Every wonder how I manage to take photos of myself while travelling?
I’ve had many people ask how I do it – and I admit it’s not always easy to get that *perfect* shot.
Essentially there are six methods I use to capture a photo that has me in it, depending on the circumstance.
(All photos in this piece have been snapped according to each method.)
1. Set up a Tripod – and run!
One camera I owned had a built-in intervalometer which meant it would continuously take a photo every second for a set amount of time. Unfortunately my new camera doesn’t have this feature. (A remote doesn’t always work either because I’m often too far from the camera). Instead, I’ll set up a tripod for my camera, set a 10 second timer and then run like a crazy person to get into the correct spot – hopefully.
This is by far the most time consuming way to get the photo I want, especially if I have to do several takes. It’s also the most exhausting as sometimes I have to literally sprint into place. Tripods aren’t always easy to carry around the world either. But it’s often necessary when I travel solo and there aren’t other people around to ask to snap it for me.
2. Selfie Stick
I cringe every single time I pull out my selfie stick. But admittedly, with my GoPro screwed in on top, it takes fantastic photos I wouldn’t be able to capture otherwise. And thankfully it’s become more popular and I’m usually not the only one snapping photos of myself from a stick!
3. Ask a Friend
This past year and a half I’ve been very fortunate to have spent the majority of my time travelling with friends and family. Unfortunately, they get stuck being my photographer at new destinations. I try to be respectful of their time so only ask when it’s a moment I just can’t pass up. Thankfully, they also realize this is part of my job and not just a holiday for me and are usually more willing to snap the perfect photo.
4. Ask a Stranger
This option sometimes comes with hilarious results. You can never tell whether a person will be a great photographer or not, even if they’re carrying a fancy camera. Often what I do is take a photo in advance and show them how I want the frame to look (in terms of placement of myself or other features in the photo). Or I’ll offer to take a photo of them, create the look I want for them and ask them to return the favour. It’s not always successful but people are usually pretty good at attempting to take the photo I’m hoping for.
5. Take LOTS of Pictures
I often set my camera to a high speed shutter burst. So instead of one photo, the person taking the picture will snap off 5 or 6 photos in a second or two and capture those more natural moments that you don’t get while posing. This is particularly useful for those “walking away from the camera” or “hair blowing in the wind” shots as well as jumping photos.
6. Photoshop Panoramas
The photo I asked someone else to take:
The photo I stitched together in Photoshop from two other photos I took earlier:
This option is on the very extreme end of photo taking and I rarely do it. And no, I definitely don’t Photoshop myself into photos in places I have never been. In one instance, I took a three photo panorama of the landscape that I wanted to be stitched together in Photoshop later. Then I handed the camera to the person I was asking to snap a photo of me and stepped into the photo. Afterwards, I stitched her photo in to the panorama I had taken so I could be in the picture the way I had envisioned.
It definitely takes a little bit of creativity and can be very time consuming to take photos of yourself on holiday. But thankfully there are a variety of ways to ensure you get the best photo while exploring a new area.
Do you have any other methods to take photos of yourself that work well? Let me know in the comments!