“If you’re traveling alone, how do you take pictures?” This is one of the most common questions I get about traveling solo. I must admit, before I ever started traveling solo, I had the same concerns. Selfies are nice, but no one wants to look back on an epic trip only to have selfies to remember it by. So I did some research and tried to prepare for my first solo trip. My amateur self-photography career started off rocky, but by the end, I was a pro. Here are some tips on how to take some awesome Instagram-able pictures while traveling solo:
- Ask a (safe looking!) stranger. This one was obvious, but a little daunting to me at first. Who could I trust enough to ask to hold my camera or cell phone? I learned that you’ve just got to trust your gut on this one. But when I am choosing a stranger to take my picture, I usually go for someone who isn’t by themselves. I’ll ask a nice looking couple who seem to be on a date. Or I’ll ask an older person (surely, they can’t outrun me, right?). Or I’ll ask a family with small children. After all, they can’t snatch my camera if I can snatch their kid!
- Take a tripod. A tripod is a good way to get the shot that you want when working with a real camera. It’s stable and is a safe platform for your camera. Once you’ve set up the shot you want, you can utilize the camera’s automatic timer or a remote and position yourself in the shot to get the perfect picture.
- Learn to use your automatic timer. This tip applies to digital cameras, as well as cell phone cameras. Get familiar with your automatic timer. They are a major key in getting good pictures while traveling by yourself. It may take a few tries to get the picture right, but all the tries will be worth it to get that perfect picture.
- Collaborate with another solo traveler. As solo travelers, we understand the struggle. A good way to get good pictures is to team up with another traveler and agree to take pictures of each other. I once was on an excursion and met another girl traveling alone. We agreed to document each other’s day through pictures on our own phones and swap the pics through email at the end of the day. I ended up getting some great pictures and “off-guards” from our little arrangement, and didn’t have to worry about someone else handling my expensive gadgets. It was a win-win.
5. Buy a drone. This is an expensive tip, but it’s a way to get some great photos and videos while traveling alone. Technology has progressed a long way and now you can use drones to get some dramatic, epic, and handsfree pictures and shots.
Don’t let having no one to take your pictures be a deterrent from traveling solo. Solo travel is an amazing experience, and with a little help from gadgets and other travelers and a lot of creativity, you’ll have great pictures to remember your trip for a lifetime.