7 Top Tips for How to Take Epic Travel Photos
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7 Top Tips for How to Take Epic Travel Photos

Are you prepared to capture unforgettable moments during your student travel program? You won’t necessarily know exactly when those “wow” moments will happen, but it helps to be prepared. Of course it’s important to be present and enjoy yourself without having to record or photograph every second on your cell phone.

Pyramids in Mexico on a Gross Family vacation.

However, there’s always moments and things that must be captured with a photo. Rustic Alum and budding photographer, Jonah Gross shares his top tips for the best travel photography.

Jonah on his way to our Sacred Valley Service Service Program in Peru.

Before we delve into Jonah’s photo tips, here’s a bit more about his photography journey. Jonah’s family traveled quite extensively, and his mom never failed to bring a camera. Jonah’s brothers also liked to capture special moments as a way to remember every unique experience on each trip. Jonah’s earliest memories of photography were on a trip to Israel when he was about 5 years old. Jonah, now 16, still has vivid memories of holding a camera and attempting to take photos at such a young age.

Yosemite National Park

It’s never too early to start documenting your life’s special moments. Here are Jonah’s 7 top tips for taking epic photos:

  1. Don’t be intimidated by the gear –  Don’t stress or get overwhelmed by the camera, lenses, or photo settings. You don’t need to have everything figured out right away. Start on the auto settings until you’re comfortable going into manual mode.
  2. Photography is for everyone – Anyone can learn to take photos well. With the vast amount of tutorials on YouTube, it’s easier to learn photography than ever before. It’s also a good life skill to have.
  3. Learn everything about your camera – Even if you take photos on auto mode, eventually it’s best to learn all the manual settings and practice.
  4. Always be prepared – Have your camera at the ready! You never know when you’ll get the perfect opportunity to capture that once-in-a-lifetime moment! Having your camera nearby, with a fully charged battery, and an SD card is key.

    Artisan weaving colorful yarn in Peru.

  5. Every moment has value – Be aware of the little moments. Sometimes it’s those seemingly insignificant moments that lead to the best photos. Also if a moment is special for you, even if it appears unimportant, capture it. Some of the best photos are not epic sunsets or sweeping landscapes. Sometimes it’s the little things, like the way a light comes through a kitchen window.
  6. Use the equipment you have – Perhaps you don’t have a fancy dSLR with all the lenses, but if you have a cellphone, you’re able to take some great photos! Cell phones have come a long way, and learning all the features of your cell phone camera will help improve your photography.
  7. Keep learning – Even if you just have a cell phone to use, there are tutorials for how to take the best photos with your phone camera and tips for how to edit those pictures.

    Hike in the Andes during the Sacred Valley Service Program.

We hope these tips have been helpful. There are many fantastic moments to capture during your student travel program, and with practice, you too can take epic photos!

See our interview with Jonah below. He shares more tips and the story behind some of his best photographs and memories from Peru.

If you’re interested in taking photos around the world, then check out our youth travel programs.

About the Author

Janette Daneshmand