Shooting Travel Photos Like a Pro By Scott Kelby

2 hr 6 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

All along the way Scott shares his very best tips and techniques for planning, preparing, and getting the most out of your next travel adventure. Come along and watch the entire process of shooting in a variety of locations in this class then meet back up in part 2, Editing Your Travel Photos with Lightroom and Photoshop.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Meet up with Scott Kelby on the Paris streets as he introduces the class and gets right into sharing his very best travel photography tips.
Your gear decisions will have a huge impact on what you can shoot and what you decide to carry. Scott covers everything from lens choices to batteries and tripods.
Choosing your camera settings before you start shooting leaves you ready for whatever comes your way.
Once you've got the classic shot for your location you are free to go out and get the photos you want to take.
The two best times of the day to shoot outdoors are the hour around sunrise and the hour around sunset, so you need to be strategic during the rest of the time you are traveling.
Scott shares some more tips on creating your own shot list (and don't shoot list) and shares his list for the remainder of this trip.
Here's a tip that will really take your photos to the next level. Arrange to have a professional model work with you at a location.
Street photography presents its own unique set of challenges, but Scott has a slew of tips help you get out there and get the shots.
Sometimes large iconic landmarks are best captured as panoramic images, and Scott shares a series of techniques for capturing killer hand-held panos, then follows it up with some great tips for removing tourists from your photos.
It pays to arrive early to stake out the best spot and wait for the best light of the day.
Many indoor locations will allow you to use a tripod, but others will not. You need to be prepared for both possibilities and Scott covers all the bases.
What is so great about shooting HDR in a church? Awesome light, cool textures, and lots of detail.
Food can be just as representative of the locations you visit as the landmarks and the people, so don't forget to include it on your shot list. Scott wraps up the class by sharing techniques for capturing motion to convey a sense of energy and excitement.
Profile photo of Scott Kelby

Meet your instructor

Scott Kelby


Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom...

Scott's Courses


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  1. Profile photo of Sbmsteve Madden Sbmsteve Madden

    Truly excellent and very informative class Scott! We’re headed to Paris in July and this was perfect timing to take some notes and start my checklist. One question: though tripods are verboten in many places, what about mono-pods? I have a small Gorillapod but was wondering about the merit of a mono-pod or even a beanbag type thing. My main tripod is just too heavy to haul around all day. Your thoughts would be much appreciated! Thanks again!

  2. Profile photo of photoramsey1 photoramsey1

    Hie everybody nice work Scott welcome to Strasbourg more nicely than Paris for your next travel in France! One question where is the second part of the course ? Kind regards

  3. Profile photo of Karen Slater Karen Slater

    This was a great series. Lots of information that can be used for more than just travel shots

  4. Profile photo of mtfors mtfors

    Great course! But watch out for the Parisian spiders :)

  5. Profile photo of m.bontenbal m.bontenbal

    Great course! I really enjoyed it. The only thing that’s following me now for a few days is that crazy tune of the french accordion. Can’t get it out of my mind :P
    Marc / The Netherlands

  6. Profile photo of Francesca Hughes Francesca Hughes

    Fantastic class! Scott is so informative and I love watching his classes!
    This make travel photography appear so much fun and that’s what it’s all about.
    Thank you Scott! – From Francesca

  7. Profile photo of

    Amazing for a photographer of any level! The tips in here are incredible and truly make travel photography easier, less stressful, and most importantly, more enjoyable.

    Thank you, Scott! Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

  8. Profile photo of

    Very good course video’s
    I have learned alot from the 13 videos, and some things i wish i knew when i was in Paris a few months ago :p

  9. Profile photo of T Wright T Wright

    Scott mentions a “up strap” in the gear portion. What is the manufacture make model etc to this strap

  10. Profile photo of halilynn halilynn

    I watched this class before my trip to Morocco in December, and I’m incredibly glad I did. Your tips gave me a terrific roadmap for how to tell the story of my journey. Everything from the camera settings, to how to engage people, to shooting food, and how to take pictures with a book in mind, was so helpful — as was getting the Black Rapid camera strap; what a lifesaver! I came home with some wonderful images, and I have you to thank. Now I need to go watch the travel post processing class!

  11. Profile photo of Glenn Glenn

    Just a quick comment to let you know that part 1& 2 are the best “cover all” courses that I have viewed to date (after 8 months). It has something/several things for everyone. I have watched part 2….twice, and will be watching it a 3rd time after I return from an up coming trip to Canada. Excellent job. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of StuartCattell StuartCattell

    Great tips! Thank you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of usarora usarora

    Amazing stuff. It is really just like someone is walking down the street with us and telling us look you have to take a shot like this and do this, do that…don’t do this…don’t do that…amazing! I’m going to change the way I take photos on my travel and also change the way I carry my gear. Thanks!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of Steve27 Steve27

    Excellent! Great pointers and tips for any application. Thanks Scott … —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of Jeff Stall Jeff Stall

    The technique to get a “clean shot” of a building that removed all of the tourists was crazy awesome! I never have even thought about that, and I can do it during the day while my spouse enjoys a coffee instead of dragging us both up early in the morning. I can’t want to try it out.

  16. Profile photo of chickweed chickweed

    FABULOUS! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of Jigoku Trigger Jigoku Trigger

    Smiling works. I was in Melbourne and saw these beautiful handmade candle cups. I just had to take the shot, and didn’t see the “no photo sign”. The owner saw me and said “no photos”. I smiled and said, “I’m so sorry I’ll delete it right away”. She said “Let me see”, I showed her my shot and she was so pleased she said. “You know what, keep it”. Just awesome advice! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of evlens56 evlens56

    This course was great, full of tips that were backed up with practical examples. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of Murrayb1847 Murrayb1847

    Great course, I think you need more “Paris” style music though.

  20. Profile photo of johnkennan johnkennan

    Thoroughly enjoyable and very well presented. I thought the subscription price was quite hard for me to justify as an amateur photographer until I actually tried a course and now I think it’s excellent value for money. I’m looking forward to picking up a lot of knowledge over the coming months. Thanks very much. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  21. Profile photo of darkvince7 darkvince7

    Great tips, those videos made me want to see Paris as a tourist (even though I’ve been living there for 8 years). I already did many things during my travels (especially concerning people) but I now have new ideas and want to try new things. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of Fanan Fanan

    Excellent Job Scott. I really enjoyed this travel shooting session. It is explained very well in a simple and friendly way. Now I am even interested in watching all the online training courses by Scott Kelby and I hope to meet him one day in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. I believe Scott inspires Millions of people around the Photography world so keep up your hard work and more success with new courses. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of little brit little brit

    I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Will be watching again to take notes and put some of the things I learned in practice. Thank you Scott, your presentation is excellent. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  24. Profile photo of David Fabian David Fabian

    What a Pro to keep going talking about the Camera settings when there is a spider hanging from Scott’s glasses about 6:30 min into the video.

  25. Profile photo of John Butler John Butler

    Thank you very much for a very informative course on Travel Photography. After 60 years of doing Photography, I am still enjoying new tips and tricks, so keep up the good work. It was very hard for me to get out of the darkroom, but with Lightroom 4 and CS6 I now have a Digital Darkroom that allows me much more scope, and I feel more enjoyable. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of Hawaii50 Hawaii50

    I thoroughly enjoyed the video on Shooting Travel Photos. It was a total learning adventure for me and has opened my eyes to what Kelby Training has to offer. Scott Kelby is an excellent presenter. I should have started doing this years ago. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  27. Profile photo of DanGordon DanGordon

    Great! But you should mention you also grabbed D700’s big brother – the mighty D4 – when you wanted to get those “client” shots. Other than that. Nice course. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  28. Profile photo of Bendeavin Bendeavin

    Really great and informative class, some really useful tricks for all kinds of photography.
    I only wish the music wasn’t repeated SO much, was driving me nuts by the end! Still well worth watching though! —- Yes, please post my feedback —- Yes, please post my feedback —- Yes, please post my feedback —- Yes, please post my feedback

  29. Profile photo of Bendeavin Bendeavin

    Really great and informative class, some really useful tricks for all kinds of photography.
    I only wish the music wasn’t repeated SO much, was driving me nuts by the end! Still well worth watching though! —- Yes, please post my feedback —- Yes, please post my feedback

  30. Profile photo of Jim Peachey Jim Peachey

    This is one of the most useful courses I have viewed. Not only has it re-enforced some processes that I already use but has been helpful in answering questions I have.

    One thing I would note; in using the backup is that after almost fifty years in the IT business I would encourage everyone to make their two backups from the same source… i.e. don’t copy to your PC then copy the PC to the hard drive.. but instead.. copy from memory card to PC then memory card to Hard Drive…it may be slower but; that way you won’t propagate copy errors that may have occurred in the first copy… ALWAYS COPY FROM THE ORIGINAL….

    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  31. Profile photo of Stevenlharvey Stevenlharvey

    Great Course. Too funny though……The first section about minimizing gear, we are told not to take the 14-24 because it is heavy. So Scott, exactly what lens did you use to take the second shot of the Effiel Tower? The unmistakable 14-24. :-) —- Yes, please post my feedback

  32. Profile photo of KeithOrmerod KeithOrmerod

    What a great course! You make everything so practical Scott. Thanks for all of the advice on camera gear and settings. I’m part way through it and just had to make some comments. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  33. Profile photo of fedormartin fedormartin

    I travelled in Europe this year with a Black Rapid camera strap…it was the most convenient strap I used…very convenient and was able to keep the camera in front of me in crowded places keeping my equipment safe. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  34. Profile photo of Gregg Parsons Gregg Parsons

    Great course. It would be really nice to have the tips as notes that can be downloaded for reference. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  35. Profile photo of mrstoots mrstoots

    This has been a wonderful class for me. Scott has taken time to address all of the things that help me so much as a beginner. Can’t wait to view the follow up! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  36. Profile photo of jak5005 jak5005


    Just got back from two weeks in Poland – the first course was great for helping me think of how to shoot and I am now attending to the arduous task of going through about 2K worth of shots (oy). As I got to each site I followed your advice (like capturing the name of the place, city, cathedral, etc.) and then snapping away as my eye guided me. This was great.
    Now I am into the second course on how to process – I took several sequences of panoramas and HDR so I am anxious to see how they turned out.
    Thanks again for the fortuitous serious of classes.
    John —- Yes, please post my feedback

  37. Profile photo of lillee lillee

    Made me think differently about travel shots – got some great info for my pics and really learnt so much I can’t wait to get out and start shooting – another awesome tutorial —- Yes, please post my feedback

  38. Profile photo of craig1477 craig1477

    I have just watched the entire course and I have to say its given me a wonderful insight on expanding from the usual “holiday snaps” to telling a story about my holidays. Instruction was clear, non confusing and to the point. A very worth while course if you want to learn more about “tourist photography” great job! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  39. Profile photo of hindsight hindsight

    Great course, but the cliche’d Paris music track got old really fast. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  40. Profile photo of Susan Liberto Susan Liberto

    I loved it all and learned alot !! I took alot of notes too. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  41. Profile photo of davekirwan davekirwan

    Hi, seems to be something wrong with the “Waiting for the light” sequence, tried it about 10 times and after a few seconds it just skips to the next episode.
    The rest is really good, it’s the first course I’ve watched but I’ve really enjoyed it. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  42. Profile photo of jmrsuccess jmrsuccess

    Excellent —- Yes, please post my feedback

  43. Profile photo of Fred Krieger Fred Krieger

    Great course on travel photography and Scott makes it superb! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  44. Profile photo of rienzphotoz rienzphotoz

    As they say in French “ce cours est absolument magnifique et fantastique”!!!
    I’ve watched lots of DVDs on photography where the instructor(s) gets up real early in the morning to take stunning photos of great landscapes and monuments etc in a far off land (like Paris) with tripods, polorizers, ND filters and what not.
    But the reality, for most of us mere mortals, is that we go to these places with our wife and kids and it is not always practical to leave them alone so we can take off on a early morning photo “expedition” (not to mention how dangerous it is get my a** kicked by the wife for taking off on my own expedition on what is supposed to be a family vacation) … so in that context Scott’s tips in this course are ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT … we need more practical courses like these.
    Hats off Scott!!!
    Eagerly waiting for the post production part of the course.
    This course alone covers for the entire annual subscription, so whatever courses I am going to watch will be bonus lessons.
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  45. Profile photo of Carrasco-Pinoncely Carrasco-Pinoncely

    I live in Paris and found this course extremely helpful! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  46. Profile photo of fr8dogphoto fr8dogphoto

    Enjoyed it. Some great pearls. NEED TO CHANGE UP THE MUSIC! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  47. Profile photo of nipho nipho

    High Scott,
    the courses are great and there is a little funny thing on the “Shooting Travel Photos like a Pro/Camera Settings” Episode. From 6:26 to 6:40 I think there is a little french “Spiderman” on your glases frame or your chin :-) and on 6:40 I think You noticed him
    greatings from europe
    ni —- Yes, please post my feedback

  48. Profile photo of activenotes activenotes

    Really enjoyed the panoramic tips for ‘no tourists’ in the photo. Recently while in Paris, I had my pocket picked while getting on the Metro. Guard your camera gear while in Paris, as Scott advises. It’s for real. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  49. Profile photo of tina_6500 tina_6500

    Very good course, very well made. I really loved and enjoyed it! Even though I already do a lot of the things you mention I could still take away a ton of tips that were new to me. Thank you!

    The only thing I would wish for would be that this course were also available in German so I could send all my friends who do not speak English well enough here, too. ;) —- Yes, please post my feedback

  50. Profile photo of scottzinn scottzinn

    This is absolutely the best Scott Kelby training video I have watched. He was action packed with tips to help me improve my photography. I want this version of Scott kelby in every video! Thank you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  51. Profile photo of Thierry Thierry

    Merci Scott
    I am French, was leaving in Paris, now in Caribbean
    it was so great to come back there during this class and enjoy as always your tips.

    God choice of music and your French is pretty good
    hope to meet you one day

    take care
    Thierry Dehove
    Creative Photographer

  52. Profile photo of alansf alansf

    Great! Love the models. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  53. Profile photo of Chris C Chris C

    Fantastic course filled with simple and practical tips. Great job! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  54. Profile photo of Bryon Wiley Bryon Wiley

    Well done. My only complaint would be: The French music between “every” scene cut was too much. I was sick of it by the end of the class. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  55. Profile photo of Jerred Golden Jerred Golden

    Great job! Makes me want to call the airlines and book a trip. One peeve, the same few bars of music were driving me nuts. J Golden —- Yes, please post my feedback

  56. Profile photo of Michael Michael

    Scott.Just an Awesome Travel Photography Course!!Sharp and right to the point.Hope to see more!!Mike DuPonte..Tampa… —- No, I’d keep it between us

  57. Profile photo of rexkwilliams rexkwilliams

    I love this course, many lessons are to be learned from it. I feel like this was not only very informative but also very practical because I was provided with enough information to prepare my gear, plan my shots, and that enables me to successfully execute my plan. That’s what my subscription pays for and you delivered. I am off to view part 2; post processing. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  58. Profile photo of marshallphotoarts marshallphotoarts

    Well done! Very helpful although I am really tired of the music. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  59. Profile photo of kaliafeh kaliafeh

    Great course, Outstanding. I enjoy Kelby Training, I have learned so much from light, talking to talent, to landscape and food photography. I am glad you have decided to do a travel portion of Kelby Training. To be honest I think you fall a little shot in Travel and Architectural photography. So again thank you for this, I appreciate it. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  60. Profile photo of Jan Doddy Jan Doddy

    Scott, as usual – a very great course! My wife and I traveled to Italy twice and the information here will really help improve how I do photography abroad! Keep up the great work. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  61. Profile photo of fravat fravat

    I took this course in preparation for a trip I’m making internationally…and as a newbie DSLR user, this was PERFECT! It hit all the topics I’ve been thinking about, in all the situations i’ll likely be in. I especially appreciated that he provided me with some terminology and advanced techniques that I can do some follow up research on. Thanks Scott, great course! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  62. Profile photo of Richard Briggs Richard Briggs

    Love the class content! Music got a bit monotonous. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  63. Profile photo of barry6386 barry6386

    If Scott is showing the “in camera” photos in this video, then just shoot me now. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  64. Profile photo of ramyelzein ramyelzein

    Great course! Love it! Could you tell me what focus mode are you on when you’re doing travel photography? —- Yes, please post my feedback

  65. Profile photo of angel_kt angel_kt

    This is the most amazing training, you talk from the heart, you inspired me to do more and to leave some fears out of the way. Thank you mi amigo. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  66. Profile photo of Hank Miner Hank Miner

    Great teaching and information video. One additional thing I do when visiting a new city with a Hop -On-Hop-Off bus is use it as my transportation means between sites, no parking worries or taxi fees. As I don’t always have time to get back to a location, I take my DSLR and know from my prior research of where I want to take that iconic shot and need to hop off the bus and then catch the next bus to go to the next stop after exploring other opportunities surrounding the iconic location. Like in Paris I may start at a lower point on the Champs Élysées, walk up to the Are de Triomphe stopping and taking street pictures as I go, then catch another bus over to the Eiffel Tower hopping off in one of the many picturesque neighborhoods as shown in the video.

    One additional thing I thought of when you mentioned pictures of where you are from on your cell phone was some sample picture of people picture taken, but quickly discounted that idea as whom every you were showing the people pictures to might get the impression that you are a professional photographer and not the tourist you are trying to portray and thereby less welling to let you take pictures of them. Privacy is a big concern.

    An additional tip which has saved me money while traveling, go online before travel and see if discounted bus and museum passes can be purchased. Most are for a limed time after activation, but are not activated until you use for the first time. Again, GREAT work.
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  67. Profile photo of Sundra Tanakoh Sundra Tanakoh

    Lots of great tips on things that we either know or should know and good reinforcement and examples on why we should be doing what we should be doing to get the shots we should be getting. Circular logic.

    Great Course! Heck I live in a foreign country now, and I honestly don’t shoot it like a tourist, though I should! Thanks!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  68. Profile photo of jak5005 jak5005

    Nice advise; the first time I visited Europe in 1971, I took my camera, plus several lenses and my bag; I only used 1/4 of the equipment and latched onto the bags as if my life were at stake – took some of the fun from the trip. Things are different in the digital age but I liked your advise about traveling light. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  69. Profile photo of Julio Barillas Julio Barillas

    Watching these videos is like reading your “The Digital Photography Books “series.
    I love it.
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  70. Profile photo of Julio Barillas Julio Barillas

    Excellent…………..Great tips —- Yes, please post my feedback

  71. Profile photo of Doug Dillon Doug Dillon

    Outstanding Scott!!! I have learned so much in the last 3 years here on Kelby Training!! You are such a great instructor. It’s like you coming along and giving me hints all along the way. So many good ideas! I’m starting over to watch it all again!!! The quality of your instructional videos is top notch!! Your expertise (and that off all the instructors on Kelby Training) are top of the line and your video production quality is excellent! Please share my thanks to all the video crew that never really get seen (camera crew and video editors and all others working on these). Your vision of what will help a photographer is spot on! I’m a hobbyist that has taken up photography after retirement and I can tell you that I’ve advanced so much by virtue of watching your instructional videos. I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate it. It’s so well worth the money. I’m also a NAPP member and get the discounts from that too. It also provides so much training for folks like me. I’m using Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6 (I went with the Creative Cloud offer) and instruction for software is also top quality. I watch the Photoshop guys all the time, the Grid, and all the Kelby TV series. Thanks so much for providing those. And thanks for taking me on a shoot in Paris and for the post processing advice! Now…..please pass me a glass of wine, some french bread, and some cheese!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  72. Profile photo of annejohnstone annejohnstone

    Excellent!! Scott really did a great job of covering all the bases! Thanks a bunch! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  73. Profile photo of rob bosley rob bosley

    Excellent, learned lots! I’m a photographer as well but it’s the plumber syndrom or the mechanics: You do your job but your car is a wreck. Happens with me on vacations! I take the worst shots! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  74. Profile photo of yurok yurok

    Scott always nails everything right on! He is the pefect instructor! If he taught astrophysics, I would understand it easily just by his ability to present things in an organized and simple manner. He is an incredible instructor, who keeps your attention and interest from beginning to end. Thanks… —- Yes, please post my feedback

  75. Profile photo of mueses mueses

    Great course, Scott! Full, Full of techniques and tips. You can apply this to your travel photography as well as your street photography in your own town! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  76. Profile photo of amirtavakoli amirtavakoli

    Scott’s great, as usual. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and all the points he made are exactly correct. The gear, the things you need to know, the things to do and most important the things NOT to do are all covered. All angles and all subjects are covered for a thorough travel photographer so you could get shots the pros get. Thanks for a comprehensive course. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  77. Profile photo of ogenblik ogenblik

    Great video.
    I’m just planning a day in a (Belgian) city to have some fun with streetphotography and I really enjoyed this course as it has given me some practical trics to try.
    Only minor… I just made a small shoot at the National Parade in brussels with a 24-700 mm mounted on my body. I’m pretty pleased with the result. So I will try to use that some lens in the city (shooting there is different because the people are not expecting it). Main reason is the speed of the lens, so much faster than my others. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve got the crop-factor of my body to compensate…
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  78. Profile photo of Jemmwm Jemmwm

    It’s always a pleasure to watch a course taught by Scott. I feel like you are talking just to me, with clear, precise and really useful information which I know is going to lift my travel photos immensely. Thank you for all of your hard work – it is really appreciated!
    PS When are you coming to Australia – it’s awesome here! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  79. Profile photo of cmurman cmurman

    Loved it! Great work Scott. Volume 2 please. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  80. Profile photo of craigcullum craigcullum

    Just awesome, this one is worth the whole annual subscription price! Can’t wait to get onto post production. —- Yes, please post my feedback

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