This article was first published on The Telegraph website!
The Selfie Stick! All hail to the Selfie Stick! What a joy it was waking up this morning to find the papers brimming with stories about the brilliant inventions. ‘This year’s Christmas stocking essential’ said one, ‘The must-have gift’ chimed another. Yes, yes. And hear, hear! Welcome – finally – to the party.
I first saw the Selfie Stick while on holiday in Singapore – and knew instantly that I had to have it. I bought one within an hour, and since then have been using the stick non-stop. Perfecting, if you will, all the different types of selfies one can achieve with it.
There are two types of stick: one is an extendable pole (where you have to set your phone on a timer to take pictures) and the other is installed with Bluetooth (this connects your phone and camera with the stick and you can take pictures automatically). Though the first option is cheaper, the second option – which I bought – is better. Who wants to wait on a timer for a selfie?
Now rather a dab-hand with the device, here’s my guide to some of the snaps you could be shooting this Christmas, if Saint Nick is kind enough to put one in your stocking.
1) The ‘having a good time’ selfie
A more flattering (because it’s further away from your face) take on the classic ‘having a good time’ selfie. In this shot, make sure that the actual stick is out of frame. You want it to look like there is no aid; that this is a normal hand holding your phone ‘natural’ snap. Tilt the stick to a 75 degree angle, extend the metal rod to about 30 centimetres, then turn away from the camera. When you’re ready, start laughing – swish back to face camera and click.
2) The ‘group’ selfie
One the whole family can enjoy! For this shot you can have the stick in or out of frame, but extend it to its full length (about a metre). Then tilt up, steady the hand and shoot! It’s best in this selfie situation to alert the group – or you’ll, as in this snap, get a few at the back out of focus.
3) The ‘dining’ selfie
At last, a way to get a real memento of the dining experience. You, your neighbour and an aerial view of exactly what you’re eating. Perfection. For this shot, the stick will have to be in frame. This actually works quite well as the camera focuses more on the stick and therefore casts a softer – and more flattering – light on you. Hold the selfie stick almost directly above you, make sure that you’re all in frame, take your elbows off the table – god forbid they should be there – and voila!
4) The ‘launch from behind’ selfie
This is a fun little selfie number. You hold the stick from above, rather like a fishing rod, and cast it into the selected crowd. To achieve this shot, you must have a firm grip on the stick, so that it a) doesn’t wobble and b) doesn’t whack someone over the head.
If pulled off properly, however, it’s one of the best shots out there. Just look how happy they all are!
5) The ‘spin’ selfie
The ‘spin’ selfie is a tricky number to master, but when you do, it’ll be worth the wait. We’re getting to a professional selfie stick level with this shot. Don’t feel like you need to launch in with a shot like this – build up gradually. Extend the stick to three quarters of its length, make sure the plastic holder has a secure grip on your phone and then start to spin. Start slow, then move faster – but snap away continuously through the rotations. You should end up with you in focus and a beautifully blurred background.
6) The ‘from below’ selfie
A devious little number, which the paparazzi will probably love, the ‘from below’ selfie should only be used when with a circle of very good friends – who are all wearing trousers. It’s an interesting angle and, if you commit to it, can have some flattering and fun results. But, to reiterate, this should not be used outside of the confines of your home!
So there you have it! Should a selfie stick be in your stocking, you’re now prepared. Enjoy it and remember – always respect your selfie!