Thanks to the widespread availability of mobile phones equipped with cameras, more and more people are taking pictures of themselves with their handheld devices. These digital self-portraits are called “selfies,” which are often aimed for instant distribution among a person’s social network.
If you are traveling with a special someone, your good friends, or members of your family, one of the best ways to document your trip is to take selfies. However, travel selfies are not like your regular selfies (often taken in front of the mirror, in bed, or in the bathroom)—you will need to have a bit of skill in order to come up with great selfies that will remind you of the good times and great sights that you have encountered during your travels. Here are some tips to help you take your travel selfie game to the next level.
Choose the correct angle
According to professional photographers, taking self-portraits from a higher angle is often more flattering. The high angle will ensure that you (and your companions) will look much slimmer, and prevent the unflattering double-chins and the insides of your nostrils from appearing on the photo. A higher angle can also include the wonderful sights behind you, instead of your face dominating the frame.
Do not forget the background
Never leave out the background, as it is what makes the travel selfie different from the regular self-portraits. The best way to include the background into the frame (especially if you are using your mobile phone’s front-facing camera) is to hold the phone as far away from you as possible. If your arms are not long enough to do this, you can always use a monopod or “selfie stick” to hold the phone away from you and get a wider scope of the background.
Photos are all about light
Choosing the best lighting conditions can make a huge difference in your travel selfies. Professional photographers say that the sunlight during noon is the most unflattering, as it is positioned directly overhead and would cast unsightly shadows under the eyes and makes for harsh shadows and highlights. The morning and late afternoon light are best for taking self-portraits, as these kinds of light make for interesting shadows and a softer glow in the skin.
Forget the flash
If you are taking your selfies outdoors, there is no need for turning the flash on. The ambient light is perfect for a flattering selfie. If you must turn on the flash, make sure that it is a bit diffused or used with another light source to make for a well-lit and appealing self-portrait.
Stay in the light
Let us say that you want to take a selfie in the evening; what do you do if we told you to keep the flash turned off? You can always look for a well-lit area instead of suffering under the harsh glare of your mobile phone’s built-in flash.
Choose your background
Taking a travel selfie in front of an iconic landmark is always a great idea, but make sure that you do not get drowned out.