Ahhh The Taj Mahal, an item on every wanderlust-ers bucket list.
This iconic monument and one of the seven wonders of the world was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan after his third wife Mumtaz Mahal died giving birth to their 14th child.
Although it is nearly impossible to avoid the crowds (and there will be crowds) there are a few things you can do to get “the shot”.
1. Visit during sunrise or sunset
If you visit during sunrise you can avoid a bulk of the crowds however I must stress that the masses of people trying to snap the same shot as you will still be there, the key is to practice patience. If you’re not a morning person you have not run out of luck. Although the Taj Mahal is busy in the afternoon you will have the advantage of a colourful Indian sunset to compliment your photographs.
Avoid visiting in the middle of the day when the sun is high as this will cause harsh shadows, glare, over exposure and high contrast. Not a good combination. If you must visit at this time perhaps consider attaching a polarising filter to your lens for a better result.
2. Try experimenting with perspective shots
You may find yourself bending into all sorts of weird shapes and positions to get these shots but the results are worth the stretch. Personally these are my favourite kind of photographs. Try holding something interesting in the foreground casually featuring the Taj Mahal in the background. Try lying on the ground or shooting directly up into the detailed arches to capture what its like to be standing up close to the Taj, which brings me to my next tip…
3. Get up close and personal
Every part of the Taj Mahal is impressive, once up close you will find some of the most detailed art and workmanship in the world. Marble carving and precious stones embellished in the walls is something I found to be the most beautiful feature of this complex piece of architecture. Grazing my fingers across the walls of the Taj was an experience that made me understand and appreciate every inch of this beauty.
4. Find interesting angles
I spent a good half hour walking around looking only through the view of my camera screen trying to find interesting angles, shapes and lines to get a creative shot.
Chances are, other people are using the same “technique” so watch your step. Once you find something that catches your eye, try snapping from different angles.
5. Dress in vibrant colours.
The first thing I learned in India is that the women are as bold as their clothes and they do not have time for black and white. Vibrant colours are a must and believe it or not, you will look less of a tourist. For the purpose of photography tips, wearing vibrant colours mixed with reflective white marble, a gorgeous sunrise or sunset mixed with beautiful art work and interesting angles it is impossible to take a bad photo. As I mentioned, it just takes patience.
Even if you’re not the most confident photographer or think you lack a creative eye, just be patient and let the Taj and other elements do the work for you. This building can only be described as divine beauty so try not to overthink it or be intimidated by pushy people with big cameras and even bigger personalities. Your photos will be amazing if you spend the extra few seconds making sure everything is in order and just keep snapping.
I would love to see your photos of the Taj Mahal tag #awanderlustsoul on Instagram to share them with me or comment your own tips below.