6 Self Portrait Tips for the Solo Travel Girl

I’m a shutterbug and during a typical week-long vacation will return with 1,000+ photographs. Looking through photos from years past I realize I’m not in many. These days I try to include me in a few photos but think it’s a bit boring to hold the camera up and smile so here are some digital camera self portrait photo tips for the solo travel girl (and guy).

Hand Held High Shot – Okay, this is one I admit practicing at home in the bathroom mirror or in a hotel mirror when staying somewhere with really good light. Maybe I’m a bit vein but I can practice my smile and which angle will hide my double chin. Did I just admit that?

Learn to Use the Timer – Does anyone really carry their camera instruction book with them? I don’t but should because although I’ve done it a hundred times, I’m a little slow in remembering how to set my digital camera’s timer but in the end, I get it figured out. Using the camera’s timer setting is another easy way to take a self portrait. The main problem I have is finding the proper place to set the camera and sometimes end up with an angled photo. I have a mini-tripod – which I love – with adjustable legs so if I’m taking a photo from a round rock, I can ensure the photo isn’t crooked.

Get a Little More Reach –The greatest thing since sliced bread for the camera world is an extendable tripod and I have the QuikPod Handheld Convertible Tripod. It’s a bit like extending your hand out and taking your own photo but the extended reach of the tripod allows for more background in the self portrait. It’s also great for group shots (pictured) or for taking photos above crowds. I used it a few times during Obama’s inauguration.

Me and My Shadow
– Self portraits can be so boring sometime. Every once in a while I’ll mix it up and take a photo of my shadow against some interesting architecture, natural landscape or a unique street (i.e.: brick). Or, a reflective storefront is ideal for a self portrait.

Strike a Pose with a Body Part – Toes dipped in the sand really conveys the experience and sometimes rather than my smug mug, I’ll snap a shot of my feet or my hand holding something like a shell or rock to share what’s happening. Included in the slide show is s a photo from my recent scalloping trip to Homosassa where I chose to take a photo of my flipper and scallop bag.

When All Else Fails, Ask for a Little Help – A former Disney cast member (employee) once told me it was company policy to always stop and ask to take someone’s photo for them if they had that Kodak photo look. Not sure if it’s true but I’m always asking if I can take a photo for a couple or family when I see one of them is taking the snapshot. I also do the same for the solo traveler who’s using the Hand Held High Shot or Timer techniques. I really hate asking people for anything but sometimes give in and ask for my photo taken. Before doing so I stage the shot and give instruction to the photographer and always check to make sure it looks okay before moving on.

Yeah, I know, it’s not rocket science but use a bit of creativity for fabulous and memorable self portrait travel photos. Happy travels!

Travel Tips on raveable



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

Temple of Serapis located on the coast of Gulf of Pozzuoli. Image credit: Joseph Walker.
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