Asking strangers to take your photo can be a slightly awkward situation; one that you’re bound to understand if you enjoy solo travelling. But the best, most memorable photos are the ones with people in them. You could just google a photo of ‘Santorini’ to see the landscape, but when you’re 10 years older looking back on your adventures, those photos won’t interest you- the ones of you and of your mates will! So swallow your dignity and get snapping!
Love, Sophia x
- Know exactly what you want– what angle, what you want in the background, what lighting. This means that when you ask someone, you can give them clear, direct instructions, but also that you actually get the photo you wanted.
- Offer to take a photo of someone and they’ll be likely to ask you if you’d like a photo too. If you see two people/a couple (one of them posing, the other taking the photo), go up with a smile and say ‘would you like me to take a photo of you two together?’. More often than not they’ll automatically return the favour.
- Find someone with a big, cool camera who looks like they may be a photographer. They’ll know what they’re doing and will be more than happy to snap your pic.
- Make friends with locals, or other travels (for example, from your hostel), and travel around together. You might not have your best friend from home there to take your photo, but the friends you meet will be more than happy to help you out!
- This next tip may sound cringey, but mix up the poses and expressions while you have a photographer at hand. They’ll probably only take a maximum of 10, so make them as varied as possible. No point having 10 identical photos, especially as it’s effort to get them taken in the first place. Put your dignity aside, don’t be embarrassed. You’re unlikely to ever see this person again so just go for it.
- Self timer mode can be handy. Some people like to use tripods, but I really can’t be bothered to carry one around with me all day. Instead, I perch my camera on a ledge a few metres away, use a rock to prop under lens to get it the angle I need, then change the settings so it takes 10 continuous photos after 10 seconds.
- Use rapid fire shooting. It’ll give you loads of shots to choose from, and will help to increase the chances of getting a photo you actually love.
- Sometimes ‘candid’ photos can look the best, but, as the name suggests, you have no idea if/when these are being taken of you. One idea is to take some candid photos of a friend you’re travelling with, show them the result, and it may prompt them to do the same for you once they see how nice the impromptu pics have turned out! (Get them to take the hint!)
^I used self timer mode to take this photo in Santorini, Greece, as the little street was completely deserted. These ‘self timer’ photos usually end up looking more self conscious and posed than otherwise, but if there’s no one about and you really want a certain photo, just go for it!
^I asked some fellow travellers if they wouldn’t mind taking a few photos of me; they were more than happy to help, and it actually gave them some inspo for the shots they wanted of themselves!
^Some friends I travelled with in Jordan took this ‘candid’ of me in Petra; sometimes the best photos are the ones you don’t even know are getting taken!