5 Tips For Taking Influencer-Worthy Holiday Photos

Been dreaming of an Instagram feed that looks as good as a travel influencer’s? We’ve rounded up our top five tips for inspiring some serious #wanderlust in your followers, alongside some inspo snaps from some of our favourite Insta stars recent vacations. Get ready to up your holiday photo game…

1. Remember Lighting Is Key

Every avid photographer knows good lighting is key when it comes to capturing the perfect shot. Whether you’re shooting outside, inside, at night or in the day, you want to make sure you have the right lighting which works for those types of shots. Night-time shooting can prove more difficult as you’ll need to invest in a proper camera which captures night-time shots clear such as a night’s sky full of stars.

TOP TIP: Use the golden hour – aka, the most flattering time to take a photo (especially a selfie). This magical moment occurs just after sunrise and just before sunset, when the sun is highest in the sky and the light is warmer and softer.

AVOID: The glaring midday sun. Snapping photos in the harsh light zone – think between 10am and 4pm – can often lead to overexposed images. Of course, if there’s something that simply needs capturing, go ahead and shoot away, but be sure to adjust the brightness and contrast settings on the photo afterwards.

2. Know Your Focal Point

From beautiful buildings to what you had for lunch, make something the focal point of your picture by tapping it on the screen – this gets your smartphone camera to focus on a particular object, or person, for extra sharpness and increased depth and field. The closer you are to your subject, the more depth of field you’ll get when focusing – this can create an influencer-worthy blurred background, while keeping your focus point sharp.

TOP TIP: Respect the ‘rule of thirds’ – a photography guideline that helps create more balanced, visually-pleasing images (read how to do it here). Use your smartphone’s grid mode if you want to get really technical.

AVOID: Blurry photos, thanks to sun cream-covered hands. Always clean your lens before taking a photo to get the most clarity and sharpness you possibly can.

3. Nail Your Poses

Whether it’s a selfie of your sun-kissed skin, a nonchalant street style shot or glamorous pool-side snap, it’s well worth taking note of some tried-and-tested poses from our favourite Instagram stars. This is particularly true if you tend to feel awkward posing for the camera, as what may feel strange in real life – such as standing on tiptoes or arching your back – can look surprisingly natural on camera. And remember, if you’ve roped a family member, friend or partner into being your ‘Instagram husband’, prepare to return the favour (or at least bribe them to keep them sweet).

TOP TIP: To get the most out of your Instagram husband, tell them to take lots of photos continually as you move and pose differently. You’re bound to have one postable shot out of the bunch, plus this is the way the pros nail that blurred, ‘candid’ look (spoiler: it’s not candid at all).

AVOID: Expecting your Insta husband to be a mind-reader – this will only end in tears and terrible photos. Before you start shooting, show them photos you like (save a few of your favourites for reference) and explain why you like them – for example: a nice background because it’s symmetrical or capturing someone’s body at a flattering angle.

4. Pay Attention To Detail

We all know choosing the right background is vital, but don’t lose sight of the little things – it’s the details that really make an image stand out. Take inspiration from some of our favourite Insta stars and choose backdrops that complement the colours in your outfit or find inventive ways of capturing your accessories; adding an on-trend handbag to the frame can make a simple shot of your morning coffee even more #goals. Along this same line of thought, using a prop – be it a killer pair of sunglasses or a champagne glass – will add more context to an image and make it stand out more (along with helping you to feel more comfortable posing, if you’re in the shot).

TOP TIP: Aim to keep your images personal. This is especially important if there aren’t any people (yourself or others) in frame – anyone can take a photo of a major landmark or a beach-side cocktail, but only some images seem to tell a ‘story’.

AVOID: Perfection. When an image looks too staged, it can alienate people – instead, you want your followers to feel involved in what’s happening. Try actually tucking into your food and drinks before you photograph them, and getting people’s hands in-shot at the dinner table (rejoice, everyone who’s ever had to sit and wait for their companion to get the perfect snap while their food goes cold).

5. Add Some Finishing Touches

These days, a simple Valencia filter just won’t cut it. Thankfully, there are a whole host of free photo editing apps to choose from – team SL really rates Snapseed for fine-tuning and VSCO for mood-evoking filters (check out our round-up of the editing apps the style crowd are using here). And once your image is ready, don’t forget to add a location tag: not only will this increase the reach of your post, but it will likely help other holidaymakers plan their trips too.

TOP TIP: Think about your travel destination and pick a theme that suits – keeping the editing process similar for every image (the trick to a professional-looking Insta feed). Tranquil beach spots look great in dreamy, washed-out filters; while busy major cities could benefit from a bolder, more colourful approach. Minimalist snaps are pretty easy to keep cohesive, but the trick to making bright photos flow is by editing the tones – stick to either cool or warm – and finely tuning the brightness, contrast and saturation so each image is as similar as possible.

AVOID: Over-editing. Sometimes all you need is a few tiny tweaks here and there to make a photo ‘pop’. Wait until you’re indoors, or out of direct sunlight, to start editing too – this will ensure you don’t accidentally go overboard.

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily