Solo In The Maldives: Travel Photography Tips

My Instagram following literally exploded when I was travelling solo in the Maldives last week. Every time I uploaded a photo on Twitter, my notifications went crazy. Every time I posted on Facebook by friends were green with envy. My snapchat followers blew up and I have never seen so much engagement with everyone wanting to know where I was and how I got there. It seems travelling solo in the Maldives is NOT the norm!

As a professional travel blogger, I am my own brand. This means that I can’t just take stunning pictures of the landscape but must also put myself into my photos. When travelling solo, it can be quite difficult to think outside the box with your travel photography. You want to put yourself and your personality into the photos, but without someone to take your photo, it can prove difficult. Besides picking one of the best travel cameras on the market, here are a few other photography tips for solo travelling.

In the Maldives, one of the most stunningly beautiful countries on earth, I was determined to get my once-in-a-lifetime photographs. I refused to depart from my dream holiday without at least half a dozen amazing images of myself! Here are my tips and tricks on how I took these photos and how you too can take amazing travel photographs when travelling solo in the Maldives.

READ NEXT: 21 Unique Things To Do in The Maldives

Solo Travel In The Maldives – Photography Tips

1. Ask a stranger to help out

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One the easiest things to do when travelling solo is simply to ask a stranger on the beach to help you out. I did this many times during my one week solo trip to the Maldives. On one occasion I was on a day trip to a sandbank in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and I noticed two Chinese tourists (above) trying to recreate the #followmeto photo series. I asked one of them if she could help me take similar photos and the result was the photo below which I am totally in love with! There’s never any harm in asking for a little help.

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2. Put your camera on self timer

This is a pretty obvious one but most of my best travel photographs were taken by me…or more specifically, by my camera! The key to taking a really good photo on self timer is to set up the image exactly how you want it on a table/ chair/ in the sand then put yourself into the picture. It normally takes at least 10 attempts to get the perfect picture and it can lead to strangers on the beach giving you some pretty strange looks as you lie in the sand posing, looking at your camera! 

The photo below was taken by balancing my camera on a pillow (borrowed from the bedroom of my beach villa!) and taking about 15 photos on self timer before it finally focused on my face and i had found a winner. Literally seconds later, a couple on their honeymoon walked by, looked ta me as if I had 4 heads, laughed and walked away. oh the joys of solo travel!

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3. Set up your photo and ask a stranger to take it

As opposed to tip number one, this actually involves knowing exactly you want in the photo. This is my favourite way of taking photos and many of my best pictures on Instagram have been taken this way. While it can be a little awkward, never be afraid to tell a stranger exactly what you want in a photo and even ask them to take it for a second time if the result isn’t what you were hoping for. They really don’t mind being help up for 60 seconds as opposed to 30 seconds and it guarantees you will get the shot you wanted. The photo below was taken by one of the guides on my snorkelling trip…this was the third try as the light was all wrong in the first two photos.

The guide actually approached me later in the day and asked if he could take more pictures for me. He ended up using his GoPro (I don’t own one) to take amazing underwater photos if me while we were snorkelling. SUCCESS!

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4. Get creative with props

It’s not always possible to put yourself int the photo or to ask someone else to help you out. Such was the case when I found myself on the most stunning deserted beach with no one around to help me with my perfect shots. I was halfway through munching down on my breakfast of delicious watermelon when I noticed how colourful it was and thought the contrasting colours would make for a great photo. The result, which I love, can be seen below!

The second photo is another good example as there is lots of colour and it helps portray my personality – a fun-loving Irish girl! ;-)

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5. You don’t have to be in every photo

It’s really important to remember that you DON’T need to be in every photo. Many bloggers might disagree with me on this one, but some of my most liked photos on Instagram are actually one’s of landscapes, cities and locals that don’t include my smiling mug. The Maldives is no different – it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world and deserves to be shown off in all its glory.

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That’s it for now!

Hope this was helpful but that, most of all, the pics gave you a little taste of magical the Maldives is!

  • Céline
    June 7, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Excellent post ! I will never forget the day you were in the swimming pool in Kerala and that monkeys were around and wanted to steal your camera during your self pics session:-D

  • Katie
    June 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Fantastic photos

  • Sophie Saint
    June 7, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Ah brilliant! I love how you don’t give a F about asking strangers or setting cameras up!
    I have a Canon G7x which connects to your phone – you can see what the camera is seeing through an app on your phone and you can do remote shooting. It literally saved my buns when I ended up reviewing a hotel all alone – had to get some snaps and they turned out ace!
    You got some great snaps :) glad you had a blast in the Maldives!

    http://saintsonsplane.com

  • LisaLDN
    June 7, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    GREAT tips, Janet! I loved all your photos from the Maldives, and definitely undestand why everyone else did too! :)

  • Melissa
    June 9, 2016 at 2:01 am

    Great tips! I really need to get over the awkwardness I feel of taking self-timer photos when I’m travelling somewhere. I know I’ve missed out on some cool shots because of it.