Facebook Pixel Simple Tips to Improve your Travel Photography - Include People in Your Images

Simple Tips to Improve your Travel Photography – Include People in Your Images


With photography being more and more accessible, it has never been more imperative to take unique photos. After all, picture editors have thousands of images of pretty much every location to choose from, so as photographers we need to give them something different to stand out from the crowd. Including people in your travel photos can really add a uniqueness that would make them stand out.

Here are some simple tips on how you could include people in your travel photography:

For sense of scale

Including people in your photos is a great way to give the viewer a sense of scale and prospective. Our brains are much better at processing scale in photos when we can compare something we are familiar with. So next time you are on top of a mountain, next to a big tree, or in a vast wilderness, try to include a person in the image to give the viewer a sense of scale.


I took a few photos of this beach without anyone on it, but by far the most impressive is this shot that highlights the size.

Tell a story

Sometimes the difference between a good photo and a great photo is simply to include people. This can give context to what might be a generic scene, and help portray a story about that location. A cyclist on a path tells much more of an intriguing story than just an empty path.


Including people in your photos can help tell a story. This photo sold within a few days of going online.

Adding a point of interest

Simply adding a person, or group of people, to a scene can transform what would be a dull composition into something that instantly draws the viewer in. This is especially great in scenes where you have similar colours (e.g. water or snow) or even patterns like fields and sand. The person will act as an anchor, draw the viewer’s eyes and ensure that your image has a point interest.


This woman adds a point of interest to the scene that might otherwise look boring.

Creating a mood

Is the place you are photographing buzzing with activity? Or is it a place of tranquility in a big city? Including a person or people in your shots can really create a sense of mood and emotion in the final photo that might not exist without it. Try to think about the scene and what it could possibly be showing if you included a person in it.


The people in this shot help portray the serenity and calmness of the scene.

Be creative

If you are lucky enough to be traveling with a companion, think about using them as a model to help make your images more creative. But rather than just snapping away, try to think about the scene and what you are hoping to achieve. Sometimes you can push the boundaries even further and capture unique photos that you wouldn’t be able to get without a willing model.


By turning my view slightly from inside the hot air balloon I was able to capture the people which not only gave the photo a sense of scale but helps to give it more context.

So next time you are about to take that picture of that beautiful landscape, or famous landmark, just pause and think if including a person will improve your composition.

Now it’s your turn. Share your photos, thoughts and tips below.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Kav Dadfar
Kav Dadfar

is a professional travel photographer, writer and photo tour leader based in the UK. His images are represented by stock agencies such as 4Corners Images and Robert Harding World Imagery and they have been used by clients such as Condé Nast, National Geographic, Lonely Planet, and many others. Kav is also the co-founder of That Wild Idea, a company specializing in photography workshops and tours both in the UK and around the world. Find out more at That Wild Idea.

I need help with...