The 10 best tips on how to take the perfect selfie while travelling

Taking a travel selfie is something of an art form. On the one hand, you don’t want to be that guy that impedes traffic flow for everyone else— the proverbial equivalent of waving an “I’m a tourist!” flag. You also want to avoid any situation which could put you in danger or harm’s way. Then there’s the chore of trying to get the beautiful surroundings captured in the background without the other tourists detracting from the image. Sounds like a nightmare? It is. Fortunately, these ten tips will help you capture the perfect travel selfie.

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1. Get inspired

Before you head on your next great adventure, set aside some time to seek inspiration from other travellers, look to your favourite Instagram influencers to see what they are doing with their travel selfies. If you’re heading out with your other half, look at the poses in other gay guys’ selfies to take the second-guessing out of your posing efforts.

Save a few of your favourite poses and places to a folder that you can look back on during your travels. Don’t hesitate to mix and match different poses with different locations with your own flair and style added for good measure.

Photo: Ketut Subiyanto by Pexels

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Take a few practice shots before you start your selfie photoshoot; you’ll know pretty quickly whether it’s working or not

2. Check your background

Finding the right background is another important consideration when travelling. Ideally, you’ll capture the essence of the place you’re visiting while still highlighting your aesthetic. Take a look around and determine whether a background is too bright or clashes with your outfit before you set up the shot.

Take a few practice shots before you start your selfie photoshoot; you’ll know pretty quickly whether it’s working or not.

3. Prioritize stability

Having a tripod or selfie stick to keep your camera still and stable is often the difference between good travel selfies and great ones. These tools are also a must if you’re travelling alone. While we all appreciate the boy selfies that highlight a man’s best features, we also want to see the Taj Mahal behind him, you know?

Stability is one of the most integral aspects of a great selfie. While there’s a lot you can do with a great editing program, it’s hard to fix a blurry image. Using a tripod will ensure your lines are crisp and clear.

Photo: Chrysostomos Galathris by Pexels

4. Prioritize safety

As incredible as crazy selfies with the person hanging over the precipice of the Grand Canyon look, they’re not worth the risk. Remember that guy that fell off the side of Machu Picchu because he wasn’t paying attention as he tried to pose for a picture? Don’t be that guy.

Check your surroundings and ensure that you’re safe before you take a selfie. As a gay man, it’s also important to ensure that the destination you’re going to is gay friendly. Personal safety and well-being will always trump doing it for the Insta.

5. Relax your face

It wouldn’t be the ultimate selfie guide for selfie lovers without mentioning your pose and expression. When posing for a travel selfie, the key thing to remember is to relax your face— you’re on vacation, after all. Take a moment before the photo to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and reset. Ideally, you’ll strike your pose the moment before the camera clicks so it feels fluid and natural.

If you struggle with smiling and looking authentic in your selfies, choose a few funny memories or words that never fail to make you laugh. Think about them or say them out loud right before the camera goes off. Remember that your head positioning will also impact how your selfie looks and feels. If the sun is in your eyes when you look head-on, look off into the distance instead. Try a few different looks; you might be surprised at what stands out.

Photo: Emmanuel Martin

Photo: Rohan Pandavadra

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Did you know there’s a spot called Sunset Park in Brooklyn where you can capture the entire city skyline?

6. Choose the right timing

Timing is everything when you’re trying to avoid bad selfies. The best way to avoid the hustle and bustle in high traffic areas is to hit your prime selfie spots at sunrise. Yes, it is worth getting up before sunrise to head to the Brooklyn Bridge before the thousands of tourists ruin your dream selfie.

Sunrise tends to be the best time for uninterrupted selfie-taking. Additionally, that golden hour lighting will illuminate you like an angel. Again, be sure that it’s safe to travel to the destination before sunrise.

7. Avoid the tourist traps

If you want some unique travel selfies that haven’t already been posted a million times on Instagram, you’ll need to get adventurous. Avoid the usual tourist traps and seek out your destination’s hidden gems. Do some hashtag research on Instagram or head over to Atlas Obscura for inspiration.

Yes, everyone wants that iconic city shot from the top of the Empire State Building, but did you know there’s a spot called Sunset Park in Brooklyn where you can capture the entire city skyline? Sure, you could get a photo at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, along with everyone else in the city, or you could head to the lesser-known L’Orologio ad acqua del Pincio for something unique and mysterious.

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris | Photo: Barthelemy de Mazenod

8. Use a timer

Always use a timer when taking your travel selfie, even if you have someone to snap it for you. This feature gives you a moment to reset, shake off the day, and find the perfect pose.

If you are travelling alone, the timer can help you get the perfect selfie while capturing your surroundings. It’s also worth investing in a remote if taking travel selfies will be a regular thing for you.

Photo: Marius Venter by Pexels

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The perfect selfie often comes down to knowing your angles. Chances are, you already know your “good side” and can pose accordingly

9. Use burst mode

Burst mode will capture more photos in less time, making it more likely that you’ll get the perfect shot without having to reset again and again. Burst mode is also ideal when you can’t prevent motion in your image, like on windy days or when something in the background is moving.

10. Work your angles

Finally, the perfect selfie often comes down to knowing your angles. Chances are, you already know your “good side” and can pose accordingly. However, you’ll also want to get creative with your angles and the perspective of your selfies to capture all of your destination’s incredible features.

With these ten tips, you can capture the perfect selfies while travelling without seeming forced or unnatural.

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