girl doing cartwheels in front of Salt Lake City Temple
Picture by me with a tripod and basic lighting knowledge

Imagine you’re traveling to one of your bucketlist destinations, so excited to snap some Instagram worthy pics. Only to get back to your hotel and notice that none of your pics came out too good. Lucky for you I have some easy tips to help you start taking better pictures TODAY!

I am by no means a professional photographer… except for some classes back in the day. Most of these tips come from a LOT of trial and error, as well as tips professionals have shared with me over the years. Also, if you want my 5 tips to be more comfortable in front of a camera click HERE

Golden Hour

Whether your snapping pics with your camera phone or digital cameral, no matter the quality, bad lighting can ruin a picture. It can easily blow out a picture, giving off a fare or hazy appearance. In case you haven’t heard, taking pics at “golden Hour” will give you some of the best lighting making it look a little more professional. Golden Hour is around sunrise or sunset, and it gives such a soft pretty glow to skin and pics.

GIrl with a hat sits in Hot spring bathtub during sunset at Mystic Hot springs in Monroe Utah
Shot during Golden Hour, without any editing.

Shady Lady

A super easy tip if your taking pics when the sun is really harsh and getting into your lens, is to simply cover your lens, whether it be with your hand or a cover. This will instantly keep your photos from looking blown out. So easy to do but not something everyone thinks to do.

I took This pic in direct harsh light and its so over exposed you cant see any details, if my lens had been covered this wouldn’t of been so bad.

Me and my shadow

Another great tip for getting better pictures is to have your subject face their shadow. So whether your taking a cute pic of your sweetie or kids or bestie make sure the sun is behind them.

here I’m facing my shadow and the sun is behind me, so no blown out or over exposed parts. This was taken with just a phone camera.

Get down

Now this tip can be tricky if you’re a 5’1 shorty like me, but by shooting down you will also reduce how much light gets into the lens. This is also one of the more flattering angles if you’re shooting a pic with a subject in it. It elongates the jaw and eliminates shadows around the eyes.

great example of shooting down. no double chin here lol


One of the things that has saved my life while traveling is having my handy tripod that I got for around $10 bucks! It was one of the best things I’ve purchased lately. I can throw it in my bag and whip it out easily to get great steady photos. If you’re shooting with your Phone, investing in a selfie stick for $5 is another great gadget. When I’ve been alone traveling I’ve gotten some amazing photos by keeping my camera still with a tripod.

Here’s a great option that does it all and is better then mine!

Hopefully these tips encourage you to get out and start taking more pictures of your travels. Please share any pics this post helped inspired and I love to freature them here and on my Instagram. Also if you haven’t seen my presets for Lightroom to up your picture editing game check them out HERE. Much love, Chels!

**This page contains affiliate links, I may make a small profit for them. however; this doesn’t cost you any extra money

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