Creative tips for the solo traveler with NO GEAR or travel partner to take photos of you.

The safest and most strategic ways to get that picture perfect moment caught on camera if you are a solo Traveler or your friends or loved ones aren’t so talented with the lens.

So many people ask, “who captures your photos? Do you have a monkey that follows you around the world with a camera or a professional, personal photographer?” The answer is, “I wish.” Some of the most magical photos I’ve had taken of me on trips for work or pleasure were actually by tour guides, park rangers, hotel employees (servers, housekeepers, random couples, a random dude who I see has the same smart phone was I and may know how to possibly point and shoot, tour operators, GM’s … and this one was taken by the pool boy at my hotel who guards the beach aka the security guard).

(Tip #1: This photo was taken by the security guard/pool boy at my hotel in Barbados who watches the beach area from trespassers).

When I’m not at a restaurant or hotel, I often ask couples. When couples are on vacation together, I offer to be their photographer and because I take my time and put in extra effort and as a result, shoot great shots of them, most insist they take one of me in return as a “thank you”. It’s a win/win.

(Tip #2: This photo was taken when I traveled to Greece alone and offered to take a photo of a couple who were also tourists. They offered to take one of me in return and I ended up becoming friends with the girlfriend to this day.)

The best way to achieve continuity when asking a complete stranger every time to take your shot, is to hold the camera and frame it exactly how you want the shot and tell that person, what to include in the capture, rather than asking, “can you take a photo of me please?” I always recommend to buy a camera case with a light built into it, such as @lumeecase. If it’s a tour operator or staff member, I also suggest you ask them to film you for 60-seconds then screen shot the image you like afterwards. A tip for their efforts doesn’t hurt. I tip well, so they usually offer to do it longer or again. Score!

(Tip #3: This image was taken by a staff member at a spa in Morocco. This photo is an example of how I held the camera in advance infront of the imagery I wanted her to focus on, such as the leaves from the tree on the right and all she had to do was press the white circle on my iPhone, ‘click.’). Wallah!

(Tip #4: Here is an example of when I sailed on a yacht in the Mediterranean and everyone was downstairs at the time. I had no one to ask to take the photo of me, so I put my iPhone on selfie video mode, then screenshot this afterwards from the footage).

(Tip #5: Put your phone somewhere stable and put it on video mode. Jump a bunch of times up and down. When you look at the footage after, take a screenshot of your best jump and it may turn out like this shot of me in Arizona).

Smartphone editing apps: For editing on my smartphone, I mostly use #Camera+, #Cinegraph, #Snapseed, #FaceTune, #Lightroom, #LifeLapse, #RNIFlashback, #FilterLoop and #VSCO.

For the best smartphone app to erase photo bombers in the background, download: #Retouch

I hope this helps!

– Chantel

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