Photograph of an ancient fountain, Italy
Art and culture

Photography tips and Insta-inspiration

January 08, 2019

For expert advice on easy ways to improve your photography and enhance the look of your social media posts, our #DCmoments City Guides authors share their handy hints for fabulous photos.
#DCMOMENTS London guide, Alexandra Lhermite-Schwass
A whale fossil hanging from the ceiling of a large exhibition gallery

Favourite photo

I love the dramatic sense of place captured in this shot of the Natural History Museum’s much-loved Hintze Hall. The architecture is so impressive and there’s something really beautiful about the light, which is great for photography. With the famous vast blue whale skeleton, suspended in the air as the focal point, this place never ceases to amaze me!

Photography tip

The important thing when taking photos in a busy public space like the Hintze Hal is to be observant and patient. Move around to find the right angle to capture the whole space and then wait for the right light. The hall gets very crowded so just be patient in order to keep the number of people to a minimum.

Your London city guide

Photograph of Alexandra Lhermite holding a camera and standing outside in a park
#DCMOMENTS Paris guide, Polina Burashnikova
View on the Eiffel Tower, with greenery in the foreground

Favourite photo

Everyone recognises the Eiffel Tower as the symbol of Paris. It’s something I never grow tired of seeing, especially when it’s lit up at night and sparkles. What I particularly like about this photo is that it’s obviously Paris but it’s taken in a way that stands out from the classic Eiffel Tower images we’re all familiar with.

Photography tip

The secret to this photo is the framing. It’s not simply a standalone image; it gives you a sense of the city’s great architecture and the trees lead your eye to the main focal point of the picture. I recommend keeping your eye on this great landmark as you walk around Paris, until you spot something that helps put the iconic symbol in context of the city.

Your Paris city guide

Portrait of Polina Burashnikova, dressed in a yellow jumper, on a bridge in Amsterdam
#DCMOMENTS Milan guide, Elisa Maruca
Coloured building facades in Milan

Favourite photo

Without a doubt my favourite image from the guide is my image of Naviglio Grande. It reminds me of the many reasons that I love this beautiful area of Milan. It has a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere and lots of charming old courtyards leading off from the canal. It’s where I go for ‘aperitivo alla milanese’ with my friends, ideally at sunset.

Photography tip

In the morning you’ll see busy artists and craftsmen in their workshops but at night the area really comes alive, so think about the type of image you’re trying to capture. Always look for good light, and keep things minimal by really focusing on what’s important to the storytelling of your image.

Your Milan city guide

Portrait of Elisa Maruca with a black background
#DCMOMENTS Rome guide, Nicolee Drake
Close up shot on old wall decorations painted on a wall

Favourite photo

Villa Torlonia is one of the most elegant buildings in Rome; it has a fairytale atmosphere. While this photo may not be a grand landscape of the Eternal City or a sweeping view of a monument, it invites the viewer to explore what might be around the next corner. For me, that’s Rome. There’s always something extraordinary to discover, from Bernini’s Baroque statues to Rome’s magical light.

Photography tip

Simplicity is the key so look for careful compositions with uncomplicated backgrounds. An easy way to avoid a distracting background is to fill your frame with your main subject, also keep in mind that the edges of your photograph are responsible for framing your image.

Your Rome city guide

Portrait of Nicolee Drake, leaning on a window sill and looking outside
#DCMOMENTS Los Angeles guide, Esther Lee
Outside buildings in the middle of vegetation

Favourite photo

The photo of Schindler House featured in the guide is the one that has really stayed in my mind. Every time I look at it, or think about it, I’m transported back to the wonderful feeling of peace I had when I was there. I remember thinking how it felt like I was away from everything.

Photography tip

For this particular image, I decided on where I needed to stand to achieve the right composition to really showcase the architecture and sense of peace. Like so many photos, it was then a case of waiting for the right moment. It’s important not to be rushed into things when taking photos, for me it’s more about waiting for just the right moment.

Your Los Angeles city guide

Portrait of smiling Esther Lee

Read our #DCmoments City Guides for more fabulous photo inspiration, great days out, and wonderful ways to fill your social media feed.

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