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15 photography tips to take your travel photos to the next level

Meet Narelle; travel-writer, mother and photographer. Learn how she made a career out of her wanderings and her top 15 photography tips.

I’m a travel-writing mum of three with a passion for photography and a relentless inclination to wander. However this wasn’t always the case – my photography journey only began 2-3 years ago when I travelled to New York with my family, using Instagram as a place to document the wanderings of myself and my youngest child, Tiah. Over time, more and more people started engaging with my photos and loved seeing the raw emotion captured; I love trying to tell a story through an image. My Instagram account, A Little At Large, has since grown to just over 19,000 followers! Following this, I created a blog site, in hope that by sharing a little bit about what I know, plus some of the tips, tricks and occasional trip-up along the way – it may just inspire people to travel more too or start their own memory collecting journey.

As my Instagram community is continually growing, I am always connecting with so many women like myself, who share common interests and passions. This connectedness sparked myself and a tribe of other travel mummas to team together and create a combined Instagram account, Travel Mums. Having a following of over 19,000 people, Travel Mums hopes to inspire and encourage fellow mums to travel and experience new places with their children. To be featured on the page, use #wearetravelmums on your photos.

My sweetest travel companion is my youngest daughter, Tiah. She is a free-spirited, adventure loving, six-year-old who is often the one seeking out our new experiences and eager to learn new things. It’s so easy to capture beautiful photos of Tiah and our adventures as she isn’t afraid to stand in front of the camera, however, I love moments over poses, so I encourage her to do what she does naturally and I move around to capture her without even knowing, most of the time. I also find talking her through what she is doing encourages her engagement with the camera as to her – it is just me. She loves showing me things and glows when she is proud and if I can catch that emotion in a picture, it usually turns out as a favourite.

After experimenting with photography, and what works best for me, here’s a list of my top 15 photography tips: 

1. Invest in decent equipment 

I would be lost without my Sony A711 and multi-functional 24-70mm F2.8 lens.

2. Get yourself a GoPro

they are fun, easy to use and virtually indestructible. Oh – and did I mention? Waterproof!

I was going back through my photos looking at the pictures I'd taken of myself and Tiah with various turtles when it dawned on me that no selfie in the world could or should compare to the solo magnificence of this creature. I know we humans have an overwhelming urge to claim or prove we were there (me included) but I've realised that from afar is a much more beautiful place to be. . . . . . . #exploreaustralia #australia_shotz #ig_australia #discoveraustralia #australia_oz #wow_australia #hello_bluey #seeaustralia #ig_discover_australia #wow_australia2017 #focusaustralia #cruising_australia #wanderlustaustralia #wanderaustralia #gobewander #followthevista #findyourtruenorth #wanderlust2017 #travelaustralia #thisisqueensland #ig_down_under #loveaustralia #great_captures_australia #earthpics #beautifuldestinations #mytinyatlas #wildernessculture

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3. Do some online photography tutorials 

There are heaps that explain all the features of the camera you have chosen and how to work with the settings.

4. Just go shoot

I am self-taught and started dabbling with decent equipment about 2 years ago. Persistence and practice are what takes your photography game to the next level.

5. Study the light

I am always looking at the way light plays on surfaces, the shadows it is casting and when an epic sunrise or sunset is about to erupt. Being nimble and having your equipment with you at all times ensures every moment you stumble upon can be savoured.

6. Know what style suits your ability 

I am a beach-tographer mostly. I love the open space, the light and the way the water creates texture and reflections. Letting yourself specialise in a certain genre is a good way to get your work noticed (if you want that) and also, gives a consistent feel to what you are producing for yourself or for others to share.

7. Do not be afraid to try new things

I google a particular topic – like night photography, study the settings and then just get out there and have a go. I have surprised myself at times by getting something quite easily that I thought would be incredibly hard. Overcome your fear and just do it!

8. Do not be too hard on yourself 

Light is a difficult thing to master, and perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Some of my fav photos are blurred or very different to what I had anticipated, but I love being surprised when I get home and have a look at how things have turned out.

9. Find a muse

My daughter does not even know I take as many photos of her as I do but I love catching her in her little moments just being a kid, exploring her world and wearing her joy on the outside.

10. Shoot in manual

It sounds like a daunting step, but once you know how to adjust the light and focus in your camera, a whole new world of possibilities will open up to you and your work will go next level. In saying this, do not be put off if it gets worse before it gets better, just keep plugging along and you will get it. I did, which proves anyone can!

11. Shoot in raw 

Especially if you want to create lasting memories on canvases.

12. Get on Instagram

Follow accounts that are doing the kind of work you aspire to create. Inspiration is everything.

13. Make friends with photographers 

I am fortunate to have a job that connects me with all sorts of people, but the photographers I have met in particular have really helped me to fine-tune my own work.

14. Join an instameet

Get to know your local community through a shared passion for photography. Some of the people I was fortunate to meet have become really good friends and I always have someone to go out and shoot with when I am home.

15. Share your work 

I started out posting to Instagram as a way of keeping a journal of my kids’ adventures and now it has turned into a secondary career. I also love giving my photos as presents to my family and friends too – it makes them feel like they are a part of it too.

*GIVEAWAY* Are you a keepsaker? I have Tiah’s first pair of tiny crochet thongs (thanks mum!), Baylee’s first swimsuit and a shell Riley found for me over 18 years ago. I have boxes for each of my kids filled with all sorts of treasure, but until recently only had my photos stored on my computer and phone. Is this you too? Soooo I partnered with @snapfishaunz and turned some of these memories into precious art that now fills our home with moments that make us smile (and me a little mIsty) BUT this is not about me – I know many of you would love to do this too – so I am giving you the chance to win two of your own special canvas prints valued at $160. And it is really simple to win. . . *LIKE this post and follow my page. . . *FOLLOW @Snapfishaunz . . *Comment on this post what picture you would turn into a keepsake (i.e kids in Italy). . . *TAG as many friends as you like for bonus entries. . * Winner will be drawn and announced on my stories on March 28, 2018. . . Important stuff… * Winner wins 2 classic canvases for their photos (30X60cm and 30cmX30cm) * Prize value: $160 * T&C’s are shown as as link in my bio ???? * Competiton is in no way affiliated or endorsed by Instagram Good luck everyone! . . . . . . . . #lifewellcaptured #celebrate_childhood #kindredmemories #treasuringlittlememories #inbeautyandchaos #kids_of_our_world #ig_kids #documentyourdays #igw_kids #shared_joy #clickinmoms #mybeautifulmess #beautifulmatters #prize #win #spons #art #photography #memoriestolastalifetime #keepsake #goodluck #snapfishaunz

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P.S I am running an Instagram competition in conjunction with Snapfish. You can enter here.

Happy photographing!

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