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18 Travel Instagram Photo Ideas for 2024

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  • 18 Travel Instagram Photo Ideas for 2024

Instagram is one of the leading platforms for social media, and its popularity seems to be skyrocketing. Approximately 1 billion images are shared on Instagram daily. Competition is fierce, making it essential for businesses and content creators to have an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed.

This means content should be uploaded to your feed daily and is uniform across the platform. It should be added to the feed in an organized way, making it easier for visitors to see or watch all your content. Travel influencers and businesses in the industry can find it extra challenging to stand out from the crowd when it comes to creating travel content due to the highly saturated market.

Although Instagram is pushing reels, producing high-quality, curated content through picture and video format is still crucial. It can be challenging to create great content all the time, and sometimes, you need inspiration. Here are 18 great travel photo ideas for you to add to your feed.

18 Travel Instagram Photo Ideas

1. Shoot Your Model From a Lower Angle

This low angle adds a different perspective on the scenery and the model, which adds depth and interest to the photo. Playing around with the scenery and capturing various aspects of your location is easy.

For example, shooting at a low angle in the city gives a great perspective on buildings and makes them look taller. The photographer can quickly move around in the same location and capture new backgrounds, adding the number of unique photos taken (aka more content, less time used).

Travel Instagram Photo Ideas

Image via Unsplash

2. Add Movement Through Jumping or Kicking

Movement can be added to photos in many ways; some more exciting ways are by having the model jump or kick back and forth. Images with action are more appealing than traditional static photos and look aesthetically pleasing on your Instagram feed. Adding movement to your photos can help keep the viewers’ attention longer.

One of the ways to get your content on the explore page is by making your photos and videos visually appealing and engaging. Engage with the audience in the caption by asking questions that allow them to share their experience. Maybe they’ve also been to the same location? Or can help you with a recommendation by leaving a comment.

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Image via Unsplash

3. Use Bright Clothes to Add a Pop of Color

A bright and stylish leather jacket, hat, or scarf can make your travel photos pop off the screen. Basic knowledge of color theory and contrasting colors can also add visual interest. If your background is calm mountains and a green forest, wearing a red jacket can make you pop against the background.

Alternatively, an orange bikini against Caribbean blue water on the beach will also add great contrast. Knowing which colors are opposite and complementary on the color wheel can help you choose outfits when it’s time to shoot.

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Image via Unsplash

4. Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a beginner photography rule that suggests keeping your subject in the bottom or top corner of the frame. This draws the viewer’s eyes from the subject out into the background or vice versa and adds visual interest.

Once you learn and get comfortable with the rule of thirds, you can start to break the rules and get creative with your shots! Having great travel gear and learning the basics of photography can also help you up your Instagram game.

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Image via Unsplash

5. Play With Your Hands and Arms

It can be challenging to feel comfortable throwing your hands above your head in public, but once you get the hang of it and feel confident, it can be the best way to get variety in your travel photos. Try playing with different arm movements and positions to see which ones are most comfortable for you.

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Image via Unsplash

6. Cover Your Face

Covering your face with your hands or a prop is a quirky way to add visual interest to your photos. Props like fruit at a market, flowers, or a scarf can cover part of your face and create beautiful and unique images.

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Image via Unsplash

7. Use Props

Both big and small props can help your photos stand out from the rest. Something like a simple hat, a bouquet, or a water bottle can help make your photos feel more natural.

Quirky props like funny glasses or props not generally found in a specific setting are great for adding visual interest. A typewriter in a forest or a stack of books on a beach can help to showcase your creative side in your photos and help create a visual identity for yourself or your brand. Having a visual identity is essential to get more views on Instagram.

Bigger props are great if you can get your hands on them. For example, finding a boat rental in Tulum or shooting at a location with larger-than-life statues can help create a sense of awe and interest in your content.

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Image via Unsplash

8. Add People to Your Photos

Traveling with family can help create great photos for your Instagram and scrapbook at home. Family members can help add a happy and fun dynamic to your photos. Families with little kids can also add playful fun to your feed with their parent’s permission. Traveling to a kid-friendly destination can help your vacation go smoothly and keep everyone entertained and having fun.

This similar look can also be achieved when traveling with friends. Set up a camera with a tripod to help catch candid-style photos of you and your friends abroad. Candid-style photos have become increasingly popular with younger generations. This is the best way to post if that’s the demographic you’re trying to target.

You can also add people as solo travelers by shooting candid photos of markets, concerts, events, and other places with many people. When shot with a high-definition camera and edited correctly, these kinds of images stand out from the crowd.

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Image via Unsplash

9. Get Silly

Don’t be afraid to get a little silly, and let your personality shine. Climb a tree, get down on the ground, or splash in the waves to get those incredible travel photos. Not only are they truly unique to your experience in that moment, but they also help showcase your personality and make fun memories to last a lifetime.

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Image via Unsplash

10. Use a Tripod

Using a tripod when traveling alone or with friends can elevate your selfie game. We’ve all been there when you ask a stranger to take a photo of you, and it comes out terribly. Avoid that by using a tripod to take photos of yourself on your travels.

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Image via Unsplash

11. Try to Shoot During Golden Hour

The golden hour is just after the sun rises and just before the sun sets. This is when the sun isn’t as intense and won’t cast harsh shadows on your subject. This time of day also creates a soft golden glow on your photos and is the ideal lighting for photography. Head to famous landmarks like Eiffel Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge at golden hour for stunning travel photos.

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Image via Unsplash

12. Try Leading Lines

Leading lines are another photography tool widely used amongst travel influencers and content creators. Lines in the background created by roads, trees, train tracks, bridges, and more create lines that can lead to your subject. This helps to create that visual interest that we all know and love and will help your photos shine!

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Image via Unsplash

13. Try to Find Unique Locations

Finding locations for photography in specific destinations on Instagram can be effortless. Everyone seems to be in the same place, trying to get the same shot. While it’s still a good idea to see these places and get those shots, it also might be worth looking for off-the-beaten-track places as well.

These different locations can help you stand out when it comes to geotagging your destination and make it more likely for a destination marketing organization uses your photo on their profile. This will boost engagement on your profile, as these destination pages usually have thousands of followers.

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Image via thepineapplebackpacker.com

14. Add Reflections

Reflection shots are a great way to shake up the average nature portrait. Bring along a mirror as a prop, or look for a still lake or pond if you find yourself without a mirror. Additionally, you can bring a bottle of water to create your own puddle.

Bring the camera low to the ground and aim upwards to capture your whole subject. Hold the camera still and turn on burst mode to capture the best moments in one photo.

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Image via Unsplash

15. Find a Frame

Another pro photography tip is to frame your subject. This can be done by using your arms, a prop, or finding a natural frame like a window or door to shoot through. Framing your subject helps viewers focus on what is in the frame. It can make visually appealing photos when displayed in the 9×9 grid on your Instagram profile.

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Image via Unsplash

16. Mix it up

Feel free to mix up your content to help keep it fresh. If you are posting photos of yourself on your travels, try to mix in some landscapes, candid photos, portraits, animal photos, or anything interesting you find in that destination. This will help add overall visual interest to your 9×9 grid and encourage visitors to scroll further on your profile.

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Image via Unsplash

17. Research Your Destination Beforehand

Researching your destination before shooting there is always a good rule of thumb. Some religious sites and popular tourist attractions, especially those using a DSLR camera, don’t allow photography. It’s become increasingly common for places to refuse entry to those with a DSLR, drone, or tripod. Doing the research before you get there will help you prepare and get the best photos possible.

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Image via Unsplash

18. Be The First on The Scene

If you have a photography location in mind, it really helps to be the first to arrive. This ensures you have enough time to get the shots you want without being disturbed by other tourists. You can catch a golden hour and spend less time editing people out of the background in posts.

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Image via Unsplash

Competing With Reels

Unfortunately for photographers, Instagram is pushing reels to the top of explore pages and on users’ feeds more than static photos. There is still a demand for static images as it adds variety to your profile, but your photos have to compete with more visually appealing video content.

Although all of these tips can be applied to video content as well to help create more interesting shots to be used in reels. There are some specific tips that can help your photos compete with reels on the Instagram explore page.

1. Get Wordy

Using third-party editing software like Canva or Adobe, you can add text to your images that help to make the photos stand out on your feed. Instead of posting a traditional landscape shot, you can add the name of the location, vibe, or feeling you’re trying to convey in words to the image before posting.

2. Create a Reel of Photos

Of course, you should be posting trending reels, but some of those trends feature a camera roll-style reel of static photos. This is an excellent opportunity for photographers to feature their static images in reel format. Try to jump on these trends as often as possible to maximize the use of your beautiful travel photos.

3. Photo Dumps

Gen Z loves nothing more than the anti-millennial style of posting highly curated content to Instagram. If you are trying to reach and engage with a younger audience, you have to post like them. Enter the photo dump. This is essentially a carousel-style post of random and candid photos from an event or destination.

Try taking some candid and slightly blurry photos of your travels and using them for a photo dump-style post. You’ll be surprised how big of a hit these “behind the scenes” shots are and how minimal effort it is to curate them!

Final Thoughts on Travel Instagram Photo Ideas

These tips will help you level up your Instagram game and boost engagement on your profile! Photos that follow the basic rules of photography and showcase your personality and the destination will shine and give you the kind of engagement you’re looking for!

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