4 Ways to Get Fabulous Photos Taken of Yourself While Traveling Solo

April 21, 2017

Frustrated solo travelers are returning home from their trips with little or nothing to show for it. I know. That really sucks, doesn't it?! I was there before. But, thanks to some clever tactics and a few social skills, I'm proud to say that, for nearly three years, I've been getting fabulous photos of myself taken while traveling solo. And here's four ways you can do the same!

1. Hire an amateur photographer off ModelMayhem.
So, one time in Paris, I hired a photographer off ModelMayhem to take pictures of me in the, all day. He was an aspiring travel photographer and needed some shots for his portfolio. I literally only paid him $20 and took him out for a drink. He got the shots he needed for his portfolio and I got amazing photos of my solo trip in Paris. It was a total win/win situation. Not only that but, to this day, he and I keep in contact. He's working as a photographer in Cambodia right now and I'll totally be reaching out to him during my solo trip to Siem Reap.

ModelMayhem is branded as "a place where professional models meet photographers" but, based on my observations, most of the "models" and "photographers" on the social networking site are amateurs; which is perfectly fine for the solo traveler. I mean, unless you're trying to become America's Next Top Model or something. Just saying. Hire a photographer off ModelMayhem and get your solo traveling, picture taking life!

2. Book a private tour of the most beautiful places in the city you're visiting.
This is hands down my favorite way to get amazing photos of myself while traveling solo. It's like the ultimate travel two-for-one. 

Here's how you do it: book a private tour of the most beautiful or most interesting places in the city you're visiting (I suggest using Viator to do this) and simply inform your tour guide that you will need him or her to take several photos of you while on the tour. If you did your research prior to taking the tour, you would already know the locations that you would like to be photographed. Tell your tour guide to snap shots of you there and do not leave that location until you're satisfied with your captures. Also, bring a change of clothes with you, if possible, so that you can coordinate your look with the scenery.

I took several private tours while traveling solo in Bangkok and I came home with some of the most amazing pictures ever. It was worth every penny I paid to the tour guide and more. I highly recommend that you get into that private tour guide life, especially if you enjoy traveling solo.

3. Get your lifestyle photos by putting your service staff to work.
Get your hotel butler to take pictures of you enjoying room service, get your housekeeping lady to take pictures of you looking longingly outside your room window, get your restaurant server to capture you while enjoying a glass of champagne, and get your bellboy to photograph you while hopping in the back seat of your private tour guide's new Mercedes Benz. See where I'm going with this?

Some of the most fabulous photographic moments are the ones where you're simply enjoying the little pleasures in life. And, if you're like me, you'll want to keep a camera (and your favorite service staff member) close by to capture those fabulous lifestyle moments.

4. Take a day tour and get photos of yourself doing something amazing.
Every major city has something unique and amazing for you to do while traveling solo. The best part about booking a day tour is, you not only get to experience the city's best activities, but you also get to join a group of other travelers. I've booked some incredible day tours on Viator and, as a result, made new friends and (you guessed it) got a ton of fabulous photos taken of myself in the process.

Doing a photo shoot with a tour guide who is giving a tour for a group is obviously not as easy as doing one with a private tour guide. However, with a little communication (and good social skills) you'll absolutely be able to pull it off.

Chances are your tour guide will be picking you up from your hotel - he'll also be picking up other tourists from their hotels as well. Ask your driver if you can sit in the front seat. Usually, especially if you're traveling solo, they'll be more than happy to allow you to ride shotgun. During the drive, converse with your guide, get to know him or her and talk about the country you're from. In other words, socialize! Establish a great (and genuine) rapport with your guide quickly. Lastly, inform them that you'd really like to take some nice pictures while you're on the tour and would tip them generously if they did the honors.

I did this one time in Dubai and you would have thought I had a personal photographer following me around all that one time in Paris. You guys, it was FABULOUS!

As a former selfie stick user, I know what it's like to go on an amazing trip and only have a few head shots to show for it. Selfie sticks do not help you fully capture moments or tell a complete story of your travels. You invest hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on a trip and you should at least have a few fabulous pictures for your personal photo album...or to slay on Instagram. Wink, wink.

Hopefully the above four tips will help make your next trip your best trip. As always, I'm here to answer your questions if you need me. We're all in this travel thing together...even when we’re traveling solo.

With love,

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  1. Hey! Love your blog. I just came back from a solo trip to Dubai and Thailand. There are so many people traveling with selfie sticks, individuals or even small groups of 2 or 3. Sometimes I would just ask for a photo swap. Can I take a picture of you guys and you take a picture of me? A resounding sing yes each time.

    1. Thank you! And congratulations on your trip to Dubai and Thailand! Yes, the "who can I find to take my picture?" struggle is real, whether you're in a group or traveling solo. Kudos to you for taking the initiative to ask for a photo swap. I bet the people you meet really appreciate it. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Lol! 💜

  2. Great post! I really appreciate it!

    1. You're welcome and thank you for reading my blog posts!

  3. This is really useful as I've never heard of ModelMayhem. Will try it next time I'm travelling solo!

    1. Thank you for reading my blog post and happy travels to you!