Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Thu October 08 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | October 8, 2015 9:00 PM ET

    11 Top Tips For Inspiring Travel Instagram Photos

    11 Top Tips For Inspiring Travel Instagram Photos

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

    If there is one social network that trumps all for inspiring travel and wanderlust, it’s got to be Instagram. We have a hard time scrolling through our feed without it sparking our already out-of-control wanderlust. But Instagram is not only a great tool to inspire your next trip, it’s also the perfect place to instantly keep up with friends and family while you're abroad. In order to accurately portray your incredible travels, here are few of our top tips for creating impactful images on Instagram.

    Rule Of Thirds

    Rule Of Thirds

    To make your photos more eye-catching, we recommend using a technique called the Rule of Thirds. It means that you take an interesting foreground subject or the horizon and put it on one of the lines that divides the frame into thirds. So instead of putting your sunset right smack dab in the middle of your frame, try moving it slightly down and to the side to create a more visually appealing image. Your phone has a grid display that can easily help guide you on where these imaginary lines are.

    Change Perspective

    Instagram Picture Tips

    While your selfies may be fun for you, mix it up and try facing away from the camera. Excluding the face allows the viewer to literally picture themselves in your shoes. You can include your whole body or maybe just a portion of it in the frame to achieve this effect. Your phone’s timer feature can be a great help here. Think images like showing your feet walking along a path or your entire body from a bird’s eye view.

    Find A Gorgeous Scene


    Everyone loves a great view, and Instagram is no different. Hike a summit, drive a scenic highway, or have your cameraphone handy during takeoff (in airplane mode, of course). Whatever it takes to capture that brilliant scene. Alternatively, get down and dirty and try taking a photo right at ground level. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

    Use Leading Lines

    Leading Lines Instagram

    Use leading lines to create more interesting photographs. A hiking trail leading off into the woods, the precarious cliffs of Santorini, or the gentle bend of a beachfront boardwalk are all great ways to add depth to your photo and make it more fun to look at.

    Dawn And Dusk

    Sunset Photos

    The midday sun is bright and harsh for even the most powerful cameras. Take your Instagram photographs closer to dawn and dusk when the lighting is more favorable and color saturation is at its peak. If you do find yourself with an epic photographic opportunity during midday, try using the built-in HDR function to balance the whites and darks of your image.

    Take Your Photos With Your Phone Horizontal

    To maximize the landscape you can fit in your photo, you should be taking your photos with your phone held horizontally. What's even better is that Instagram has recently released an update that allows you to upload landscape-oriented photographs! This update means your photos no longer need to be cropped to fit inside a square.

    Volume Button Shutter Release

    Tapping the screen isn't the only way to snap a photo. Pushing on the screen causes the phone to move slightly, which can blur your images. Use the volume button on the side of the phone (or even better use a headset) as a shutter release to minimize shaking and get crystal clear photos every time.


    It may seem counterintuitive, but your flash can actually help you during the day. Use your flash when photographing people in daylight when they have shadows on their faces so they don't turn out too dark.

    Keep Your Lens Clean

    Clean Your Lens

    Another simple way to keep your photos amazing is to remember to wipe your lens clean before you shoot. Our phones are typically hanging out on dusty tables or in our lint-filled pockets which degrades the quality of your images.


    Finally, don’t forget about editing your photos. This could be an entire post in and of itself, but know that Instagram has powerful editing features built directly into the platform. A few seconds to take out shadows or bump up contrast can make all the difference.

    Have Fun

    Above all else, have fun! Don’t let capturing the perfect Instagram photo take away from the joy of traveling. It’s easy to forget about why we’re traveling in the first place if we’re glued to our iPhone and other devices the entire time. Put down the phone on occasion and soak in the brilliance all around you while you can.

    Do you update your Instagram while traveling? What tips do you have?


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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