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In the age of social media, selfies have become an integral part of the traveling experience. Whereas vacation photos used to be reserved for flipping through albums with close friends and family back home, today"s explorers are far more likely to snap pics for their online followings. The "travel selfie" has emerged as its own distinct phenomenon, allowing journeyers to instantly share their adventures with networks around the world.
So when and why did the travel selfie explode in popularity? Many credit the smartphone revolution in the late 2000s as paving the way. As front-facing cameras became standard on mobile devices, convenient self-portraiture became mainstream. Still, it took photo-sharing apps like Instagram launching in 2010 to truly ignite the selfie trend. Suddenly, clever captions and filters allowed users" selfies to transform into art.
Since then, the travel selfie has taken on a life of its own. A 2019 study by AXA Insurance found that millennials take an average of nine selfies per day on vacation. Social media influencers continue to up the ante, posing at landmark locations in envy-inducing vacation garb. Tourist destinations now highlight the most "Instagrammable" photo ops, knowing selfies equal free advertising.
Yet critics argue the obsession with travel selfies prevents meaningful cultural exchange. Some claim focusing a camera on oneself leads tourists to miss out on appreciating the sights before their eyes. Others note staged selfies rarely capture the authentic spirit of a destination. However, advocates counter that selfies allow travelers to insert themselves into the locale"s narrative. The images serve as visual diaries, stirring memories of how visitors felt at specific moments in time.
Finding the ideal selfie angle in Montreal may seem tricky, but a few insider tips can help you master the art of the perfect travel selfie. First and foremost, consider how Montreal's unique architecture and streetscapes lend themselves to distinctive selfie backdrops unavailable elsewhere.
Old Montreal"s cobblestone streets and history-steeped buildings beg for selfies showcasing both you and your surroundings. But the area"s tight streets make finding the best vantage point key. Photographer Jordan Hammond suggests, "Stand across the street from sites like Notre-Dame Basilica so you can fit the whole cathedral in the background. Shooting at a slight upward angle makes the church look even more imposing." Elsewhere in Old Montreal, snap selfies on the waterfront with the Old Port's ship masts framing you.
Beyond Old Montreal, the city's sleek modern structures offer selfie possibilities. At the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, position yourself directly under the massive conical overhang for a selfie that highlights the building's futuristic form. Or at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, turn your back to the glass-enclosed entrance and angle your camera up to capture the striking juxtaposition of classic and contemporary architecture.
Montreal's parks and green spaces also allow creative selfie options. Mount Royal Park offers countless selfie spots, but Bethany Wong particularly recommends "climbing the steps to the Kondiaronk Belvedere. The overlook's panoramic view makes a stunning cityscape background for your selfie." In La Fontaine Park, snap selfies on the bridges arching over the central pond or along the tree-lined paths. Just be sure to experiment with both horizontal and vertical angles to highlight the area's natural beauty.
Wherever you roam in Montreal, don't forget the key selfie essentials. Carry a mini tripod or selfie stick to stabilize your phone and enable you to find the perfect distance and height. Pack portable phone chargers and cleaning cloths to keep your device powered up and lens smudge-free. Use headphones as a remote shutter. And leverage built-in phone features like timers, filters and portrait modes to take your selfies to the next level.
Getting creative with your selfies allows you to capture Montreal's iconic sites in a more dynamic, personalized manner. Rather than just smiling in front of a landmark, put some thought into making the attraction part of your visual storytelling. Approach the process as you would putting together a distinct photo shoot.
Among Montreal's countless photogenic locales, Parc Jean-Drapeau offers perhaps the most possibilities for imaginative selfies. At the Biosphere environmental museum, shoot a selfie pretending to hold the giant architectural orb in your hand. Or pose as if leaping from the reflecting pool, using the water and Biosphere as your background. At the Montreal Casino, grab a friend and recreate a vintage Vegas portrait, backlit by the neon and lights.
The Notre-Dame Basilica lends itself to creative religious-themed selfies. Strike a prayer stance with hands clasped and eyes heavenward, bathed in the light of the ornate stained glass. Ask a friend to take a low perspective shot as if looking up at you from the pews, showcasing the church's impressive ceilings. Just take care not to disrupt actual services or disrespect those in worship.
Montreal's street art provides colorful, hip selfie settings. In the Plateau neighborhood, pose in front of huge, eye-catching murals, using the designs to frame your face. Make thoughtful wardrobe choices that complement the art behind you. In Mile End, photograph yourself adding imaginary spray paint to the graffiti graphics.
At Mont Royal Park, incorporate natural props into your selfies. Snap a pic smelling a bouquet of wildflowers or leaning against a tree, with the fall foliage or snowy landscape as your backdrop. Perch at the edge of Beaver Lake or the lookouts, pretending to dangle your feet over the city below.
While your own arms may be long enough to capture a standard headshot, getting Montreal"s most iconic landmarks in the background often requires a longer reach. Enter the almighty selfie stick, allowing you to photograph yourself from distances impossible otherwise. Though selfie sticks provoke some derision, they remain essential tools for next-level travel photos.
Vacationers determined to showcase Montreal"s must-see sites should absolutely pack a selfie stick. Top attractions like Notre-Dame Basilica and the Olympic Stadium were simply not designed with optimal selfie-shooting in mind. The sheer height and breadth of such landmarks dwarf single individuals. Selfie stick pros know the right angles to hold their cameras high so subjects don"t appear like ants against Goliath backdrops.
Stabilizing and straightening shots is another selfie stick benefit. Eliminating natural hand shake helps ensure architectural details like Notre-Dame"s faÃ§ade or the stadium"s inclined tower appear crisp versus blurred. Angling a steady stick down from overhead also provides perspective-enhancing shots from atop Mont Royal or the Old Port Ferris wheel.
For waterfront selfies, an extended selfie stick enables you to stand securely on shore while photographing your floating self far offshore. This technique works for the Old Port, Parc Jean-Drapeau, and anywhere along the St. Lawrence River. Travel blogger Simone Chen recounts, "Thanks to my selfie stick, I got awesome selfies "walking on water" with the Montreal skyline behind me. Just be sure to tightly grip your stick in case a wave hits!"
Getting more people in frame often necessitates a selfie stick as well. Unless blessed with Inspector Gadget-like arms, capturing your entire family or group of friends in front of Montreal landmarks requires some distance. Event selfies also benefit from elevation to incorporate exciting surroundings. Blogger Darren Chu explains, "I held my selfie stick high above the crowd during a festival at Parc Jean-Drapeau to show the scene. It let me be both in the moment and document it."
When wielded appropriately, selfie sticks also enable travelers to be less intrusive and safer than other selfie techniques. Braving busy streets or scaling dangerous heights to frame that perfect shot risks accident or inconveniencing locals. But thoughtfully leveraging a selfie stick allows you to keep a respectful distance.
Still, wield your selfie stick conscientiously in crowded settings. Avoid blindly waving it about and startling passersby. Seek permission before inserting your camera into the midst of a wedding shoot or similar event. Basic etiquette ensures your selfie stick doesn"t impede other visitors" enjoyment.
Even the most Insta-worthy travel selfies often require some editing magic to reach their full share-ready potential. Luckily, today"s apps make enhancing your adventures" photographic record easier than ever. A few quick edits can take your travel memories from dull to dazzling.
The most basic enhancement for any mobile shot is adjusting brightness and contrast. Montreal"s dazzling architecture may lend itself to dramatic shadows, but you want to remain visible in your selfies. Increase brightness just enough so details in shaded areas appear clearer. Boosting contrast makes colors pop more for eye-catching pics. However, go easy on contrast to avoid an artificial look.
Next, consider tweaking color saturation and temperature. Montreal"s colorful graffiti murals, fall foliage, and nightlife neon beg for intensified vibrancy. Don"t be afraid to dial up the saturation. Yet higher intensity sometimes comes at the expense of realism. Alternatively, try warming cooler shots with filters that add golden undertones. This works particularly well for indoor sites like Notre-Dame Basilica.
Cropping and straightening skewed shots helps polish your photographic framing. Chop out extraneous negative space to hone in on you and the attraction. Use the grid overlay while adjusting the angle to ensure architectural lines look straight. But avoid cropping so tightly that the locale becomes unrecognizable.
Selective sharpening brings key subjects into crisp focus. Sharpen yourself in the foreground, but go easy on backgrounds. Over-sharpening renders brickwork and foliage pixelated and harsh. Faces should remain smoothed. For nighttime cityscapes, paint over just the illuminated buildings and bright signs to make them pop.
More advanced edits like cloning can help remove photobombers. Montreal"s tourist hotspots see heavy crowds. Clone over fellow sightseers in the background to prevent them from drawing eyes away from you and your chosen locale. Just take care when erasing people to maintain a natural look.
Portrait touch-up apps allow subtle enhancements of facial features and skin. But resist the temptation to overdo it. Nothing screams "bad edit" like cartoonish filters designed more for fictional characters than actual humans. Prioritize looking naturally polished yet like yourself.
If capturing Montreal"s sweepingly scenic spots like Mont Royal, consider stitching together a panoramic selfie. Wave your phone steadily across the horizon while holding a smile. Later, use stitching apps to blend photos into one uninterrupted postcard-style vista.
Text and sticker overlays let you enhance your pics while showing off your Montreal adventures. Add location stickers of iconic landmarks or captions in French for a local vibe. Avoid cluttering the frame, instead picking one tasteful accent.
Beyond simply documenting your adventures, travel selfies present opportunities to express your personal style and fashion sense. For trendsetters and influencers, vacations become impromptu photoshoots to showcase distinctive looks. Luckily, Montreal serves as an ideal backdrop for stylish selfies thanks to the city"s abundance of photogenic urban settings.
Old Montreal"s cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and wrought-iron balconies channel a romantic European vibe perfect for bohemian or retro-inspired ensembles. Pose in flowing maxi dresses, floppy hats, and standout sunglasses to complement the neighborhood's old-world charm. During colder months, add pops of color to your winter coat with scarves and berets for chic Canadian flair.
Downtown Montreal's modern skyscrapers and luminous neon provide more sleek, contemporary environments to model your forward-thinking style. Structures like Place Ville Marie and the stock exchange tower exude an urban energy that commands equally bold fashion statements. Make these buildings your backdrop while rocking sleek leather jackets, metallic boots, graphically printed separates, or all-black minimalist looks.
For edgier selfies, leverage Montreal's plentiful street art as an alternative runway. In the Plateau, Mile End, and other neighborhoods, pose against massive graffiti murals in ripped jeans, leather, and other urban apparel. Montreal-based fashion vlogger Daria Sou explains, "I love snapping retro Polaroids of myself in combat boots and miniskirts in front of the colorful wall designs throughout Mile End. The contrast shows I"m inspired by the art yet doing my own thing."
Mont Royal Park allows you to get creative showcasing rustic, nature-inspired styles. Take selfies amid the fall foliage wearing rich flannels, utility jackets, and other earthy layers perfect for the great outdoors. Let the natural environment rather than manmade landmarks serve as your backdrop. During winter months, bundle up in cozy sweaters, trapper hats, and buffalo check prints that complement the snowy, cabin-in-the-woods ambiance.
For vacationers interested in channeling more of a refined, aristocratic vibe, pose at landmarks like the Notre-Dame Basilica, Chateau Ramezay, or McGill's Victorian-era campus dressed in your most elegant frocks, trench coats, and dapper accessories. Mimic statues of historical figures by angling your body into graceful contrapposto stances. Add a touch of whimsy by striking poses with colorful parasols or oversized sunglasses.
Travel influencer Ava Lee shares, "I love snapping quick outfit-of-the-day selfies as I explore Montreal to show followers how my style evolves throughout the trip. The city has such diverse photo options"Old Montreal for boho chic, downtown for sleek modern, Mont Royal for natural vibes. The background scenery becomes like another accessory I can coordinate with."
For nighttime selfies in Montreal's bars, clubs, and evening cultural events, dial up the glam factor. Find flattering lighting that shows off shimmering cocktail dresses, strappy heels, bold lipstick, and statement jewelry. Party scenes like Montreal's Boulevard Saint-Laurent or Crescent Street prove ideal for sexy after-dark fashion. Just be mindful of appropriate venues to avoid appearing insensitive or inappropriate.
One of the greatest joys of traveling is discovering new and delicious cuisines. In a food-obsessed city like Montreal, every day brings opportunities to explore exciting flavors from around the globe. From the city's famous poutine and bagels to its chic cafes and diverse immigrant eateries, memorable meals await around every corner.
Luckily for foodie travelers, modern technology makes capturing and chronicling Montreal's mouthwatering dishes easier than ever. Here's how to leverage selfies to create lasting memories of the remarkable foods you devour during your visit.
First, photograph each dish as it arrives at your table, before you dig in. Snap pics of steaming poutine, piled-high smoked meat sandwiches, towering cakes and pastries, and more. Document each component"the glistening gravy, the ooey cheese curds, the artful drizzle of sauce on a pastry. Zoom in on particular details that capture your attention.
Food blogger Simran Khosla explains, "I love snapping a quick pic as soon as my food is served. Looking back at the photos really transports me back to how I felt seeing the dish for the first time. My mouth literally starts watering again remembering how good it tasted!"
Once you've documented the untouched dish, go ahead and take a bite! Then snap some photos mid-meal. Get shots of you and your dining companions enjoying the food. Capture the messiness"the cheese pull of that first poutine bite, the giant schmear of mustard on a Montreal smoked meat on rye, the chocolate smeared all over your face from a warm cookie right out of the oven. These "eating in action" shots make for fun, relatable memories.
If dining with a group, take turns being the designated "food paparazzi" for each other throughout the meal. This allows everyone to get mouthful-of-food selfies while still staying present in the conversation. Food-filled smiles and laughter make for particularly authentic, engaging moments to remember.
When photographing soups and non-solid dishes that lack height, leverage angles and props. Shoot downward into the bowl to highlight the contents. Garnish with extras like fresh herbs or croutons to add visual interest. Prop up a notebook next to the bowl with a message like "Julie's French Onion Soup""future you will appreciate the descriptive context.
If you order food from an iconic Montreal eatery, capture contextual shots that include branding and signage. Photograph the famous St-Viateur and Fairmount bagel shop storefronts before biting into one of their legendary bagels. Snap the plate next to the Schwartz's deli logo on the table. Get the Wilensky's neon sign behind you as you enjoy one of their famous pressed sandwiches.
Ultimately, Montreal's incredible food imagery serves as creative inspiration. Don't limit yourself to basic plated shots. Get playful with food selfies! Twist cream from a macaron onto your nose. Stack multiple bagels around your sunglasses like oversize fashionable frames. Rest colorful churros on your arms like edible sparkly bracelets. Entertain your social media followers while memorializing the experience in a vibrant, lighthearted way.
Sharing your Montreal travel adventures via selfies on social media allows you to instantly connect with loved ones back home while inspiring wanderlust in your wider follower base. As vacations become increasingly digitized in the social media era, maintaining an engaging feed during your travels is crucial. Follow these tips for sharing your Montreal selfies on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and more.
The key to effective social media travel posts is mixing up content formats. Avoid massive photo dumps or selfie spam that becomes tedious fast. Instead, spread out your pics to keep followers engaged over your trip"s duration. Social media consultant Maya Singh recommends "posting no more than one or two selfies per day. Mix in non-selfie shots of landmarks, food, and other sights so followers feel immersed in your overall Montreal experience."
When choosing selfies to showcase, prioritize variety over quantity. Select images highlighting different landmarks and activities for diversity. Vary poses and expressions to show off your personality. Foodie selfies, group shots with travel companions, action selfies, and style selfies all add multifaceted perspectives. Ensure lighting, composition, and image quality are strong.
Include descriptive, evocative captions. Detail when and where selfies were taken and why the spot is special. Share fun facts or historical tidbits about Montreal attractions. Recount amusing behind-the-scenes selfie mishaps. Illustrate your personal thoughts and feelings in the moment. Captions that reveal insightful travel tidbits feel more genuine than generic "having a great time!" declarations.
Tag relevant brands like travel sites, airlines, and Montreal attractions. Doing so adds visibility and enables brands to reshare your content as user-generated marketing. Just ensure you speak positively or objectively. Disgruntled rants won"t earn reposts.
Leverage geotags and location stickers to embed your Montreal adventures within searchable content. This allows interested followers to vicariously explore. Travel blogger Aidan Lee explains, "Geotagging my Old Montreal selfies lets people click over to see more feeds from those spots. It helps portray Montreal"s vibe."
Link to travel companions" accounts in captions or via tagging when posting joint selfies. Cross-promoting strengthens social connections and secures return engagement. Use platforms" apps like Facebook Portal to capture time-delayed selfies that tag friends automatically.
Share Instagram Stories for in-the-moment experiences that immediately expire. These spontaneous selfies feel more authentic and pressure-free versus permanent highly-edited feed posts. Let your natural enthusiasm shine. Later, repost favorites in feeds or highlights.
Go beyond selfies to incorporate Montreal flavor. Snap and share visual details like street art, metro signs, or festival crowds. Post video clips showing street performances or poutine prep techniques. Share funny overheard French phrases as you explore Francophone Montreal. Highlight other intriguing cultural observations.
Ask followers to engage by voting on preferred selfies, guessing mystery locations, or suggesting future selfie poses/backdrops. Polls and questions keep audiences invested in your journey by making them active participants. Respond to commenters to nurture a community.