We have come leaps and bounds since our Fujifilm and Kodak days, where we have to develop photos before we are able to see them. Today with thanks to smartphones, most of us have a handheld camera with us on the go. This makes taking photos during our travels much easier and very much faster. This has led to the development of the Selfie trend which is especially popular with solo backpackers. Selfies help let your family & friends know that you are actually where you say you are, and that you didn’t just take the picture of Niagara falls off the net or something. But if you have ever tried taking a selfie, you would know that it needs some sort of skill to master it. So here’s a list of 6 tips to help you get the best travel photography selfie during your next holiday.
Do NOT Use the Front Camera
Smartphones these days come with a pretty smart function of having two cameras, one at the front and the other at the back. The front camera helps when you want to use it to check your make up or ensure that your hair is in place. If anything, it is more of a make shift mirror than it is an actually camera for photography. Ask other selfie masters or even tech geeks and they will tell you that the front camera is well, pretty shitty. Pictures aren’t as sharp and the front camera pixelates your face in low light. Any true selfie master would master the art of using the back camera to take a selfie. The first tip is to use the volume buttons on the side of your phone instead of trying to click on the screen. It makes snapping much easier.
2. Extend your arms
When using the back camera to a take a selfie there wont be a preview and some people seem to have forgotten that they’ll need to fully extend their arms. Extending your arms is important for many reasons, for one, it helps in helping you capture more of the scenic background. You don’t want to head to Egypt, only to have taken a photo with the bottom of a pyramid. Extend it fully to also help make your face look much smaller.
3. Play with Gadgets
A Selfie doesn’t have to be taken with just a phone. Play around with various gadgets. Use a GoPro for example. GoPro’s signature wide lens helps give a different perspective to your selfies. It also allows you to include more people into a single shot. GoPro also has apps such as Capture which allows you to preview what you are shooting at before snapping.
If you don’t have a GoPro, get one of those fish eye clip ons that you can use on your phone to achieve the same wide lens effect. You can also play with the use of selfie sticks which are also great for big travel group shots. Just note that if you are using a selfie stick, the camera would be able to take more of you, which includes your hands etc. So do something with your hands, point it to something so your hands don’t look weird just sitting by your side.
Investing in a tripod or those mini pods can also be helpful in taking shots of you in action.
4. Play with angles to get different perspectives
Selfie shots also doesn’t have to be head on or stationery. Do something in your shot and play with taking from various angles for a different kind of picture. This is especially important for action shots. One very important tip that i have personally learnt is to angle the camera facing the direction that you are about to travel to. I.e If you are cliff diving, lift your camera up and point it downwards. It makes the drop seem longer and also gives the picture more perspective (check out the picture above)
5. Be Confident
One very critical thing about a good selfie, is that you have to be less conscious of the people around you. Despite being in the age where selfies are completely normal, bypassers still seem to always stare when they see a person taking one. Well, ignore them. I know of too many people who would hurry to take their selfie and quickly walk away, just because they feel like they are being judged. These people usually end up with a sub standard blurred shot of their holiday.
But the truth is that you would never see these by passers again. Be confident and ignore everyone else. Take your time, snap, check and snap again if you have to. It may seem weird to them cause they may see these scenes everyday, but for you, you paid to fly half way around the world for this shot. Take your time with it because you never know when you are coming back.
6. Edit the hell out of it
Contrary to popular belief, most travel photographs aren’t the way they are in real life. Most photographers edit the hell out of the photos before actually posting them. And with so many available free apps, there’s no excuse for you not to edit yours too. Use VSCO on your phone or photoshop etc to fine tune the details before posting.
WanderSnap – Professional Travel Photography
Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.
But the truth is that even if you follow our 6 Step Guide to a T, there’s only so much that a selfie can do. No matter how well taken, a selfie would never be able to replace a professionally shot photo using a DSLR, and that’s why you would never see a selfie on the cover of Nat Geo. And even if you do manage to edit your selfies perfectly, what about times that your hands are full or when it’s just not appropriate to take one.
Times such as when parents have to take the whole chain gang on vacation, your kid’s birthday, couples on your honeymoon/proposal/anniversary and/or even if you just need a new profile for your linkedin or tinder?
Imagine getting a professional photoshoot as an anniversary present? Or how about having a professional photographer standby to take the magic moment when you propose cause we certainly wish we had one (*PS Guys, your future wife would be very thankful you did). Think about how your potential tinder date would think when she sees your professionally shot photo taken during your travels? These are all times when it’s important to have a professional around to capture these mirco moments that would be forever etched in stone.
We had previously seen some of our friends who did their pre-wedding shoot at Bangkok in Thailand’s traditional costume and we thought to ourselves how nice it would be to someday be able to do that.
So when we heard about how WanderSnap had a presence in Bangkok, we leaped all over that opportunity. We sourced and engaged our photographer, Brian, through WanderSnap prior to our trip and boy was it useful.
Aside from knowing that we want to do a shoot, we had no idea how we wanted to go about doing it. We explained roughly what we wanted, and it was Brian that recommended the location.
We have personally worked with photographers before, and we would have to say that Brian is one of the better photographers we have personally had. Brian’s enthusiasm was contagious and that made being constantly stared at by all the passing tourist seem much less scary.
Like most couples we didn’t know what we wanted, but that’s alright because Brian did. Brian had his shots in mind and all we had to do was follow his lead. As it turns out, what he had in mind was perfect.
The rates vary from Photographer to photographer and is dependent on experience, location etc. For example a photographer in Manila can cost US$20/hr and it can go all the way up to US$300/hr in Tokyo. But the best thing we love about WanderSnap is that they do not charge any additional surcharges even for special occasions such as wedding, proposal, anniversary etc. This means that you no longer have to engage or sign some package with your local bridal shop just to get a good photographer. We feel that it is particularly important as it is during these magic moments that you would really need a photographer. To help you get started on wandersnap, Livelaughtravel has also worked out a promo code just for you. Quote “travelwithLLT” to get US$20 off per shoot (that’s about one free hour)! Have fun & start creating memories with Wandersnap!