Traveling solo is not the easiest when it comes to taking photos. I don’t own a GoPro, tripod, selfie stick or DSLR camera (yet!). I merely take all these awesome photos with my iPhone 6. The camera on the phone is incredible. But as much as I love the occasional selfie, I have a hard time mastering the solo photoshoot.
Many times you can see me turning the timer on my phone and then running as far away as I can to get the shot I want. I know I can make it easier on myself by buying a selfie stick at least, but sometimes you just don’t have the equipment. This is where I empower the stranger to make my photo epic. Sometimes it fails miserably, but other times, they come out so good, you’d think they’re closet photographers. Here are my favorite five photos taken by strangers:
Queenstown, New Zealand
I asked a man who spoke zero English to take this photo. We conversed with thumbs up’s and ‘ok’s,’ and it totally worked. I mean come on, this photo is insane! He even got the lighting right. Thanks dude!
This was one of those moments where I came across this photo-op but had no idea how I was going to master it as there was no place in front of the statue to set up my camera. A couple of girls came by and I waved them down. Once again, no English was exchanged, just a few charades, and boom! This came out. I even look like I’m walking hand-in-hand with the President himself. Thanks ladies.
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
This was moments after I pulled over to take in this view of the Banks Peninsula. I was overwhelmed. It was more beautiful than I ever imagined. I tried to set up my timer and take photos, but I couldn’t get it quite right. A couple jumped out of their car and offered to help. I told the husband to just hold down the photo button while I walked from side-to-side. Totally nailed that photo. I, of course, returned the favor and took the best photo of their trip! Thank you nice couple!
Redwood National Forest, California
I thought this lady was going to completely ruin this photo. I gave her pretty specific instructions, told her where to hold the camera, and voila! This pic came out. To say I was pleased with the turnout of the photo was an understatement. Never underestimate old people and their photography skills. Ever. Thanks lady!
Hobbiton, New Zealand
I had taken a badass Hobbiton tour that was the first to arrive at the movie set. We were lucky and saw everything before the hoards of people showed up. Our tour had plenty of time for photo ops and this pic was no different. I asked a lady who was walking behind me to frame up this shot and go with it. And she completely delivered. I think she loved it, as she asked me to take the exact same photo on her camera. 🙂 Thanks random lady on my tour!
Bonus! Wahclella Falls, Oregon
Although this lovely lady who took the photo is no longer a stranger, she was the weekend I met her. I don’t know what she did, but damn, she got the settings right on this one. I feel so powerful yet so small in this pic. This photo session was so much fun and so refreshing! Being sprayed by the falls woke me up immediately. Thanks girl!
Moral of this story; don’t ever underestimate a stranger’s photography skills. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to take your picture. You never know, you might end up with the best pictures of your trip!
You can check out all of these photos on our Instagram here: @traveltrustwanderlust
About the Author:
Jen Heuett is the creator of Travel + Trust & Wanderlust, an online community to educate, empower and inspire women to travel solo. Her words can also be found on Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, and Travel Hooligan, her first travel company that inspires young adults to utilize the Working Holiday Visa in Australia and New Zealand. When she’s not traveling the world, she’s enjoying the Pacific Northwest and her mom’s tacos.