I'm not a fan of selfie sticks for a variety of reasons — chief among them that people tend to leave them on while doing other device-related tasks, like talking on the phone. But I admit that I like the idea of using them to frame a good shot.
Even without a stick or tripod, however, I can use something like Casetify's $35 Bluetooth Remote Shutter to snap my picture from afar.
I got a review sample of this little guy over the holidays and have been playing around with it for the last month, and I have to admit — it's a handy little thing to have around. It's also useful for all kinds of photography tricks beyond selfies, including shooting children and pets from far away, avoiding camera shake in low-light, and triggering video recordings without jostling the camera.
The device pretty much does what it says on the tin: it's a lithium-battery-operated Bluetooth remote that lets you easily snap images (or increase the volume) on your iOS or Android devices. All you have to do is pair it up to your phone, turn it on, and go.
iPhone remote shutters are nothing new — I've even used the iPhone headset as a tethered controller before. But this one's won my appreciation for being small, easy to rock on a keychain, and simple as can be to use. Once you've connected your device via Bluetooth, all you have to do is turn the remote on to start shooting, no re-pairing needed. Well... mostly. If you connect the shutter to a different device after pairing it with yours, you may need to unpair and repair it to your primary device to get it to work again.
My main nitpicks revolve around connecting multiple devices (a limitation of the Bluetooth standard) and the hassle of remembering to turn the shutter off after you've finished with it — many devices these days have intelligent auto-off sensors, and it'd be nice to have something similar for a tool like this. But as photography keychain gadgets go, it's hard not to like it.
I consider some kind of remote shutter an essential iPhone photography tool, and the Casetify Bluetooth Remote Shutter is a pretty darn good option.