What is a Selfie Stick? And Do You Need One?

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While I was out in Albuquerque I first saw a selfie stick in action. I’d been hearing about them but never seen one wielded. It wasn’t really my style, but as a solo traveler who holds frequent internal debates about carrying a tripod vs asking others to get pictures with me in them, I thought I should try it out.

I assumed I was the last to hear about these, but turns out I’m not. So if also had no idea and/or are appalled I might be talking about something so personal on the blog, here it is.

It’s basically a hand-held expandable monopod leg that secures your camera so you can take selfies or group shots that also capture scenery that your arm cannot.

selfie stick review amazon

I debated about going cheap and just getting the basic selfie stick above. With that model you set your phone on voice commands or timer.

Or getting one with a hand held bluetooth remote.

selfie stick with bluetooth remote

In the end I decided on the bluetooth button in the handle though it was the most expensive at ~$20.

selfie stick with bluetooth button

With visions of losing the remote or trying to take a picture with one hand on the remote and the other bracing the stick, I figured the button was easier. And definitely better than constantly having to set the timer (I didn’t realize my phone did voice commands).

How did it work?

I first tried it last weekend, having a lot of fun but embarrassing my friends. The verdict, the pictures did not look like a selfie, but they did look like a drone had flown by and taken the picture. HA! I took it on my trip to Sicily this weekend and experimented at the Teatro Greco in Taormina.

Basic Selfie with more background

Basic Selfie with more background

Drone style selfie

Drone style selfie

Selfie stick review candid with background

Awkward but non-selfie

Full-length selfie

Full-length selfie

Of course this is when it started acting up, every time I pressed the bluetooth button it tried to zoom rather than take pictures. That’s when I learned I could yell “smile” or “cheese.” Awkward when other people were walking by but got the job done. 🙂

I also discovered that the phone is not held securely as it appears to be, so you need to be cautious when using it or risk it falling out.


None of my pictures came out great, but they’re better than what I would have had otherwise. With a little practice, it is actually a great way to take solo or group pictures and capture a lot of the background. The pictures do look a little awkward at times, but not like a traditional selfie. And when it’s extended to it’s full 3 ft + length it looks less like a tourist device and more like technical equipment.

I probably will be taking it with me on trips with great scenery, though I really need to get the bluetooth figured out. I don’t want to be yelling “SMILE” at the camera again.

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