If you take it from my toddler, the secret to taking a great selfie is to take many many photos. Just push that button and keep going! Here’s a sampling of the images I found on my smartphone the other day after Toby was finished using it to talk to his grandparents on the car ride home from doing errands.
In all seriousness, cell phones cameras have become the go-to for getting snapshots and self portraits. So today I’m going to share some tips with you to help those smartphones and cameras be a little more useful when taking pictures.
1. Be steady
This one is a no brainer (hopefully), but you know to hold the phone steady… and that includes when you are pressing the shutter button. A lot of people do a great job at holding the phone still when composing their picture, but when it comes time to press that button, a jerky motion yields blurry images every time.
2. Use your flash
If there isn’t enough light, your selfie will be blurry. Use the built in flash to add light. Did you know that your phone’s camera probably has a setting to turn on the flash so it goes off all the time? If you enable that feature, you can use the flash even if the overall image didn’t need the additional light. This will help your selfie be adequately exposed in the foreground too.
3. Use a timer
Another built-in feature you’ll probably find on your phone is the timer feature. This allows for a delay between the time you press the shutter and when the smartphone takes the picture. If you can find a place to prop up your phone, this can help you take a fun selfie.
4. Use a monopod
Think of it as an extendable arm — a monopod will allow you to get a better angle (and/or further away) when taking your selfie. I received a Solo Stick Pro Gold to review — it came with a bluetooth shutter (see next tip), which was nice. The monopod is very lightweight, and collapses down to fit in a diaper bag or larger purse. Easy to extend, the solo stick includes a ball head mount for use with small cameras like the GoPro Hero #afflink (an awesome little video camera) or the Canon Powershot G16 #afflink (the current version of my favorite pocket camera).
5. Use a bluetooth remote camera shutter
If you have an Android phone, the bluetooth remote that I received with the solo stick works seamlessly. If you have a bluetooth enabled device, you can use the camera 360 remote shutter to take pictures. The device comes with an on/off switch on the side (to maximize battery life), a spot for attaching a lanyard or key fob, and two buttons – one for the camera 360 app and one for use with the default android camera shutter. I was really happy with this remote shutter, it was easy to set up and use. Only downfall I can see? It could fall apart quickly. But, hey, for under $10, there is no point in complaining.
That wraps up my quick tips on taking selfies.
Well, not quite. I have one more.
6. Give your kid an alternate source of entertainment
If you don’t want to end up with 100 toddler selfies on your phone, you may want to keep them entertained some other way. At least Toby didn’t take a video — my friend found a video of her purse spanning most of a recent grocery trip. So, it may be better to set your child up with an app on the phone or tablet if you really need technology to entertain. Due to a previous experience, I’m no longer locking my phone to keep Toby off it (read about how he reformatted my phone accidentally). But maybe an app like Smarty Preschool (for iPad) would be good. It’s a curriculum-based education game for kids (2-6 years). You get reports on your kid’s performance as they progress through different academic skills involving colors, matching, counting, and shapes. The verdict is still out on the app, but we’re going to give it a run for its money on our next family vacation!
Note: I received one or more of these products gratis in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.