A better way to take selfies: use the timer

We don’t always take selfies … but when we do, it’s a happy moment

I like taking selfies, especially with a friend or two, but my arms aren’t long enough! I stretch my arm out as far as it will go to frame the people and the appropriate background, then I can’t reach the shutter button with my other hand, and the phone is too big to stretch my thumb over without fear of dropping the phone. When I’m using my Samsung phone, I can verbally issue the command, “Shoot” and it will snap the shutter, or I can press a volume button for the shutter release, but then I’m jiggling the camera and get a blurry shot. I’ve found that using the timer is the best technique for a stress-free selfie.

If the timer is set for 5 seconds, you tap the shutter button and then stretch your arm out to frame the shot. You’ll have 2 or 3 seconds left to summon your best smile and, click, the photo is taken. No stress over dropping the phone as you stretch your thumb to snap the shutter. No wondering if the photo will capture your mouth forming the word “shoot.” Just a nice easy way to take a selfie.

Using the timer on iPhone: On iPhones, when you open the camera, you may not see the timer at first. If you see a ^ symbol at the top of the screen, tap that, and you should see a new line of tools appear at the bottom of the screen.

Just tap the timer button and select 3 seconds or 10 seconds. Now, when you tap the shutter button, the timer will start counting down and then snap the photo. When the timer is on – you’ll see it referenced at the top right next to the ‘bullseye’ for live. It will reset itself to the off position eventually.

Using the timer on Android: this will be slightly different on every make and model of Android phone. On some models, you will need to go into the camera settings and find timer. On my Samsung S21 Ultra  I open the camera app, then tap the timer icon at the top. I have the choice of Off, or 2 seconds, 5, or 10. When I want to take a photo, I tap the shutter button and it starts the countdown, giving me time to frame the shot and smile before it snaps the photo. It only snaps once. Note: the selfie timer and the rear camera timer can be set separately, and they stay set.