Why is it that two people can take a photo of the same beautiful sunset and one captures it magnificently and the other comes away with a blurry yellowy-orange circle surrounded by darkness?

If you travel a lot and post a lot about said travels on Instagram, but your photography skills have something to be desired, here are five hacks to boost your travel photo skills.

Hack #1 – Incorporate People

Even if you’re taking a landscape photo, make sure to include at least one person in the photo. Landscapes are deceptively difficult to photograph, adding a person into the photo helps to put everything in perspective. It will also allow your viewer to connect with the photo as they can imagine being there, whereas if there aren’t any people it can give a sense of it being beyond their reach.

Hack #2 – Golden Hour

The best time of day to take any type of photos is ‘golden hour’ – the first or last hours of daylight. The light is warmer and softens faces and scenery, producing a more flattering and prettier photo.

Hack #3 – Tripods With Remotes

There so many downsides to asking a stranger to take your photo – you can’t guarantee quality, language barriers, your phone might get stolen or even just that you feel uncomfortable asking.

With this in mind, a tripod and remote are essential for any travel photographer. There are mini tripods that turn into selfie sticks and have Bluetooth remotes, these kinds of products are perfect for capturing moments when you’re out and about by yourself.

Hack #4 – Capture Everyday Life

We’ve all seen plenty of posed travel photos, but including some more natural photos of your subject doing something ‘normal’ can add authenticity to your photos and they are often very interesting to look at. Things like crossing the street or browsing a market; and there are often so many things going on in the photo it makes viewers stop and take notice. Do they look at what’s going on in the photo first, or the subject’s reaction to her surroundings? It also allows the viewer to get the perspective of the subject and imagine what their daily life is like.

It can also be interesting to take photos of the locals doing something in their everyday routine, like a group of men playing checkers in the park in China. However, be sure to always ask for permission.

Hack #5 – Avoid Zooming

Unless you have an incredible professional camera, avoid using the digital zoom on your camera because it can make your photos pixelated. Uploading low-quality photos, especially within the travel photography niche on Instagram, is like lying on your death bed. No one wants to follow that account.

This means if you can’t get your shot, you have to get up and move closer! Walking closer is such a better alternative than a low-quality photo and will help you get more likes and followers on Instagram. Once you’re close enough, ensure you’re keeping the camera close to you and not stretching out your arm, as this will destabilize the photo. After walking closer you don’t want to end up with a blurry and wonky photo, do you?

Photography and traveling go well together and should be fun, don’t get too stressed if you don’t capture the perfect photo first time. Keep trying different angles and times of day to see what produces the result you are looking for. These five hacks should help you make your Instagram account successful among travel-enthusiasts and ensure you continue to get more followers on Instagram.