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Arts + Lifestyle

How To Take Social Media Shots When Travelling Alone

With almost half a million Instagram followers between them, these six women know how to take good social media shots. These are their tips to getting it right.

If you want to improve or perfect your social media feed next time you travel – whether via more flattering photos of you or by better capturing the essence of a destination – this is the advice to follow.

With guidance that includes but goes well-beyond the humble tripod, these solo-traveller-savvy tricks will see you improving your Instagram feed in no time.


Jessica Skye

@_jessicaskye

Invest in a tripod; I recommend buying a taller one as these are much sturdier. You can purchase tripods that fold up and can be popped in your luggage with ease. If you’re using a camera, set the timer for multiple shots – most DSLRs have a built in setting. If you’re using a phone, buy yourself a remote clicker and link it up with your phone. And lastly, please don’t worry about what people are thinking when you’re taking photos of yourself with a tripod, I know it can feel super embarrassing but honestly, no one cares and you’ll never have to see them again. The more you do it the less uncomfortable it becomes – you’ve got this!

 

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Nabila Ismail

@doesoftravel

I travel solo a lot, and there are a few pieces of equipment I use to take photos and video when doing so. I use a gimbal (DJI Osmo) that I attach to a tripod. It has a tracker so it can follow your movements which is really nice. If I’m not setting up a tripod with my phone or camera, sometimes I’ll use an octobuddy suction cup adhesive mount on my phone, so I can attach it to a window, wall, or anywhere else. I also love to ask strangers to take my photos by offering to take one for someone else, especially if they’re alone. I’ll take the photo using the set up I think looks best, ask them if they like it, and then ask them if they could take one of me the same exact way. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t…

 

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Gemma Louise Deeks, Contributing Fashion Editor

@gemmalouisedeeks

I’ve invested in a iPhone tripod. It means I can get great photos without asking a stranger to take them for me, such as this one which I shot at Villa La Massa in Florence, Italy. The key to getting as many snaps as possible is downloading an app called Lens Buddy, which is a powerful camera timer that captures many photos or videos for you, handsfree, without the need to hold the device or press any buttons. You can set your desired time between shots and choose how many photos the camera takes, so you have a pick of up to 100 photos in just one take.

 

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Lisa Nilsson

@lisaandrenilsson

A video is easier than a photo; there’s always the option of taking a screenshot of a particular moment in the video and this gives you a better chance of getting the content you envisioned. Most of the time the results are more natural and flowy than a photo. Alternatively, place your phone against a window or a wall (unless you have a tripod) about waist height, and lean the top part of the phone tack to stabilise the phone’s position. This will give you a flattering angle and elongate your legs. Lastly, make use of your phone’s back camera to get higher quality imagery. You might need to do a few retakes before getting the perfect angle but the images or video usually look more natural when you don’t look at yourself in the screen when recording or taking photos.

 

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Tijan Serena Mazour

@tijanserena

I almost always prefer taking my own photos and videos, and some of my most-liked Instagram posts are self taken! There’s just something I get right with the angle that’s hard to direct to others. I like to find ledges or, (spoiler alert!) in London I use my parked car a lot. If I feel really inspired I turn my camera to normal facing (not selfie mode) and put the self timer on burst. Proceed with caution though, as those new to this may find their phone looses balance – and of course always be vigilant so no one runs off with your phone or camera!

 

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Gina Jackson

@ginagoesto

When I’m solo and trying to get shots of myself, I just use a tripod and hope for the best. But I tend to focus on capturing shots of the destination around me, rather than of myself. In fact, being alone means I’m hyper-aware and observant of my surroundings. I prefer capturing interior shots, people-watching, and honing in on simple moments and movements, like washing flapping in the wind, or someone drinking their cup of coffee. I find that you can be more alert to capturing these moments (and sounds) without being distracted by someone else.

 

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