by Hrefna Helgadóttir about 10 months ago

Paula Chowles of the Wired (you need to take adblocker off for this one) goes through how it's possible to create first class video on an iPhone in her piece "How to Film a Hollywood-Worthy Movie on Your iPhone".

The phone cameras are so good now, that with a stabiliser and decent lightning (basically film with the sun, not against it) – no one will know the difference.

"And here's a dirty little secret: If you're on your own but want a smooth third-person point-of-view shot of yourself, buy a selfie stick."

The €3 Selfie Stick

Yours truly has recent first hand experience with this. You know times have changed when nobody is selling miniature versions of famous landmarks by famous landmarks in popular tourist destinations. What are they selling? Selfie sticks. If somebody walks past you trying to sell you something, nine times out of ten it'll be a selfie stick. Not nearly as popular, but following the Zipf law nicely (so still sold way more than anything else) were external iPhone chargers, those 'bonus battery types'. Already charged. These guys just #NailedIt.

Traveling with someone significantly less invested in social media, than, say, somebody who literally does it professionally, the stigma attached to the selfie stick was palpable. After definitely more than 7 points of contact with the €4, €5, and €3 selfie sticks – what's €3 anyway? Smug looks and derisive comments, that's what.

Lo and behold, the wisdom of the herds is not wrong about selfie sticks. Not only can one finally frame the shot nicely, with oneself + one's entourage and the lovely surroundings in a non-awkward (on the photograph, definitely slightly less so IRL – but people don't see that on Instagram) way. The result are just great photos. No more asking some random who frames the photo all wrong, no more smooshed together way-too-close-ups of no-one-can-really-see-what's-behind-you-anyway.


from The GoPro Selfie Cinematography of Beyoncé's 7/11

It just works

Added benefit is that it's not just for selfies. As Chowles mentioned in the article, you could do the moody artistic 'I don't even know the camera is there' (we know someone on our team that has done this with a great result), but also point the stick straight in the air and take photos that don't include the back of other people's heads when in a crowd.

You guessed it, this is the account of a convert. What's more, as soon as the first selfie was in the metaphorical bag, so were the prejudices of the can't-believe-someone-is-so-obsessed-with-their-phone party. The next day, the second selfie stick of the trip was purchased. By said party. For €4. As if on cue, during the writing of this post – this appeared across the phone screen of yours truly.


Point being, if someone is in a need of any video or photo content – the equipment is no longer the barrier. The phone even has advantages over more heavy duty equipment because we're all used to phones all the time so it feels less intense during filming. Throw in a selfie stick or a mini tripod, and bam. You're good to go.

We highly recommend reading Chowles' article, it gets straight to the point (no touristy tangents) and included a trailer for a full feature that's being shot on an iPhone 5.


Just remember, snap responsibly