel for me. Every time I vacation, I take a different approach.”


It’s common for people to take pictures of nature or architecture. Although the sunset and horizon are blurred out in this image, it’s important to keep the horizon perfectly straight since that’s how our eyes naturally view it.


As a professional photographer, one of the fun elements of traveling for me is taking incredible images. And every time I travel, I try to explore different media to keep it exciting. I make a challenge out of it.


Sometimes capturing epic travel photos means being patient! My sister and I drove to this lake three times hunting an amazing Colorado sunrise or sunset. It didn’t work out until our last free morning, but boy was it worth it!


When you’ve chosen a subject, like the pagoda in this image, look around to see if there are any elements in the foreground (the space between you and the subject) that you can use to frame your subject. Here I chose to step further away from the pagoda and use the cherry blossoms to frame the subject in my photo. This not only makes the image more interesting, but also adds more context to the story in the image. I was lucky to be in Japan during the two weeks each year that those trees are in bloom. This extra detail identified the time of year I visited and the beauty of the grounds surrounding this pagoda.


Consider your destination and whether your equipment’s appropriate for the climate and activities you’ll be doing. This image is from a trip to the Dominican Republic. I knew we’d go catamaranning and thought it would be fun to have a waterproof camera to use while we were in the ocean. If you’re traveling to a sandy or cold destination, make sure your gear’s weather-sealed and rated for specific temperatures. It’s surprising how fast a battery can drain in colder weather!

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