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How to Take an Epic Selfie

So, how did I make these epic selfies? Photoshop? Nope. Just some epic locations and a couple simple tricks.

By: Brendan van Son + Save to a List

For many of you, the word selfie might make you cringe. You read the word selfie, and you think of an image that is three-quarters someone's face, and a quarter some iconic, over-photographed location. But, selfies don't have to be awkward. And, there are ways to shoot some pretty epic selfies out in the world.

All the images you're going to see below were images I took out in the field shooting outdoor adventures for Eddie Bauer. Though most of these images make it seem like there was someone else pushing the shutter, I was actually at the controls for all of them – whilst also posing.

So, how did I make these epic selfies? Photoshop? Nope. Just some epic locations and a couple simple tricks.

10-Second Timer

This is a technique that I like to call the “press the shutter, run to a spot, and then try to act cool” technique. It's an art-form, really.  

Almost all cameras are equipped with a 10 second timer. So, if you intend on posing somewhere out in your frame and you can get there and pose within 10 seconds. It's a technique that works. Just press the shutter and race to your spot.  

Of course, it's not perfect. And you'll definitely wind up with a few images where you are still moving into your frame, or couldn't get properly posed in time. Inevitably, you'll find yourself going back and forth between the camera and your spot – looking like a maniac to anyone watching – before you finally get the selfie you want.

Remote Trigger

So, let's say you're tired of running back and forth between the shutter and your “pose-location”. Another option is to use a remote trigger.

Using a wireless remote, or even an smartphone app that will remotely fire your camera, you can head to your spot and use the remote to trigger your images. It'll save you racing back and forth between the camera.

But, triggers have their limits too. Sometimes you'll struggle to get the remote to actually fire the camera. And, there are situations where you'll want to be posing farther away from the camera than your remote can reach.


The technique I use most often is achieved using an intervalometer.

Essentially, an intervalometer triggers your camera to take a sequence of photos over a certain period of time. Most people use intervalometers to shoot time lapse. But, I think they can also be very useful for shooting these epic landscape selfies. Essentially, you'll set your intervalometer up so that it fires your camera every second or so. As your camera is firing away, you can wander throughout your frame posing in various locations without having to trigger a remote, and without having to race back and forth to your camera.

About the Author

Brendan van Son is a travel photographer and vlogger from Canada. He is nomadic, and has lived and traveled in nearly 100 different countries over the past 8 years. Check him out on Instagram at @brendanvanson or on his YouTube Vlog.

The images shot in this article were taken while on assignment with Eddie Bauer.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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