The ‘selfie’ has to be this decade’s most significant cultural export. Barack Obama is a fan. Kim Kardashian is famous for hers. Even the Pope has posed in his fair share. It’s become an artform in its own right.
But if you thought selfies were all muscles and ‘duckfaces’ you are soo wrong.
To help you take the perfect selfie on your next trip, 13 of the best selfie-takers on the planet have shared their tips. So if you don’t know your GoPros from your Monopods, we suggest you keep reading…
How to take an epic selfie:
Follow @modernmotorcyclediaries on Instagram
I’m definitely a GoPro kind of girl when it comes to travelling selfies. 90% of my selfies are that familiar fisheye view of the camera pointing back at me in different locations as I travel, from either a GoPro stick, or my extended arm. A GoPro is unobtrusive, easy to pack and, most of all, takes incredible, high quality photos. Partner it with a GoPro stick, set it to timelapse mode and you’ve got the ultimate travel selfie tool.
Follow @seattlestravels on Instagram
Don’t worry about looking silly when taking photos of yourself, and don’t be afraid to take multiple pictures. The reality is you’ll probably never see any of those people again and you’ll also probably never visit that place again, so who cares? Get the photo!
Use a tripod and timer or remote, that way you can take unique photos without it even looking like a selfie!
Follow @bemytravelmuse on Instagram
I long resisted getting a selfie stick as it looks quite self-indulgent, but I finally caved and… I love it! A monopod simply lets you show more of the landscape around you, and use cool angles as well (such as shooting from above). If you’re finding it difficult to get the perfect snap, set your camera to burst mode and pan the camera around you. I often do this on my GoPro so I can select the shot I like most.
Follow @indietravlr on Instagram
To get the best selfie, use a selfie stick and put your camera onto continuous shoot mode where it will keep taking photos for as long as you let it. You’ll end up with loads of photos but there’s bound to be one in there you’re happy with. The first few pictures usually look awkward and posed but as you relax your selfies will look more natural. This is also a good tip if you’re taking a selfie with lots of people in the picture, so you can capture the moment when everyone is looking at the camera and no one is blinking!
Follow @thetravelhack on Instagram
In my opinion, the best tip for taking a selfie is to have something interesting in the background or right next to you. A cute animal always helps! Also, make sure to make the composition is interesting, otherwise all selfies of you will look exactly the same and your friends will get bored pretty easily.
Follow @journeywonders on Instagram
As a solo traveller, I’m often forced to take selfies on the road. While I do use a GoPro 3-Way Grip (which can be used as a selfie stick), I more often attach my DSLR to my JOBY GorillaPod travel tripod and attach an intervalometer to my camera. This remote-like gadget allows me to setup my camera to take as many photos as I like, spaced out with as many seconds between each as I require. For instance, I can set it to take 20 photos, one every five seconds, and just jump around in front of the camera. There’s also no camera shake from hitting the shutter button!
Follow @jessieonajourney on Instagram
Go beyond the arm’s length selfie! Step your feet or your hand or whole body into the frame and take a photo that really captures the experience of being in this place. Get to know your photo timer and get your whole self into the photo – that’s the kind of photo I always find brings me right back to the moment when I’m back home from the trip.
Explore the light. Taking a turn to the left or right will show you different light options. Explore the potential of how you could light your photo in that moment to really let your selfies shine.
Follow @viviennemcm on Instagram
While I was travelling a lot on my own, taking selfies was a great way to document my travels. Even now that I’m travelling with my partner, we need to take ‘usies’ from time to time when there is nobody around to take pictures for us. My advice is to avoid all typical tourist shots. Take an awesome selfie by spinning around while taking multiple selfies and let the motion or wind create a cool effect. Alternatively, take a selfie with one arm up to capture a shot of you staring at the view!
Follow @renaterigters on Instagram
The art of a good selfie is all in the lighting. Where possible, take your pic in natural daylight, with the majority of the light behind you. You’ll only end up squinting if the light is shining right at your face, which is never a good look!
Stand near a window if you’re indoors to maximise the light. If you’re outside, I always find that the glow of a sunrise or sunset is really flattering (as well as a good filter on Instagram!).
Follow @taylorheartstravel on Instagram
I’d say my tips for taking the perfect selfie are to tilt your head (we all have an angle that we like), find your lighting and don’t take yourself too seriously. No matter if you have on the proper lip or no makeup at all, your inner light will shine through.
Follow @iluv2globetrot on Instagram
I like to be as authentic as possible when taking selfies, especially since you’re capturing a memorable moment in a new place you’ve never been. It’s exciting! Selfie sticks are overrated and a waste of time. Use one or both hands to snap a photo. Lighting is important, as well as picking an interesting background for your selfie. You don’t want harsh lighting on your face, so aim for soft, even lighting and be mindful of the lighting around you. Also, don’t forget to smile! Happiness is contagious!
Follow @trav_elle on Instagram
Having been to all 81 provinces in the Philippines and travelled solo most of the time, I can now say that I have somehow mastered the art of taking ‘selfies’. There are times when you’re travelling alone and you’re in a really nice place. You want to document that precious travel moment, so you find yourself taking a selfie.
Important things to consider when taking a selfie are lighting, your angle, plotting the right composition and having a good smartphone. Having a good camera phone is very important for any traveller like me who doesn’t bring a camera but relies only on phone cameras in capturing those precious travel moments. If you know how to use some mobile photo editing apps, that’s a big plus as well.
Follow @pinoyadventurista on Instagram