Welcome back to my blog! So amazing that you’ve found the way to storiesoutofthesuitcase and even more proud of you being interested in solo travel, babe! Many of you have asked me recently how I take gorgeous pictures of myself when traveling all alone. And yes, solo traveling and great pictures are a perfect combo. In the last years I practiced a lot, had tons of poor pictures, practiced again, and got me equipped with the right photography gear and hacks. So today, I will guide you through my best tips and the ways I got my beautiful photos created and shot just by myself.
Whether you take pictures with your phone only (this is what I actually do) or have a professional camera with you, all of my tips will apply to your solo travel journey. At the very beginning, there is absolutely no need to invest in high-class gear as you will practice a lot and depending on the cases you want to use your pictures for, there is no urgency to buy expensive stuff before you start solo traveling.
1. Prop up your camera
Let’s say you just start your solo journey and want to travel with less equipment, this tip is perfect for you! You just need your phone or camera and have a look at great spots to place your camera or phone at. This could be e.g. stairs, walls, the top of a bridge. Or simply rest your camera on your rucksack, purse, or just lean it against a bottle or book. Did you know, that you can place your phone upside down to get a much better angle from below? Try it out! To facilitate the photography process, hop onto the next recommendation.
2. Let a tripod become your BF
A tripod is the true game changer for any shoot! Tripods are perfect if you want to catch yourself in different heights. Just adjust the tripod and get some pictures while you are sitting on the ground, or get you directly focused on camera while you have a standing position and having the tripod extended. I recommend a tripod that is stable and can get extended to various heights as this provides more flexibility. Besides make sure that the tripod can get folded to a smaller seize so that it perfectly fits into your travel bags.
If you are not into this big tripod things to carry around with you, then the little spider version is perfect for you. If you follow me on instagram (if not yet, do it now here @storiesoutofthesuitcase I am waiting for you!), all the shots from Paris are done with this only 15 centimeters small tripod! What makes this spider tripod amazing ist that it comes with 3 flexible feet. Thus, you can place is absolutely everywhere and onto everything, you can even wrap it around a railing, or tree or shoot from above your head. This flexibility king offers so many creative opportunities!
3. Use the power of a selfie stick
No no no, selfie sticks are not dead! But having the right one is key! And this means that it can get extended in its height. Especially for smaller people (like me), my arms would be always visible in case that the extension option is not huge enough. I personally love selfie sticks for wide angle shots and also shots from above that I could barely do with the large tripod or the spider tripod when there is no option to fix it onto an object above me.
4. Get in touch with a ring light
Another photography tip to take amazing pictures of yourself while your solo travel deals with light conditions. Yes the hype is real! Ring lights are perfect for close ups and photo shoots of very near objects and subjects. Some of the tripods on the market come directly with a ring light and different light modes such as warm and cold light. Besides, I can totally recommend a small ring light that you can attach to your phone. You just clip this small ring light onto your phone, so that the camera is located in the middle of it and you are good to go. This works also great for taking selfies by yourself or together with the selfie stick.
5. Let the timer mode work for you
After we discussed the different options to hold your camera or phone, so now it’s time to tell you how to take the breathtaking pictures when being the photographer and the model at the same time. One solution is the timer mode. You turn on the timer on your camera or phone, decide for how many shots it should take and also when the first take starts with the countdown. Then quickly head to your favorite place, get into position and the timer will do the rest for you.
If the timer and the few shots are not enough, you can use the burst mode. Burst mode means that the camera shots dozens of pictures right after each other. This is also perfect when you want to try some crazy positions, e.g. jump in the air and have the opportunity to pick the best shots from the burst session later on.
6. Get supported by a remote shutter
Another great photography hack is to get a remote shutter. This small little piece can get connected to your phone or camera using bluetooth. Turn the phone into camera mode and then take your position and press the ‘take a picture’ button on your shutter. This works great for taking pictures and also videos while you can start the video recording with the first press and stop the vide by pressing the button a second time. Just make sure that your hand holding the shutter is not visible in your picture.
7. Ask strangers to help you out
Although I am pretty sure that you know now the main photography hacks for solo travellers, there is another option: ask strangers for help. And please don’t ask just random people, be at bit more picky. This means, ask someone who is already having a professional camera or tripod with him or her. Besides their photography experience, they will also be more open and willing to support you. Talk about how you want the picture to be, composition, etc. Don’t be shy to check the pictures taken and ask for another round if needed. This is way more easier than explaining it to another stranger again and again. It’s for sure a give and get game that means you ending up behind the camera as well. Or you could start with offering taking pictures from them and then ask for some shots in return.
8. Collab with other solo travellers
Other solo female travellers and also of course the male ones, share the same passion for travel as you do! And in these terms you all speak the same travel language. So why not to collab with other travellers and content creators for taking pictures and videos? This is definitely more fun taking photos together and as you will speak the same travel language, great content and pictures will get produced. Reach out to other solo travellers on social media or in facebook groups to build a connection and arrange a shooting date.
9. Prepare your solo photo shoots
After knowing my gear and photography shooting hacks so far, let me be honest with you travel lovelies. Preparation is key!! Get some inspirations from great travel bloggers and influencers. Btw some of my favorite ones are @theblondeabroad, @finding.jules, and @mariefeandjakesnow. Check out how they composed their pictures, look at their outfits, and what kind of props they used in it. Besides, if you are heading to a specific spot on your travel journey, grab some ideas on how to shoot at this place. A great preparation also includes to take the best light and time of day into account.
10. Practice body postures and photo compositions
Don’t freak out if you need some more time for a great shot compared to being photographed by a travel companion. I took dozens of pictures and then realized that my head was not in the pictures or did some crazy poses and then noticed that the timer did not went on, awww. Regarding your body positioning, great pictures are composed of a lot of negative space. This means, the more triangles you can create with your body, the better. Such triangles create those magical negative spaces and make pictures more authentic and real. E.g. putting your hands on your hips results in triangles or lifting your knee up in front of you.
Need a little confidence boost, girl? Here are my 10 greatest techniques to boost your confidence as a woman traveling alone. And this is how to deal with your own body positivity when traveling completely by yourself.
And finally, there is always help on it’s way called Adobe Photoshop and other great apps for your phone helping to remove other people or objects from your pictures. And some lovely photo filters will definitely boost your pictures to the ultimate level!
11. Move other objects in front of the camera
Beautiful imageries doesn’t always need your entire you in it. Get creative your way with capturing your own body. Move certain parts of your body in front of the camera, e.g. shot your hand holding a croissant in front of the Louvre museum in Paris or your feet facing a wonderful surrounding and the list goes on and on and get yourself creative. Besides, sometime amazing photos don’t need you to be in there. Especially while traveling local people make such a powerful part of a photo. And sometimes pictures love to not show someone in there at all, such a picturesque nature scenes, buildings, etc.
As you see, taking gorgeous pictures of yourself while traveling the world solo is absolutely possible! Following some of my recommended tips for travel photography will support you on your way. And further, photography is a truly creative thing, so don’t be shy to experiment, get creative by heart and try out what kind of pictures you love to take and what best covers your own travel passion. I am super excited about your solo journey and to see your shots! Feel free to tag me on social media so that I can repost your shots to my own following.
Get some inspiration for great destinations for solo female wanderers? Read my blog post and get ready for Bali, Cuba, and Paris.
// Disclaimer // I was not paid for my reviews and recommendations mentioned in this blog post. The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are purely my own and can be considered as honest evaluations.
Do those photography tips help you out on your solo travel journey? You need further support with travel photography? Please leave your comments and questions below or DM me on social media @storiesoutofthesuitcase. Happy Traveling ♥