How I manage to feel less awkward when taking travel photos

I don’t know about you, but walking around with my camera and trying to find creative angles and compositions in busy cities and towns makes me a little self-conscious.

I don’t like having an audience when I’m trying to be creative, whether it’s someone looking over my shoulder when I’m writing or someone looking at me whilst trying to get the perfect shot. I’ve always been pretty socially anxious, but that’s another story…

But anyway, recently I’ve discovered a way to take photos in a city that makes you (pretty) oblivious to the stares and attention around you, and it doesn’t require you getting therapy or drunk.

What I’ve found really helps is listening to loud music whilst I roam around the city or town and take photos. I just chuck on my headphones, find an awesome playlist to listen to, and suddenly I’m no longer so self-conscious. Music helps distract me from the attention of those around me, and it may help you too.

When you listen to music that you really dig, you’ll find yourself in your own little world where you won’t even notice people looking at you – the louder the better.

Creating your own little bubble will help you get in the zone and concentrate on your photography instead of the audience around you. Of course, you may not be like me, and you may have no problems having an audience around you as you do your thing – if so, more power to you!

But for the more socially anxious, you may find this helping you feel more comfortable and at ease when in the field.

I’d love to hear whether this helps you, so please leave a comment below and good luck with your photography!

Also check out our Facebook page and tag us in with some of your finest photography – we’d love to see it and share it with other solo travellers.

What are your strategies for feeling more comfortable taking travel photos?

If I was friends with a magician, I’d message them on FB and ask them out for a beer. Then once at the bar, I’d plead like crazy for them to turn me into a bird so I could spread my wings and fly all over the world – for free! In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to settle for being a travel writer with an incurable case of wanderlust and a remarkable ability to get lost. @shaunbusuttil #theshaunbusuttil


  1. Definitely helps me get in the photo-taking zone as well. I like to find music that I think suits the city (Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories definitely suited the rainy, neon-lit nights in Tokyo and Kyoto).
    Sometimes a connection forms between a certain place and a particular album, and it’s cool experiencing those throwbacks to a trip you took when you listen to the music again.

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