How to Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple

8 Best Cenotes Near Tulum - Suytun Cenote Couple Photo

Want to take better couple travel photos? These tips have massively helped my husband and I over the years when capturing our travel moments. I love being able to look back and reminisce on our adventures and have those memories to keep for years to come. In this article I’ll share with you our best tricks for taking stunning couple travel photos!

Before we jump into the tips, I did want to mention that these ideas work for various scenarios… not just couple travel photos! If you are a solo traveler you can 100% apply the same tips! These are also perfect for family photography and snapping pictures with your friends. Do whatever suits your needs!

Disclaimer: This blog post features some affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you make a purchase (at no extra cost to you). It’s one of the ways I can keep producing free guides and resources for my readers. Learn more about my affiliate policy here. Thank you for the support!

A GUIDE TO TAKING COUPLE TRAVEL PHOTOS

How To Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple - Renee Roaming - Tulum Mexico Palm Tree

Couple Travel Photos 101: Invest in a Tripod

Nearly every couple travel photo you see in this blog post has been taken with a tripod. My husband and I are often the only people around when we travel, particularly if it’s at sunrise or sunset. We simply set our tripod up at the distance and height we want to capture, attach our camera, and snap away!

Using a tripod also means you can take the exact photo you want and don’t have to rely on a stranger getting it wrong. Plus, you avoid the risk of handing your camera to someone you don’t know.

We typically use a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod with a Really Right Stuff ball head + an L bracket for ease of use. You can see an entire list of the camera gear we use to capture couple travel photos in this blog post.

 

How To Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple - Renee Roaming - Van Life

Couple Travel Photos 101: Use the Self Timer

Most cameras these days have a self timer option. We often set ours for 10 seconds and then run into the frame (with our camera already set up on our tripod). You can also ask a stranger or friend to press the button if the shot is being taken from further away (if they seem trustworthy).
Coromandel Peak New Zealand - Renee Roaming

Couple Travel Photos 101: Use an Intervalometer

We often take couple travel photos from quite far away and very quickly realized how exhausting it is running from the camera and back with a 10 second timer! A wireless remote control shutter release (also known as a remote commander) is the perfect solution. Just make sure you buy one that works with your camera brand and model! Tip: some cameras have apps that allow your phone to function as a remote, so do your research before buying anything.

Some cameras (like the one use use from Sony) have an inbuilt intervalometer, which makes taking couple travel photos SO easy! You can set it up to take photos at a certain interval (e.g. every 3 seconds) and then just pose away until you get a bunch of options. This works the best for when you need to be quite far from the camera as the remote control shutter releases often have a limited range.

Sony a7RIII Camera Body - What's In My Camera Bag - Renee Roaming

How To Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple - Renee Roaming - Sedona Cathedral Rock

Couple Travel Photos 101: Ask for Help

We don’t often ask for help but sometimes we find ourselves without a tripod and no other option. Ask someone who looks like they know how to operate a camera, explain the basics, take a photo to show them how you want the image framed, and then cross your fingers! Obviously use common sense and be careful who you give your gear to.

Better yet, travel with a photographer friend like Berty Mandagie and get killer images like the one above! 😜

How To Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple - Renee Roaming - Le Tahaa Tahiti Drone

Couple Travel Photos 101: Use a Drone

Drones can be pricey but they will take your photography and video game to the next level. When an aerial shot is taken from far away you often can’t tell the “pilot” is holding a controller. My husband and I plan to take more footage with our drone this year, including some selfies! We own the DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone and really enjoy using it.

How To Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple - Renee Roaming - Mexico Suytun Cenote

Couple Travel Photos 101: Set Up a Killer Composition

Setting up a killer composition is another key to getting couple travel photos you will be proud of. One of our top tips is to have you or your partner stand in frame while the other person sets up the shot. This will help you dial in the focus settings and make sure everything is lined in nicely. There is often lots of “move to your left, no not that much, step back” … but it’s worth it to get an amazing composition!
I have a downloadable mini guide on taking beautiful travel photos if you want more tips on composition – click here!

How To Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple - Renee Roaming - Bora Bora Tahiti

Couple Travel Photos 101: Work With the Light

Our preferred time of day to shoot is ‘golden hour’ – the hour or so just after sunrise and before sunset. Everybody and everything looks better in this soft golden light! Plus, destinations are usually much less busy at this time of day too. If you are shooting in the middle of the day then I typically find taking photos in the shade is best, but play around with angles and see how you go!

How To Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple - Renee Roaming - Canada Ice Castles

Couple Travel Photos 101: Mix Things Up

It’s nice to mix things up and have a variety of photos, especially if you are making an album and you don’t want them all to look the same. Here are some ideas for photo compositions and posing:

  • Get a candid walking or hiking shot. Set the tripod up and literally walk past to get a realistic shot of what you are doing. You can stand still and pretend walk if you want a really sharp image (e.g. in low light conditions).
  • If you hike or drive a long way for a specific view, when you first arrive you stand there and take it all in together… right? So capture that moment!
  • Get a photo of you both inside or near your accommodation. This works particularly well with camping photos as they are way more interesting with people in the shot.
  • Try different angles of the same photo. Does it look better from lower down or closer up?
  • A little cliche, but try out a #followmeto style photo (guy holds girl’s hand from behind the camera)
  • Stand next to each other a small distance apart and hold hands. You can look at the camera or at each other, or even be facing away from the camera. This pose is kind of corny but definitely a cute memory to have.
  • Be cheesy and give each other a big smooch!!

How To Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple - Renee Roaming - Finland Northern Lights Ranch

Couple Travel Photos 101: Take Your Time

My husband and I often get people stare at us, comment or ask questions when we’re taking photos. It can be embarrassing at times but I just remind myself that they are strangers and I don’t need to care what they think. People also often say things like “wow, that’s such a cool memory to have” and I couldn’t agree more! Take your time getting photos, try different angles, and review your images before heading off.

How To Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple - Renee Roaming - Washington Sky Haus

Couple Travel Photos 101: Have a Laugh!

You can 100% tell in photos if people are having a good time! My husband and I are often laughing at ourselves and enjoying our time together, which I think shows through in our captures. Try not to take yourselves too seriously and cherish the moment as best you can!
beautiful travel photos mini guide Renee Roaming

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How to Take Truly Beautiful Travel Photos As A Couple - Tulum Mexico

How to Take Stunning Travel Photos as a Couple

99 comments

  1. Renee, I just discovered you and you’re amazing! Love the couples pictures and hope to try some of these on our way through Canada. However, I would like to caution you and your readers about doing those edgy cliff photos! They are so dangerous! You just have to google the deaths caused by taking these type of pictures just this year and its been incredible! I know I sound like I’m over reacting. Actually my friend and I did those tops at the Cliffs of Moor last year in Ireland! However, after I read about the deaths (Cliffs of Moor, Grand Canyon and more) and the risks people have taken it is insane anymore to take those risks. Just to bring home the point a little more – a friends son wanted his picture (age 19) taken on a cliff. While his friend snapped it, the cliff gave way and he dropped to his death!
    Please, a picture for a second is not worth it. So many ways to take it and get a beautiful effect!
    Thanks and I will enjoy reading your blog! You have so many wonderful ideas!

  2. Thank you so much for this Renee. Your photographs are stunning. I was wondering which lens do you use while traveling.

  3. I must say really very impressive pictures. You have very good photography skills. I am the one who takes selfie all the time. But your tips are really very helpful.

  4. Thank you so much for this post, it’s so great to hear someone explain it. My husband and I have been trying to get more comfortable with the whole timer thing, but you’re correct it can be slightly embarrassing, haha (:

  5. I fell in love with your photos the moment i saw it on IG. These are amazing shots. Do you still edit everything or do you just upload it as is.

  6. That’s interesting. I have to look for a wider range remote mine is out when the camera is more than 5m away… I even never realised that “long” distance remote were available… thank you anayway it was a useful post!

  7. Hi Renee! Stunning images and good blog. I was just wondering what camera and lens do you usually bring especially those places that need hiking and trekking?

  8. This is such a great article. I’m always battling to get good pictures with the two of us in it, I dont know why I never thought of a tripod. I am using my phone to take the pictures though, do you know of any good tripods for phones?

    1. Hi Johara. Thank you for the kind words. I don’t know if any particular brands but one of those cheap phone tripods that has bendy legs would be perfect. I think you can find them on Amazon. Good luck!

  9. Hi Renee!
    I was wondering how you folks took those insanely beautiful pics at Boroka Lookout! Then I stumbled onto this post and it all made sense!
    I’m a budding (no sorry, fumbling) photographer and I’ve really been struggling with composition. You’ve made this so easy to understand so now I can go ahead and practice that. You’ve made me fall even more in love with photography. Hopefully I can fall in love with my photos soon.
    Thanks,
    Astrid

  10. Great tips! My husband and I have been traveling with our baby, so usually it’s only one of us in the picture, or one of us with our son. It would be nice to have a few more pictures as a family or even as a couple! We’ll have to start thinking about when it will be convenient to bring along a tripod. And it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one that feels super awkward sometimes taking a picture, even when we don’t have a tripod!

    1. Thanks for reading! You’re right, pretty much all of these tips apply to traveling families as well as couples. It can definitely be embarrassing at times but totally worth it for some nice memories 🙂

  11. What an awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing your tips! May I ask, what are your tips to focusing on the right spot (where you will be) when you are setting up the shot? This is one thing I have really been struggling with!

    1. That’s a tricky one. Usually my husband or myself run into the frame so that we can focus the image on one of us before taking the shot together. If you are taking solo photos then I would use manual focus and focus on something that is the same distance from the camera to where you will be standing. This might be the ground or a tree right next to where you will be, as long as it’s the same distance from the camera. I hope that makes sense!

  12. Hi Renee!
    I was so glad I found your blog last year. Love the new update! One thing that your blog stood out to me the most was the simplicity and a sense of peace when I read your blog. Love all your tips and especially this one! I remember asking you about the Norway picture and how you were able to capture a picture so far away. What I enjoy most about your blog is your focus on travel. Whenever I read your content it makes me feel like you value travel above all, and your passion seeps through your words to your readers and as one of many, I appreciate that. Thank you Renee for the tips and inspiring pictures. Can’t wait for more of my own. =)

  13. Wow, I am in love with your photography! As a landscape photographer, I rarely take photos of me in them. This blog makes me want to change that! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Thanks Kimberly. You totally should! It’s now your challenge for next time you are shooting landscapes 😉 My husband and I often have our tripods set up taking nature/landscape photos and then one or two of us will run into frame and get a portrait shot too!

  14. This is PERFECT! Great ideas and I really appreciate all the explanation…and the tips to not let people looking at you funny stop you from getting that perfect photo. I mean, it’s your memory. Seriously awesome. Thanks 🙂

  15. Love this post! My husband and I have struggled to take good “couple” photos, but this gave us some much needed inspiration. We have a tripod so now we just need to use it! Thanks for sharing!!

  16. OMG! I love this post! I needed this so much, as when we travel as a couple there is rarely a pic where both of us are in it.
    Also, your photos are truly breathtaking.

  17. Love this! I laughed when you said you give your camera to someone who looks like they know what they’re doing then cross your fingers…. We’ve done that so. many. times… Then waited till they’ve gone and found someone else to try again! hahah. Beautiful shots guys. Particularly love that one from the Grampians!

    1. Thanks Miranda! Haha too true about giving your camera to strangers… you never know what the outcome will be! I just checkout out your blog and absolutely love it!

    1. Thanks Cory! I use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my photos. I have created my own presets that I sometimes use on Lightroom, but usually I just edit from scratch. Thanks for reading!

  18. This is such great advice! My boyfriend and I hardly ever get photos together when we travel and when we do, the person taking the photo usually does a horrible job! I have a tripod and really need to start using it more 🙂

  19. Great tips! My boyfriend and I are so bad with taking pics together on our travels – we always forget! Then get so upset looking through the pics after and realising that we’re in hardly any of them.

    1. Often my husband and I will plan our shots for the day. As in we will know where we are going and talk about the style of photos we might want to capture. That way we pack the right gear and (usually) remember to get all the photos we had planned!

  20. I literally don’t think my bf and I have one good photo together because we’re so awkward, but now I’m feeling inspired to try for some! We just got a drone, so I’m definitely going to take your advice with it. Thanks!

  21. I really love the honesty and transparency in which you presented this “how to”. It’s fairly common sense but we all need a reminder. I myself need a push to get past the embarrassment of taking photos as a solo traveler and push the thoughts of “gosh, I look silly doing this by myself” but you’re right. Only you know what kind of shot you want and you know your gear the best. I especially liked the ideas on taking candid photos.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Exactly! Plus I think most of the time people are wishing they had thought to do the same thing and are essentially jealous… and other times people are just curious. Keep on getting those shots Talia!

  22. Some super shots here. I tend to take photos of my husband but then it looks like he’s travelling solo!   For me, it’s mostly about the location and the landscape, but I agree that people “humanise” photos and we subconsciously identify with them better.

    1. Thanks Roxanne. My husband and I like to capture both landscapes/nature and also lifestyle/portrait shots. Often we are taking a landscape photo and one of us will just run into the shot to make it more relatable and also so we can remember the moment better!

  23. These shots are stunning, and I love following you on IG!
    Tripods are indeed the way to go… But my boyfriend and I are often too lazy to carry the tripod, so we often end up just propping up the camera on a ledge and setting it on interval timer mode, haha. Need to invest in a remote for sure!

    1. Thanks Alex! Ledges, rocks etc. are great for make-shift tripods, though sometimes there is literally nothing to put a camera safely on. It does suck to carry the tripod on long hikes though!

  24. I am swooning over this post! I love your IG feed and these pictures would stop anyone in their tracks. I love the pointers in this article as well and I think the most important thing is to not be embarrassed. I’d rather have the memory than the moment of embarassment.

  25. I absolutely love these shots! I can’t wait to start practicing with my boyfriend and get more shots of us two on vacation that aren’t selfies

  26. Your photos are absolutely incredible – thank you for sharing your priceless tips! It will definitely help us to up our game 🙂 Would love to see you at the Facebook community of romantic explorers @RomantiExplorers – please feel free to share your inspirational blogs there too!

  27. thanks for inspiration! We actually have a tripod, but my husband mainly uses it for taking pictures of birds and scenery haha – I will send him this article. And wow! Blown away by these pictures! Nice job!
    hugs, Nana

    1. Challenge yourself next time and try to capture a nice photo of the two of you together. He might think it’s silly at first but you will have some beautiful printable memories 🙂

  28. Longtime Instagram fan of yours here, so I love this! Y’all always capture the most gorgeous light and it’s so sweet to have both of you in the shot!

  29. I loved reading this post! My boyfriend and I have been trying to take better photos of our travels and this is super helpful!

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