When you travel the world with a group or a partner there is always someone on hand to snap a photo & capture the moment for you. For travel bloggers especially, having yourself included in your travel photos adds a personal touch & an element of engagement to your social media posts, so you can imagine the struggle that arises for solo travelers who want to document their adventures & still be present in their own shots. You will always miss the shots that you don't take, so never miss an opportunity again with these 5 TL Travel tips for solo travelers.
USE A TIMER & TRIPOD
These days, even the most basic digital cameras & cell phones seem to have a built in timer function that will allow you to set down your gear, frame your shot & hop into focus to get the shot that you want hands free. You can do this with or without a tripod, however having a travel sized tripod on hand (we use the Joby GorillaPod) makes it easy to get the exact height & angle that you want without having to find the perfect place to balance your camera.
TL Travel Tip: Try setting up your shot with a wider frame than you will want, so that you can crop & make other adjustments in post-production. This will make it easier for you to step into frame without having to worry if you're being cropped at an awkward angle.
PACK SOME ACCESSORIES
While we absolutely love our Joby GorillaPod, having accessories that don't require you to set your camera down & set up shots will make it much easier for you to capture images on the fly. The selfie stick is a popular piece of gear that can be attached to your phone or GoPro, along with a number of other great pieces from GoPro including their 3-way Grip Arm Tripod, Flex Clamp Mount & Floating Hand Grip (great for adventures on the water!)
TL Travel Tip: When taking selfies with your GoPro, by angling the center of the lens towards your belly button you will avoid cutting yourself off at awkward angles & ensure that your body is in the shot.
ASK FOR ASSISTANCE
Stopping in high traffic areas to set up a tripod is not always going to be the most effective way to get the shot that you want, & if the classic "selfie stick selfie" style is not the look you are going for, then asking a passerby for assistance is the next best thing! If I'm in an area with a lot of tourists, I always try to ask for help from another traveler carrying a Canon DSLR (as that's the brand of camera that I shoot with.) These days having a DSLR does not necessarily make someone a pro photographer, but they will still be more qualified to use & frame your photo than someone who takes their photos with an iPhone.
TL Travel Tip: Do your best to set up your shot for lighting & depth of field BEFORE you stop someone & ask for their help. Again, have your impromptu assistant take the photo zoomed out/ full body so that you can crop it anywhere you'd like in post-production.
POST A PART OF YOU
If getting yourself into a shot just isn't working (or maybe you just don't want to be the main focus of your image), taking a photo with just part of your body can add that personal touch without too much effort in preparing & framing your image.
TL Travel Tip: Take your photo at a variety of angles & with focus both in the foreground & background. It is amazing how quickly a shot can change with just a few small tweaks & I promise that one will stand out over the others!
There are a number of different ways to get the shot that you want while traveling solo, but the most important factor in each one of them is to not be concerned with what other people think of you. Feeling silly or shy about setting up a shot or asking for help in a public place will get you nowhere & feeling awkward is the easiest way to LOOK awkward in your photos. Embrace the selfie & capture each moment the way that you want to. No shame.
Do you have any tricks for getting the travel shots you want while traveling solo? Have you found success using any of the tricks above? Let us know in the comments below & don't forget to leave your Instagram handle so that we can check them out for ourselves!
Note: This post contains affiliate links