This is a question I get asked plenty of times. Beck, how do you take photos as a solo traveller? The answer, it’s very easy but very time consuming. Taking photos or videos by yourself isn’t that hard in theory, but there are definitely challenges. This blog will teach you how I take my blog/instagram photos and youtube videos on my solo adventures.
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Table of Contents
Important things to Remember
Firstly, when you are taking photos or creating content by yourself, you need to remember not to care what anyone thinks of you! You are going to get some funny looks when you are setting up a tripod and posing, or talking to a camera. Just remember you are never going to see these people again and who cares what they think! The first time is going to be extremely awkward, but your confidence will grow the more you do it. In today’s society, it is fairly normal for people to blog or influencers to take photos by themselves. So, don’t think about it too much and think about those amazing shots you are going to capture!
When setting up for photos, make sure to watch you camera equipment! I never go far from my tripod or have it out of sight, because there are people out there that will take this as an opportunity to steal your stuff. This is another reason why you should look into travel insurance! Also be careful who offers to take a photo of you. Sometimes it can be hard to read someone but follow your gut. Families, couples or people doing the same thing as you are your best bet. I offer to take people’s photos because I understand sometimes you can’t get the angles you want from a tripod!
Always keep your photography equipment in a secure bag or backpack and never leave it unattended. Not only will your travel insurance not cover this but having your items stolen isn’t on anyones to do list.
Things You Will Need
You want a tripod that folds up rather small and is lightweight. Not only is this just smart (as it lowers your baggage weight), but it allows for easy transport to places you want to take photos. Try get a tripod that is relatively tall and has a lot of options to move the camera at different angles.
Some good options:
- Manfrotto Befree Lightweight Travel Tripod
- Vanguard VEO 2 Travel Tripod
- SIRUI AM-005B Ultra Lightweight Tripod
A Good Quality Camera
Your going to want a camera that takes good quality pictures and film. Look for something that is fairly lightweight and compact. I have the Panasonic Lumix G95 and I love it. It has bluetooth compatibility so you can set your phone or a remote as the trigger. This is an essential feature for taking photos solo. Do your own research to find a camera that suits your needs. There are plenty of blogs out there that can help choose a camera and will list all of their features.
You can take photos on your phone if you don’t have the money to spend on a camera. However, I haven’t used a phone trigger that has lasted longer than a day (or maybe I’m not buying the correct ones). If you want to use your phone, I recommend doing some research into phone remotes or triggers. Just remember you will be taking a lot of photos to get the image you want, so make sure you have plenty of available storage.
A Trigger – Either your Phone or Remote
I started off using my phone as a trigger, however this can lead to your phone being in every image you take. Which can take away from the aethstetic. Sometimes you can photoshop it out, but it leaves your hands look a little distorted. The other option if you want to use your phone, is set your camera to timer mode. However, this means you may have to chuck your phone out of the shot and hold a poise for a bit longer. This is an absolute pain when you are in a busy place or have a few minutes to capture a shot.
When looking for a remote trigger, look for something that is wireless (bluetooth) and has a good range. Here are a couple suggestions. You will have to do research to find one that is compatible with your make of camera, these are suitable for Panasonic Cameras
- Hahnel Captur Remote Camera/Flash Trigger Captur Remote Timer Kit
- HAHNEL – Giga T Pro Wireless Remote – Panasonic
Drones really do come in handy when capturing pictures solo. You can use them like you would a tripod and capture photos close to yourself, or some unique shots from above. If you already have one or decide to get one make sure to learn how to use it. The drone I currently use is the DJI Mavic Platinum, they have discontinued this, so I’d look into the Mavic 3!
Taking the shot
This is fairly straightforward. Set up your tripod and camera, connect your trigger and you are ready to go! Just remember not to care about what people think of you and think about all the amazing shots you are going to capture.
Getting the right shot is going to take some playing around with angles. This is the most time consuming part of taking photos solo, as you might need to readjust everything a few times to get the angles you want. For this reason, I always make sure I have plenty of time in my itinerary to take photos and create my content. Another thing to note, is it will take a while to set everything up, so keep that in mind too.
A few things to note
- You won’t always be able to get the shots you want. It is very hard to capture particular shots such as in or around waterfalls or any body of water really, as your gear can’t get wet. There are ways around this. You can put your camera gear in a waterproof bag or your trigger in a ziplock bag, however if your tripod doesn’t hold its ground and goes for a swim, you are going to lose everything. Something to keep in mind, just be smart about it.
- Don’t be afraid to ask people to take photos of you!! I’ve done it plenty of times, your shots might not be exactly what you want but at least you still get to capture the moment.
- Remember travel isn’t just about capturing those beautiful instagram or blog photos. Enjoy the moment, really take in the place you are visiting. Even after you’ve taken your photos, remember to stop and embrace where you are.
- Make sure you have plenty of storage and battery life! Trust me you will need it because you will take about 100 photos each session. (You gotta do what you gotta do).
I hope this post has helped answer the question of how I take my photos when I solo travel! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below or message me via my contact form.
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