A Travel Photographer Gives Composition Tips For Snapping Pics Abroad

Life & Culture Writer

Sam Rebuyaco

It’s not a new phenomenon for people to attempt to capture the essence of their trips on film. In the past, it was far too common to have to sit through an interminable slideshow of destination snaps taken by a neighbor or be handed a crinkly developer’s paper envelope thick with images capturing every moment of a vacation.

Thanks to the internet and social media, people are able to share their adventures without having to trap people with physical photographs. But, though the tech for taking and sharing has changed, a lot of people still have the same traditional problems with taking beautiful images that they’ve been struggling with for decades. You can’t impress with bad photography, so we brought in a pro to give us a handful of tips that will immediately maximize the quality of your travel photos.

In short: Your Instagram is gonna be amazing.

Internationally-published photographer, creative consultant, & designer Samantha Rebuyaco is a Los Angeles native who currently works primarily as a commercial photographer. One look at her Instagram makes it clear that she knows her way around a destination image. Her work invites the viewer into an altered reality where everything is a little softer and more ethereal than you experience on the daily. And, she can trace this “dreamy” aesthetic back to her childhood.

When she was 10 or 11, Rebuyaco was interested in documenting her life and capturing memories that she could keep forever. Photography was a natural way to achieve these goals. “Even at that age,” she notes, “I was very aware that everything is temporary, so it was my way of ‘living in the moment.’” She worked with her camera to record the world as she saw it, and that remains her goal to this day.

Though Rebuyaco’s professional career launched in fashion and portraiture, travel was what drew her out of that comfort zone. She found the switch exhilarating because commercial photography is very controlled. The sets, the lights, and the models can all be easily adjusted at a moment’s notice.

“But when it comes to photographing landscapes, it’s mother nature who calls all the shots,” she says.

Despite the difficulties imposed by the natural world, or perhaps because of them. Rebuyaco has found the most fulfilling work of her life. This week, she sat down with us and walked us through a list of things to keep in mind when taking travel photographs.

Sam Rebuyaco

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