Back in the day, circa 2006 when I was roaming around Europe with my bestie we noticed a phenomenon that we named the STP or "single traveler pose" aka the old school selfie. More often than not it involved someone holding their point and shoot camera out in front of them, arm stretched as far as it could go to capture their head and possibly upper body in front of a notable landmark. Around 75% of people held up a nonchalant peace sign or, if they had managed to con a passerby into taking their photo they could get really crazy and raise both hands in the air, further proving they were actually there. I'm going to just throw this out there, 2006 was a long time ago, and things have changed.
This summer I went to Germany with the fam and witnessed a mind blowing adaptation of the trend. The selfie stick. The thing was everywhere. News alert to everyone that did not leave their house this year - flipping your phone's camera to front facing mode is so 2013. If you didn't have a Go Pro or cell phone strapped to a retractable pole, then you my friend, are not the latest generation of traveler. I would not recommend traveling without one, because you will feel out of place.
While we did utilize our Go Pro strapped onto a selfie stick a few times during the trip - it turned out to be more cumbersome than helpful in most situations. But, I will admit that I was traveling with 5 willing photo takers. I can imagine the need for the pole and fisheye Go Pro increases exponentially in direct correlation to a decrease in the number of travel companions one has. I may have been whistling a different tune if I had been a solo traveler. For now I'm just going to hold on to the memory of Europe, and the fact that the original selfie stick will forever be your arm (thank goodness mine are long).
I'm not quite sure why we feel the need to always be at the ready to take our own photo, but I do know that A. we have a ton of sweet Europe photos and B. I have a ton of photos of people taking photos of themselves in Europe. Maybe we should all put down our phones and just enjoy our surroundings? I cannot tell you how many times we discussed why Mitch was taking photos of my back in Europe. It was all for this Instagram, mom. If a photo doesn't get posted on Instagram, did it really happen?
The tools of the trade
So, I want to know - do you use a selfie stick? Do you have a Go Pro? What are your tips for capturing the perfect moment when you are flying solo? Or do you simply soak in the moment and skip the photo opt?