A 5-Point Checklist for Snapping Safe Selfies

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Taking selfies can be a dangerous endeavor when you go for dramatic and exciting images. By following simple guidelines, one can get a great shot without taking foolish risks. (Image: Michael Luenen via Pixabay CC 0)

Taking selfies is a popular and entertaining way to keep up with friends, so of course, dramatic and powerful images are often sought after. But all too often, we see that taking selfies in potentially dangerous situations could be deadly.

According to BBC, just last Sunday, a lightning strike in Jaipur, northern India, claimed the lives of at least 16 people and wounded many more. Those killed were snapping selfies in the rain on the observation deck of the city’s 12th-century Amer Fort, a famous tourist destination.

Trying to capture Nature’s fury can have deadly results. Always consider the risks before chancing a selfie. (Image: Kristen Becker via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

To avoid putting yourself or others at risk, be sure to follow these easy guidelines and stay safe when documenting your adventures.

  1. We all know that driving and texting is playing with your life, so it should be clear that taking selfies while driving should be avoided at all costs. A sure recipe for disaster, it is one of the worst choices you can make at any time, as it endangers not only your own life but also the lives of others.
  1. To obtain that one selfie in a million, you’ll need a great setting. But avoid concentrating so much on your shot that you neglect safety. It is crucial to pay attention to your terrain, be aware of, and respect the environment and nature’s forces. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye. Falls from mountains and cliffs, or into dangerous bodies of water, have led to a significant number of injuries and fatalities in selfie-related incidents. Good footing is vitally important. Wear suitable shoes, know now how to properly position your feet, and once you’ve decided on a spot, stay firm.
  1. If you just like to float about in a lagoon, you should be able to get gorgeous shots without any risk, but outdoor activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, and snowboarding are great fun too. If you do your homework and are guided by an expert, go ahead and record your experience. You may also want to consider the GoPro app, an excellent hands-free alternative for controlling your camera remotely.
  1. Regardless of whether you are in the country or wilderness, it’s wise to remain inside the bounds of designated areas, obey any written regulations, and respect fenced-off areas. Taking a shortcut through Nature is not worth the risk. Be patient and use trusted look-out points, which have the best views anyway, guaranteed! 
  1. Whether visiting the zoo or observing wildlife in the hinterland, nature is unpredictable and awesome. We instinctively want to connect through touch and capture an amazing selfie, but even the simplest of our acts could have drastic long-term consequences. If you can capture a selfie without direct human-animal interaction, it will not only be amazing, but also responsible.  

In short, always go with your gut. Don’t casually do something without being certain that it is safe. This approach is does not mean restricting your freedom, it means knowing your boundaries, which is a good thing.