Twelve Tips for the Traveling Photographer / Sarah Berlinsky

One of the greatest educational experiences I’ve had on this study abroad trip was honing my photographic skills. If I’ve learned anything working with cameras these last eight years it’s that practice makes perfect; and what better place to practice than Europe?


If you are an intuitive learner like me, however, you’ll know that education on anything takes a bit of trial and error. So here is some mediocre, but tested, advice from my experiences traveling country to country with my trusty camera companion in hand.

Have a massive hard drive

You’re abroad so take LOTS of pictures! (I took over 7,000 in a matter of six weeks) … but save your laptop of space and upload straight to a hard drive.

Get used to the weight

It’s arm day, everyday with this precious cargo. Make sure your triceps can handle it.

Bring an extra battery …

… and store that baby in your backpack so you’re not without one when you visit say one of the most beautiful cities in the world, like Madrid, *facepalm*.

People will stare, and that’s OK

You will look like a complete tourist sometimes but put your pride beside you for the shot. Get down-low, up-high, in someones face. Yes it’s so uncomfortable, but worth it.

Know your camera and have fast fingers

Walking around on tours whilst trying to take good pictures feels simularly to knowing how to quickly load a AK 47 admist trench war fare. Be quick, especially if you’re shooting on manual. Learn to be alert of the lights around you and movements around you. Know those ISO numbers like the back of your hand.


Yes, magic doesn’t happen overnight, but students with deadlines and curious parents do not believe that, or care.


“Can I have that one picture of the person from that one time when we were at that one place.” Keep your files tidy so you know exactly what they’re talking about.

Play with frames

Whether with the glorious architecture of Prague or the natural elements of Greece, mix it up, have fun.

Don’t waste your memory on all of it though

Yes every single city building in Europe is absolutely stunning, but don’t waste all of you memory on it. Just take pics of the absolute best — you don’t need 20 pictures of the same arch.

While backpacking, already have your camera out when you approach airport security

I promise you 10 out of 10 times you will you will be asked to stop to take it out.

Just do it

Want to improve your photography? Just go shoot! Like I said practice makes perfect. Even if you’re new at it, people will still “oh” and “ahhh” at your pictures. You’re capturing gorgeous content.

Lastly, put the camera down.

Remember to take some moments, or days for just mental photographs. One can easily be caught up with how cool it will look on their instagrams. The main reason your peers are raging over your pics is because you actually get to see what they’re seeing in person!

Also here are my top 30 favorite shots from this incredible trip. Enjoy!

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