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How to Build a Travel Photography Portfolio

Want to show your photography to the world, but don't know how to? Learn how to build a travel photography portfolio on your own!

As an aspiring photographer, it's only natural for us to show our work. We want to show viewers how, what, and where we shoot, and our best skills in photography. From shooting portraits to products, and nature, there are so many ways to express your passion and favorite field in photography. For traveling, this goes for a more broader aspect.

Since travel photography captures literally everything from food to nature, culture, people, settings, and all things in between, there are photographers like you to show where they traveled to and the astonishing photos they took. These photographers want to show everyone what's out there in the world and in diverse countries and destinations. Travel photography is one of the best ways to show culture without going to the destination. Whether you want to create a portfolio for yourself or to show to an editor, this is how to build a travel photography portfolio.

What type of portfolio are you creating?

When learning how to build a travel photography portfolio, you're not simply "building a photography portfolio;" there's always a reason behind one. What are you creating one for? There’s a type of audience you’re aiming for. Whether you want to build a portfolio for an exhibition, developing a book, for a stock library, showing your photography skills to an editor, marketing for possible attendees, or simply become a travel photographer on Instagram, there are so many reasons to build a portfolio.

Either on a website or creating a photography album portfolio, there are ways of showing your work. Some people prefer showing others through an online portfolio, or easily carry around an album featuring their best photos that they've taken. This also depends if you're building one for business or for your own pleasure. 

Pick your destination!

This is the exciting part when it comes to how to build a travel photography portfolio—you pick your destination! The whole point of travel photography is snapping photos while on the go. This means you have the power of what your portfolio will be based on. Are you flying out of the country to India? What about the Middle East? Perhaps down the shore for some stunning beach shots?

It doesn't entirely matter where exactly you're going, what matters is that you're away from home and exploring what the world has to offer. If you want your portfolio to be filled with aspects of a diverse culture, flying to a different country is what you want. Or just going on a road trip and snapping shots while stopping at each state. Just make sure you're not at home!

If you aren't traveling anytime soon...

However, if you aren't traveling anytime soon or don't want to go anywhere far, travel photography doesn't mean you have to fly to Bermuda to take photos. You can simply head to your local park, downtown, or any where else that has a setting you would like to take photos of.

You're telling a story through your travel portfolio. If you're looking to tell your viewers a story of your town's downtown, then heading downtown is the perfect plan! Or what about nature? The park is all about nature and you can definitely experiment there.

There are eight main areas to focus on.

From how to build a travel photography portfolio, there are eight main areas that all aspiring travel photographers should know. Landscape, portrait, wildlife, food, architecture, culture, transport, and local events and activities. To build a fantastic travel portfolio, it's important to feature at least one of each.

Since you're staying at a totally different location and completely out of your lifestyle, you basically want to capture everything that destination has for you. From the food to the people, setting, and the wildlife, your goal is to bring that destination back with you home for others to view. You can tell a story through all eight areas with ease, and it'll turn out stunning in your portfolio.

Build diversity in your work.

Never keep it consistent in your photos. Meaning don't continue to take over 30 photos of just food and the sunset. Explore the area! Continue to take photos when the weather isn't sunny anymore but rainy. Take photos of people in action or posing by themselves or with you. Snap photos from different lengths and ranges like up-close to far away.

You're aiming to make your travel portfolio completely diverse, and this is among the tips on how to build a travel photography portfolio. It gets boring if viewers are scrolling through your portfolio and it's just photos of nature. Like I've mentioned before, you want to bring the destination into your work, so capture everything in sight.

Perfect your skills.

For an aspiring photographer, I'm sure you've been practicing and testing out your photo-taking skills and photography compositions. From using lighting to frame within a frame, patterns, colors, textures, using negative space, and everything else, you should definitely show off your skills. This means you definitely should capture the patterns of a cobblestone or brick walkway, the colors of a meadow of flowers, the close-up textures of food, and amazing lighting in portrait photos.

It's not just about what photos you're taking, but how you're taking them. For business such as showing your portfolio to an editor, they want to see the photography skills that makes a photo so breathtaking. So, it's okay to stop and perfect every single photo you take. This will make all of your photos turn out professional instead of sloppily taking them.

Start picking your best photos.

Finally, from how to build a travel photography portfolio, it's time to put it all together! After you've finished editing your photos, start picking out your best and favorite ones. Remember, you want to keep it diverse. So don't place photos of food in a row, then portraits, then the setting. Alternate the photos through style and main focus.

Whether you're printing them out to place in an actual album portfolio, or adding them to your online portfolio, you can also place the photos in the form of a story. Starting with your arrival, surroundings, food, the people you met, etc. There are so many ways to set the photos, but it's always important to mix it up so it's not consistent.

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