How to Take Powerful Travel Photos

Learn how to take powerful travel photos that will inspire you for years to come.
Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

How to Take Powerful Travel Photos

Having the chance to travel is exhilarating, mind-opening, and fun. Traveling gives people a chance to respect other cultures, rediscover the timeless beauty of nature, and remind themselves why photography is an irreplaceable form of art.

If your short-term plans involve traveling, you might feel intimidated by the seemingly endless photo opportunities you’ll be faced with in a new country. This may be particularly overwhelming for photographers who are fascinated by details of all shapes and sizes. How can one possibly document every marvelous sight within a short period of time? Impossible!

Warm sun photo of girl on mountain
Sun-Drenched (Warm & Sunny)

Fortunately, this is very possible. Travel photographers from all over the world have experienced these emotions and found ways to defeat them. Professional travel photographers not only shoot everything beautifully, but create powerful images worth sharing. They also find the time to truly relish moments of pure inspiration and gratitude. Believe it or not, you’re capable of doing this, too!

In this article, you’ll learn how to take powerful travel photos that will inspire you for years to come. Whether you’re driving to another state or flying to a completely different part of the world, these pieces of advice will keep you focused, thankful, and grounded.

(Every photo in this article was edited using Inspire™ Photoshop Actions by MCP™. To find out which action was used to enhance every image, refer to the photo descriptions.) 

Enchanted Rainforest Photo
Enchanted Rainforest (Lush Color)


Showing locals that you took the time to learn their language will encourage them to respect your interests. In their eyes, you will no longer be a tourist simply looking for a pretty scene to photograph.

If you speak the same language, embrace deeper connections. Ask locals about the area, why they like it, what traditions stand out, and what locations they’d recommend to you. Gentle curiosity will put you and any other person on the same platform – on that platform, you’ll discover touching stories, make new friends, and photograph the power of genuine connections.

Georgia Peach (Peachy Tones) photo
Georgia Peach (Peachy Tones)

Let the World Come to You

It’s easy to feel anxious about your next best shot. Let that go. The things that really matter – the ones you are meant to photograph – will inevitably come to you during your trip. Let them do that by taking walks, appreciating your surroundings, and being right here, right now. If you’re traveling with someone, enrich this exercise by being present for them. It’s in calm moments of familial love that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

Brilliant B&W Base and Chic
Brilliant B&W Base and Chic

Appreciate Both Details and the Big Picture

Photograph the seemingly insignificant and the large. Both will tell meaningful stories about the locations you visit. Most importantly, they’ll reflect your outlook on the world. Every photo you take shapes your style, so embrace details that others overlook and appreciate ones they don’t. Regardless of an attraction’s popularity, your photographs will always have something new to say about it.

Appreciate Both Details and the Big Picture
Maplewood (Warm Brown Tones)

Be Present

Children are a joy to photograph, both at home and in foreign countries, because of their pure curiosity. By soaking up moments, they learn more about the world and find things worth loving fully. Like them, you can absorb your trip to have a gratifying and creatively fulfilling experience.

You won’t miss a single moment if you remain present. Once you get to know a person or a place, you’ll know when to document their story. Photographing all the time, though tempting, won’t provide you with the most authentic results. Take the time to put your camera down, absorb what’s around you, and enjoy the priceless lessons that traveling generously provides.

At the end of your trip you’ll have a brand new set of powerful images, outstanding ideas, and invaluable lessons. You will have built valuable friendships and found memories worth treasuring. You’ll look back on your adventures and see not just an enthusiastic photographer, but a fulfilled, empowered, and renewed version of yourself. And that, dear reader, is more powerful than any image will ever be.

Children are a joy to photograph
Sweet Dreams (Blue & Peach Tones) and Vitality (Subtle Color Pop)

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How to Take Powerful Travel Photos