Travel Photography Series Part 3 – Architecture

Venice Travel Photography series

Venice for Gourmet Traveller Copyright Carla Coulson

My trip to Puglia inspired me to write this third part in my travel photography series on how to include architecture in your travel stories. In case you missed the first two parts, you can catch up on how you can include food and people into your travel stories.

Having a husband who is an architect has helped me to love architecture even more! This has become a favourite part for me of shooting a travel story.

Travel Means Architecture

There are important pieces of architecture that are typical to that place that will immediately tell the reader where the story is set.

Let’s take Paris and Venice as examples: the white facades and grey tin roofs are typically Parisian as are the canals of Venice, gondala’s and the Venetian faded walls and architecture. Most travel stories open with a shot that sets the scene so the reader almost doesn’t need to read the title, you know immediately that you are in Paris, Venice, Morocco or Australia!

Venice carla coulson travel photography tips

Venice Copyright Carla Coulson Chasing a Dream

The fun thing about shooting a city is that there are many different types of architecture from iconic masterpieces (like the Doges Palace in the top photo), humble exteriors and details, modern masterpieces, chic areas and working class areas of a city and of course interiors.. 

Doges palace venice travel photography series

Venice for Gourmet Traveller Copyright Carla Coulson

Iconic Masterpieces

Every city (almost) has an iconic piece of architecture (or two) that defines it. Sydney has the Opera House, Paris the Tower Eiffel, Venice the Doges Palace and St Marks Church and Florence the incredible Duomo.

Try and include an iconic masterpiece in your travel story, you can bring your own slant to it by shooting it in the light you like, or a particular time of day or something quirky in the foreground.


Venice Carla Coulson travel phtography series

Venice for Gourmet Traveller Copyright Carla Coulson

Humble Exteriors

A well rounded travel story needs many different angles of the city which means showing different areas and architecture. I loved this simple small bridge over a canal in Venice and the colour palette and having variety gives your art director more choice. I also adored the working class island of Burano where the small fisherman’s homes were a huge contrast to the St Mark’s Square and the Doges Palace. Keep your eyes peeled for architecture that tells a different story to the iconic masterpieces.

Burano carla coulson travel photography series

Fisherman’s home Burano Venice Copyright Carla Coulson

Get Up High

In most cities there is an important landmark (such as the cathedral in Milan below) where you can get a different vantage point on the city. Can be fun too if there is a lift!

Duomo Milan Carla Coulson travel photography series

Milan for Gourmet Traveller Copyright Carla Coulson

Architectural Details

I rode, walked and skipped by this fountain a hundred times in Florence and I was always drawn to Neptunes butt! (Sorry guys) Architectural details take us in close to the art of a city and brings the focus up close.

Carla Coulson florence travel photography series

Florence Copyright Carla Coulson

Inside Outside

Try and get into a city and show it from the inside out. That can mean as much as pushing open a door to see a courtyard or walking into the entrance of a museum etc. The above pic was a courtyard off Via Montenapoleone in Milan.

Courtyard off Via Montenapoleone_MG_6631

Milan for Gourmet Traveller Copyright Carla Coulson


Interiors are another fabulous way to get in the architecture of a city. Getting inside adds depth to your story and tells a more intimate part of the cities life. The pic below was taken in the Armani Bar in Milan.

Armani Hotel Bar making signature cocktail (will check name) _MG_5896

Interior – Milan for Gourmet Traveller Copyright Carla Coulson


Hotel Danieli Venice Travel photography series

Venice for Gourmet Traveller copyright Carla Coulson

This interior was taken in the Hotel Danieli in Venice which has an incredible Venetian Gothic staircase.

Simple Details

I am a huge fan of simple details, of striped curtains covering a doorway to a house, a carved face on a corner of a street, washing strung in front of a beautiful buildings.. Don’t overlook details, they often tell the best stories!

Burano 1 Carla Coulson travel photography series

Burano Copyright Carla Coulson

You might like to check out the last part in this series on travel photography, including events in your photographic story.

If you want to learn how to take/create your body of work and sell it online, join my Free Training by clicking above.

These are just some ideas to get you started and I know all of you are always interested  in permissions so you can read about them here.

Wishing you every happiness with your travel stories!

My Favourite Gear

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 

Canon EF 24-70mm 

Canon EF 35mm 

“Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”  Benjamin Disraeli




PS: Feel free to share to fellow travel bugs and photographers. xx

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Francesca Muir
10 years ago

So stunning and so inspirational – as ever! Thank you xx

10 years ago

My sentiments exactly, Francesca! Absolutely amazing.

10 years ago

A trinity: Travel-Architecture-Photography. Wonderful architectural images, Carla!

10 years ago

I love Neptune’s butt as well! Great intriguing shots Carla, and beautiful stories. Thanks! Xcat

emily @

Hi Carla!! How are you? What a wonderful post…so much to look at! That shot of the Milan cathedral is BREATHTAKING! and I’m sure Neptune is smiling. lol!

thanks for sharing,

warm regards from New York

Emily @ TownAndCountryShuffle

La Contessa
10 years ago

Lovely!You are so lucky!xoxoxo

Corrina Tough
10 years ago

This just makes me so much more excited for my upcoming trip to France- can’t wait to use my new found knowledge from the workshop and your wonderful posts! Thanks again for your generosity Carla xx Corrina.

10 years ago

Gosh I love your photography posts – so thankful that you are sharing your knowledge and tips / tricks!! Wonderful pictures as usual!!
Kristina x

Pamela Bates/Mercantile Muse

loving this series….touching upon all the things that make travel special to me. I’m always drawn to the architecture of a place.

10 years ago

I loooove that photo of Venice, and the cheeky one in Florence 😉 thankyou, giving me very itchy feet

10 years ago

Such beautiful photos! Feeling inspired!!

Mary Jo
10 years ago

Beautiful photos Carla–I always love seeing your travel photos and that last one with the stripe curtain is my fav!
xo Mary Jo

Noah Parks
10 years ago

Lovely shots. It makes me sick over how many great shots I have missed by overlooking less glamorous details or the non-sights. Thanks for the tips!