We often talk about using beautiful imagery of your tours or travel products to promote them across your marketing channels. So, we decided it was time to share some travel photography tips that will help you shoot amazing images suited to this purpose.
Photos (and videos) give life to your tour listing in a way that the description cant. The description is vital, yes, as travelers will want to know everything about your offering. But, it can’t inspire emotion in people the way that photos and videos do, and that is why it is so important to use the best imagery to market your tours.
From the preparation phase to where, how, and who, then ending in what to do with the final product, here are our tips on how to take amazing photos of your tours.
Travel Photography Tips For Amazing Tour Marketing Photos
Preparing Your Camera
Getting to know your camera and its functions beforehand will ensure that you don’t miss out on the money shots when they happen.
Spend a bit of time running through the settings to figure out what will work best for different types of pictures. Keep in mind that you will need to know how to shoot in various light conditions, capture movement, and depending on your subjects’ proximity, take clear photos from a distance.
The distance you are shooting over will also determine the zoom capabilities you need from your lens. These days it is possible to buy lenses and tripods for smartphones so you can get away with using yours for close-ups. However, a DSLR camera will get better results for those longer shots.
Before you go on the tour, give your lenses a quick brush to remove any dirt. Then pack all your gear (including back up batteries and extra memory) into a padded, waterproof bag that will keep everything dry and protected while you are on the move.
Determining The ‘Who’
Naturally, you want to capture authentic images of travelers having the time of their lives on your tour. It goes without saying then that the best way to do this is to join one of the tours.
Check beforehand that your clients are comfortable with featuring in your promotional materials. Perhaps offer an incentive, such as a discounted or free tour in the future, to reward them and secure their repeat business.
Alternatively, bring your friends and family in to try out the tour and feature in the marketing content.
Capturing The Tour
As it is your tour, you know where the best spots are to capture the money shots. One of the best travel photography tips we can pass on here is to photograph moments that tell a story. Move with your clients throughout their tour, and capture the moments filled with meaning.
Remember that the tour isn’t only about the landscapes. It is about making new friends along the way or learning something new. It is the buzz that everyone feels when they arrive at a momentous point of the journey. It is the culture, the people, the clothes, the food, the animals, the experience as a whole.
Now, lighting impacts how images turn out. Professional travel photography tips tell you that the best time to take photos is around sunrise and sunset when the light is not too harsh.
Of course, tours don’t always take place during those times though. If you are guiding throughout the day, position the sun behind you and your subject in front of you. When the sun is at its peak, you could consider using the time to capture the indoor scenes that matter.
A Tripod Is Your Friend
This sentiment applies even if you are using a smartphone to capture the tour images. A tripod stabilizes your camera and prevents photos from coming out blurry due to shaking. This is especially important for long-distance shots when you have to zoom in, or in low light conditions.
Avoid Using Digital Zoom
If you are using a point and shoot or smartphone to take images, instead of zooming in rather get closer to your subject.
These devices typically rely on digital zoom to bring the subject closer. What digital zoom does is magnifies and crops a portion of an image. Through this process, you lose image resolution and get more noise in the picture, thereby reducing the quality of it.
Remember The Rule Of Thirds
The rule of thirds is one of the most useful techniques and travel photography tips to pay attention to. It provides balance in image composition and makes the photo more visually appealing.
Most cameras and phones automatically overlay the grids for you – simply place your subject where the lines intersect then snap the photo.
Experiment With Focus
When taking photos, play with various depth of fields by blurring the background or foreground. Focus on a single subject and soften its surroundings. This will turn the focus to the point you want people to see.
Provide Context For Size Scale
To provide size context to vast landscapes, travel photography tips say you should place an object in the foreground. For example, to highlight the length of a winding mountain road, capture people walking along it. Their ant-like appearance on the horizon will put into perspective just how long the road is.
Find New Ways To Depict Images
Travel is about having fun and breaking boundaries. You can do this in your tour images to give them a creative edge that captures travelers’ imaginations.
Highlight movement in images, freeze a moment by using a fast shutter speed and blurring the background. Shoot reflections in water, glass, or sunglasses and lead the traveler down railway tracks or forest paths into the distance.
Ultimately you want to recreate the sense of adventure that anyone signing up for your tour can expect to experience.
Using Your Images To Promote Your Tours
Now that you have an inspiring set of images taken using our travel photography tips, it is time to put them to use.
After any necessary editing, load the photos onto your website with the appropriate alt tag.
Also, share the content on your social media channels and tag clients who appear in them. Encourage those tagged to share the images with their friends and family to drum up interest in your tours. Amazing imagery showing happy travelers on an inspiring journey is one of the best marketing tools for your travel business.