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6 Tips for Looking Your Best in Travel Photos

Written by Dave Odegard

Imagine it: You take a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit — maybe it’s a long overdue vacation maybe to a destination that’s always intrigued and excited you — and you have a great time! But then, after you arrive back home, you start looking through the photos of your travels and you look horrible in them. You can’t post any of them on social media! None of the pictures with you in them seem to match with your memories of a  fun and amazing time. You look stiff and uncomfortable, your hair’s a mess, or there’s now way to tell they were taken while traveling — they could have been photographed around the corner from your house!

If that sounds familiar, or a like travel nightmare don’t want to experience, then you need to figure out how to look your best in travel photos before your next trip. It’s not that hard, you just need to put some thought and preparation when you’re posing in front of the camera.

Wear Comfortable, Solid Colored (or Subtly Patterned) Clothing

If you’re wearing uncomfortable clothes in your photos, it will show (not to mention make you miserable during your travel adventures). While traveling, wear comfortable clothes that fit right (not too baggy or tight). Solid colors or subtle patterns work best for photos, because they don’t detract from the most important part of the shot – you.

Take a Moment to Freshen Up

Some travel photos will be impromptu (which people love), but a lot will be posed with just you, . For those planned snapshots, it’s a good idea to take a moment and make sure you don’t have anything in your teeth, perhaps blot your face, and apply a fresh coat of lip gloss before you smile for the camera. If you can duck into a bathroom, great! If not, simply checking your reflection in a car widow or using the selfie setting on your phone can a go long way from preventing a smudge of ketchup on your chin from ruining a perfectly good pic.

Use Your Surroundings

In many travel photos, you will be in beautiful or impressive places. Use your surroundings to enhance your photo. For posed photos, take a moment to figure out the best angle (taking into consideration scenery, light source, etc.). Striking a funny (yet still respectful) pose can also be a great way to get that memorable image that’ll look great on your Instagram page.

Pick Up a Prop

Having something in your hands can go a long way in making you look more comfortable. A prop can also add more character to your photograph, something unique and special from your trip that showcases what you were doing or where you were.

Stand (or Sit) Up Straight and DON’T Directly Face the Camera

Most people these days suffer from chronically poor posture (blame it on spending most of their days hunched over a computer), which means that they (probably including you) have a really hard time remembering to straighten up for photos. However, just taking the extra moment to engage your abs and roll back  you shoulders makes a world of difference. It’s also best to always stand at an angle when being photographed. It’s a pose that’s considered by most photographers to be flattered for anyone at any size.

Be in the Moment…and Let Your Face Reflect that

Have you ever noticed how the best photos are taken when you forget about looking “cool” and be yourself?  That doesn’t mean you need to put on a wide smile for every picture. A photo should help you remember how you were feeling during a particular travel experience. Before the shutter snaps, take a deep breath and allow your face to reflect whatever emotion you are feeling at that moment.

Got your own tip or trick that you’ve found to help you look your best in your travel photos? Let us know in the comments section below! 

About the author

Dave Odegard

Dave Odegard is an ex-army brat turned internet word person, whose work has been published on Maxim Online, USAToday, Buzzfeed, and more. He is currently the Senior Content Writer at Fareportal (CheapOair's parent company) and spends his free time exploring the wilds of Brooklyn, New Jersey, and Sweden.

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