Let’s be real. Selfie sticks are kinda embarrassing and they’re one more thing you have to carry with you wherever you go if you bring one with you along your trip. Since I wasn’t going to succumb to the “selfie stick trend” (or risk smacking someone right in the back of their head), I had to figure out a way to get the pictures I wanted.
Not everyone took Photography 101 in college. Thankfully for me, I was in yearbook in high school, so I knew a little bit about capturing the best photo. There are so many factors to consider: the lighting, the time of day that a place isn’t so crowded, angle, balance, etc. It isn’t easy, so I commend everyone that chooses photography as a hobby or even taking amazing photos for a living.
My main concern was getting the shot that represented how a place made me feel. While scenery shots are all fine and dandy, I wanted photos of myself in front of major landmarks without risking someone running off with my phone. Here are a few tips with how I got awesome pictures of myself while traveling solo:
CHOOSE SOMEONE WHO LOOKS TRUSTWORTHY
This was probably one of the hardest things to do during my trip. Not only do you have to be outgoing, but you can’t really judge someone’s character by how they look, right? I think the most trustworthy people you can choose are other travelers. You can easily point out a couple or another person solo traveling and do an exchange, “I would be happy to take a picture of you if you could please do the same for me.” I highly doubt another tourist would run away with your camera or phone. It definitely didn’t happen to me when I was traveling abroad.
CHOOSE SOMEONE WHO LOOKS LIKE THEY KNOW HOW TO USE A CAMERA
My grandma is not savvy with a camera or anything else that is remotely technologically advanced (sorry, Teta). My go-to is someone that has a professional camera. They would actually know what a burst (more of that below) of photos are. They would also know what you mean when you’re talking about angles and lighting, for the most part. That is actually how I met a new friend abroad when I went to London! Great conversation starter, 10/10 recommend (and the guy was totally cute, too!).
TAKE A BURST OF PHOTOS
Bursts honestly saved my trip. It is impossible, and kind of rude, to ask someone to take time out of their day/their trip to have a photoshoot with you at a major landmark like Parc Guëll – influencers and Instagram models, I am talking to you. A burst of photos is like sports mode on a DLSR. iPhones have a feature where you can press and hold on the capture button. Doing so creates a burst of photos, like sports mode, where you can chose your favorite shots. Do a twirl, a jump, whatever you want and I can guarantee your phone will “get the shot.” Don’t believe me? See below for physical proof!
DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
If you spend your time thinking about what others think when you’re getting the shot, or if you’re too embarrassed to even ask someone to take a picture of you, you will go home with little memories from your trip. Do what you want without caring what others think! I was standing over a coffee table to get an aerial shot of a latte and cake I got from Peggy Porschen’s Cakes when a bicyclist Londoner felt the need to comment on my actions. My response? “Bugger off and keep riding, colonist!” Who cares what others think? You’re the one spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to be in another country having the time of your life! Remember that and you’ll be golden always.
If you have any other tips, please leave them below! And as always, thanks for reading.