tools to help you take better self-portraits

13 Dec

I always giggle to myself when I see people taking a picture of themselves by holding the camera out in front of them. I used to do this and now try to keep it to a minimum if I can. This method is not efficient or ideal for photos at all. For starters, you usually gotta take a few photos before you mange to get your face or the other person’s face in the middle of the frame. If you have a DSLR, taking these types of photos can be risky because the cameras are so heavy you might drop it. And if you’re trying to take a photo of yourself in front of something important, it’s usually cut out by your head so that doesn’t really work.

I hate asking people to take photos for me usually because I don’t want to ask them to take it again if it doesn’t look good or the settings are wrong. This usually is the case with DSLRs with manual focus points and if you’re picky like me.

If you plan on taking photos of yourself (on holidays or you just like to do it), I highly recommend the following items (similar alternatives are available but these are cheaper).


Gorilla Pod (or similar) 

How it works: The flexible joints allow you to bend and wrap them around different types of surfaces. You can have it level on a flat surface or wrap it around a pole or whatever is handy. Check out the Dealextreme site for example photos from people who’ve bought it already.

My friend brought her sister’s on our trip to Europe this summer and we found it pretty handy. By holding the pod in front of ourselves we could take half decent self-portrait shots. It was a lot easier to hold the pod rather than the heavy DSLR on its own. We also used the pod on a hand rail to take a picture of ourselves in front of Buckingham palace.

I am hoping to do some travelling this summer so I figured I should get my own. They sell the original Gorilla Pod on Amazon for almost $30 + shipping to Canada. I found this one on Dealextreme for $12.


How it works: This particular version extends up to 110cm and holds your camera (compact not DSLR) on the twisty thing. Simply hold the handle of the rod in front of you and position the camera in front of you on self timer. It takes a bit of practice to get the angle and position right but it’s really useful. It captures a fair amount of the background so it’s good for those scenic shots. You will also get people staring at you because it looks kind of weird but they are secretly thinking or whispering to themselves like a group of girls did  and I heard them saying “Omg…that is so smart…” Note, this could also double as a weapon.

I’m selling mine because I don’t use my compact camera anymore since I have a DSLR and iPhone. If you are interested in buying mine off me (only if you know me, don’t want to ship) for $7, let me know!

If you want to buy online, try this one available on Dealextreme for $12.


I found a “gorillapod” for the iPhone as well. Looks promising – I think I’ll order this one and write a review.



2 Responses to “tools to help you take better self-portraits”


  1. in case you missed it… « 1 : 24 - January 7, 2012

    […] products to help you take better self-portraits when travelling […]

  2. travel blog 7: photographing memories « 1 : 24 - February 1, 2012

    […] (borrowed from A’s sister). See post here on my discussion on self-photography […]

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