Not all selfies are created equal, especially not all travel selfies. Not only do you want to look good, but you also probably want to show the background too. Here are five tips to help you get that perfect selfie while traveling!
- Bring a travel-sized tripod
- Do some light editing in an app
- Let the background be the main focus
- Use the timer
- Lighting, lighting, lighting
Traveling alone? Want to show more foreground or background than a regular selfie allows? Can’t bring yourself to buy a selfie stick? Consider bringing a small tripod on your trip. There are many lightweight tripods out there that fold down to a compact, easy-to-carry size. Like selfie sticks, tripods help show more of the scene around you, but they also provide stability, ensuring that your shots aren’t blurry. They’re particularly great for landscape shots.
Or heavy editing; we won’t judge (#narcissism). There are many apps out there that help perfect both your face and the photo itself. We love Snapseed for its range of awesome tools. Users can crop; add a vignette to darken the background and give the photo a more portrait-y feel; darken or lighten certain areas; adjust the contrast, brightness, and saturation; remove blemishes; and more. User-friendly PicTapGo offers over four dozen filters that you can adjust and layer on each other. You can also save these “recipes” for future use.
Your face is important, but often you want viewers to be able to see the background as much as you. One way to do this is to place the (human) subjects on one side of the photo (or the bottom half or third) and have the desired background element take up the most space, and therefore be the main focus.
People don’t usually think to use the timer when taking a hand-held selfie, but having a countdown enables you to steady your hands before the photo is taken, reducing the chances that the image is blurry.
Lighting can really make or break a photo. Ideally, your face(s) and the background are illuminated and the lighting is soft and flattering. Try to avoid taking a selfie with direct overhead lighting; this will leave dark shadows under your eyes. For indoor selfies, natural, indirect lighting is ideal. For outdoor selfies, the lighting around sunrise and sunset tends to be best, but of course it’s not always possible to hit a destination at these times. If you’re not rushed for time, take several photos so you can choose the best one later.