The Perfect Traveller #Selfie

Greg Snell July 25, 2014 5

It’s the classic superimposed ego shot in front of a really cool landmark. The one snap with that really long arm and as many crammed-in friends as can fit. A crazy wide angle frame with curved edges making the world look like it’s been smashed into a Christmas snow globe. This is the beginning of my explanation of the famed social snap and how to get that perfect traveller “selfie.”

I think the advent of the front-facing smart phone camera really changed the way we view ourselves –  literally. About a year ago, the selfie brought about an entirely new travel trend and began to saturate the social media world. Something that began as a bit of a joke turned into an art form of sorts. Who could get the coolest selfie? Is mine cooler than yours? Who could get the craziest wild animal in the background? Who has the best expression or the most extreme adventure activity? From there, it turned into an international craze when Ellen DeGeneres’ infamous Oscars pic hit Twitter.

I hope that everyone reading this knows what a selfie is and would think you’ve got a stash of awesome ones in your photo collections. And why not? As travellers, we live pretty cool lives and are all devilishly good-looking. The world should know about it, right? Yes, they should. This is one of my favourites from Taronga Zoo in Sydney:

greg selfie in front of a giraffe

So, how does one perfect this art form? Here are a few easy tricks to help you take that perfect traveller selfie on your next adventure.

  • First off, a super wide-angle camera like a GoPro or Sony handheld make it incredibly easy to get a sweet-looking selfie. The wider the frame, the better.
  • Infinity focus. Try and make sure that your camera doesn’t automatically focus on only you (the subject) but the entire frame. Most cameras have a manual focus feature which can be set to infinity. The GoPro has a built in automatic infinity focus and makes selfies very easy.
  • Get a magnetic wide-angle extension for your smartphone camera. There are lots of really cool magnetic add-ons for smart phones that act as filters for your phone’s camera. One is a wide angle and immediately turns your phone into the perfect selfie device.
  • Aim the phone/camera slightly up at a height just above your head, then tilt it downward to take the snap. This is pretty simple and incredibly helpful in making the selfie look much more impressive than it actually is. Test it out a few times; you should see a difference right away, especially if you’re shooting in front of landscape.
  • Have fun! Put as many people in it as possible, make a funny face, get pets or and food in it, and make it interesting. The more you can stuff into it, the better.

The best selfies I’ve seen are usually in places that most people are familiar with, like Machu Picchu or the Taj Mahal. Other good ones often have animals in them. For a long time, one of the most popular photos on Tourism Australia’s Instagram account was of my friend Cameron Ernst and a cheetah.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 11.05.55 AM

The quick-and-easy selfie is a shining example of how our digital society continues to lean towards the most convenient ways of sharing how awesome we all are. It’s the epitome of the somewhat self-obsessed idea of, “Hey! Look at me and where I am, and how cool it all is, and why aren’t you here too?”

What is your best travel selfie? Where was it taken? What were you doing in it? Was it just you or did it include other people or animals? And most importantly: Is it cooler than mine? Tell us and tell the world… just don’t forget that all-important #selfie hashtag!




Getting There

G Adventures runs a number of departures encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours— check out our small group trips here.


  1. Pia July 26, 2014 at 7:24 am - Reply

    Hi there, I’m a lone traveler. And will be going to Central America in a few weeks, any recommends on which camera to bring that won’t get too much attention ? Or should I use my phone?

  2. Dean Earnshaw July 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Greg, I think I have the right guy. I met you at the Pentecost river crossing on the Gibb River rd when you drowned your 4wd. I was on the bike and about 80 km after I left you I wondered if the mechanic had drained the carburetor? Anyway I hope you are going again enjoying your travels. Dean

  3. Greg Snell July 31, 2014 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Pia, thanks for the comment. I would suggest a Canon point and shoot, like the G12. It’s a great camera and doesn’t get a lot of attention. Take your phone too. Central America is amazing!! I lived in Costa Rica for a year back in 07′ Enjoy!!

  4. Greg Snell July 31, 2014 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Dean you legend!! It is indeed me. Hahaha! Great to see your comment mate. Turned out it was one of the spark plugs that had been somehow knocked off and misaligned. I think it may have been from the corrugation. Anywho, lucky we made it through the River before it stalled out. Got back on the road about an hour after you left mate. Safe travels back home! G.

  5. Dean August 25, 2014 at 6:04 am - Reply

    Hey Greg, so glad you got going again! I’ve been home a few weeks now after 12 000 km and hope to do another one next year. The Top End is an awesome place aye. Might see you again one day but hopefully not with a broken down 4WD.

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