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Take Awesome Travel Selfies

Take Awesome Travel Selfies

January 24, 2019

How to Take Travel Selfies Like a Pro

Guest Writer:  Stephanie Maisonneuve

Photo: blacktravel.com

Since the advent of social media, travel photography has become one of the hottest social media trends, especially on platforms such as Instagram. However, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to learn the art of taking a great travel selfie. In fact, travel selfies are best received when they are authentic and the people in them look like everyone else. So, if you’re planning a few travel adventures for yourself, whether near or far, here are a few tips for taking travel selfies like a pro.

It’s all in the angles

IG: @flygirltravels

Finding YOUR perfect angle can be the ultimate cheat code when taking selfies. Playing around with poses and angles until you figure out which angle you look best in is key to taking a gram-worthy selfie. Doing things like holding the camera slightly above and away from you can make you appear slimmer, while holding the camera at face level or tilted upward to your face can make you appear heavier. Whether you’re interested in capturing your “best side” in the picture, or capturing you and something special in the background, understanding how to hold the camera properly beforehand can be the difference between a post or delete. Finally, you don’t have to look directly at the camera. Some of the best travel selfies are of people looking away from the camera, so that the focus is not only on them but the beauty around them. Oh, and if you really want to be fancy, invest in a stand or selfie stick to hold your smartphone, set your camera’s self-timer, and flick away! Ultimately, practice makes perfect, so it will take some time for you find all your best angles and learn how to capture them in the best way.

IG: @alece_travelista

Lighting is your friend

Lighting is probably one of the most important aspects of taking a great picture, whether it be for posting on social media or just in general. The amount of lighting you have will determine how well you show up in the picture as well as the scenery around you. Taking a picture outdoors or in front of a window that provides a lot of natural lighting makes pictures appear clearer and vibrant. If natural sunlight is hard to obtain, taking some time to get to know your camera settings is often helpful in obtaining proper lighting, but ultimately, the light itself will play a major role in how good the picture looks. Also, if you’re thinking all you need is to use the flash, experts advise against it. Using filters and adjusting the settings to fit your atmosphere tend to provide for a better quality picture. While natural light is always best, if finding good lighting is a challenge for you during your travels, you may want to invest in a selfie-light. The selfie-light is a fairly inexpensive tool that you can attach to your smartphone to provide you with added light and give your pictures the vibrancy it deserves. Because, what is the point of posing in front of the Eiffel Tower at night if we don’t know it’s you?

Camera quality matters

While being frugal is cool, a cheap smartphone will most likely have a low-quality camera that won’t deliver the same quality of travel photos you see trending on the gram. Investing in a good smartphone when it comes to taking high quality photos. When deciding what smartphone to purchase, research the camera quality and check out the reviews. You pretty much can’t go wrong with any of the latest iPhones, and some of the more moderately priced Androids have some great cameras as well. Ultimately, cameras DO matter, so when making your choice, you definitely want to pay attention to the details if your goal is to capture those perfect travel moments.

IG: @tiatayl0r

Do your research

If your goal is to master the art of travel selfies and begin to trend on the gram, it may help to take a look at those who are already doing it. Searching hashtags such as #travel #adventure #wanderlust #vacation #essencetravels #travelgram and #explore are great ways to find travel bloggers and learn from the experts. Pay special attention to the angles they use when taking their pictures and how they capture the scenery around them. Finally, pay attention to the hashtags they insert in their pictures if your goal is to trend on the gram as well.

Apps or nah?

Today, there are an endless amount of photo apps to choose from. Many of them include features to brighten up your dim pictures, remove pesky pimples on your forehead, or make you appear a little slimmer. Instagram itself also has some cool filters to play with to make your selfie stand out. However, when deciding to use apps to enhance your selfies, it is important that you don’t overdo it. Filters aren't always necessary, and sometimes, it’s possible to detract from the beauty of you and that awesome city you’ve traveled to in the background. Ultimately, balance is key, so use your best judgment when it comes to attempting to edit your selfie. You may not need it.

IG: @daynaisomjohnson


The most important part of taking a selfie is authenticity. People will notice if you’re forcing the pose or your facial expression. You don’t have to be a model to learn how to be photogenic. In fact, some of the most unphotogenic people have mastered the art of taking an amazing selfie.  Understanding your facial features and determining what poses look most natural on you is the first step in taking a selfie that will stand out. Additionally, when traveling you want to share selfies that show your audience how much fun you’re having as well as the beauty of your surroundings. Being you and being genuine about your feelings during your travels will no doubt shine through in your photos. Finally, don’t take yourself too seriously. Taking great pictures and receiving compliments about them is fun, however, what is most important about a picture is the moment itself. If you’re traveling the world and embarking on new adventures, that should naturally come through in any picture you take, and that’s all that matters. 

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