How to Obtain Solo Travel Photos Without a Selfie Stick

What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.
— Karl Lagerfeld

Hello, everyone!

I'm currently in country number 14, the Netherlands.  I spent a few days in the Hague but as of yesterday, I am officially in Amsterdam and canal heaven.  I cannot wait until August when I share with you my 40 Days in Europe series all of the details of my trip (good and bad).

If you have been following along, you know that I am currently on a 6 week solo Eurotrip.  However, I love to take pictures of others as well as have my own photo taken.  Since I unfortunately broke my selfie stick during late travels last year (sad face), I needed a system for getting pictures of me taken while I'm away.  Could I have purchased another one? Yes, but let's be real, sometimes there are just some poses you cannot pull off with the stick.  

Pardon me being vain, but I want to slay in my photos in international territory. 

I'm sure you do too.  So, how do I go about getting my pictures taken?  There are a few of the things that I do aside pray mercifully I don't get played. 

Can't do this with the stick! 

Can't do this with the stick! 

1. I won't ask an individual that looks like they can outrun me.

Call it mean.  Call it silly.  I will not do it.  If I am ever to be involved in a one-on-one chase, I want to be sure I have an advantage.  In fact, just yesterday an older woman jokingly said "sure, and then I'll take your phone. Kidding, you look faster than me." Yes ma'am.  You already know the deal. ;-) 

2. If you can, go for couples / families.

Usually, they like to stay as a unit and will not venture off.  Do I see myself asking a group of teenagers?  Let's go with no, but if I see a cute little family and I'm by some amazing art, I will definitely be asking them for a few shots. 

3. Learn how to ask for "a picture, please?" in another language.

Depending on where I am, I might ask in English (insert: Portugal and Netherlands), but I made sure I learned how to say the full sentence in Spanish and French.  If you do not understand what I am saying after language number 3, I can get over it and ask another, but sometimes people are willing.  They just don't understand you.  Pointing to your phone and making the camera motion helps too.

4. Ask someone carrying a camera themselves.

Chances are, they love to take photos and know what angles to incorporate.  I've definitely ended up in mini photo shoots because they've directed me towards some epic shots.  It won't seem as awkward and they might even be honored.  Wink wink

BONUS: Always have a backup plan.

Just in case something happens, you should have some sort of system that has the pictures you already took.  This should just be for life in general.  I would die if I lost all of my pictures from this trip (it's somewhere in the 1000's by now).  I have Dropbox with unlimited data so I'm never too worried.  I also have my old iPhone 4S in case something happens to my current phone.  Point is, backup your photos, travelers


Sometimes, the candid photos end up being the best one.  Taken in: Den Haag, Netherlands

Sometimes, the candid photos end up being the best one. 

Taken in: Den Haag, Netherlands

Just because you're traveling solo, doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice and not be in any pictures.  Always use a level of discretion and trust your inner gut.  Yes, something can happen in a blink's eye, but these tips have been working for me for over a year at this point, so to some extent, it's working. 

Do you have extra tips? Make sure to leave a comment! 

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How to Obtain Solo Travel Photos Without a Selfie Stick