Many people love taking photos of themselves to commemorate their trips. Sadly, this can be difficult to achieve if you’re traveling by yourself. That said, you can always take some selfies using your phone’s front camera. You can even buy a handy selfie stick to snap some quick solo pics. However, the range of photos you can achieve via the selfie method can be quite limited.

Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to take better pictures of yourself. For one, you can spruce up your appearance by investing in your travel wardrobe. It’s always worth it to buy comfortable clothes—like quality shirts, pants, or socks made in the USA—if it means you can look and feel good. More importantly, though, if you really want to take top-notch self-portraits, you’ll have to level up your photography game.

But don’t worry. You don’t have to become a professional photographer to take better pictures of yourself. A few simple tips and tools can significantly improve the quality of your self-portraits. To help you out, here are a few tips for taking your “selfies” to the next level:

Take Your Tripod

When it comes to taking pictures of yourself, a sturdy tripod is your best friend. With a tripod, you’ll be able to set up your phone or camera anywhere, whether you’re aiming to capture yourself against the daunting height of a tall building or the magnificence of a beachside landscape. Using this tool, you won’t have to worry about looking for a stable surface to place your phone or camera on. At the same time, you’ll also have more freedom regarding what types of shots you can take.

When looking for a tripod, find one that is both well-built and lightweight. A product with these characteristics will let you reap all the benefits of owning a tripod without adding too much weight to your luggage.

Plan Your Photography Sessions

Great pictures are rarely taken by chance. Often, people who take fantastic photos usually plan their photography sessions well in advance. This process helps them figure out what they have to do to capture the best pictures possible.

You can do something similar, too. Start by researching your target travel destinations online, and take note of the specific places where you plan on snapping your self-portraits. Then, check what types of photos other people have taken in those areas, and pay special attention to the time of day the photos were taken. Certain areas are more likely to look their best at very specific times of the day, such as sunrise or sunset, for example.

Once you’ve done your research, and if you have time to do so, scout your target location. Observe when the area tends to get crowded and when there’s hardly anyone there. Ideally, you’ll want to do your photography session when there aren’t a lot of people around. That way, you won’t have to worry about anybody photobombing your shots.

You also won’t have to rush your shots to make way for other people waiting for their turn to have their photographs taken. By planning ahead, you’ll be able to take your self-portraits leisurely instead.

Take Note of the Lighting in the Area

Lighting can have a significant impact on a photo’s composition and visual appeal. No matter how beautiful a place may be, it will still look uninteresting or even dull without the right lighting.

Given this, schedule your photo sessions during a time of the day when the weather is clear and the colours are bright thanks to natural sunlight. The golden hours (also known as the short time after sunrise and before sunset) are particularly excellent periods to shoot photos, as the redder, softer sunlight can highlight the charm of your chosen location.

Experiment with Different Angles and Orientations

When taking pictures, people tend to default to certain types of shots. If you notice yourself falling into this lull, you can immediately spruce up your camera roll by experimenting with different camera angles. If you usually take your photos straight-on, some unusual angles you can try include tilt shots or low-angle shots, to name a few.

Another way you can freshen up your pictures is to change their orientation from horizontal to vertical and vice-versa. For example, if you mainly use your phone to take pictures, you’re most probably used to snapping photos vertically. Flipping your phone so you can take horizontal photos can help you better capture landscapes and give you some new options in terms of each photo’s composition.

While it’s not always easy to take pictures alone, the tips and tools mentioned above can help a lot in that regard. Don’t forget to keep these pieces of advice in mind the next time you go traveling, and you’re sure to come home with visually striking self-portraits that do you and your backdrops justice.

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