A travel photographer reveals how to get the best photos while traveling

hybrid travel photographer and photo editor who has dozens of cross country road trips and travels under her belt, documented for the likes of Esquire, Budget Travel, and Hemispheres. Professing that she’s always had the travel bug, she’s rarely not on the road, as summers see her teaching National Geographic’s Student Expedition courses, which have taken her and her pupils to far flung locales like Paris, Barcelona, Costa Rica, and next month, Australia.

BUSINESS INSIDER: What’s the most important aspect of travel photography, as opposed to regular photography?

WHITNEY TRESSEL: It’s about visually showing a sense of place. That can be literally taken as landscapes or architecture, but it can also mean the people there, or the different cultural traditions, or the different ways of life. Or sometimes it’s the similarities. Sometimes you think you’re going to a place that is so different, and you realize how similar it actually is.

BI: How do you feel about selfies and hot dog legs?

WT: I mean I do ’em, but I don’t like it if your whole feed is filled with them. As a travel photographer, you are the vehicle for the experience. You’re the storyteller of the scene — the documentarian, the deliverer! And most of the time you’re telling something else’s story, even on vacation. Whether it be through a portrait of a person, a view of a place, a detail of a subject, it’s not just about you — cue the selfie —  but it’s about your travels. Try making it less about you, and more about what you’re surrounded by, and see what happens.

This photo is an example of the rule of thirds: he’s centered, but we’re drawn to his eyes and face in the top third of the frame.

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