When you are thinking about setting off on an adventure all by yourself, one concern that you may have is – how to take good pictures of myself when traveling solo? Let’s face it – trips aren’t the same when you can’t prove you were there or taking awesome images for your Instagram. It isn’t impossible! Trust me as a photographer and a solo woman traveling with my toddler daughter, it can be done!
I say that I am a solo woman traveler because even though I am married, my husband rarely is able to join me in our adventures, but loves to see photos of his girls while they are exploring the world.
What Do You Need in Order to Take Your Own Photos?
It isn’t a perfect system, nor is it fast! You are going to need lots of patience and most of all you need to not worrying about what other people are thinking as you are posing. Once you master the technique and timing you’ll be fine and take your own photos quicker. Practice makes perfect!
If there is a shot that you are dying in a specific location you are going to need patience. You might have to wait for people get out of your shot. My biggest tip for photography equipment that you will need (other than a tripod of course) is a shutter remote. This is going to save you SO MUCH TIME! Speaking as someone who has ran back and forth between a tripod and my camera while a timer is clicking down…trust me you’ll want to add this piece of equipment into your camera kit.
Ask Strangers to Take a Photo of You
While it might seem like the most obvious option, it’s not always the best one. In my case, photos taken by other people turn out to be bad, with either my head or legs chopped off. Unless you explain to a person what exactly do you want and tell them to hold the camera in an exact position, your photo will probably be useless.
Personal Tip: Find people with a tripod, they usually know how to take a decent photo. Hold the camera the way you want it and show them a point of interest.
Use a Tripod
As a photographer and solo traveler, tripods are my best friends. I’ve gone through a lot of tripods (mostly because I lose the base) but there are few that I don’t like – most are adequate for daily photography. I do not recommend the to buy the cheapest tripods out there if you have a heavy or an expensive camera. If that tripod falls you might break your fancy camera and lens.
A tripod is also recommendable for more advanced photographers willing to take photos with long exposure (like to photograph the northern lights or dark places, click the links for photography tips for those examples). No matter how steady you might think you can hold your camera it’s never easy to hold your camera steady for that long. I’ve been able to pull it off a few times but once again, time consuming.
Use A Remote!
As I said earlier in this blog post, I’ve been the girl running back and forth praying that my camera didn’t change the focus length when I clicked the shutter button and sliding into “home base” in the family photos…I’ve done it all in my years behind a camera while trying to be in front of it. One of my best investments was a shutter remote for my camera and my phone! This way I can click comfortably with both of my devices!
My biggest tip that I can share if you are taking photos of yourself as a solo traveler…DO NOT CARE! I struggled with this for years! I worried about being “THAT tourist”, or being self conscious around other people so I never liked the photos that turned out because you can see I am not comfortable in the photo. So relax and make sure that you take time to capture the moments and memories you are making!