5 Little Tricks To Make Your Smartphone Travel Photos Look Beautiful

5 Little Tricks To Make Your Smartphone Travel Photos Look Beautiful

Every single day, we carry around the most incredible piece of technology – and we so often overlook its power. I’m talking about our smartphones! In my opinion, the pocket sized device that we stow away in our bags and purses is often overlooked in terms of its photographic power. As a gal on the go, why not learn how to use it creatively, and to its highest capabilities? Today, I’m sharing five little tricks to make your smartphone travel photos look absolutely stunning.


Look for natural surroundings that frame the subject (you or something that should draw the attention of the viewer) effortlessly. If you find arches that symmetrically line up, maybe place your subject in the middle. Or, see if there are any natural foliage that might surround and draw focus to the center of your photo. With some experimentation, your eye will naturally get better at recognizing excellent framing opportunities!

Here are some perspectives/framing options to seek out:

Straight Lines

Look for straight horizontal/vertical lines in architecture and your surroundings. Be sure to keep them straight and watch out for warped lines!


For this perspective, you want to keep your camera exactly center on the subject, and make the space same on either side. You’ll find that symmetry pop up in unexpected places and can really make a photo pop!

Negative Space

What’s negative space? Put simply – its the empty space around your subject that gives a wider view. This can be done by adding distance between the camera and the subject, keeping the area around the subject simple or surrounded by a neutral color.

Rule Of Thirds

It sounds fancy, but trust us… it’s simple and really works! If you haven’t heard of this technique, you want to imagine that there are three evenly spaced lines dividing your photo horizontally and vertically. Wherever the lines intersect is the most pleasing to the eye.


Natural light is the bread and butter of excellent photos, no matter if you’re shooting on a fancy DSLR or your smartphone!

No matter where you are, look for how the natural light changes throughout the day. And always take advantage of sunlight – NOT artificial light. If you’re indoors, try to shoot near the window. When outside, shoot in shade during the midday, harsh shadows.

Sunrise and sunset are dreamy lighting conditions (called golden hour) and often result in less tourist-packed photographs. So take advantage of that time! Setting your alarm early could result in the best photographs you could ever have planned.

Shoot In Portrait

For Instagram purposes, remember to always shoot in Portrait (taller, rather than wider). Your photos will fill up more of the app’s space and will force the viewers to really take in your stunning photo! Plus, it allows you to fill in the frame with as much beauty as you possibly can.

Use The Grid

Most smartphones have the capability to turn on grid lines. So why use them? Turning on your grid lines allows you to frame your subject and lets you know if you’re off center or need to line up your shot better. Simply, put, it’s the quickest and easiest way to see if your perspective is skewed or off.

Play With Texture & Movement

The small, beautiful details of a place can bring your smartphone travel photos to life. So, remember, travel photography doesn’t always have to be sweeping vistas and epic landscape shots. Don’t forget to document the details that are nuanced and stunning!

Some ideas of texture and movement are:

  • Texture of walls
  • Detailed floors and tiles
  • Street art, graffiti and murals
  • Fruits and marketplace items
  • A bustling piazza with blurred locals
  • Pops of color that are truly stunning
  • Swishing of a skirt or dress
  • Hair blowing in the breeze

We have soooo many other tips and tricks for capturing beautifully stunning smartphone travel photos! What else would you like to know?

If you want to take your travel photos to the next level – check out our e-course! We’re spilling all our secrets there. From how we shoot, our go to apps and editing tools and how we find unique locations around the world!

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  • Reply Andreia Esteves February 15, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Ashleen February 16, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing these tips! Photography is pretty intimidating to me, but being able to take good photos on a phone makes it seem a lot more do-able!

  • Reply Sarah February 17, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Love all the tips! So so useful! 💕

  • Reply Noemi February 24, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Love the article. I use only phone camera for all my travels…it is always there…it is fast and no extra weight.
    I adjust the intensity of the colors with Snapseed app in case I feel the picture is not bringing out the exact same colors as I saw when taking it.
    The tips shared are to the point!

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