How to get badass pictures as a solo traveler

Stacey at Una Vida Hotel Tulum

Tulum

Currently in 

Stacey Tulum Mexico

TULUM, MEXICO

 STOP WORRYING ABOUT STRANGERS JUDGING YOU

The number one question I am asked, how do you get pictures as a solo traveler, Stacey?

Well, ladies it takes grit, determination and ingenuity.

I came back from my first couple of solo trips with so few pictures, all because I was worried about what complete and utter strangers would think. Also the photos that I did manage to get looked like absolute shit. Ugh, I’d had every intention of capturing each and every epic moment of my solo travel. Somehow, I had let some unwarranted shame of looking like a vacuous narcissist get in the way. I’m usually not the self conscious type but there was something about pulling out a selfie stick that just didn’t work for me.

I had packed up my brand new selfie stick along with my tripod, with every intention of using them. I just felt awkward AF when it came down to using them. Pulling them out while at a top destination, or restaurant just wasn’t an option for me.

I know I could just take scenery pics , but photos just aren’t the same without a person in them to inspire intrigue or show scale. Us humans  make photos much more interesting. Hell, I also want the bragging rights that I was indeed there. If a photograph has me in it, I know I’m the only person out there that has that pic.

So, all you badass babes here’s how to get pictures as a solo traveler.

Solo traveler

MY SOLO TRAVELS TO TULUM, MEXICO

ENLIST THE HELP OF STRANGERS

If you still feel silly taking your own pics, you can always ask for help.  When I first decided this was to be my best plan of attack,I went about it like a creeper. I would lurk around my target location , skulking about, trying to find the perfect person to plead with for assistance. At first, my focus was on finding someone I felt I could trust with my camera or phone. I’d case out people with their own high end cameras, knowing they’d have zero interest in mine. Well, these peeps aren’t always in abundance so I had to come up with a better angle.

Also it can get hot as hell standing there, manning your post, waiting for the ideal specimen.

So I decided to turn my attention on COUPLES! They are the ideal target, because they need your help just as much, plus they are EVERYWHERE. A simple “hey, do you guys want a pic together” almost always ends in a resounding yes. They then have no prob returning the favour. One of them will usually claim to be the better photographer and really get into it.

Ooh ,and if you are older like me, the younger ones really think it’s cute that an old gal is “doing it for the gram”

Also make sure they take your pics on burst mode so you have a ton to pick from.

Solo travels

AWKWARDLY SMILING AT THE STRANGER TAKING THIS

EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM

To get the best shots, get up early, like super early. If you get up and at em early you will find you get your location all to your yourself. There will be no one around to feel self conscious in front of. Also it is THE best light. Trust me! This rotund, weathered, basset hound only needs to be shot during sunrise or sunset. It’s known as the golden hour and ladies, it is definitely our friend.

Being completely solo you are left to your own devices, so it’s time for you to pull out the old tripod. Or you can make your own by propping up your camera or phone somewhere. You can set a self timer and then jump in the shot and pose away. Trust me I’ve had some seriously fun mornings doing this.

Oh, and once again ladies, people are truly entertained by someone our age getting into it this way. Sometimes the grounds or hotel staff will offer to help.

solo travel tips

MY MAKESHIFT POOLSIDE TRIPOD

solo travels Tulum

THE RESULTS

SOMETIMES TO GET THE PICTURES, US SOLO GALS NEED TO GET YOURSELF A SOME PROFESSIONAL HELP

No, I don’t mean get yourself a therapist to deal with the clearly narcissistic trait of this “take my picture” compulsion. The very best way to get some badass pictures as a solo traveler is by getting a photographer. I can’t recommend it enough. Now, you don’t have to go all out and break the bank. There are actually a few ways you can approach this.

You can look through your locations hashtags and see if there are any other travellers in your area you can meet up with. I have personally never tried this, but I’ve heard it’s worked for some. Great for those with a tight budget.

Facebook groups can be a wealth of resources. When I was in Bali I tried to find a photographer to do an early morning shoot in the rice fields. I found that most photographers there were out of my price range and that my favourite method,  Airbnb adventures, wouldn’t work either. In Bali, I found that a lot of the Airbnb photographers were a part of group excursions. I decided to reach out on facebook, asking for a local female photographer and got a ton of responses. I found my perfect match.

Bali swing

PHOTOSHOOT DAY AT THE BALI RICE FIELDS

AND THE NUMBER ONE WAY THAT YOU GET PICTURES AS A SOLO TRAVELER

I have saved the very best for last. My number one way to get seriously badass solo travel pictures is through a photographer I met on Airbnb Adventures. Now I know you all don’t have access to my treasured photographer, Madeline. But I am sure you will find just as much luck on Airbnb adventures as I did. Booking time with someone who is living in the area you are visiting is invaluable. You get yourself a pal for the day, a tour guide, maybe a dinner date, as well as the prized badass travel pictures.

When you get a shoot done professionally it’s not just about the great shots. You get taught how to pose, what angles work best for you and the freaking confidence the ensuing end result will bring. You, yes you, can actually look freaking amazing in a photo. You just needed a pro and some encouragement. I may have taken the extra added step of liquid courage, a cocktail or two, to get in the mood. I seriously recommend this as well, get a little loosy goosey sister.

I met Madeline when she was just starting out on her photography journey. She now has been  featured on Good Morning America for empowering female solo travel.

Mexico solo travel

SHOT AT A CHURCH JUST OUTSIDE OF VALLADOLID, MEXICO

Happy travels ladies, and take those pics, all 78,985 of them !

Here’s the photographer I recommend in Tulum:

http://madelinelenore.com

And here’s a link to the Maja presets I’m currently obsessed with:http://www.shopmariefeandjakesnow.com?aff=232

  1. Another fantastic post. These tips will be very useful for us as a couple!

  2. Ali says:

    Great information Stacy !! 🤩I will use your tips and tricks on my next vacay!! Xoxo

  3. Mandie says:

    I love these tips and the honesty thank you

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