Remember when you used to have to be super selective about the photos you took, because you only had a 12 photo roll in your camera? And you knew you’d need to pay to have it developed and printed later so you wanted to make each picture count? I can hardly remember those days either. Now, I can easily shoot a thousand pictures on a weekend away between my camera and my iPhone! I mean, that’s too many pictures, but it’s better than wasting a whole printed photo on your boyfriend’s hand in front of the lens, right?
Travelling and photography go hand-in-hand and whether we want to admit it or not, modern travellers all secretly like to return home with our Instagram feeds looking at least a little like a travel catalogue. Whether you’re a budding travel blogger or just a regular girl with a vested interest in your Instagram aesthetic, you want to take – and be in – nice pictures when you travel. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Do I travel just to take pictures? Of course not. But I do consider photography my hobby and passion. I love being inspired by new places and colours and architecture and landscapes. And I love sharing my pictures on Instagram, along with a travel story, or a helpful travel tip!
How to find the most Instagram-worthy spots when you travel
It’s certainly not worth just visiting a new destination to hit up the most photogenic spots before moving on, but planning your trip around a few beautiful highlights will help you save time doubling back to see things you missed or worse – getting home to find you missed some of the most beautiful sights while you were there! Here’s how I plan my trips when I’m looking for the prettiest places to photograph.
1 Use Instagram’s Location Tags
When I’m planning my itinerary, I will normally go to Instagram and search for my destination’s location tag and look for inspo for some beautiful and photogenic spots. First I’ll search the city, like “Paris” and save any images that inspire me. Then I’ll narrow it down to specific landmarks like “Eiffel Tower” and save any photos that were taken at a unique angle, or at a specific time of day. In Iceland for instance, this trick helped me find some “secret” natural hot springs that we would have driven right past otherwise!
2 Run a Google Image Search
I’ll also run a quick Google image search, as the top landmarks and monuments normally come up right at the top of search results. These are normally professional pictures, so it helps me with figuring out which light to shoot in – does it look prettier at sunrise or sunset?
3 Book a Tour with a Local
The best way to find hidden locations or secret spots anywhere around the world is by booking an experience with a local. Who knows a place better than the people who live there, right? I love Airbnb Experiences, which lists experiences for just about every interest. Whether you’re keen on hiking or cooking lessons, architecture or surfing – there’s a local who can show you the best spot for it.
4 Book a Photo Tour on Airbnb Experiences
I love booking a photo tour when I’m visiting a new destination – especially when I’m travelling solo. There are loads and loads of photography experiences on Airbnb, so I normally look for someone who has a similar aesthetic to mine, and then either leave the locations up to them, or ask for a specific location if there’s something I particularly want to see. Personally, I like to be in some of my travel photos. I feel like I can find pictures of the Eiffel Tower on the internet, but a picture of me with the Eiffel Tower? That’s a once-in-a-lifetime picture I can look at in years to come and remember how it felt to be there.
5 Read Local Blogs to Find Tips
I love reading blogs written by locals to find recommendations on everything from a destination’s hidden gems to the best rooftop bars in a new city. Before I went to Bangkok for instance, I spent hours on Bangkok Glutton, looking for the best places to find Pad Thai and other local treats. Of course, as a blogger myself, this tip might be biased. But I really do a lot of blog research before I travel, to find tips, guides and suggestions.