I get asked this a lot and to be honest, there’s no one sole method.
It’s still something I still struggle with. I think most bloggers do unless they’ve got an Instagram husband/boyfriend or personal photographer following them around. For every effortlessly casual girl wandering across your feed, you can guarantee a fair bit of thought went into how to get the shot.
It’s not just an issue for bloggers. If you’re a solo traveller you’re bound to want a few photos of yourself to make those memories last. So how to do it when no one one else around?
These are a few main ways I get in front of the lens:
Ah, my old friend. Almost every camera has this, even smartphones. I like to place mine or a wall or window sill (or whatever’s around), set the timer then run off to pose.
Top tip: DON’T run if there’s a drop like this one above 😉
Ask a stranger
Sometimes there’s nowhere to put your camera when you want to use self-timer. Grab a stranger – preferably someone with a good camera. Not because they’ll use it to take the photo but because they’ll probably have at least some basic photography skills.
Tip 1: Line it up for them. It’s the only way to guarantee you’ll get anything close to what you want.
Tip 2: Chat! Science proves it people like you, they’ll work harder when they do you a favour. I just made that fact up but it’s definitely true.
Tripod / Gorillapod
You can get fairly lightweight tripods but if you don’t want to lug one around, consider a Gorillapod. These are mini tripods with short, bendy legs that can be manipulated and attached around anything – tree branches are a personal favourite of mine. They’re crazy lightweight (about a quarter of the weight of my iPhone) and you can throw them in your handbag.
Top tip: If you’re using a camera larger than a small compact, you’ll need to use a Gorillapod that can take its weight. For my bridge camera I use a 1kg Gorillapod.
Don’t judge – us solo travellers gotta do what we gotta do. Self-taken photos don’t have to include cheesy smiles either – you can use them to capture your ‘staring out at the view’ pictures perfectly. I use my GoPro on a stick religiously to get myself in the shot – and the whole thing feels less tacky when it’s a GoPro rather than a phone. I don’t know why.
Top tip: Taking a stranger’s eye out won’t win you any friends so be mindful with any kind of stick.
Get someone to pretend to be you
Wait – what?
Sometimes when I want to take the photo I get my sister to pose with her head turned so she could easily be me. This method may be unique to me – but if you have a sister I’d recommend giving it a go.
Do any of these methods work for you? Do you have any others you like to use? Let me know in the comments!
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