If There's No Photo, It Didn't Happen: The Perfect "Outside My Tent" Photo Technique

The greatest challenge facing every real camper/hiker/backpacker out there is: “how do I get the perfect 'outside my tent' photo?” If there’s no photo, it didn’t happen, and it totally happened, so we better get to perfecting our technique.

The Basic Photo Fundamentals

Here are some of the fundamentals for a good tent photo:

  • Framing
    • Use the tent opening to frame your shot. If you can, make the tent sides symmetrical. This is a chance for you to show off your compositional eye.
    • Scenery
      • You almost always have to be somewhere completely stunning, or shoot it at the right time of day so that the lighting makes it pop.  The more impressive the scene, the more impressive your photo. This can sometimes be avoided though, if you put something even more interesting in front of your tent like seen in a couple photos below.
      • Personalization
        • Show all the humans looking at your photo that you’re human too. That’s why you see socks, barefeet, or shoes all the time in these images.
        • Some Pizazz
          • Make the photo your own. Add your dog, a fire, or sunset to make your image better than everyone else's. Use your creativity to be the very best.

The Latest And Greatest "Outside My Tent" Photos

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at some of the greatest “outside my tent” photos I could find on the @outsidemytent Instagram account  (with due credit):


This photo by @briannamadia has all of the things I mentioned above. It is stunning, compositionally pleasing, and has a dash of adorable.

This image by @ekimovegor is absolutely gorgeous with great composition. And this guy is hardcore. He climbed this canyon (maybe) and doesn’t even need a pad or sleeping bag to look at the view.

This “outside my tent photo” by @Travisburkephotography is genius. Every girl wants to have a photo like this. We all want that picture perfect love. Bravo on appealing to human emotion.


@cutz_the_cheese proves to us that you don’t have to have amazing scenery, but you do have to have something rad to look at. This guy is just as epic as some epic scenery. This technique can also be seen in the following image by @roamwildandfree, although it’s got an awesome landscape too.


Who doesn’t want to see a mule?! By @roamwildandfree


Last but not least, this image by @jannikobenhoff & @nois7 has some seriously gorgeous stuff going on. The tent shape is reflected in the mountains, and her shoes match the lake! That’s impressive. Not to mention it’s absolutely stunning wherever she is. I’d jump in that lake pronto, even though it’s probably freezing.

There you have it. “Outside my tent” photos can be taken by anyone. I like to take mine with a fisheye or wide angle lens. Some quick things to watch out for are: blasted out highlights, focus your image correctly, wait for a good sky, make sure your lens is clean. Good luck out there!