FLIP through your travel photos and pick the one that makes you smile instantly. I bet it would either be a photo of yourself in front of an epic landscape or one of you with yourself and your travel mates goofing around in front of a famous landmark.

As a seasoned traveller, I realise that my travel selfies make me smile more than anything else. They help to recall the feelings that I had felt at that particular moment.

Taking selfies at every place that you visit may look vain and cheesy for some people but it is a fun way to document your travel moments, and you have to do it right. Here are some tips on how to capture beautiful and less corny selfies, the kind of photos that you will not feel embarrassed to post on your social media.


1. Storytelling

A good selfie needs more than just your face sticking out at a location. It needs to tell stories too. Plan and set up your selfie photo. How do you want it to look like? What should you wear so that you look good in that photo? What colour pops out more? Where should you place yourself in the frame? Does your background tell stories? This is a wefie of Areza, Azli and me at the Lake Baikal, Russia captured using my dSLR camera attached to a super wide lens, set to slow shutter, on a tripod and triggered with the timer. An epic landscape with human subject properly positioned creates all sort of emotions in viewers.


2. Equipment


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You can take a selfie with your handphone or camera but choose your device wisely. For a split second selfie at a crowded and chaotic place, I will probably use my handphone or my GoPro. I will also hand over my simple mirrorless camera to my non-photographer friend or a stranger on the street to help me capture my moments. This is a wefie of Tazza and me while we were tandem flying on his paramotor at Pulau Indah, Klang. I set the GoPro at Video-Jpeg setting, attached it to a long pole and captured a super wide view of our sunset moment. You need a selfie stick, a tripod, a flexible Gorillapod, a remote trigger and an attitude to capture this photo.


3. Drama

Do some act in front of your camera to create drama and allow yourself to pose naturally. Run, dance, jump, sing or pose according to your creativity. Just ignore those stares on the street. You may appear wacky and silly in their eyes but just stick to your why-bother attitude. I was dancing with my fellow photographer in front of the famous Taj Mahal, India when we captured this photo. I set my camera on burst and asked my photographer friend to press the shutter.


4. Travel with a photographer

To get beautiful travel photos of yourself, hire a travel photographer or travel together with your photographer friends. I bet you would get the best selfie moments. This is a photo of myself sitting on top of the Hunza Eagle’s Nest, North Pakistan. My travel photographer friend Mohd Irman took this using my dSLR with a little help from his flash to fill in the shadow.


5. Selfie with the crowd


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A small camera attached to a wide lens and a selfie stick will do the trick to capture your moment with friends or people around you. It is an ice-breaking tool when you are on the street, especially with children. This is a photo of me with the children of the Maiga Island in Semporna, Sabah taken with my GoPro. I linked it to my handphone and controlled the shutter button from a GoPro app. Children love to see their faces on the phone and will always love a quick goofy wefie.

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