This post contains affiliate links. To be honest, travelling by yourself and getting decent photos with you in them while doing so can be such a pain. (Just as having to take photos of yourself “as proof” even if you are on a long streak of “I can’t be bothered to look decent and just want to explore”). But once you do want to get those envy-inducing shots, here are my essential tips to spice up your photo album or facebook feed. Warning: sarcasm ahead.
Selfie (with and without sticks)
This is the most obvious one and ideal for people with long arms. For shorter arms and the option of having not a fishbowl head and not cutting off your face, the infamous selfie sticks does the trick. There is no shame in owning one no matter what people say, the only obnoxious thing is to shove it into people’s faces and destroy photo opportunities for other people. Thus, use with caution.
Selfie Gangster Shots
This is very similar to number one and pretty much like a regular selfie. The twist: you don’t even have to travel an inch but like the woman who tricked her parents into thinking she travelled the world while being in her room, you can just fake it until you make it. To get inspiration, watch this German ad, which I absolutely love.
Foot and hand selfies
For the lazy, no-makeup days and if you want to highlight the fact that you have hands and feet that are (optional) in water or sand or in the vicinity of a coconut cocktail. No need to be a hand or foot model for that, a little bracelet or anklet and a nice prop will do the trick. For pros, you can make your fingers or even hot dogs look like legs and not even bother shaving or putting on a bikini. Win win! (If you are really feeling adventurous, try making people believe hotdogs are your legs.)
Ask a stranger
Use this one with caution and only when you are feeling really good that day and have no expectations whatsoever of how your photo will look like. Chances are, it won’t anyway. (“Please, just from the waist upwards, no fence, thank you.” [5 minutes of awkward smiling later] “I see you got creative of how much fence and path you can put in that picture without fully cutting off my head.”)
Join travel groups
Chances are, there is one self proclaimed photographer within your group (I found there are certain types of people on groups) and even so, there are a lot of people you can ask to take photos of you and you will have more time trying to find the ones that do not as which button is the right one to make the clicking sound.
Find a day travel buddy
This one is good because after a while your travel buddy will have figured out how you want you photos, hopefully before resigning their post. Either that or you will travel with someone who takes most of the time posing themselves. In case you need company, you can look on couchsurfing, local facebook groups or travel buddy apps.
Hire a city photographer
This one is if you want to spoil yourself and dip into your travel funds for some seriously classy posing sessions. You could find them through facebook pages or on twitter or stop by flytographer to hire a photographer for a day.
Use a tripod
This might be an option if you have not yet reached your luggage allowance yet as tripods can be bulky and heavy. And don’t forget them at Kata Tjuta, like I did. Despite being a tad impractical they can make big difference in your photo set up and independence. I personally loved my small gorilla tripod as it stands on any surface and can be bend into any fun shape in case you’re bored or need new yoga pose inspiration (except liquids, unfortunately).
Use any random ledge, wall or elevation
A very obvious thing but still often overlooked: why not just find an adequate place to put your camera on (and maybe secure it with the straps around a branch or something). The only trouble is that you might not get everything in the picture so you need to look hard. Also, be careful of your surrounding so that you can avoid your precious camera getting stolen.
Place on floor and tilt up with a stone or stick
This is my go-to tip and explains my tendency for low angle shots. I love how it adds more foreground and an interesting new perspective and is quite different from the regular frontal holiday shots. Also, it is much cheaper than a tripod (unless someone steps on your camera).
Use a tripod as a selfie stick
I saw this clever trick on Casey Neistat’s vlog and would have never thought of that by myself. I totally love the idea of getting a little more distance than from using your regular arm. A selfie stick is not really an option with big DSLR cameras so this is great. Plus, it’s a workout (try running around with that all day).
Use a remote to take photos without timer
I got this gift for my birthday and thought I haven’t used it so much (because I keep forgetting it and it is so small that I fear losing it), a remote for self timed photos is super convenient. Mine is the AmazonBasics Wireless Remote. Just don’t forget to pull out the little see-through strip to activate it and then change your camera settings to make it work.
Burst and serial shutter mode
I love the setting where my camera takes several photos in a few seconds and try to capture my jumping shots this way. It also allows you to take several poses without having to run back to the camera to trigger the self time again.
Take a video and screenshot
This is a very easy, albeit not very high quality option for getting a good shot out of a series of poses when your shutter doesn’t last that long. Just take a video, do your thing and later on your computer, get a full view screenshot (use the ‘Print’ key). Also, it saves you SD card space.
This is a very new thing and I haven’t tried it yet but I Sabina from Girl vs Globe raved about it and her photos look gorgeous so you might as well take this into serious consideration and think about splurging on the Panasonic LUMIX for 4K. I would definitely love to try this and if you have, let me know your thoughts.
This is slightly different than the selfie gangster because you don’t even need to leave your laptop for this. Super lazy scale is on full 100 here (although it does take some effort if you want to make it look convincing). Case in point: see my popular flying on a kid’s toy plane logo.
Mug and speeding shots
This is so not recommended but I bet still very effective though I am uncertain whether you are allowed to get a copy of those in the first place (and look good in them). Better avoid.
If you are keen on updating your photography game, here are some hand-picked cameras and gear. The images lead to affiliate links which comes at no additional cost to you but will help bring more content to this blog with a small commission.
And that’s that. Tell me: Which point has made you grab your camera now and rush out. Hello? You still here? Huh.
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means I get a little commission in case you buy the item. But as always, these are things I recommend anyway it only may allow me to buy a new bar of chocolate to stay energised and hyper. So a big thank you in advance.