How to Take the Perfect Vacation Selfie

Jul 6, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. ET
Image: Oneinchpunch/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Front-facing cameras have definitely changed the way we document our travels. Now we have absolute proof of ourselves existing in exotic locations without having to carry around clunky tripods or ask a total stranger to take our picture (and hope they don’t steal our camera in the process!).

You might think it’s easy, but there is definitely a science to taking the perfect vacation selfie. Keep these tips in mind when you are gearing up to Instagram or Snapchat your next vacation.

Research the best places to photograph

Spontaneous selfies are fun, but there are going to be a few moments you want to make sure are absolutely perfect. Look up geotags of the places you’re going to, and take note of specific areas where other people have taken spectacular travel selfies.

Watch your lighting

Move around and make sure you’re facing in a way that will capture both your smiling face and the scenery behind you. Light reacts in weird ways depending on the time of day as well. Avoid overexposure and awkward silhouettes by experimenting with different angles and making sure you're not standing right in front of a light source.

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Leave some room

A vacation selfie is nothing if you can’t show others the cool place you’re visiting. Capture yourself from the neck up, allowing the top of the picture to be filled with an awesome temple, waterfall, cityscape and more.

Shoot horizontally

Alternatively, skip the vertical shot altogether and shoot landscape on your phone. You’ll have tons of room to capture rolling hills, colorful murals or other people.

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Be careful!

It’s tempting to take a selfie on the ledge of the Grand Canyon, but one stumble or gust of wind can really ruin your trip. Make sure the area you’re in is hazard-free. Practice “safe selfieing” and you’ll live to tell the tale of your vacation!

Snap outside the box

You’re not going to fit the entire Eiffel Tower in your selfie, so don’t stress about it. Instead, think of creative ways you can share your vacation experience with other people. Hold your phone at waist level on selfie mode but pointing up. Or take a vertical shot where only your eyes pointing upward are showing in the bottom half, opened wide in surprise.

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Skip the selfie stick

Aside from looking like a tourist, they’ve been outlawed in many museums, historic sites and even entire cities. It’s not worth getting busted for a picture that will still look great without one.

Think about the moment you’re trying to capture

What is your selfie really about? The place or the person in the place? This will help you decide how best to shoot, where and how. Not all moments are meant to be selfies, so don’t force it if it doesn’t feel right.

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Image: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows

This post was sponsored by Princess Cruises.

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