How to take photos of yourself when travelling solo

Wondering how to get awesome photos of yourself while travelling solo? I’ve rounded up my top solo travel photography tips and tricks!

One of the questions I get asked more than anything is HOW I take pictures of myself when travelling alone. Believe it or not, I don’t have a secret ‘Instahubby’ or professional photographer following me around the world to get awesome travel photos- and you don’t have to either! Taking photos of yourself when your alone just takes a little creativity. Follow these tips and you’ll be getting awesome pictures of yourself in no time!

Top photography tips for solo travel:

1. Ask someone to take your photo

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. When I first started to travel solo, I felt SO awkward about asking people to take my photo. Five years later, and all my pride (and most my dignity) has gone out the window. I now realize that it is worth a few seconds of awkwardness in order to get a once-in-a-lifetime shot. Here are a few of my top tips when asking others to take your photo:

  • Set up the camera up beforehand- take a practice shot to make sure the focus, exposure and framing is set before handing the camera over and jumping in the photo
  • Ask someone who has a decent camera- this may just increase the likelihood that this person has some photography capability and will be able to get a decent shot for you
  • Take multiple shots- Ask the person taking your photo to take multiple shots and change positions as they snap away- no one gets the money shot in just one go (if you do- please teach me your ways)!

READ NEXT: 5 Common Travel Photography Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

2. Use a self-timer + tripod to get the shot

Whenever I travel solo, I will also use the self-timer feature and put my camera on a tripod in order to get photos of myself. A tripod is particularly useful when no one is around to take your photo or when you have more time to set up a specific shot.

Once I have the camera on a tripod, I set my camera to self-timer mode and jump in the shot. Some cameras have a setting where you can use a self-timer in burst mode. This means that camera will take multiple photos once the timer goes off, which saves you from having to run between pressing the shutter button and posing for the photo.

What is the best tripod to use for solo travel photography?

There are two different types of tripods that I personally use. The first is a full-sized Manfrotto Tripod made of carbon fibre, which is a very light yet sturdy material. It is still quite bulky to carry around, so I only use this when I am needing to shoot a lot of photos of myself in a day.

The second is a small tripod with bendable legs, namely a Joby Gorillapod. This is much more portable than a regular tripod, and gives the flexibility of either propping your camera up on surfaces, or wrapping the tripod legs around something like a pole or tree branch. Joby also make a Gorillapod suitable for phones.

3. Use a camera with an in-built wifi feature

These days, many camera have integrated wifi through which you download an app and control your camera from your phone. This is a super useful feature when taking photos of yourself as the app allows you to see a live preview of the photo, press the shutter button and even adjust camera settings. You can also use the feature to download the photos you’ve just taken directly onto your phone. If you are looking to buy a new camera, I’d highly recommend getting one with Wifi functionality for this reason!

4. Take selfies with a wide-angle action cam

In my opinion, you want to curate a high-quality Instagram feed, phone selfies don’t really make the cut.  However, selfies taken on an action cam with a wide-angle lens (such as the GoPro) are a whole different story. The beauty of a wide-angle lens is that ir allows you to take unique point-of-view and action shots that you simply can’t capture with a phone (or regular camera, for that matter).  I have found that the most versitaile mount for taking selfies on the GoPro is the 3-way arm. The mount can be used in three ways- as a simple camera grip, with an extended arm for selfies or as tripod (the lightweight tripod comes stored inside the grip).

My top photography gear for solo travel:

Wondering what type of camera to take on your solo travels? Take a look at my guide to the best cameras for travel photography, which includes a range of options to suit different budgets and levels of photography experience.

If you are wondering what photography gear I travel with when travelling solo, here is my list:

How I edit my solo travel photos:

I use Lightroom and Photoshop for all my photo editing. Both these programs are included in the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (which you can get a free 30-day of here).

Just getting started with photography? Read next: My secrets for amateur bloggers to improve their photos!

Nicola Easterby Bio Image

HEY THERE, I'M NICOLA!

I am on a mission to discover the BEST destinations & dishes from around the world. In fact, I’ve visited 54 countries and cooked 196 cuisines in this very pursuit. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or into the kitchen, come join the adventure!

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