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

 Often I am asked by family and friends (and occasionally via Instagram) how I have so many photos of myself solo 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. This way, photos still have a ‘human touch’ to them without feeling too staged!


#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.


How to take photos with no one else in them

Another gripe of many budding photographers is that they’ll often find their photos to be full of other people! Obviously if you want photos of yourself, you don’t want too many other people in the backdrop of your shot. Luckily, there are a number of tips and tricks you can implement to avoid getting too many people in the frame.

Head out earlier in the day

Heading out earlier in the day is an easy way to ensure that you’ll be able to capture your photo with fewer people. This is especially the case in more popular destinations. For example, I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll say it again: if you want to see golden hour in Paris, then you simply must make sure to visit Trocadero in the morning as opposed to during the evening!

Choose your angles wisely

Yet another expert tip for taking photos with fewer people in them is to simply choose your angles better. Avoid getting busy walkways and instead try and include more sky and fewer roads. You could also consider adjusting the frame so that there is more sky in the photo!

Cropping is key!

Similarly to choosing your angles wisely, another key element for ensuring less people in your solo travel photos is to crop the photo. For example, if there’s someone just at the edge of the frame, then you can easily crop it so that there’s no one left!

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:

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Wednesday 10th of November 2021

Thanks for the article

I also have Sony A6000.

About Italy, many people have mentioned that it does not allow selfie stick or tripod. Most people say just museum (make sense), but to what extend. Also most people on internet say this. Italy is a safely place but watch pick pocket. Make sure your camera or handbags are hard to grab. Don't leave your stuff on the floor or it may be gone right away. Well, if I have to do this, I have to pay attention to someone. If someone can grab my stuff easily, those people can snatch cameras if I hand to them. If the places allow tripod, will tripod be around after the pictures are taken. I heard that people have to watch out the skillful pick pockets in Western Europe. If they are good in pick pocketing, they will be happy to snatch the stuff when they get the camera or snatch the tripods.

Any suggestions

Kaelyn Grace Apple

Friday 23rd of August 2019

Hey! I also have a Sony A6000 and was wondering which app you use to capture the photos when your camera is on the tripod?


Friday 25th of January 2019

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

Sunday 22nd of July 2018

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


Saturday 24th of February 2018

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.

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