How To Take Great Photos As a Solo Traveller

Being a Solo Traveller doesn’t have to mean no photos, in fact you can take great photos of yourself as a solo traveller in any location with these tips.

I do a lot of solo travel. I enjoy the solace a lot of the time, but taking the right photos for my blog can be a challenge. 

Here are some solo traveller photo tips I have learnt:

brunette outside lucury hotel in Paris with red curtains
Renae Leith-Manos in Paris at La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa wearing head to toe garments from The Daily Dressing.

Always wear makeup, be well groomed and dress well.

The bonus of this is you will feel fabulous, but it also means you are ready to take a great photo anywhere, anytime. Critical when travelling. 

So this means packing well – think about colour, how your clothes fit and how comfortable they are. You will also need multiple outfits each day, it goes with the job.

Renae in Mykonos, Greece – image snapped by a passer by.

Manicures are essential for hand and feet photos (see below) and always have a lipstick on you to touch up after a cocktail for a gorgeous smile.

A bum bag or small backpack can work easily so you can carry these essentials.

Renae in Mykonos
Always being dressed well is important to get the right photos when solo travelling , Renae is in Mykonos here.

Staff in high end hotels can usually take great photos. 

Often staff in five star hotels are trained to take photos of guests, and even if they’re not, they will know the best locations. 

Waiters usually enjoy taking great photos, and don’t hesitate to ask them to take several, even with different dishes as it is their business you are promoting. Most will oblige, especially if you give them a small tip.

Renae at Le Bristol, Paris with the handsome Porter.
Renae at Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris with the very photogenic Porter.

The other insider tip is a lot of staff actually like being in photos with tourists, so don’t be shy to ask. Doormen, and bar staff are often the most likely people to say yes to this.

Look at the light, composition, angle and setting.

The photo needs to show something to link it to where you are, so don’t stand in front of a white wall.

Either direct the person taking your photo to include what you want or check your selfies to ensure the image tells a story.

Renae in Mykonos at one of the five star Myconian Group Hotels.
Renae in Mykonos using an outdoor mirror at the hotel at one of the five star Myconian Group Hotels.

Location, Location

Might seem obvious when travelling to make sure you choose a great location, but often there is so much going on, we don’t stop and think.

Whether the interiors are spectacular, like this one at The Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris or a simple Parisian street facade, the location of every photo is key.

Look at the backdrop – if you are in London, is there a British flag you can include or a typical English building, a black taxi? Think local with your setting.

If you are in a luxurious setting, like a stunning Parisian restaurant or a ball room with chandeliers, use them as they will make the photo look incredible.

And don’t choose a company that is not local – no StarBucks in European images for example.

Use mirrors

In many beautifully styled hotels, restaurants and locations there are often a lot of mirrors.

You can take striking photos of yourself in the mirrors using the right angles, with beautiful images in the background. (just don’t use the ones in the toilet, as toilets in photos don’t cut it).

Know what Angles Make You Look Good

You need to work this out before you go travelling so that taking photos on the go is quick and easy.

We all have our best angles, sides and yes, it takes time to work this out. Invest the time now so you are ready to snap once you hit the road.

Woman standing in hotel wearing black and white top holding champagne with towering white and black ceiling above
Renae at The Four Seasons Gresham Palace in Budapest.

Use your hands or feature your beautiful shoes

This is especially appropriate in great restaurants with colourful plates of food and bars with upscale wine glasses.

Your elegantly manicured hand on a cocktail glass or on an elegant plate with some elegant accessories looks interesting and inviting.

Ask someone random.

It can feel a bit creepy asking a random person to take photos of you but it’s the easiest way to do it if you’re in a location you just can’t miss out on having on film.

You can always offer to also take one of them if they are travelling solo – and people always love and appreciate this offer.

I have made great friends using this technique.

Focus on animals

Another instagram image that will gleane loads of likes is a picture o a foreign location with an animal.

Renae with the resident cat at Le Bristol, Paris

This is also an easy way to ask a stranger – eg the pet’s owner to be kind enough to take a photo of you with their pet.

Buy a selfie stick.

These are better than you think.

I find selfie sticks don’t last long, maybe one for each trip but they are really useful. Especially when there is a view in the background, to take different angles.

This has always been useful for family photos too.

A creative photo of Renae in Mykonos

Get Creative

This image of a champagne glass looking out of a window of a plane can say so many things. But most of all – I am travelling and having a great time.

But you can grab a member of staff for a photo with you, use food, flowers, a doorway, beauty products to create a still life, a staircase – anything you find to create an interesting travel image.

Use the timer.

All smart phones have a timer on the camera and if you use it on selfie mode, a quick snap is super easy. Just find the right safe spot to lean you phone on, and stand in the right spot. Voila.

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