How to Take a Photo Without Touching Your iPhone

Most of the time, we frame the photo on our iPhone and touch the shutter release button on the display. Or perhaps it's more convenient to use the volume control buttons on the side. However, there are several ways to trip the shutter without even touching your iPhone.


There are several reasons you might want to do this. Perhaps you're taking a family portrait, and you want to mount the iPhone on a tripod and make sure there's no movement when you take the photo. Perhaps you're doing some stargazing, you have a special lens or binoculars attached to the iPhone and an app that can hold the shutter open longer, and you want to capture some star trails. In these cases, you want to trip the shutter without actually touching the iPhone. Here are some ways to do it.

1. Earphones. Use your attached earphones that have volume controls, for example, the Apple EarPods. Think of them as a shutter release cable when the iPhones camera app is running. Just press one of the volume buttons. Here's a sample setup using the olloclip case with the tripod attachment. That attachment has an opening on the botton so that one can easily insert a headphone cable.

Wired heaphones with volume controls work.

2. Apple's Bluetooth wireless keyboard. Pair your iPhone with the Apple keyboard. When the iPhone's camera app is running, the volume control buttons on the keyboard will release the iPhone's shutter.

The volume control buttons on this keyboard also work.

3. Bluetooth headsets. I have read that some Bluetooth head sets will release the shutter when paired with an iPhone and a volume control is pressed. However, I tried both the ISO Bluetooth Stereo Headphones, previously reviewed as well has my Motorola H700 Bluetooth headset to no avail.

The H700 call button did trigger Siri, so perhaps these devices have various and limited connectivity features when paired.


This trick has worked since iOS 5, and it works on any model iPhone.

If you get Method #3 to work with Bluetooth, it's great for including yourself in family photos because you can be up to 10 meters (33 feet) away from the iPhone on its tripod and trip the shutter with something small and hidden in your hand.

If one can use an Apple Bluetooth keyboard to trip the iPhone's shutter, there may be yet other accessories that work. If you find one, let us know in the comments below.


iPhone 5s and wireless keyboard images via Apple.

Teaser camera lens via Shutterstock.