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Travel Photography – Ten Top Tips From Expert James Mills

Travel photography – ten top tips from expert James Mills

Now a world class fashion, beauty and adventure photographer James is ex special forces and first picked up a camera to document his time serving in Iraq. An adventurous traveller, James’ shoots travel photography wherever he goes. He’s a paraglider and free diver and works both into his shooting life.

Married to Ashleigh Mills the talented publisher of Hotels with Cats James is also a fan of the feline! 

Equally passionate about people and perfect imagery, James knows how to get the best results from your travel photography subjects, from supermodels to street sellers. 

James names Peru as his all time epic holiday destination for its scenery and because it’s so different from our normal lives in Australia. His favourite city in the world is Rome for the amazing food and mind blowing history.

Location shoots have allowed James to explore Australia from shooting in the outback to hitting the beach for top sports and swimwear brands. His favourite photography locations in Australia are Jervis Bay in New South Wales and Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. TildaTravel are proud Tasmaniacs and always love to hear appreciation for our home state!

James’ favourite international shoot location is Indonesia’s Candidasa where he shot an amazing travel photography paragliding story for Australian Geographic. 

James’ top ten travel photography tips

James gives us his expert tips from sun, shade and exposure, to great tech and having fun. Fun’s so important we list it twice!

Have fun

When you want to take a photo with a local, smile and connect with them when you ask, always ask, take the photo then crack a joke. Often the best photo is when they are laughing.

Shoot early or late

The morning and afternoon is usually when the sun is low in the sky and gives the prettiest light.

Get shady

Shooting in the middle of the day when the sun is overhead can cast ugly shadows on faces. Try shooting in the shade and increasing your exposure, this works even better if you’re shooting into a normally darker background as it makes them brighter.


Research before you go. Use apps like sun surveyor (android) that show you the sun’s location anywhere on earth at anytime and calculate the best times and places to be.

Be ready

Travel light and have a camera handy to grab anytime. Belt clips and small high quality cameras are great so you don’t miss a shot. A huge camera with ten lenses will get left in the hotel room due to the weight. You won’t make up for the lost shot with a small increase in image quality.

Get a travel photography camera

Choose a camera with a good zoom range, small size and bigger sensor for great travel shots. The Sony RX100 series is a good choice. Or if you’re a bit more advanced go for a micro four thirds camera which will allow you to buy and use different lenses.

Shoot RAW

Learn to shoot RAW and edit your images in a program like Lightroom or one of the alternatives.

Get inspired

Be inspired be other people’s travel photos. Don’t copy them but look at the details and decide why you love a shot then think about those factors when you’re shooting your own work.

Make every shot better

As you shoot imagine what this shot would look like on your wall ask yourself how you could improve it. Should you come closer? Further back? Choose a different angle?

Again – have fun

Have fun and don’t stress! Not only will you enjoy your trip and have a great experience, your mood and energy will transfer to everyone around you giving you better images to take home and remember.

Check out more of James’ work at or on Instagram @jamesmillsphoto.

James Mills Koncierge Magazine travel photography

Win $5000 to spend at TildaTravel!

With James’ fantastic tips you’re ready to shoot great travel imagery. Check out our easy to enter Instagram competition and win a $5000 credit to spend on your choice of travel and travel money services at TildaTravel!

All photography courtesy of James Mills.

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