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  • Writer's pictureRachel Z

Tips for Getting Beautiful Photos While Traveling

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

With travel almost completely back to normal again, adventure certainly awaits those who are looking to adventure again. One of the best things you can do during your next trip is document it through some amazing photos. That is why with me Rachel from Rachel Z Photography, your San Francisco, California photography guide, I wanted to showcase some top tips for getting beautiful photos while traveling.

Find Your Priorities

What is the purpose of your trip? Are you going on the road trip specifically for photography? Is it a family vacation and you’re just hoping to get some wonderful photos to remember the trip?

It’s important to recognize your priorities. If you’re traveling with family, photography is probably not your key priority, and that’s ok. The priorities of your trip will determine how you plan and how you spend your time.


With your priorities in mind, plan your trip ahead of time. If photography is just something you are hoping to do along the way, your destinations and timing will probably be dictated by things other than what’s ideal for your photography. But if photography is the primary goal of the trip, plan to be at the right places at the right time. Think especially about sunsets and sunrises, and try to be at the most important locations along your journey at the times of the day that are likely to produce the best lighting for photos.


Although planning is important, you’ll also want to leave some room for flexibility. A big part of the appeal of a road trip is that you’ll come across some things that are unexpected. Allow yourself the flexibility to see and pursue the things that interest you along the way.

One of the main reasons to take a road trip is that you’ll have a lot more control over your schedule when you’re traveling by car. If you’re traveling by plane, you’ll need to be at the airport at a specific time. Your flight will arrive at your destination at a certain time (and delays are outside of your control). With a road trip, you have much more flexibility. Embrace that flexibility.

Take in Your Journey

Don’t plan your schedule so tight that you have to rush from one location to the next. Plan it so that you can take your time and enjoy the journey. If you see something interesting, pull over and photograph it. This could include scenic views along the road, attractions and points of interest that you weren’t aware of, or anything else that you come across. A road trip is all about the journey, so be sure to enjoy it.

Find Scenic Routes

If you want to get the best photos from your road trip, be sure to take some scenic roads. Interstates and other major highways will not provide the best views and photo opportunities. Other roads may be slower to drive, but you’ll have more photo opportunities along the way.

Many areas have roads that are well known as being scenic drives. With a bit of research prior to the trip, you can find the most scenic roads and plan out your path accordingly. You could even choose your trip specifically to drive along the most scenic roads.

Always Be Prepared

Always have your camera somewhere accessible, because you never know when you’ll come across a wonderful photo opportunity. Don’t pack up your gear and head from one major point of interest to the next without looking for photo opportunities along the way.

About Rachel Z Photography

I’m a 29-year-old San Francisco-based photographer, activist, tattoo enthusiast, and guardian of 2 lovely rescued birds. I adore doing portrait photography for others, whether that’s indoors or outdoors, covered in flowers and nature or covered in fake blood. My goal with my photography is to empower you by taking the essence of who you are and turning it into works of art. I want to hear what YOUR ideas are and help make them into a reality. I want you to feel powerful. I want you to feel beautiful. I want you to feel confident, because we all deserve that.

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