How To Shoot Pictures Remotely Using Your Phone

Here’s how to take photos on your phone from great distances.

Many of us would shoot pictures remotely when social distancing was in play. In fact, remote shooting seriously boomed during the pandemic not just due to social distancing, but travel restrictions too. And while the world has undoubtedly eased up, remote shooting hasn’t dimmed in popularity. So much so, that people are making a living out of it!

There are tons of ways to use your phone to shoot photos remotely. Whether you want to capture a group selfie, a rare animal or insect sighting or portraits on the other side of the world, it’s totally possible with remote shooting.

And yes, shooting remotely works with an Apple or Android phone. So, whether you’re using your phone’s camera or using it to control a DSLR, here are eight ways to shoot remotely with your phone:

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1. Use your Apple Watch

shoot pictures remotely with apple watch apple watch camera app on white background

You can really use your Apple Watch to take a photo on your iPhone remotely (sorry Android users, Apple ecosystem and all). You can even control what settings you use, such as Live Photo, Flash, HDR and more. 

Shoot pictures remotely using your Apple Watch

  1. Simply position your phone where you want it to take the photo
  2. Navigate to the Camera app on your Apple Watch
  3. Select your settings
  4. Snap the photo!

The camera will default to a 3-second timer delay, but you can remove this entirely.

2. Use a remote trigger

remote shutter for photography black on baby blue background

Remote triggers are a popular way of taking a photo on your phone. As the name suggests, you use a remote that connects to your phone to take a photo. They’re very cheap to find online and only require batteries and a Bluetooth connection.

Here’s how to use a remote trigger to take photos on your phone remotely:

  1. Purchase a remote shutter (they’re very cheap and you can easily find one for under a tenner)
  2. Turn it on and ensure your phone has Bluetooth enabled
  3. Find the remote trigger device on your phone’s list of devices to connect to, then connect to it
  4. Place the phone where you want it to take a photo then open your camera app
  5. Tap the shutter button on the remote and it’ll take a photo remotely on your phone.

3. Shoot pictures remotely using an app

Apps like Shutterapp, CLOS and Vysor allow you to connect to someone else’s phone from anywhere in the world and trigger their camera from the comfort of your home. And don’t worry, it can only happen if you consent to share your uniquely generated code with the person shooting!

These apps can be used on your phone or on a desktop computer to shoot remote images (Vysor exclusively requires the use of your desktop).

Essentially, these apps create a virtual room where you and the photographer can shoot photos and view them in real-time to provide feedback. They’re great for both professional and personal portraits. See for yourself:

Each app has its own way of connecting to the person you want to shoot, but essentially, you’ll both need the app and respective codes (which are generated within the app) to connect to each other.

4. Use voice control

remote next to siri and plant white background

If you have an iPhone, you can use the volume up and down buttons to shoot an image. By that logic, it means you can use your own voice to make your phone shoot.

Here’s how to use voice control to shoot photos remotely with your phone:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Tap Voice Control and toggle it on
  4. Navigate to your camera app and say “Turn up the volume” or “Turn down the volume”. Your iPhone will recognise this and shoot an image while on the camera app.

5. Use Siri

phone with siri

Are you a fan of using your voice to snap a photo? If you’re not a fan of saying “Turn the volume up/down”, then you can enlist the help of Siri to snap your photo instead.

Here’s how to make use of Siri and Shortcuts to take photos remotely:

  1. Open Shortcuts and navigate to the gallery of your other shortcuts
  2. Tap the Add Shortcut button
  3. Enable permission to access your camera and photos when prompted by Siri
  4. Navigate to your camera app and say “Hey Siri, say Cheese”, and Siri will snap a photo!

6. Use your AirPods

apple airpods on white background

Your AirPods are more than just earphones. We’re sure you can guess how this will work already, but all you need to do is apply the same Volume Up/Down logic to take a photo.

You’ll need to make sure you’re always on the camera app (otherwise your phone won’t snap a photo). Simply tap the volume up or down on your AirPods (or EarPods, they work too!), and you’ll see your iPhone has snapped a photo.

7. Screenshot your photoshoot

person with camera on phone screen

It’s weird to class this as an “old school” way of shooting remotely. But in the remote photography world, it really is, especially with the abundance of other ways to get high quality photos shot remotely.

If you’ve set up a FaceTime, Zoom or Google call, you can simply screenshot your subject from the other side of your call. This is great if you’re after a certain effect, but you’ll need to be aware that front (and even back-facing) cameras that are screen-shotted won’t have the same quality as a photo that’s actually taken remotely with a shutter.

Nonetheless, taking a screenshot is still a valid way to shoot remotely.

8. Control your camera with a phone

remote photography of landscape sunset

Don’t want to take photos on your phone’s camera remotely? Why not double up your phone as a remote for your DSLR, compact or mirrorless camera instead?

It’s really possible to remote shoot with your phone. To control cameras of different brands, you can download these apps on your Apple or Android device for free:

  1. Canon EOS Utility (Canon) 
  2. DigiCamControl (Nikon)
  3. Imaging Edge (Sony)
  4. FUJIFILM Camera Remote (FUJIFILM)

To use these apps, you’ll need to have a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection enabled, so you can connect both your phone and camera. Each app has its own instructions, but it will typically involve enabling Wi-Fi, finding the device on your phone and granting permission to connect via your camera.

And that’s how you shoot remotely! Excited to try remote shooting? Show us what you shoot by sending your remote shot pics to our Twitter or Instagram page. 

Don’t forget to check out our fantastic EE student deal that’ll save you cash when you upgrade your phone too. Sign up to Student Beans to make use of our exclusive EE discount!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with EE.