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How To Take Amazing Travel Selfies Solo

So… you’re travelling alone? Me too! I enjoy travelling all by myself. Less stress, more freedom, no compromises and – most important of all – I can be in charge of everything. Except for, well, taking a good photo of myself.

That’s always the problem, isn’t it? To have selfies flood your photos album, or shaky, finger-in-the-way bad pictures taken by strangers. Travelling alone is fun, but having no one with you to take a decent picture to capture the moment is definitely not. So after tons of experiments and failures, let me teach you how to take amazing photos of yourself when traveling alone.

1. Stop caring about how the others might think.

If you can’t take pictures of yourself because you don’t feel comfortable doing it, then I totally understand. I’m generally not a shy person, but when I was traveling I was too shy to take photos in public. That included things like taking selfies in front of iconic sites or buildings. I know everyone (at least every visitor) was doing the same thing, but I just couldn’t do it. The idea of locals walking by and catch me angling the camera and finding the perfect light daunted me. I always thought they’d look at me and think: “Look at that girl! So self-centered.” And as silly as it sounds, thoughts like that and deterred me from switching on the front camera.

But seriously, stop caring about how the others might think, because it’s probably just all in your head. And even if they do judge, who cares? It’s not like you’ll ever see them again anyway. So be brave! Bring out your brightest smile and most authentic feelings at that moment. Laugh! Jump! We are not aiming to be a perfect Instagram model. We just want a reminder that we have ACTUALLY been there.

travel selfies solo barney

2. If you ask strangers to take pictures of you, make sure you give them instructions. 

Following the idea of not caring about how the others might think, when kindly asking random people on the street to take a photo, try to be more specific and as detailed as you can. Tell them what do you want to include in the picture, the angle you want it to be, or even take a demo of the background for their reference. It might sound a bit bossy, but TRUST me: you won’t regret it later.

So be demanding! It’s YOUR picture and you want it to be good. And of course, don’t forget that “please”, “thank you” and a sincere smile are the things you need.

travel selfies solo gossip girl

3. Tripods and WiFi-controlled cameras are your best friend.

Don’t let the word tripod scare you off. It’s not just for professionals anymore; you can easily find one on eBay or Amazon these days. A tripod is particularly useful when you try to take pictures of yourself in nature. On the other hand, with a WiFi-controlled camera, pictures such as back photos (which are outrageously trendy on Instagram BTW) are now are easy as pie. You can take as many “oops the camera just got me there” photos as you want.

If a tripod and camera are too bulky for you, your mobile can do the trick too. All you need to do is to find a sturdy horizontal object to hold your phone. Turn on the timer function, run fast, pose smart and BOOM. You’ll have a lot of fun trying to catch the timing.

travel selfies solo hunger games

4. Don’t be afraid to use any tools or gadgets to widen the angle.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of selfie sticks. But there is no denying that it helps capture more in a frame by extending the length of our arms. So if you like it, use it. Those portable clip-on wide-angled lens are equally as useful. If you really can’t find a sturdy object to hold your camera or phone, your backpack comes in handy too. Be creative; make use of everything that can possibly be used.

travel selfies solo obama

I totally understand taking good photos of yourself is not going to be easy. But don’t let it be the reason for stopping you from trying. You want to know my last tip? Be relentless, restless, and most importantly shameless. They don’t know you anyway.

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Jenn L.

Jenn is a politics student from Hong Kong who has just returned from her exchange semester from China and Australia. She found her interest in travelling since her field trip to Inner Mongolia and took the courage to travel alone when she hit 18. She shares passion in ending poverty and believes in the power of individuals. And without fail, always forgets to drink her tea hot.


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