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5 Tips For Taking Great Travel Photos With Your Phone

5 Tips For Taking Great Travel Photos With Your Phone - The Adventre Found Me

Photos are an important part of any blogger’s work. Together with the articles we write, they are our portfolio and sometimes, good photos make a good article. Would you prefer a very detailed post with no photos in it, or a good one with 4-5 photos to help you understand what the author is talking about?

First of all: I don’t claim to be the best photographer around but if you follow my Instagram (@chiara.cisario) you might have noticed an improvement with time, and that, is because I learned how to take photos. Many times in the comments I’ve been complimented for my shots, so I though about sharing how I take them with you. Here I gathered all the tips that helped me to improve.

We sometimes believe that, to take a good shot, we need a professional camera. Personally I can’t afford one and I also feel like it’s unpractical to go around with a heavy camera. When I travel I like to pack light, so I turned to another method… my iPhone.

Now let’s get into the 5 tips I could think of on how to take better photos with your phone!

1. Basic Understanding of the Rules of Photography

santorini oia sunset

The real rule of photography is that there are no rules. However, there are some guidelines that could be applied in any situation to take better shots. Better lighting for example, helps you draw more attention to your subject. Once you familiarize with these guidelines, you’ll be amazed by how good your photos will be.

Rule of Thirds

First important ‘rule’. Divide in you mind the image in 9 parts, with 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. This rule says that you should place the key elements of the photos along those lines or where they intersect.

This will add a certain balance to the photo. Also, some cameras and phones offer the option to visualize the grid, helping you out.

Balancing Elements

If you follow the rule of thirds, positioning your main subject off-centre, it can create a void that alters the balance of your photos. To avoid this, balance your subject by including another object, less important, that will fill the empty space.

Symmetry and Patterns

Our eye is always looking for symmetry or patterns. We are drawn to them, so trying to reproduce one can make a very interesting photos. Another great way to use them is to break them, by introducing a focal point.


I used to snap photos at any time of the day but if you aim to get better shots, you need to understand how lighting works a bit. For example, avoid outdoor shots at noon because the light is too bright.

Favour instead the early morning or late afternoon. Night shots can usually be taken any time but if it’s too dark, you’ll have to edit the photos.

If the shot is too bright, HDR mode is your savior. It basically gives you more detail and better lighting; also you’ll have 2 photos to choose from.

2. Don’t Use Zoom

turin Chiars Cisario The Adventure Found Me

Never zoom with an iPhone (or with any phone for the matter), take this as a rule. The best way to zoom is by using you feet. Get closer to the subject to focus on it better. You’ll have noticed that the more you zoom with the phone, the more the quality of your photo decreases. So it’s best if you just walk closer, or zoom on the photo later with some editing programs.

3. Phone Camera Modes To Use


Your iPhone Camera has a few modes you may not know about. For instance, if you tap the screen, you can focus on something, and once you are in focus, you can slide and adjust the brightness.

Another mode is Panorama mode (PANO on your iPhone), it’ll let you take a full view like the one with the sunset above.

If you want to get an action shot, then the burst mode is what you are looking for. Also, try using the time-lapse and slo-mo modes if you have an iPhone for different shots.

4. Take a lot of Photos

the adventure found me burst Chiara Cisario

Don’t wait forever just to take that one perfect shot. The best thing that you could do is to take A LOT of photo from different angles. Later, you can pick the one that you prefer, and you might be surprised by which one will be your favorite. For moving images you can use the burst mode, like I’ve done for the photo above. This mode let you take many photos in succession at once.

If you have a full storage on you phone, upload your old photos on a hard drive and delete them from you device. I know that it might be difficult, but at least you’ll have more space available to take new ones. 😉

5. Editing With Your Phone


All of my Instagram photos are edited with my phone for a matter of time and convenience. I don’t like Instagram filters, so I always prefer using apps. There are a few that you pick from, but my favorite one is Snapseed. It’s free and very simple to use. If you want to know how I edit my photo, check out my post here! Other awesome editing apps are VSCO and After Light.

The trick to know if you are just wasting your time editing a photo or not is to look at the time. The longer it takes the worse your shot is. I suggest you not to spend more than 5 minutes editing, otherwise, the photo is just not good enough and you are wasting your time.

And…we are done with the list! All of this tips are not absolute and they shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Remember, photography should be fun and there’s no need to ruin it with rules. If you find a great composition that goes against these tips, then take the shot anyway. But usually they can prove useful and it’s worth considering them at least.

Now go and try get that perfect shot and upload it on Instagram with the hashtag #theadventurefoundme I look forward to check all of you works 🙂 Good luck! If you liked this and found it useful, feel free to share it, that always makes me happy!

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21 Comments on "5 Tips For Taking Great Travel Photos With Your Phone"

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Rosi C.

Great tips. I learned the don’t zoom one last year. for the most part, i use them all 🙂

Natasha Botkin

Gorgeous photos, and great tips. Xoxo

Melissa B

Thanks. I definitely learned something here. The intersecting points is something I can definitely visualize and use for next time.

Fábio Inácio

Great tips, I am photographer and to be honest don’t use that much the phone but when it happens I always use the instagram to edit pictures ahaha, will try the Snapseed app to see how is 🙂

Luis Ch

Great tips, and great photos!


Love the photos! Thanks for the tips! 🙂

Danijela WorldGlimpses
Danijela WorldGlimpses

You have some nice tips here for people who mostly shoot with their phones. And you are so right, it is essential to have nice photos, even though not that perfect, professional ones – it makes the story “alive”. Thanks!


I need to get a new phone so I can get some better shots with it. It has limited memory so I can’t download editing apps but looking forward to doing this when I get a new phone. Some great tips and I look forward to trying them.

Swayam Tiwari

I use Samsung phone camera for taking photos but I like your tutorial. Next time I shall take your lessons seriously while shooting photos..


Those are great tips! I dont use my phone a lot when I travel but sometimes I have no choice and iPhone is my only option. I am gonna use your tips next time ! Thank you for sharing !


Great tips. I recently ordered some cheap lenses for my iPhone and was shocked at how much they enhanced my picture taking ability; primarily the wide angle lens. I love using Snapseed to edit my photos as well.


I just recently discovered how versatile my iPhone can be when taking photos. Looking forward to learn more! Thanks for sharing your tips!


This is some really good advice. I’m just starting out in my blogging career and need to make my pictures pop more. Thanks for sharing your insight.

Amrita Sen

Thanks for the tips. I am really clueless when I have to take photographs with my phone. Your tips will help me.. 🙂


Great tips. Phone photography has come so far. It really is amazing.


Really important tips and use most of them and take some good photos. Are all the photos here clicked by your phone? if yes than its awesome.


Such super tips here! Especially don’t use zoom and take lots of pictures! I’ve actually lost count of the amount of times I’ve lost a bloody fantastic shot by zooming in. I should have just walked a little bit closer. Never mind, now I know! 😀

Doctor Anni

I try to use the rule of thirds often and my pictures do look more interesting. Thanks for all the great tips!

Ferna Mae Fernandez

This is exactly what I need as well. I have been lurking my phone and experimenting at the same time. I do not have a camera with me as well and I am thinking so many ways on how to get a good shot from my phone. You are an angel for sharing this one to us. Kudos to you!

Stephanie | Adventures in Aussieland

Love these tips! I try to stick to the 5 min editing rule as well. If it takes too long to edit, it just wasn’t a good enough photo and I need to find a different one.