photography / Travel Tips

How to Take Gorgeous Photos of Yourself as a Solo Traveller!

Last Updated on 30th March 2019 by Sophie Nadeau

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Often I am asked by family and friends (and occasionally via Instagram) how I have so many photos of myself considering how often I travel alone. Whether it’s day trips or longer stints, I often like to have a few keepsakes in the form of photos; I am part of generation selfie, after all! Here are some ideas for taking photos of yourself as a solo traveller:

Wondering how to take gorgeous photos of yourself when travelling alone? Here's your ultimate guide on how to snap pictures when travelling alone as a solo female traveller!

#1 Ask strangers to take photos of you

Ever heard the saying ‘don’t ask and you won’t get’? Well, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking someone to take a photo of you and it’s a great way to force yourself out of your comfort zone. In fact, asking strangers to take your photo is also a great way to strike up a conversation and even make new friends in the process.

When I was in Italy, I ended up going for ice cream with someone I had only asked to take my photo! Considering that I still struggle to use my camera six months after purchasing it, I always always always set the camera to auto before handing it over to someone else to make it easier to just point and click.

If I want a more complicated photo, then I often ask people who are carrying their own cameras and give them an idea of how I’d like the picture to be framed. I don’t ask for too much though… they are doing me a favour, after all!


#2 Only take pictures of your hands/ feet

Sometimes I like to have my left hand (my right hand is always holding the camera- obviously) in the frame, holding a keepsake or instax photo. Other times, if I want to add something a little more vintage, I’ll include a vintage postcard in the snap. If none of these things work, then I might dip my feet in the water, or, in the case of the photo below, rest my feet on the grass.


#3 Purchase that selfie Stick!

Yes, I am a proud owner of a selfie stick. So sue me. I’m a proud perpetrator of the trend that is here to stay. So prolific is the use of this annoyance that signs have been put up in various monuments around Paris asking people not to use them (to avoid selfie-stick related injuries).


#4 Ask friends and family

Of all the ways of taking photos of yourself as a solo traveller, this is probably the least expected. However, I don’t always travel on my own and I’m sure you don’t either! In fact, some of my favourite travel memories have been when I’ve been able to share them with friends and family. The picture below was taken by my cousin on a recent trip to Versailles.


#5 Go old school and use a tripod

‘How vintage’ I hear you say. Everyone has heard the expression ‘if you want something done, do it yourself’ and taking photos of yourself as a solo traveller is no exception! Because, if you want a photo exactly to your specifications; dimension, focus, ISO etc. etc, asking anyone else is not going to cut it. When you have a vision in mind for your photo, returning to the original method for taking selfies is the only way to go!

My camera has a smartphone app where I can control my camera remotely from my smartphone. This has proved SUPER useful in situations where I want to be in the frame. My favourite thing about using a tripod is that you can get really creative. For this shot, I set the camera to a six-second shutter speed and then stood reaaaalllly still in front of the carousel!


#6 Be creative and use mirrors and other reflective surfaces

Get creative; some of my favourite shots have been in puddles, convex mirrors etc. This vintage mirror in the Louvre provided the perfect opportunity for some selfie fun.


#7 Include no people at all!

When you’re taking photos, you don’t always have to include someone in the frame. Just because you’re taking photos of yourself as a solo traveller, doesn’t mean you always have to be in the shot! Although I often like to have someone in the photo to frame the shot/ have photos of myself travelling, sometimes having no one in the shot makes for the best photograph.


My camera equipment for solo female travel photography

Sony A6000: I’ve been using the Sony A6000 for just over three years now. It’s the first camera I’ve ever bought and I’ve been more than impressed with its versatility. As it’s a compact mirrorless camera, it affords the same quality of photos as a traditional full-frame camera without the weight of having all of those mirrors. Perfect for someone who’s always travelling alone!

16-70 mm Vario-Tessar Lens: While the kit lens the Sony A6000 comes with is a great beginners lens, it doesn’t have the same quality or sharpness around the edges that you may well want in the future. And while hte 16-70 mm is a little on the pricey side, its clarity more than makes up for the cost.

DJI Spark: For those wishing to capture more unusual photos, I highly recommend investing in a drone. I bought my DJI Spark in a sale a little while ago, and while I’m still learning how to manoeuvre it correctly, it’s provided me with some beautiful aerial footage thus far!

Instax mini 9: If you’re looking for a more permanent and physical way to capture all of those photographs, I highly recommend purchasing an Instax Camera. Pretty and cute, the photos that come out of this vintage looking camera are perfect for your desk wall, or simply as a keepsake in your purse!

Enjoyed reading this guide to Taking Photos of Yourself as a Solo Traveller? Pin it now, read it again later:

Photography guide for solo female travellers. Looking to take picture perfect stunning photos of yourself when travelling alone? This guide will teach you how to take insta-worthy snaps when solo travelling!

Taking photos of yourself as a solo traveller: How to take beautiful and amazing photos of yourself as a solo traveller! Solo travel tips for getting the best photographs while travelling on your own!How to take photos of yourself as a solo traveller! Photography tips for travel!

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


  • Anaïs
    25th January 2019 at 9:58 am

    This is a great blog post!!! People always ask me the same question as well haha and I actually hate when someone takes a picture of me, because it’s rarely how so want it to be or I’m just not comfortable when someone’s looking at me haha


  • Gautam Raj
    22nd July 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Enjoyed reading this post. You have mentioned some very important and interesting points here…

  • lutreksstaging2
    24th February 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Awesome photos Sophie. You’re, artistic, very photogenic as well as fashionable. Many factors contributing to the optimum pic. I’d worry that someone might take any or all of the equipment. The key would be to not take selfies in a crowded place? I’m impressed at your posting a free article offering very helpful advice to others!! I usually see teasers that lead to paid content. Thanks.

  • Nina | Lemons and Luggage
    4th December 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I still struggle to leave my camera on the tripod to take a picture because I’m worried someone might steal it while I’m away having it take my picture. Probably it’s really silly to be worried about that as I don’t even have a very recent model, but it’s the main thing that keeps me from taking pictures of myself with the tripod.

  • Evelyn
    26th November 2017 at 3:10 am

    I always was into solo photography because by that you are in authority what to shoot and how. The tips she told are so amazing that I am going to try that as soon as possible and will guide all the people who are going for traveling but doesn`t have much people around them.

  • Terrigal Restaurants
    13th November 2017 at 12:17 am

    I enjoy reading your write up and you do have great shots!

  • Bowral Town
    3rd November 2017 at 2:59 am

    wow! you really have a good shots and an awesome write up!! i enjoy reading it!

  • cherwell
    28th September 2017 at 9:14 am


  • Toti
    12th September 2017 at 2:06 am

    I always shy when need to use my Tripod and just in Extreme case I ask other people. This is my gap and I need to improve it. Thanks for the advice anyway, keep going, your pic are amazing.

  • Olivia Peace
    10th September 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I love this!! Fantastic tips, thank you.

  • TElombre
    27th August 2017 at 10:23 am

    What camera do toi use ? Only smartphone ?

    • Sophie Nadeau
      21st September 2017 at 10:02 am

      I use the Sony A6000 with kit lens and my smartphone! 🙂

      • Britta
        15th November 2017 at 1:49 pm

        thank you, thats what I wanted to ask too. Thanks fr the interesting article!

  • Kelly Iverson
    5th August 2017 at 3:59 pm

    As a solo traveler myself, I completely understand this struggle. Especially when you need a few photos to get it right! I’m scared to ask strangers as I don’t want anyone running off with my camera!

  • Miera
    3rd May 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Nice tips! Though aren’t you afraid that someone would get the tripod? Haha

  • Sarah
    26th January 2016 at 9:48 am

    Great post! What tripod do you have? I want to get one but don’t want to be carrying around a really big, heavy tripod while I’m traveling!


  • Mike Wilson
    18th January 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Nice blog! I often ask strangers to take pictures. They are always happy to help!


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