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Aug 19, 2020

5 Tips for Better Travel Photos

Point, click, shoot!

Whether you’re packing a fancy camera and lenses or doing your best iPhoneography, taking pictures is an exceptionally fun way of documenting your travels. Isn’t it rewarding to look back and reminisce on that hilarious moment your kid had at the zoo or that delicious meal you had after an afternoon on the lake? The best part is, those memories are yours and no matter your skill level, you’ll always have them (so long as you remember to back them up on your computer). If you’re looking to improve the quality of your snapshots, we’ve compiled a few simple tips that are easy for anyone to implement. Make sure to tag us when you post them so we can see, too!

Get up early

Adventure Road Scissortail Park

Scissortail Park


If you want your photos to be kissed with that soft morning glow, you can’t give in to the snooze button. No filter or photo editing will give you the same result as an Oklahoma sunrise. Not only is it worth it for the quality of your photos, but we’ve never experienced a sunrise that wasn’t short of magical. For you night owls, that sentiment may only be true after a cup or two of coffee – nothing wrong with doing so with a great view! Getting up early also means you won’t have quite as many other people around to photobomb your perfect shot.

Scout locations beforehand

Adventure Road Lake Thunderbird State Park

Lake Thunderbird State Park


Before you go, research the destination using the AdventureRoad.com and geotags on social media to find the perfect photo op spots. Exploring the location and finding cool spots to shoot is part of the fun, but a little research beforehand will go a long way and give direction to your adventure. To start you off, check out our Top 10 Photo Ops Spots blog.

Rule of Thirds

Adventure Road Plenty Mercantile

Plenty Mercantile


Many phone cameras have the option (in Settings) to enable a grid that divides the screen into thirds, both horizontally and vertically to resemble a Tic-Tac-Toe board. The idea behind this is to position the main focal element of the photo you’re trying to take within two-thirds of that grid, often along the intersection of those dividing lines. Placing your subject in the top, bottom, left or right squares of the grid and avoiding the center will heighten the appeal of your photo. Play around with composition by finding interesting elements to capture in the foreground, middleground and background. Keeping your camera level seems like a no-brainer, but hey, we all slip! This is an easy adjustment to make after the fact with your phone’s built-in editor, and it will make a big difference.

Pack a travel tripod

Adventure Road Lake Texoma State Park

Lake Texoma State Park


This one’s for those of you who are feeling a bit more committed to improving your photography. But, to really elevate your travel photography, ditch the selfie stick and invest in a lightweight travel tripod. It can be affordable and fold up into itself so it’s easy to carry around on your adventure. You can always balance your phone against a wall, table, rock, etc. to prevent a blurry group photo, but we think a tripod will come in handy more times than not.

Be patient

Adventure Road Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge

Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge


Most of the best moments caught on camera weren’t planned. Especially when shooting wildlife, it’s important to take your time and wait for the perfect moment to present itself. Occasionally, that moment is while you’re driving. As long as you can pull over safely, we’re big fans of taking full advantage of a photo op moment mid-road trip. Those pictures will only have better memories attached to them! Being hasty with your photography will be evident later on.

Want more inspiration for photography on Adventure Road? Check out our ready-made Shutterbug Adventure filled with destinations that are perfect for your next photoshoot.

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