Why the selfie works...

Flickr CC photo by Mark Willard.

Take a lesson from the self portrait for your next travel photo

You can't go anywhere these days without seeing someone posing, arm extended, taking a selfie. First time at the Lincoln Memorial? Pose for a selfie.

Why does it work? A travel photography tip provides insights.

When someone looks into the camera, they become the subject, even if they are in front of an iconic scene like the Reflecting Pool or the Eiffel Tower. Once someone looks into the camera and makes eye contact with the viewer, we have an irresistible urge to look back. We ignore the Eiffel Tower and wonder, "who is that looking at me?"

The selfie is a common scene these days.

It becomes a problem when you send your family member or friend to go stand next to the building and back up far enough to have the entire building in the frame. Your subject looks minuscule, and your viewers now have to squint to see who is looking at them.

Enter the selfie. You are never more than arm's length from the camera. That means you are always close enough to fill the frame and be the unmistakable subject.

What if you are photographing someone else? Pretend you are still in selfie mode. Move them away from the Monument. Get as close to the person as if they were taking a selfie and fill the frame with their face. You'll get the same effect as the selfie — and the same impact.