Solo Travel Self-Portraits a Thing of the Past?
It’s one of the big challenges of solo travel: most times, there’s no one to take your photo as you stand before some of the world’s most famous monuments, sites, and landmarks. What to do?
So you improvise. There’s the take-your-picture-with-a-self-timer technique. Or the hold-your-camera-at-arms-length-and-hope-you’re-in-there-somewhere. There are quite a few creative approaches to help you with this often awkward task, but there’s really no two ways about it: taking a photograph of yourself can be a hassle.
More often than not, I’ll employ one or two of the methods mentioned above if there’s no one around but if an obliging person is nearby, I’ll just ask them to do me the favor of taking my picture. This usually works, except when the person in question isn’t quite savvy about the principles of photography and I end up with close-ups that should be wide shots, portraits that should be landscapes, the top of my head cut off, or other crimes of composition.
I’m an ungrateful wretch, I know.
So I was totally amused to read this article about people actually hiring professional photographers to document their vacations. Apparently, business is booming for these types of photographers and the trend is clearly a luxury for travelers who have the funds to secure services like this in the age of photo sharing through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram.
Is this the ultimate amenity for the solo traveler who has everything or what? If you had the money, would you hire a photographer to accompany you on your solo travels to document them for posterity? Or is this a frivolous practice that simply reeks of vanity or narcissism?