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From Selfies to Self-Portraits

We’re home from our 10th anniversary getaway and it’s been fun to go back and look at all the photos we took on our trip. We stayed at The Parker in Palm Springs and The Venetian in Las Vegas–two wildly different hotels, but both are photogenic in their own unique ways.

Usually a lot of the photos that we have of Justin and me together are selfies are a crooked picture taken by a stranger. But this trip was different, just before we left Justin gave me a small tripod and a remote clicker for taking pictures on my phone. We got to try the setup out on this trip and it was so fun and we got some great photos.

If you want to try this setup out you can pick both of these things up for around $30. We think it was worth every penny. (The 3rd thing is a bigger mount if you have a iPhone Plus)

  1. JOBY GripTight GorillaPod Stand – $20
  2. Bluetooth Selfie Remote Shutter – $13
  3. Tripod Mount for iPhone Plus – $10

There are a lot of little tripods on Amazon but I like this one because the legs grip to whatever surface you set it on. We set it on weird stuff like odd shaped rocks and a tall uneven Joshua tree stump. The fact that it’s grippy and can conform to different surfaces makes all the difference.

If you try this out, here are a few tips for a getting great photos with the tripod and remote:

1. Think Bigger Than Your Arm

Think about what makes a compelling photo that includes more than just your face and a little background. Since the camera is not attached to your arm you can be more creative and take a shot from a perspective that’s unique.

2. Be Confident

You might feel like a dork smiling and posing by yourself in front of random strangers with no camera in sight, but do what you need to do to get a good shot.

The Venetian had this rad love art installation we wanted to get a photo in front of. We had to set my phone up on the other side of a fountain probably 30 feet away from us in order to fit all of the letters in the background. Not only did we have to stand on the other side of the fountain to strike our pose I had to be confident that no one was going to run away with my phone. I did tell Justin that he better chase down a thief.

3. Take More Photos Than You Think You Need To

Never take just one photo – we always take a handful of photos in each pose. And when I say “a handful of photos” you might think I just means 2 or 3, but I pretty much mean 6-8, at least. Sometimes we even move around a little bit since we can’t exactly see what looks best. The more photos you take the better chance you have at getting a great shot. You can always pick your fave and delete the rest after. This helps us to chose the photo with the least amount of background distractions.

If you’re taking a family photo you have a better chance of getting all the kids looking the same direction in your photo if you take a lot of pictures. Another variation is to set the camera up without your kids knowing and get some candid family shots. Those can be so precious.

The remote is better than using the phone timer because you can set it up and take multiple shots without running back to the camera. We also were able to stand there and wait for people to mosey out of our shot so it looked like we were the only ones there.

4. Think About the Details

Turn the sound up on your phone so you can hear the shots click. It helps to know when the picture is taken. Whoever is holding the clicker makes sure their hand is behind them or someone else’s back so it’s not noticeable. This might seem basic, but make sure the phone is attached in the clip so you have full access to the screen and you can tap anywhere to focus

We hope you enjoy these cool tools as much as we do!