Me, myself and my selfie

I came across this pretty interesting article by TIME magazine, where they rated the Selfiest city in the world – aka the city with the most number of selfie shots – based on Instagram geolocation tags. Along with Ellen’s epic selfie pic at the Oscars of late, it got me thinking about taking selfies while travelling.

Taking postcard-worthy landscapes or HONY-type street portraits of other people on your travels make for great keepsakes, but sometimes you just have to include yourself in that picture. Whether it’s for social media bragging rights, proof that you’ve been to a certain place, or you’re just having a good hair day and want to remember it, the selfie is the easiest way to capture that moment.

My Dad used to say when he made us post for photos, that you can just buy a postcard if you want that perfect shot, you still need to actually commemorate your presence by being in the photo. I used to think it was a little cheesy but looking back on my old photographs, I definitely agree wholeheartedly now.

prague charles bridge selfie
Yes I’ve been to Prague’s Charles Bridge, check!

The one troublesome thing about travelling on your own is that when you do want to get that shot with your face in it, you either have to trust other people to take your picture well (which is hit or miss), or learn to become a selfie expert – I know people who have perfected the angles and tricks so well that they really only need one shot to get it done.

Let’s face it, selfies are self indulgent, but they are fun to take and kinda cool when you manage to nail a good angle that catches your face at a flattering angle while getting in great detail/context in the background. A lot of my selfie photos actually bring back memories of both the trip and how I took that selfie. You don’t even have to be travelling solo to take a selfie – taking selfie shots with friends or new acquaintances can be a pretty fun bonding experience as well.

Maldives_surface selfie
Entertaining myself in the Maldives while waiting for the boat to pick us up with a scuba surface selfie! The blissful look was post-whale shark-sighting euphoria

So here I am, indulging myself on my own blog, with some of my favourite selfies from my past trips and the memories they hold for me.

(how many times have I said the word selfie in this entire post so far? man that word is starting to lose all meaning now~~)

Jac in Munich
I took this in the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich 2012 while wandering around on my own. I kinda love this because it captures both the ornate frame and the crazy decadent and lush decor of the room all at once! Obviously I added to that by looking all thoughtful :P
Osaka Umeda Sky Tower Selfie
This was all Y’s idea and execution on our Osaka trip in 2012 – I love how it captures the sheer height of the Umeda Sky Building! This was taken with my little dinky digital camera in just 1 try!
Dublin Boyne Valley Selfie
Took this while on a walking tour in Boyne Valley while in Dublin. I was just playing around with angles, but surprisingly I think it somehow turned out pretty cool. Also, despite my crazy windswept hair, I look pretty damn happy and it makes me smile to remember that! (Also, that’s Dublin’s landscape in a nutshell – gloomy weather and absolutely green grass)
Chipiona Spain Beach Selfie
Another ‘selfie’ shot I like to take is using shadows – that’s me and my friend R way back in 2007 on the beach of Chipiona, Spain
Hue Vietnam Selfie
Do you smile in your selfies? Sometimes I feel a little bit ridiculous smiling to myself. I took this in Hue, Vietnam in 2011 which was my second solo trip. I realize that I have quite a lot more selfie shots in this trip than in my first trip to Seoul. I have pretty small eyes, so sometimes I try to actively widen my eyes, which I suspect I was doing here :P
Taiwan Lanyu Yeyin Cold Spring Selfie
It helps when your camera is wide angle – it means you get a lot more background for selfies and not just your face only. I definitely prefer wide angle over selfie sticks. This is lovely Lanyu in Taiwan, and I also love this because I look skinny haha
Colombia La Chorrera Waterfall Selfie
Since getting the Casio Exilim FR100 which works as a bluetooth remote – my selfie game has definitely gone up – I took this on a solo trip in Colombia all by myself.
Laos Vientiane Patuxai Jumpshot
Selfie level up – if you have a remote and a tripod, try a jumpshot next – here’s my guide on taking the perfect jumpshot

And while I love the occasional selfie shot, just a reminder that you can admire your 10 galleries of selfie shots to your heart’s content in private, and that you really, really, really don’t need to upload all those 10 galleries to your public feed on social media. Moderation is key, selfie kings – the harsh truth is no one loves your face as much as you do, so stick to a few select shots of yourself.

Share your favourite travelling selfie photo and memory here, I promise not to judge!

9 thoughts on “Me, myself and my selfie”

  1. Hahahaha nice selfie choices. There is another way (albeit slightly more strange). Some people refer to it as the ‘forever alone’ camera stick. Essentially you screw in your camera to the stick. Set a timer (so, this isnt for smart phones) and then extend the stick quickly. It ends up taking a shot in about the same distance as another person might. Upside, you look less like you’re doing a selfie, downside, it pretty much covers about the same amount as a selfie would since the stick doesnt project long enough to do a full body shot

  2. My selfies are terrible. I haven’t mastered the art of the perfect selfie. I always look so bad in the picture so I keep on trying. The others around me are probably harsh judging that poor girl who has no one to take a picture of her and can’t even take one of herself. Yours seem to have turned out really well though. :)

    1. well sometimes i offer to take pix for people who look like they are having a hard time taking a good selfie, but some people seem to be having fun on their own so I just leave them to it :P

      practice makes perfect! these are just the good ones, you haven’t seen my terrible out of focus / out of frame ones!

  3. This is such a cool post. I’ve been travelling solo for years but only recently sparked up the courage to take a few selfies…and they have been terrible but I intend to persist. I stopped being in my photos around half way through my RTW trip and really regret it for exactly the reason your dad explains. With little arms, I need to work on angles and get over the being looked at part but I’m going to be doing more selfies soon :)

    1. Thanks Jo! I always feel a bit embarassed taking selfies at that moment, but looking back, I do sometimes feel a bit of regret too that I didn’t appear in more pix!

      Btw I’ve seen these extenders that you can add onto your cameras, useful to reach over walls (or over tall people in crowds) and get a timer shot, but also work for selfies, so that might work for you! Either that or fish-eye lenses :P

  4. These are some great selfies. That one in Ireland is wonderful.

    I’m kind of the opposite of a selfie taking person. Most of the time when I’m traveling I completely forget to take a photo of myself, like there are no photos of me from my trip in Europe several years back. I also don’t have a smartphone, and half the time I feel awkward lugging camera out for a photo of myself. Funny enough my home city (Edmonton, Canada) is ranked 98 in that Selfiest City post (2nd highest in Canada), so I must be a bit of anomaly.

    1. Thanks Alouise! That’s why I like small point-and-shoot cameras, easy and less obtrusive :p the front facing camera phone is also a great help!
      It is kinda fun to look back at old selfies and see how I’ve changed (or haven’t) since those moments!

      Time to help Edmonton move up the rankings, it’s selfie taking time!

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