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Being a travel photographer, while very exciting, can be a little tricky sometimes. You can’t just go to a place like Japan and start taking photos, hoping to capture something amazing. I mean, you can do that if you a tourist and your main motivation is to have a vacation. But if you are a photographer and want to really capture the essence and beauty of Japan, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

  1. Choose Your Gear Carefully

The first thing I always tell travel photographers to do is to carry the right gear. Yes, you can take along a heavy DSLR with multiple lenses, but do you really need all that? If not, then it’s better to take along a lighter and more compact camera. This will allow you to see more without worrying constantly about all the things you have to carry with you.

  1. Wake Up Early

The golden hour is arguably the best time to capture photos of landscapes because of the quality of light you can utilize. To make the most of this light, wake up about an hour before sunrise and you’ll be able to see things in a completely different way.

  1. Be Mindful of Where you Stay

If you are traveling to Japan mainly for photography, then it is vital that you make the right choice when it comes to accommodation. If you want to capture the urban life and the people, then find a place in the center of the city. Otherwise, choose a place where you’ll be able to capture those amazing landscapes the country has to offer.

  1. Get to Know the Place

Don’t just take your camera and start clicking that shutter button. Get to know the area you want to photograph. Go out, talk to people, try the local food, and roam the markets. Once you get to know the place, you’ll have a much deeper story to tell through your photos.

  1. Look for the Little Things

Try to take photos of things most people don’t take photos of when they visit Japan. Look for deeper subjects than the beautiful landscapes or the friendly people. Your photos should tell your point of view of the place, not that which is being told by hundreds of others.

  1. Be Nice

If it isn’t obvious already, if you want to be a successful travel photographer, you need to be nice to people. Learn to say hello to them in their language, greet them with a smile when you approach them, ask them politely if you can take a photo of them, and don’t take a photo of them when you know they don’t want you to. Always remember that if you treat your photography subjects with respect, your chances of getting a good photo of them will increase.