Kelly Ella Maz Kelly In Ibiza

Travel Photography Hacks

Paul and I are certainly not professional photographers, but the most common feedback we get from our readers is that they love the pictures on our site. Our photography “skills” are self-taught and the result of a lot of trial and error. Since I get asked about our photography on a daily basis I thought it was time to share some of our favourite travel photography hacks based on our most popular pictures!

I want to start by emphasizing that these tips are for absolutely anyone – but mostly for beginners. You don’t need an expensive camera or years of experience to master the ten different shots we’ve listed below. 

# 1- “The Spontaneous Shot”

Paul captured this picture of me in Ibiza with the camera on sports mode. This is a quick and easy way for anyone to snap a spontaneous portrait. The quick shutter allowed Paul to capture me mid-laugh with my hair blowing in the wind.

Kelly Ella Maz_Kelly in Ibiza

#2 – “The Silhouette Shot”

In order to have my body show up as a dark silhouette, and the emphasis to be on the glowing fountain, Paul turned the flash off. This trick also works in daylight when you’re sitting in a windowsill and want to capture a silhouette of your body and the view outside.

Kelly Ella Maz_Magic Fountain in Barcelona

#3 – “The Nighttime Shot”

A tripod is essential for a good nighttime shot, because there’s just no way you can hold the camera steady enough to get a crisp shot. I took this picture with the camera on a tripod and without flash.

Kelly Ella Maz_Sydney Harbour at Night

#4 – “The Selfie Shot”

To get great pictures of us when we’re travelling alone we use a tripod and the timer on our camera. In order to make sure we stay in focus one of us stands in position, while the other frames the shot and sets the timer. Our timer starts taking pictures after 10 seconds, and the camera takes a series of 5 pictures at a time. 

Kelly Ella Maz_Fiji Selfie

#5 – “The On-The-Go Selfie Shot”

When we’re using our iPhones to snap a quick selfie on-the-go we plug in our headphones and use the volume button on the cord to take the picture. This is way easier than trying to hold the phone steady and hit the capture button on the screen at the same time. One person holds the phone, and one person hits the shutter on the headphones.

Kelly Ella Maz_iPhone Selfie

#6 – “The Jump Shot”

To get a cliche jumping shot we put the camera on sports mode. Doing this means we take a lot more pictures (usually 5-6 pictures for each “jump”) but you’re almost always guaranteed to get a picture at the perfect timing – like the one below.

Top of Montserrat in Barcelona

#7 – “The Pool Reflection Shot”

To get awesome pictures of things reflecting in water play around with what level you take the picture at. For this picture of an infinity pool in Fiji I sat right down on the ground to capture the reflection of the palm trees in the water.

Kelly Ella Maz_Fiji Infinity Pool Reflection

#8 – “The Window Reflection Shot”

Paul gets all the credit for this creative shot. He used the table as a tripod to keep the camera steady, and used the no-flash mode to capture a glimpse of the Opera House outside AND the reflection of us in the window.

Kelly Ella Maz_Window Reflection at ShangriLa

#9 – “The Focused Shot”

To get a crisp picture of my glass of champagne with a slightly blurry background I put my camera in Macro mode and moved the focus directly onto the champagne glass. By altering what the camera focuses on you can dramatically change the end result.

Champagne at Sydney's Opera Bar during sunset

#10 – “The Adventure Shot”

To take this epic selfie I used a GoPro and a selfie stick. Without a remote (and with one hand hanging on tight to the cliff) I used the continuous photo mode to take a series of three pictures at once. This allowed me to push the shutter and get the camera into position. By the time the GoPro was taking the second picture I had the camera perfectly positioned to secure two great pictures.