There’s an old saying that the best camera is the one that’s with you. And, since the camera most likely to be with me is my iPhone 7 Plus, I’ve collected an assortment of photography-related gadgets for it, each aimed at helping me capture the best possible images with my iPhone.

One of the most important accessories for any photographer is a tripod, which keeps the camera stable and reduces camera shake and blur. I have a variety of ’em, including several floor-standing models with telescoping legs, plus an assortment of pocket-sized tripods I can stick in a pocket or backpack.

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Kenu Stance. $24.95. www.kenu.com/products/stance

Gekkopod. €16.90 ($20.05 on August 25, 2017). www.gekkopodstore.com (or $19.99 at Amazon.com)

Bluetooth Remote Camera Shutter Release. From $6.99. www.amazon.com

Aputure AL-M9 LED Mini Light. $45. www.amazon.com

I’ve recommended the Kenu Stance before as a great inexpensive gift. This compact tripod is so tiny you can easily carry it on a key chain (and I do). It’s fabricated from zinc alloy, so it’s super-strong, and at just $24.95 it’s a bargain. Finally, one of its legs has an integrated bottle opener!

But the Stance is truly diminutive, which means its legs are too short or too inflexible for some situations. That’s when I turn to Gekkopod, a device with five flexible legs and a spring-loaded adapter to hold your iPhone or other device. Set it on a tabletop, and it behaves like a traditional tripod (but with five legs). The cool part is when you wrap the flexible legs around a fence, tree branch, park bench or any other handy-but-irregularly-shaped surface, where it can hold your iPhone securely so you can focus on your subject.

With my iPhone/camera secured on a tripod and aimed at a subject, I often like to trigger the shutter remotely, mostly to reduce camera shake when I snap the shot, but sometimes so I can be in the picture myself. The Camera app on my first-generation Apple Watch displays what the camera sees and lets me tap the watch face to adjust the camera’s focal point, trigger the shutter remotely, and enable or disable the flash, HDR or Live Photos. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the picture on my wrist often lags behind reality by several seconds. And, it’s for still images only – it doesn’t work in Video, Slo-Mo or Time Lapse modes.

If you don’t have an Apple Watch but would like to trigger your iPhone camera remotely, Amazon.com has dozens of Bluetooth Wireless Remote Camera Shutter Release devices with prices starting at $6.99. While they don’t have a remote screen, they can trigger your iPhone camera from up to 25 or 30 feet.

Finally, since the iPhone flash can be a tad wimpy, I often carry an Aputure AL-M9 LED Video Light ($45), a rechargeable business-card-sized light with variable brightness, plus a diffuser and several gel filters.

I like to pop it into the Gekkopod and use it for fill or back-lighting for video shot in the field.


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