How to solo-travel and still makes awesome photos of yourself

Traveling alone is so nice. You can do what you want, you can see what you want and you can photograph what you want. But how do you go about photographing yourself? I’m usually a bit camera shy myself, but I figure this could help (me and) you out.

1. Make a selfie

Simple. Just use the front camera on your smartphone and stretch out your arm. I don’t do this often, because it feels so awkward. Lucky for me there is not always that many people around, so then I get myself together and make a selfie. I sometimes even post them.

2. Use a selfie-stick

Yeah I know, this is just like a selfie but with a tool. I must admit it often looks very ridiculous to me. You can buy a selfie-stick pretty cheap. I suggest buying them in advance, but there certainly is a friendly seller on  one of the town-squares. Maybe he can sell you a powerbank and some hash too. 😉

3. Don’t be in the photo completely

Make a selfie, but don’t try to be in it completely. Have your hand holding a flower or other object. Let your feet hang over the edge of a wall or cliff. Or just show half of your face. Get creative and look for original compositions!

4. Use mirrors or places that reflect

Sometimes you can find a window, or there is an other object that reflects. Using those can help you take a photo of yourself. In old castles you will often find fancy mirrors that might frame your photo nicely. When you’re out in the wild, you can look for a river or lake.

5. Ask a stranger

Ask someone else to make the photo. Look for a person who can work a camera: usually they are carrying one. Ask them to make several photos. I would aim for 4 to 5 photos. Just to make sure you have a photo that you like. If you have a specific shot in mind, feel free to explain it to them. Keep it short, obviously, but tell the frame you would like, specific timing and maybe explain them what pose you’re going for.

6. Ask another traveler

Same as with another stranger, you can just ask someone who travels too: A friend you made at the hostel, someone who’s camping in the same forest or one of the people you are doing a group-tour with.

7. Take your drone out

I don’t have one, but I’m always so jealous of the cool shots people make with them. It’s possible to make them follow you as you walk around. This is a great moment for spontaneous photos. Whenever taking out your drone, make sure it’s legal to do so. In countries (like Belgium) you need a lot of permissions, even when you are out in nature.

8. Use a tripod with the timer

If you have a bit of extra budget, I suggest buying a tripod. You can set a timer to your camera or take out a release cable / remote.

9. Set your camera on burst-mode

It doesn’t matter if you ask a stranger to make a photo, do the tripod-trick or use a selfie-stick: setting your camera on burst will give a series of photos. If you blink on one, the next one will be great. If you want to take a photo of you throwing your hair around, there will be at least one photo you can post on Instagram.

Bonus: Set your camera to take photos with intervals

Some camera’s have options to take photos once every x seconds, minutes or even at random. Setting up your camera (or phone) on a tripod and then using this might help you get more spontaneous photos.

What are your tips for making photo’s while traveling by yourself?

Learn how to edit your selfies too:

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