I am made of photography,stories from the road and a good dose of passion. I am Ophélie, French-born traveler always on the go. My travel photography blog is about my travel experiences, tips and my addiction for adventure. To help you explore countries on your own… as an independent and curious traveller.
Written by Ophelie
Published 16th January 20
Will take 6mn to read
If I tell you that there are some stunning photo spots on this Earth which are perfect to learn travel photo by yourself? Will you believe me?
Beginning in travel photography doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. Amazing Instagrammable nature destinations easy to photograph are out there, also for newbie photographers like us.
Where to go to learn travel photo yourself? I’ve tested myself some cool photography trip ideas in the past two years as beginner in travel photography. Let’s check them out!
Photography spots for beginners
5 inspiring places to get cool travel photos
Save it to keep it!
How to choose the best photo spots? 4 quick tips for beginner
I’m not telling you to go to the obvious touristy spots where everyone goes to take thousands of selfies. That’s boring. However, there is no need to add difficulties when you’re a beginner. Choose photo destinations away from the crowd but still reachable by car, public transport or easy hiking.
2. Acceptable weather and light conditions
Even if we all have nature photo destinations like Iceland in mind, I wouldn’t recommend it for a first photo trip. Heavy rain or extremely windy photo locations have light conditions which can be very difficult to master. As beginner photographer, it’s important to feel in confidence and to see progresses. Shoot first within good light conditions and bearable weather. You’ll have more chances to get nice photos to put on Instagram or your photo portfolio, and to keep motivated. This article about natural light in photography gives simple useful tips for beginners.
3. Locations full of diversity
When you start out as travel photographer, it can be tough to choose one single discipline. Landscape, people, wildlife … Pick up the best photo spots where you’ll have the occasion to test your skills on different types of travel photography subjects. To help you, there is a cool photo location scouting website to check out.
4. Inspiring photography destinations!
This one is definitely my top tip, no matter if you are beginner photographer or already experimented. You have to feel emotions to take the best photographs. You’ll find in this simple but complete article on how to find inspirational places.
So, you know what kind of places are best to shoot as newbie photographer. Great. It’s now time to book your flight to some very cool and unique photo spots I list below!
In Photography, your best tool is your passion.
But you can also start with this travel photo gear List – for beginner photographers…
Where to get cool Instagramable photos - 5 unusual photography trip ideas for beginner
5. West Coast, Australia
Why to go there
The bright sides
Turquoise waters, empty wild beaches, kangaroos… and you. Does that sound as a good plan? If you answer yes, Australia’s West Coast is one of the top spots you want to head to with the camera. As beginner travel photographer, you’ll get amazed by the incredibly photogenic sky and landscapes. As cool Instagram travel pics, it’s a good bet. Perfect for capturing Nature photographs, you’ll love being often the only one at the photo spots along the coast.
The down sides
Downsides in West Australian paradise? Without a car, you won’t get far! Be also prepared to drive very long distances to reach the isolated but amazing beaches. The wind can be pretty strong in the Southern part of the coast. And it’s definitely one of the most expensive photography trip ideas of the list, along with New Zealand.
4. Koh Rong islands, Cambodia
Why as photography trip idea
The big plus
In a totally different style, I take you now to one of the ever best photography trip ideas I’ve had… and it’s also a party heaven – factor which contributed greatly to my enthusiasm for Koh Rong. It’s a human sized playground for beginner photographers. An authentic tropical scenery suitable to nature photography, but also a bubbling island life to practice portrait. You feel part of a community, which allows you to take photos of everything and everyone with very little restrictions. You’ll find there sunny weather mostly, soft pastel colours and diffuse light to capture. Most photo spots are accessible on the island by foot or by boat for remote beaches.
Downsides to Koh Rong as cool photography spot? Don’t see any, really…
Curiosity makes the awesome traveler you are.
Check out other travel and photo blog posts!
3. Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Kassie, Pakse - Laos
Why to go there
If it was not because of the bad roads, I would put Laos on the top of the best photography trip ideas’ list for beginners. Laos has been for me the big surprise of my Asian travels – for the travellers and locals I met there. And above all, for the scenery. The whole country is covered by absolutely stunning landscapes – mysterious jungles, mountains and cristalline rivers. Avatar, does it say something to you? Well, Laos reminds of the surrealistic landscapes in this movie.
Why should you learn travel photography in Laos, as beginner? It’s the most untouched and authentic country you can see across South East Asia. Landscapes are easy to photograph. I found there photography spots suitable to all type of photography – landscape, portrait, macro and street photo.
The less awesome aspects
But… yes, there is a but. Going on a photo trip in Laos is… sporty – especially if you’re not 1) a fearless motorbike reader (special thought to my travel mate, who was one of them) 2) a top-end level Pictionary player. Explanation: bad roads, English not well spread, photo spots difficult to access with public transport or by car. Laos is still undeveloped, in spite of slowly increasing tourism. That said, if you’re looking for inspiring and uncommon photography spots to go to, Laos is one of the best photography trip ideas you can get. You’ll just a bit of need courage to brave these little obstacles!
2. North Island, New Zealand
Why as photography spot for beginner
The cool stuff
The number 2 photo destination on this list is… the island at one end of the world.
New Zealand has got a special place on my photography trip ideas checklist for beginners, because it’s precisely the place where I found in love with travel photography. And there is a good reason for that. It was ridiculously easy to get already impressive photographs with little photography skills. I had only a Sony compact camera and I got photos I still see as some of my top images in Nature photography. New Zealand is probably one of the most beloved photo spots for landscape photographers, no matter the level. Volcanos, pristine lakes, tropical forest… it’s so easy to get lost with the camera.
There are very good reasons to visit North Island in New Zealand, linking a road trip to travel photo. It’s a safe and uncrowded country, with more sheep than human beings, and that’s not an euphemism. Renting a vehicle is your best bet but there are also a quite good network of busses between iconic landmarks. The budget is comparable to the one for a photo trip in Australia. However, hitchhiking is well spread. There are affordable hostels for travel photographers on a budget.
Not that cool
A photo trip in New Zealand as beginner photographer will have the same downsides than in Australia. The cost of a photo road trip over there is obviously high. Second, the weather between Mai and November is rainy, snowy … and freezing! Be also prepared to do quite a lot of hiking to go to the best photo places. New Zealand shares something with Laos and Cambodia – roads, even if good, are twisty and going up and down in the mountains. You’ll have fun if you like driving like a pilot of rally… and less if your stomach is sensible!
1. Lanzarote, Gran Canarias, Spain
Why to go there
And if we go now to the moon? No panic, it’s a cheaper and a more secure option than jumping onto a rocket. You just have to head to this Spanish island near the African West Coast – Lanzarote. It’s my top destination for beginner photographers on the photography trip ideas checklist. Also my latest solo photo trip, my mind and my camera are actually still on the volcanic and lunar Lanzarote. Why should you choose Lanzarote as solo photo trip for beginner? This photography spot is completely suitable to a quick learning curve in photography. First, it’s a small – but not boring – island, with very good road infrastructure. Within one or two weeks max, you’ll cover most of the photo places. Best is to rent a car – up to 25 euros a day. There are hotels, some surf houses (my top recommendation to meet cool surfers and relaxed travelers) and guest houses for all travel budgets. It’s safe, people are very nice, good weather doesn’t leave often the perimeter.
And of course, the landscapes… are just incredible. Black lava fields, red and golden coloured volcanos or beaches surrounded by vertiginous cliffs – each photo place has a strong identity. Plus, landscape photography is not the only highlight. Surfers on the famous Famara beach and la Santa guarantee for interesting people photography. And they are very cute, too. You just won’t feel on Earth anymore. But on a preserved piece of heaven.
Positively no downside for the top 1 photography spot for beginner photographers. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be the top 1!