I’ve tried a lot of methods for taking photos of myself in the last decade and my favorite by far is a tiny Bluetooth remote shutter. Between yelling “shoot!” at my phone, dashing back and forth to press the shutter button on my phone, and a cute little remote control I can hide in my palm, it’s a clear choice for me.
Remotes and timers and hollers, oh my
There are sound-sensitive shutter apps, and some cameras come with the ability to clap your hands or say “shoot” to capture an image. You can even activate Google assistant and say “take a selfie” but for me, it’s way too slow and draws too much attention to what I’m doing, and makes me feel self-conscious.
Timers are great if you only want to take one shot. But my practice, since I shoot digitally, is to shoot a lot of frames, that allows more opportunity for not only a better shot but to learn and experiment to see what’s working and what’s not. And running back and forth dozens of times for one shot at a time is no fun, and you’re likely to mess up your outfit, makeup, or set by popping in and out of frame to hit the shutter.
Some cameras allow you to set a specific number of photos it will take in a set time amount of time. For example, after a 10-second timer, it will shoot 10 shots consecutively, but I’ve only found this using a DSLR, and I tend to shoot more with my Pixel than my Canon, because it’s more convenient, and well, my Canon doesn’t have Google AI.
Using a remote also allows for easier work with long exposure photography, since you won’t be touching your phone/camera which comes with the risk of bumping it and ruining your image with an unintentional blur.
I often have to get creative in order to hide the remote in my hand, but that’s another puzzle I don’t mind solving. For example, if both of my hands are showing in the photograph, but my face is not, I’ve used my mouth to press the button. Often I will have it under my hand and press it into wherever my hand is laying. On occasion, I’ve even used my toe to press it if I couldn’t hide it another way.
They come in many sizes and styles, but my favorite is the cheap one-button packs on Amazon, which take a small watch battery (that is usually included) and won’t break my heart when I inevitablely lose, break, or drop one in the ocean while I’m working.
Stay tuned to learn about the next item in my self-portrait photography toolkit.
Nikki is a photographer, writer, artist, and advocate of radical self-love. She writes about mental health, gaming, sex, and inclusivity.