From your local malls to popular tourist destinations, it is common to see people wielding selfie sticks while taking portraits of themselves and their friends. Despite being a popular device, many people still wonder “how does a selfie stick work?” Below we’ll answer that question and several others including how to use a selfie stick and more. Before that though, let’s first take a look at the different parts of a selfie stick.
Parts of a Selfie Stick
As with many other things, it is important to know and understand the different components of a selfie stick, their purpose, and function. This, in turn, will help us to better answer the question “how does a selfie stick work?”
The main body of a selfie stick is the telescoping rod. This extendable pole can be adjusted according to the desired length of the user, with some poles reaching a maximum length of up to 3 feet. Telescoping rods are made from either aluminum alloy or stainless steel, with the former being more expensive than the latter.
It can be said that the telescoping rod is the biggest selling point of the selfie stick. After all, it is the component that is responsible for allowing users to take wider shots that can accommodate them and all their buddies along with the picturesque Rainbow Mountains behind them (if you happen to be hiking in the Ausengate Trek in Peru).
Selfie stocks have a dedicated handle so you don’t have to hold them by the telescoping rod like some other people. Like the telescoping rod, handles can also be made from different materials like foam, rubber, or even plastic. Each of these has its pros and cons, but it is generally recommended to avoid buying plastic handles because even if they are durable, they can become slippery when held with wet hands (which is very likely to happen when you’re taking selfies at the beach, pool or when you’re snorkeling in the Florida Keys).
That said, it is best to choose selfie sticks with rubber or foam handles. Not only are they more comfortable to grip, but they also have non-slip features that lessen the chances of you dropping them.
Most (if not all) selfie sticks come with a band at the end of the handle. If your selfie stick doesn’t have one, you can buy aftermarket bands or make your own if you want a more personalized one.
The band is where you insert your hand while holding the selfie stick. Most people do not usually use the band when using their selfie sticks, which is pretty much okay. However, there are certain benefits to using these bands, which is why manufacturers put them there in the first place. For one, it allows you to hang your selfie stick on your wrist when you’re not using it. It also makes it more challenging for unscrupulous individuals to snatch and run away with your phone and selfie stick.
Phone Clamp/Phone Holder
The upper end of the selfie has a phone holder or a clamp which is used to secure your phone to the selfie stick. These holders or mounting devices are adjustable and can fit phones of varying sizes. Although most phone clamps are attached permanently to the selfie stick, there are some which can be removed by unscrewing them. This comes in handy if you ever need to replace your phone holder in case you need to replace them.
Modes of Connection
One of the first things you need to do when learning how to use a selfie stick is the modes of connections. Unlike point-and-shoot or DSLR cameras for traveling which you prop on a tripod and leave it as is, you need to connect your smartphone to your selfie stick for it to work. There are two ways to do this, either with a cable and jack or Bluetooth pairing.
Cable and Jack
Some of the very first selfie sticks ever produced didn’t have Bluetooth systems in place, and so the only way to connect your phone to the selfie stick would be through a cable and jack. You will see these coiled cables near the top of the selfie stick, and you simply take and attach the other end to your phone (usually to the port where the headphones go) and you’re good to go.
Most selfie sticks being sold today have Bluetooth connectivity. You simply need to turn the stick one and search for the Bluetooth signal on your phone. Once found, pair your phone to the stick and you’re all set.
The problem with Bluetooth capable selfie sticks is that they will require a certain amount of maintenance. For one, you’ll need to charge them constantly to keep them working. Second, the battery life of most selfie sticks isn’t that great unless you spend money on a high-quality device.
Taking a Picture
Most people ask “how does a selfie stick work?” when what they want to know is “how do I take pictures with a selfie stick. Well, there are two ways to take a picture using your selfie stick: via the timer on your phone’s camera app or by pressing the camera button on the selfie stick itself.
Using the Camera Timer
Camera apps, whether they be built-in into your phone’s system or download, have timers in them. The timers have varying time allowances which can be anywhere between 3 seconds and 10 seconds (some have longer times).
To take a picture using your phone camera’s timer, you first need to mount your phone onto the selfie stick and then open your camera app. After that, set the timer to the desired number of seconds before the shot. When the timer is set, extend your arm and get ready to smile.
You might also like: How To Make A Selfie Stick – DIY Selfie Stick
Using the Selfie Stick Button
Using the selfie stick button is the most convenient way to use a selfie stick. There are no timers to set and no more waiting for the countdown to finish before the camera snaps the photo.
The only issue people have regarding this is that the selfie stick (hence, the camera) tends to move when they press down on the button. This is only natural especially for those who are learning how to use a selfie stick, but it does get better with practice and experience.
Using a Wireless Bluetooth Remote
Bluetooth capable remote controls are also available. Although this solves the problem of a wriggly picture caused by pressing on the selfie stick button, it also takes both hands to use (one to hold the selfie stick and the other for the remote control). These Bluetooth remote controls operate on batteries, so remember to bring extras if you plan to bring your device on long journeys like a thru-hike. Also, these Bluetooth remote controls are pretty small so be careful to lose them.
This is where most people who ask “how does a selfie stick work?” often get confused. They think that simply connecting their phones to the selfie stick is enough, but there are times when you’ll need to download a selfie app to get your phone to work with your selfie stick. This is because some selfie sticks are only compatible with big and popular phone brands like Samsung, iPhone, and others. If your phone doesn’t belong to the said categories, you may not be able to connect and use it with your selfie stick unless you download a selfie app. Most of these apps are free to download so you don’t have to worry about spending any more money than you already did by buying a selfie stick.
Q: How do I get my selfie stick to work?
If you’re having trouble getting your selfie stick to work, there are certain things you should check for like the Bluetooth settings, the connector or jack, and your selfie stick’s compatibility with your phone. If it still doesn’t work after troubleshooting, there might be a problem with the selfie stick itself.
Q: How do wireless selfie sticks work?
Wireless selfie sticks work through a Bluetooth connection, which is a form of short-range communication system. Bluetooth technology allows the seamless transfer of data between your phone and your selfie stick without the need for wires and cables but by using radio waves instead.
Q: How do you attach your phone to a selfie stick?
To attach your phone to a selfie stick, you first need to open the phone clamp or phone holder. It should be wide enough for your phone to slide easily through. Next, slide your phone into the clamp and close down the clamp to hold the phone in place securely. With the phone secured, you can now start taking selfies.
Q: Why do people use selfie sticks?
People use selfie sticks to allow them to take self-portraits at angles and distances that are impossible to reach with their arms. Learning how to use selfie stick also allows them to take wider shots so that they can get better images of themselves and their backdrops.
Globo Surf Overview
Regardless of what you think of them, selfie sticks are here to stay. But like many other new devices, many people are not sure how these things work and are often asking themselves “how does a selfie stick work?” the answer to which are outlined above. In the same line, some people feel intimidated about this new device, which is why learning how to use a selfie stick is often necessary so that you can get the most out of every shot.