It can be hard to take the perfect shot if you’re feeling self-conscious about strangers watching you pose. Many things could go wrong too. The background could be great but your poses look awkward. There might be too many people in the shot. The lighting could be off and your subject, out of focus.
Do you begin to wonder how those travel bloggers produce such beautiful content in your feed? What sorcery did they do?
It’s really no sorcery but it does take a couple of tricks that we’ll share with you to help minimize those uncomfortable feelings and get you on the right track to taking some incredible travel selfies and feeling more confident as you go.
PREP YOUR SELFIE-READY SKIN
Travelling is fun, but it stresses out your skin. Constant exposure to dust, pollution, drying airplane cabin pressure, and temperature changes can mess up your skin.
A common mistake people make is neglecting skin care. A good percentage of your selfie comes from having selfie-ready skin. Sure, you can use a good filter to edit out blemishes here and there; however, with proper skincare, there won’t be any need for spot-treatment edits. A good cleanser-toner-moisturizer can do wonders for your skin to combat daily facial stresses.
You can also tighten your skin in your own home to prep before your travels. Do the work beforehand and see the good results of tighter, brighter, and smoother skin after you’ve taken your photos.
Another important step in your skincare should be making sure to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water while traveling. Not only will it keep your skin fresh and supple, but it will also help in preventing fatigue.
INVEST IN A GOOD CAMERA AND PRACTICE
If you want great social media-worthy selfies, invest in a good travel camera that can take high-quality photos. You can even choose the ones that have a front-facing screen or a flip-out LCD screen to take better selfies.
Of course, as the saying goes, a master with a wooden sword can defeat a novice with a steel sword. You really have to practice the camera settings and understand placement before expecting good photos. Great photos don’t happen just because you have the best photography gear in the market. Use your camera and tripod to practice different settings you’d like to try on your trip. The more you practice, the less anxious you’ll feel.
SHOW UP EARLY
Showing up early is the best way to avoid the crowds, especially if you’re headed to a really popular destination. A bonus to showing up early is that you won’t feel too self-conscious about posing or snapping photos to your heart’s content without the crowds of people ruining your shot. You have more time to set up your camera, adjust your pose, and have the possibility of having the place all to yourself for a while.
Alternatively, you can do advanced research on the locations you want to visit and take note of the peak hours for travelers.
USE A SELF-TIMER
If you’re a shy solo traveler, the self-timer is your best friend. Almost all cameras have this feature to take great selfies as if somebody else had taken them.
Find a good spot to place your camera. Attach it to a tripod if you have one and set the timer to 10 seconds to allow yourself some time to get into your pose. A wireless remote control would allow you to have more control when your camera snaps your photo. This way, you’re positioned with your best angle without being pressured with the 10 seconds countdown.
PRACTICE YOUR POSES
Nailing the perfect travel photo isn’t easy. By practicing your poses, you can learn more about which angles show your best sides, which poses flatter your body, how to place your limbs, among many others. Find a pose you’re comfortable in. Sometimes, one is what you need to begin in.
While you develop the confidence and experience in experimenting with your equipment, practicing helps you make the selfie process quicker and more efficient especially if you’ve got so many places to visit.
PLAN YOUR OUTFITS
While digging through your wardrobe for outfits for your trip, do advance research on your destination. If you know it’s a location with a dark green forest, you don’t want to blend in your background. Try adding a pop of color that complements the place to stand out. Of course, if you’re packing light, neutral colors are always a safe choice. The pop of color can be a small accessory that wouldn’t take too much space in your luggage.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE BACKGROUND
The selfies either have really interesting backgrounds or really plain ones. Do take note that when you want to take travel selfies, put your face on one of the sides and not the middle. Your full body doesn’t have to be in the photo. You want the landscape to be the focal point.
ASK A STRANGER
Sometimes, all you have to do to nail the perfect shot with your intended background is to ask a friendly-looking person to take your photo. Keep in mind your safety and the safety of your camera first before you do so.
When you’ve decided to ask a stranger, remember to manage your expectations. The stranger may or may not understand your instructions. They might not even be good photographers themselves so you may not get the results you want.
Here are some few quick tips when asking a stranger:
- Ask someone with a DSLR or mirrorless camera on their neck. Chances are, they might know how to use it and they’re unlikely to do anything untoward to your camera since they already have one.
- Show them an example. Make sure the settings are correct and try to compose the shot and snap a sample photo for them to follow. It’ll be easier for them to figure out exactly what you want if you show it to them directly.
- If the first photo wasn’t to your liking, ask someone else. Don’t take too much of the stranger’s time because they’re also doing other things themselves. Politely wait for that person to walk away and try to look for someone else. It might take a bit longer for the perfect selfie but great things take time to make.
Don’t feel too pressured to take the ultimate perfect travel selfie. At the end of the day, the memories you make of your travel are what’s more important. If you’re conscious about strangers, chances are you’ll never have to meet them again after the trip so don’t hold back. Enjoy what you do and it will be reflected in your photos.