Different types of Travel Photography

In the previous post, “Introduction to Travel Photography,”
I touched on the fact that there are several different types of travel photography.
In this article we cover the different types and genres and how they apply to your future travels

So, let’s go into more detail.

The best way I find, is to break it down into destinations. By doing that you are preplanning what skills you need to learn or refresh for your upcoming or future trip.

Let’s take an easy one. Europe

What do we travel to Europe for?

These are a few reasons:

Sporting Activities

So each of these reasons will correlate to a different type of travel photography.

Let’s take history:

Interior shots of museums, Churches, Palaces and galleries are a few examples.
To get some good shots you would need to get comfortable shooting in low light. By learning how to do this and how your equipment will perform will enhance your photography.

Another genre for History would be architectural.
Shooting some of the worlds’ most impressive buildings like Saint Peter’s at the Vatican are a must if you are travelling to Rome.

Then of course there are battlefields from different wars over the ages.
From Gallipoli to the Battle of Hastings to the trenches of World War I in Belgium. Most of these would be landscapes.

We now have the theory behind using destinations to think about different types of travel photography.

Destinations and different types of Travel Photography:


Landscapes, Architectural, Interior, Festivals, Lifestyle, Food and Drink, Street

North America

Landscapes, Architectural, Lifestyle, Nature, Wildlife, Street, Food and Drink, Wilderness

Cowboy on bench In Santa Fe's plaza, New Mexico, USA
Cowboy on bench In Santa Fe’s plaza, New Mexico, USA


Street, Food and Drink, History, Landscapes

South America

Landscapes, Architectural, Lifestyle, Nature, Wildlife, Street, Food and Drink, Wilderness


Wilderness, Landscapes


Wildlife, Landscapes, Street, Food and Drink, Wilderness

Australia and New Zealand

Nature, Landscapes, Street, Food and Drink, Lifestyle, Wilderness. Wilderness could be considered a part of Landscape. Yet there are some specific challenges that need to be considered when you are out in the remote areas.

Lake Wanaka New Zealand
Lake Wanaka New Zealand

I’ll go into more detail in future posts.

But the trick is to look at the destination and then decide what sort of images are available and what you would like to take.

For instance, if you were travelling to France, you may decide that you don’t want to take photos of the landscape as you are only going to be in a couple of cities like Paris and Lyon.
But even in cities there can be opportunities to take landscape photos e.g. Jardin des plantes des Paris – the Botanical Gardens of Paris

Choosing what to shoot

As you can see there are many different types of travel photography.
But what if you want to choose a few main ones? Which ones should you choose?

Well if you go back to the list you can see a few that reoccur. Landscape, Architectural and Street are three that would set up any budding travel photographer with the building blocks to improve and learn new skills.

It also depends on interests.
If you are an outdoors sort of person and you intend spending time at travel destinations with wild open spaces then you may wish to concentrate on Landscape, Wildlife and Wilderness.


Breaking down these different types of travel photography into subjects is also useful:

Mountains, Snow, Ice and Glaciers, Deserts, Coastal, Forests, Water,

Similar subjects to Landscapes. As I mentioned before, it’s not so much about the subjects but more about the logistics and specific challenges i.e. Extreme temperatures, Remoteness etc.

Portraits, Daily Life, Streetscapes, Local Interactions, Traffic and Transport, Street Art

Interiors, Building detail, Urban Landmarks, Skylines

Flowers, Forests, Lakes, Rivers, Weather, Sun and Moon

Animals, Insects, Birds, Reptiles, Marine Life, Habitat

I could break down these genres and destinations even more but I don’t want your eyes glazing over.
Just as you would plan your travel or holiday experience you also need to plan your photography beforehand.
Working out what photos you will have the opportunity to take and which ones you want to take, will not only help you enjoy your experience but also bring home some ‘awesome’ photos.


So you can see that there are lots of different types of travel photography. These can be classified as genres but also working out what types of photos you will be taking at your destination plays a big part.
Some of these genres e.g. Wilderness also have other challenges not necessarily related to the act of taking a photo.

Research and Planning is essential

But remember, if this feels too overpowering you can always just select some or one area to specialise in to begin with.

Any questions then please contact me here 

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Just click on any of the images for a larger version and for other options

Categories: new zealand, travel photography, usaTags: , ,

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