Photography Tips and Tricks

Tips on taking interesting, Instagram-friendly pictures on holiday

With leaves – and clocks – turning, autumn is on the horizon. For some, it’s about hunkering down with hot chocolate and boxsets. For others, now’s the time for snow-clad slopes or city break strolls through fallen leaves. And as autumn takes on a #nofilter hue, it’s the perfect season for brushing up on your photography skills. Here are some tips for turning your holiday photos into memory-capturing, social media savvy snaps.



Photos that are an instant success almost always engage our sense of touch, taste, sight, smell or sound. Keep this in mind when strolling around with a camera or smartphone. Is your travel companion tucking into some delicious local food? Perhaps there’s a festival on with performers or musicians, or a city wall adorned with brilliant colours? Wherever you are – and whatever you’re doing – try to capture the atmosphere in your photos so that your audience (or followers) feel as though they’re by your side.


We’ve all been stopped in our tracks by natural beauty or gazed in awe at buildings that reach for the sky. But sometimes it can be difficult to translate what’s in front of us into a photograph. A good way to tackle this is by asking your vacation buddy to get in on the action. Including them, or even people passing by, can lend your photograph a sense of scale and help convey the emotion of the moment.


You don’t need to veer too far off the beaten track to get the picture no-one else has thought of.  Rather than filling your Instagram feed with endless sunsets, keep an eye out for things that create a unique sense of place or action. Everyone else going to the city’s most famous cathedral? Then head down quieter, less crowded streets. While some sights can’t be missed, taking yourself in an unexpected direction can lead to something more real, gritty or unusually eye-catching.



Noel Coward famously said that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. It’s certainly a time of day that most photographers avoid. Whether the weather is hot or not, the bright glare of noon definitely isn’t your camera’s best friend. Play it safe and snap away in the early morning, or during the ‘golden hour’ just before sunset.


Whether you’ve got a prized SLR or simple smartphone, make sure you’re ready to take a photo at any time. A moment is just that – fleeting, and then… gone. Remember, you can fiddle around with editing and filters later. Saying that, at times it pays to be patient. Finding a spot or a scene – particularly with a big crowd, or where something exciting is happening – is a great way to evoke the atmosphere or the culture of a new place. So, indulge in some people watching – and let your pictures do the talking.


If you’re snapping for social media, keep in mind that Instagram is, above all, a visual platform. Think bright colours. Consider composition. Let the grid format of your page show off your best pictures, and make sure it’s consistent in its style and colour theme. And whether you’ve got 5 or 5,000 followers, remember to tag places and people so everyone can follow your journey as it happens.

So, with these top photography tips in the bag, the only thing left to do is pack. Once you’ve booked your luxury hotel, of course.