Tech

All the Ways to Take Photos and Videos Remotely Using Your iPhone Camera


Getting tired of close-up selfies? You can switch it up by taking a half-body or full-body photo of yourself. But if there isn’t anyone to assist you, how do you reach the Shutter button when your iPhone is far away from you?


We have you covered because, in this article, we’ll go through the different ways to capture photos and videos remotely on your iPhone.


1. Use the Built-In Timer in the Camera App

The easiest way to capture a moment without holding your iPhone is to use the timer in your iPhone’s Camera app. Note that this only applies to pictures taken using either Photo or Portrait mode. The timer doesn’t work for videos.

Head to the Camera app and swipe to Photo or Portrait mode, depending on your preference. Tap the arrow button at the top center for more camera settings. Scroll sideways to find and tap on the Timer icon. You can set a timer for 3 seconds or 10 seconds.

iphone camera timer options

Tap the Shutter button to start the countdown. Now, get into your pose quickly! Photo mode takes burst photos on your iPhone, allowing you to pick the best of the lot later. However, Portrait mode takes only one picture.

2. Use the “Say Cheese” iPhone Shortcut

There are several handy iPhone shortcuts to automate everyday tasks, and one of them is “Say Cheese,” which helps you take photos remotely.

To use it, first ensure that you’ve enabled Siri on your iPhone and have to Listen for “Hey Siri” toggled on.

Then, launch the Shortcuts app and head to the Gallery tab. Type Say Cheese in the search bar. Tap on the yellow Say Cheese shortcut and tap Add Shortcut.

Instead of rushing into position while the camera timer starts counting down, now simply prop up your iPhone in a secure place with the back camera facing you. Once you’re satisfied with your pose, say, “Hey Siri, Say Cheese” to your iPhone to activate the shortcut.

Your iPhone will take a photo automatically using the back camera and show you a preview of the image. Tap on Always Allow to save the photo to your Recents album.

3. Use a Voice Command

A cool iPhone hack for photo and video-taking is to use your iPhone’s volume button instead of the on-screen Shutter button. Now, let’s take it a step further.

You can actually use your voice to activate the volume button remotely. This way, you can take a picture and record a video without even touching your iPhone.

To do this, you need to enable Voice Control. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control. Toggle on Voice Control. A blue microphone icon will appear in the status bar to indicate that your iPhone is now listening.

Next, head to the Camera app and position your iPhone on a stable surface. Have your pose ready, then state clearly, “Turn up the volume” to take a picture. For videos, you’ll need to say “Turn up the volume” twice to start a recording and another time to stop it.

Naturally, your lips will be in a small “o” shape after you pronounce the word “volume.” But don’t worry; you have time to change your facial expression because your iPhone pauses for one second before actually executing the command. You can use Voice Control on all iPhone Camera modes.

4. Use Hand Gestures

If voice commands aren’t enough, we want you to know that you can take pictures and videos with simple hand gestures. However, this method isn’t available on the built-in Camera app. The hand-gesture camera is a feature of the GoCam app, which you can download from the App Store.

Once you launch GoCam, you’ll see instructions on the app’s Shutter button. Doing the victory sign in front of the camera informs the app to snap a photo. An opened palm, followed by a closed fist, activates the app’s camera countdown instead.

gocam app with hand gesture camera

A pie-styled timer in the Shutter button will indicate the number of seconds left. The default timer lasts only one second, but you can change it to a maximum of five seconds in GoCam’s settings.

Download: GoCam (Free)

5. Use Your EarPods Volume Button

Although the popularity of wireless earbuds has grown significantly, let’s not be so quick to disregard wired ones entirely.

If you have your EarPods connected to your iPhone, you can use either volume buttons to snap a photo. You can also use its volume button to start and stop a video recording.

6. Use Your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is another Apple device you can use to take photos or videos using your iPhone camera. The Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch makes it easy to remotely control your iPhone’s camera.

With the Camera Remote app, you can change simple camera settings such as Flash and Live Photo, as well as adjust exposure and focus automatically by tapping on the Apple Watch’s screen.

7. Use a Selfie Stick, Tripod, or Bluetooth Remote

two people taking picture in forest using iphone secured on selfie stick

If you need to place your iPhone at a farther distance to get the shot you want, it’s best to secure your phone to a tripod or selfie stick rather than try to balance your phone against random objects. There are a variety of selfie sticks and budget tripods—some even come in two-in-one styles, enabling you to switch between a selfie stick and a tripod.

Most selfie sticks and tripods also come with a Bluetooth remote button. Therefore, by linking the remote to your iPhone, you can snap a photo even from a distance. Alternatively, you can opt to just buy the Bluetooth remote button itself. Some remote buttons require you to change batteries, while some are more eco-friendly as they’re rechargeable.

Excluding the EarPods method, you can also use any of the ways outlined above to take a photo remotely once your iPhone is secured in your setup.

Take Photos and Videos Without Holding Your iPhone

The first two methods only work for photo-taking, but all the other ones apply to both photos and videos shot on your iPhone.

From the basic camera timer to voice commands, hand gestures, and additional helpful tools, these tips allow you to take perfect photos and videos without touching your iPhone screen or holding your device.

Hopefully, you were able to find a method that works best for you.

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