Orion Lafuente knows a thing or two about taking the perfect picture. After all, it’s what he does for a living. As a professional photographer for GetYourGuide, Orion’s traveled the world, seen amazing sights, and enjoyed some incredible experiences. We caught up with Orion in Barcelona to experience a day in the life and see what it takes to be a professional tourist. Watch the video to see him in action and read below for his tips on how to take amazing travel pics of your own.
1- Know thy self(ie)
It seems simple, but we all know that those effortless-looking posts are far from easy. You’ve probably heard that the best selfies are taken from a high angle. To that Orion says: maybe! While slimming, these shots can also end up looking a bit strained. Instead, bring the camera a little closer to your face and find your angle. Both history (Mona Lisa) and pop culture (celebs) favor the left side, so give that a try first.
2- Say no to squinting
You know the struggle: capturing the perfect picture with the sun streaming in your eyes. Or worse, in the eyes of your subjects. Orion’s tip: avoid the pain and glare by having your friends close their eyes during your 3-2-1 countdown, and only open them for the “cheese.”
3- Get a feel for the features
Getting the perfect shot isn’t easy — especially if you’re trying to hit the shutter button while twisting your body into a pretzel. Not to worry. Your camera or smartphone probably has some features that might surprise you and save you the acrobatics. Voice-activated control, for example, is possible on smartphones, and some even feature smile- or wave-activated shutters. If you’re on the market for a new camera, consider professional equipment. Orion’s recommendation: choose a camera with a wide or 50mm lens.
4- Be patient and find the light
Good shots take time. If you’ve found a great spot with nice light and the right composition, wait. For what? That’s entirely up to you. You’re on vacation, so spending a little more time in a beautiful spot to get that special picture isn’t just worth it, it’s fun. As a professional photographer, Orion knows how important it is to wait for the unexpected. When it happens, you’ll know it.
5- Snap responsibly
Traveling is a chance to experience a different rhythm of life, so it’s natural to want to capture locals in their daily rhythms. Before you do so, it’s important to put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself: would you want to be photographed that very instant? If you’re not sure, ask for permission. It’s the right and respectful thing to do, and you might make a lifelong connection that goes far deeper than a picture or two.
6- Wear a good pair of shoes
As a travel photographer, Orion is on his feet for hours at a time. He’s walked the streets of Barcelona, Istanbul, Vietnam, and more. All this time on his feet searching for the perfect shot has taught him the importance of footwear. If you have a long day of sightseeing ahead of you, swap out tight leather duds or wobbly heels in favor of a pair of comfortable, worn-in shoes. Your feet will thank you.