How to Get Awesome Photos as a Solo Traveler

Struggling to master the art of the selfie? Never fear, solo traveler! You can get some amazing photos when you are traveling alone. Whether you are an early selfie stick adapter or are a total photography newbie, you can get a drool-worthy Instagram.

Here are a few important lessons I’ve learned from years of trying to capture the perfect photos as a solo traveler!

Morro Bay

Know What You Want

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. If you want photos that you love, you need to know what kind of photos you want. What would your dream album look like? What’s your style? Get a general idea of these things so you aren’t shooting aimlessly.

Bali Jimbaran Bay

Captured on Fujifilm X-T10 with Tripod // Settings: Interval Shooting 1 photo every second for 30 seconds

Find Inspiration

Explore Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration—I could spend years looking through all of their beautiful travel shots. It’s the perfect way to find your unique style; find photos you love and check out shots that overwhelm you. There are so many stunning pics out there.

Read More: How to Use Pinterest to Plan Your Next Trip

Selfie Stick Shot

Captured on GoPro HERO 4 Silver + 3-Way Mount // Settings: Timelapse .5 Second

Don’t Fear the Selfie Stick

Yes, you will look like a tourist but that’s ok—you are one. Embrace it! Traveling is one of the greatest luxuries in life. Don’t be embarrassed to indulge wholeheartedly. Bring your selfie stick and flaunt it! Pull it out at every opportunity and snap away shamelessly. Unless it’s actually been banned at your locale, there’s no reason to hide it.

Cape Peninsula

Captured on GoPro HERO 4 Silver + 3-Way Mount Tripod // Settings: Timelapse 1 Second

Bring a Tripod

Selfie sticks will only get you so far. Bring a portable tripod everywhere so you can capture a wide range of shots. If you just stick with your selfie stick, your photo collection will be packed with way too many close-up shots.

Traveling with a tripod might seem like a hassle but it’s not if you’ve got the right bag. Get a lightweight tripod and never leave home without it. It will transform your selfie collection.

Recommended Travel Photography Gear:

Bali Photography

Captured on Fujifilm X-T10 // Settings: Single Shot

Ask for Help

If you want to get the perfect shot, don’t be afraid to ask for help from strangers. Listen to your gut and only give your camera to someone who seems trustworthy. Make sure to help him or her out. Show a pic for inspiration, set up the framing, and have all of your camera settings ready to go.

Most people, especially other tourists, are more than happy to get a quick lesson and take your photo.

Hamad International Airport

Captured on Fujifilm X-T10 with Tripod // Settings: Interval Shooting 1 photo every second for 30 seconds

Use Rapid-Fire Shooting

Whether you ask someone to take your photo or you use a tripod with a timer, your best bet is to use your camera’s rapid fire setting for flawless photos. It’ll give a lot of shots to choose from and dramatically increase your odds of getting a pic you love. There’s really no benefit to doing single shots so get out of the habit.

Interval Shooting

Captured on Fujifilm X-T10 with Tripod // Settings: High-Speed Burst Shooting (CH)


Check Your Camera’s Interval Shooting Settings

My Fujifilm X-T10 allows me to set a timer and a sequence of shots at time intervals of my choice. For example, you can switch the Continuous Shooting Mode setting to either CH (8 photos per second) or CL (3 photos per second), simply hold down on the shutter, and it will take photos until you release.

For the perfect shot, I’ll set up the shot on my tripod and press the shutter button. My camera will take photos based on my settings and I’ll have a pile of shots to choose from.

Underwater Photography

Captured on GoPro HERO 4 Silver + 3-Way Mount // Settings: Timelapse 1 Second

Bring a GoPro

I adore my GoPro. It is awesome for shooting solo shots. I use the HERO4 Silver + 3-Way Mount to get selfies in action. My most common shooting setting is a burst and time lapse for continuos shooting and lots of image options!

You can chose from 3/1 second, 5/1 second, 10/1 second, 10/2 seconds, 30/1 second (which is the default selection), 30/2 seconds, and 30/3 seconds. Depending on what you’re shooting, you have a lot of shooting options.

Now, go! Get out into the world with your camera and shoot every magnificent inch of it. You’ll be the envy of Instagram and have a gorgeous showcase of your travel memories.

READ NEXT: My Travel Photography Gear (Perfect for Female Travelers!)


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Kiersten Rich
Kiersten Rich is the bikini-obsessed author of award-winning solo female travel and lifestyle blog, The Blonde Abroad, featuring travel tips, fashion, food, festivals and photography from around the world.