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Invasion of the Selfie Stick

January 13, 2015 8:00 am

Undoubtedly, you’ve become accustomed to seeing people posing in every imaginable location, holding their camera phone at arm’s length, and smiling in the middle of a bunch of strangers to take a selfie. Just when you thought it couldn’t become any more peculiar, enter the selfie stick! These handy little devices have been running amok in Asia for a while and now that they’ve officially invaded the United States, camera phone photography has entered a new stage of creativity.

Spot the Tourist

Walk the streets of NYC and tourists are easy to spot as they stop every two steps to snap a picture of something, have their gaze fixated upward, and actually stop at crosswalks. With the selfie stick, tourists will be even easier to spot and perhaps harder to avoid as you have to duck under or avoid the path of the 3-foot-long pole holding their camera phones. They’ve already become a fixture in Times Square and promise to invade every corner of the country with unstoppable swiftness. Despite the grumbles of those that think using a selfie stick makes the photo subjects look ridiculous, people are eager to get their hands on them. Selfie sticks have already experienced an astounding growth in sales since their introduction in the U.S. late last year and with celebrities like Beyoncé using one, these gadgets are going to stick around.

Appeal of the selfie stick

It’s not always easy to find someone to take your picture when you’re out exploring. Even if you’re with company, it becomes difficult to take a shot of the whole group without employing the selfie technique. The selfie stick offers a solution by holding your camera phone at further than arm’s length, which prevents excluding people from the photo or making everyone appear squished in a phone booth to fit into the shot. Using a selfie stick also eliminates the issue of someone’s outstretched arm always appearing somewhere in the photograph.

no more outstretched arms with the selfie stick

Useful tool in the right hands

Selfie sticks have the potential to be a useful tool in the right hands. When using the device to extend a smart phone up over a crowd of people to capture pictures or video otherwise impossible, it transforms from a selfie stick into an ingenious “camera extension pole.” Examining photos or videos taken in this manner gives the photographer a better idea of where to move to see better and have more opportunities to take higher-quality photographs with a standard camera. Any clever photographer can invent a variety of ways to use a selfie stick to improve their craft.

Not always intrusive

While the initial excitement of the selfie stick insures that people everywhere will be using them at inconvenient times and awkward locations, eventually their overall merit will come into view. For example, the selfie stick can be a handy tool for a family spending a day in the park and who wants to document the day with a photo of everyone in it. In the past, this required either a helpful passerby to snap the photo or setting up a camera on a tripod with a timer, but the selfie stick has changed all that. Smartphones are such an integral part of our lives now that finding new ways to improve has become an expected step in progress.

happy family using the selfie stick

Whether you love or hate the selfie stick, it’s best to get used to them, find clever ways to incorporate them into your craft, and learn to duck.