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A Solo Traveller's Guide to Taking Selfies

Montane Mansions, Hong Kong

It's all well and good to have photos of the places you've visited, but sometimes it's nice to appear in them yourself. I like having photographic proof of my presence somewhere, especially when I've travelled half way across the world to see something spectacular. It's not just for Instagram (although I won't lie, I obviously want it for that too), but I want to send it to my mum and say, 'Look where I am!', or to have it put in a frame for memories. Travelling solo means you might not always get a great photo of yourself, but here's how I manage it:

Tripod + self-timer

Tripod selfies at Montane Mansions
Taken at Montane Mansions, Hong Kong

This is one for the dedicated bunch. I travel with a Manfrotto mini tripod which attaches to the bottom of my Olympus Pen E-PL7 so I can prop it up in any old place. My camera has a remote viewing option, meaning I can see what the camera sees from my phone and can position myself in the right place to take the photo. It takes a bit of practice, and if I go too far, the phone loses range of the camera and then just starts taking photos whenever the hell it likes, but with some patience, you can get an awesome shot.

Selfie mode

Taken at Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Hong Kong

For a quick, easy pic of myself somewhere, I'll just use the front-facing camera on my iPhone 7 to get a selfie. There's no shame in it and you absolutely won't be the only person doing it if you're somewhere well-known. Lots of tourists opt for selfie sticks, but a lot of attractions and sights are actually now banning them, so check before you go!

Ask somebody!

Taken on the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to Lantau Island, Hong Kong

It can be a bit awkward, but just asking somebody to take a photo of you is the easiest way to get a full length photo of yourself with a decent view behind you. You're likely to ask people who are used to using their mobile phone for photography though, so if you're handing them an actual camera, do both of you a favour and switch it to auto mode! It's also a great way to meet people when travelling solo, as you can return the favour and then strike up a chat. That's exactly how I made travel buddies in Kuala Lumpur and on the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.

There's no need to be embarrassed about wanting a photo of yourself when travelling alone, so figure out what you're comfortable doing and how patient you are, and shoot!


A Solo Traveller's Guide to Taking Selfies


  1. Such a great guide. I'm always trying to take pictures when I'm trying alone. I just figured out how to do the remote camera option.

  2. 99% of the photos on my feed of myself are taken by me ... I feel like I'm an expert tripod user now! :D :D :D

  3. It's a revelation, isn't it? Sometimes it can take SO long to set up, but once I have a picture in mind, I'm determined to get it!

  4. I'm always amazed at your selfie game, Jaime! Tripod queen!

  5. I am in awe of your tripod skills - absolutely loved the photo from HK! I can barely take a selfie, let alone even contemplate using a tripod so I think I shall stick for food... hehe!

  6. I love this! Sometimes it's hard to not feel weird taking photos of yourself, but then once you have the photos, they're totally worth it!

  7. I neeeeeed to get a tripod - completely in love with your self-timer one! Totally agree on asking people being a great way to meet people too, so many people I asked to take photos of me when I was travelling solo became people I spent a bit of time with in some way or another :)

    Sophie | Sophar So Good


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As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review