Photography, Travel Tips
Comments 64

Easy Ways to Take Awesome Photos When You Travel Solo.

Svaneti georgia, shivya nath, the shooting star blog

When I travel alone and post an introspective photo of myself gazing into a magnificent horizon beyond, I often get asked if a photographer is shadowing me. The answer is no, but thanks for the compliment!

Those dreamy pictures rarely do justice to the overwhelming feeling of solitude, in a place of raw beauty. Indeed, some of my earliest travels, like to pristine Bunaken in Indonesia and remote north-western Vietnam went completely uncaptured. I eventually decided to start taking photographs on my travels in the hope that it will lure others to kick their comfort zone and go exploring. I now use my beloved iPhone 6 and handy Sony Cybershot RX II on the road, and here are my tips:

Remotely control your camera with a smartphone

This is my favorite way to get an introspective shot. I connect my camera using its internal wifi to my iPhone, so I can see exactly how I look in the frame and have no time limit. It works brilliantly, so much so that I prefer getting my own photos even when I’m traveling with a friend.

Use the good old self timer

Thanks to my iPhone 6, I rarely use my camera these days. But the good old self timer function is hard to replace – I set up my Sony Cybershot on an even surface or on the ground, hit the ten second timer, and walk into the frame as best as I can. It takes a few tries to get a good shot, but hey, it’s always worth the exercise!

Get a bluetooth remote

I’ve just ordered one, and that should probably eliminate the need for using my camera completely! They say it’s as small as a keychain, comes with a stand for uneven surfaces and works for both photos and videos up to 90 feet away. Connect with me on Instagram @shivya to see for yourself how well it works.

Take a creative selfie

I hate conventional selfies. But over the years, I’ve found creative ways to insert myself into a picture to capture the essence of a moment or feeling, without actually having my face in it. Those itchy feet play the part well, as do the scribbling of thoughts that flow along.

Find better angles with a selfie stick

I dismissed selfie sticks as the pinnacle of narcissism, until I saw some bloggers use them rather interestingly! You can creatively angle them to take dreamy shots from the back or the top, and end up with some pretty awesome results. Check out my friend Kristin’s inspiring Instagram gallery for ideas, and read her recently released book – How to Solo Travel the World Fearlessly!

creative angles selfie stick, be my travel muse, kristin addis

Mountains meet selfie stick. Photo by Kristin Addis.

Ask someone you meet along the way

Although my favorite solo travel moments are of complete solitude, with not a soul in sight, I’m always meeting people along the way – locals, hosts, fellow travellers. I hand over my phone and tell them the angle I want; I’ve found that people are not only happy to oblige, but it’s also a great way to get a conversation going. Once in Madrid, I shyly asked an old gentleman in broken Spanish if he could take a photo of me. We got talking, swapped stories about our lives, he showed me some of his favorite spots by the lake, and even invited me home to try his wife’s cooking! All in a photo’s worth.

Thinking of traveling solo? Start here.

Read: Practical Ways I’ve Learnt to Stay Safe While Travelling Alone

Got any creative ideas to take photos of yourself when traveling alone?

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64 Comments

  1. That answers my question…always have sed to wonder how you manage to click such amazing snaps when travelling solo 🙂

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  2. Arijit Nath says

    Marvellous journey & Awesome photos. I would also like to have a similar living after leaving my corporate lufe. But my query is- how do you finance your journey? with best regards.

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  3. Colleen Brynn says

    I have had some pretty funny (read: BAD) photos taken by strangers. Hilarious to look back on.

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  4. Those are some really cool photos and selfies. I am impressed at how artistic they are – you’ve taken the selfie to a whole new level. You have no need for friends 🙂

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  5. Coolpams says

    Fabulous Pictures, Just loved them. The ideas for capturing the essence of journey along with bit of traveller is incredible. :).. A big hug for this….

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  6. Appreciate the way you have taken photos of yourself. Just love them. However, I’m little apprehensive about giving camera or phone to strangers.

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  7. I use all of these, except the remote (though I carry it on all my trips) 🙂 The one most commonly used it ‘asking a stranger’ or ‘taking a creative selfie – including the use of a selfie stick. GoPro also works great for selfies and I use it more and more now…

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  8. Ashutosh says

    I’ve been struggling with this part of travel capturing a lot 😉
    Will go back and improvise. Appreciate your write ups 👍🏻

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  9. Hard to believe that the creative selfie you have taken. Those photos are as creative as I think that a professional photographers clicked them. Very impressive.

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  10. Thanks for including me Shivya! I used to think the same until I finally caved in and bought one. I don’t really like them used in the standard way but after slinging it over my shoulder, realized it kind of looked cool – like I was a video game character.

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  11. Roberto Amaral says

    Was just gifted a selfie stick! Might try out some interesting angles now! 😉

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  12. I just came back from solo road trip on manali-leh highway. At one point i thought i have no pictures of myself with the landscapes. Thats where the idea of iphone and timer clicked me. I managed a few good shots with snow capped mountains. I should get a selfie stick and an iphone tripod along with a bluetooth remote. Great post. Peace.

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    • Awesome! That’s one worthy landscape to have your photos with, atleast for memory’s sake 🙂 Glad you have new ideas to experiment with now.

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  13. Wow! Great tips! Amazing pictures shared by you. The selfies clicked by you are really impressive. I always wondered how I would manage clicking my pictures on a solo trip to new destinations. Now with your great post, I have got the ideas!

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  14. This answers all the questions I’ve ever had about how solo travellers manage such fabulous pictures! I think they end up looking self-obsessed if you always show your face though. That’s why I like your penchant for side profiles and back shots.

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  15. Thanks a ton 🙂 Those are some really good ways to take selfies! Am gonna try these next time also planning to buy a RXIII.

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  16. i hardly do selfie during my travels as it leads to narcissism, but your post gives me a different, more creative idea of doing that. and yeah, i almost forgot about using the 2 and 10 second timer features (except for capturing yoga poses at home ;). i think i should use that for my next selfies. thanks for sharing!

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  17. Great ideas. I bought the Bluetooth remote it works great, especially while trying to take a pic with the dogs. However I love your advice on the selfie stick. Thanks!

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  18. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I just need to figure out how to do the same and pay for it all. But I am following and loving your journey.

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