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Quick and safe access to cell phone for photos

I am cautious about keeping valuables under wraps, but I take a lot of photos with my phone and hate digging it out of my day bag or zippered coat pocket. I feel it is too big to keep in a pocket...it falls out or is easy to be swiped. (I am female and our pockets are smaller than men's.) Any ideas on ways to have it accessible for candid and immediate shots and not have it be a burden in my hand?

Posted by
3585 posts

Not sure you can have it all ways. If it is easy to access for candid shots, then it's easy for pickpockets

Posted by
2745 posts

How about a lanyard. Hang it around your neck and tuck it inside your jacket or shirt when not in use. I don't use my phone for photos - I prefer my camera; and most days if I anticipate taking a lot of photos, I just wear it on a strap around my neck all day.

Posted by
1771 posts

When I travel, I have mine on a long cord clipped to a ring inside my purse. It saves me from dropping it as much as anything.

Posted by
1771 posts

I also bought a purse that has outside pockets perfectly sized for my phone. I can zip the pocket if I want - it zips nearly closed, even with the phone cord sticking through it. For extra security - mostly on train days - I can lock the zipper.

Posted by
1771 posts

wilsonwing80, great question. I always (even at home) carry my phone in a sized to fit phone wallet. It has a slot through which I put a wrist cord for use at home. While traveling, I put the longer cord through that slot.

I like the look of the pouches that Dreamsparis provided the link to.

Posted by
206 posts
Posted by
3423 posts

Baggallini has a few very small cross-body bags that might work for you. I have one of these that I use when I walk my dog and have no pockets for my phone. I absolutely detest that it's RFID, but that seems to be the thing these days.

Mine is the simplest, like the ones at this link: https://www.baggallini.com/rfid-bryant-pouch/BRY757-BGR-B0021-NS.html?rcp=true

They come in a number of colors and patterns. If you scroll down the page, you can see other similar but larger versions of the same idea. Pay attention to the actual measurements of the bags. They all look much bigger in the pictures with the dummy than they actually are.

I always have my phone in a case with a wrist strap. The case has protected my phone from our concrete floors on more than one occasion. Like someone else mentioned, a lanyard could be hooked to or put through the wrist strap grommet. This is the case I use.

If you go this route, remember that you need to search for a case specifically designed for your phone so the cutouts are in the right places for it to be used without removing the case. I got my case over a year ago and have had it on my phone ever since. It's amazingly durable for the price.

Posted by
519 posts

The phone is for phone and computer tasks and internet. Leave it in your phone pocket unless you need it. Think how difficult the rest of your trip would be if you lost it for any reason.
Get a separate camera. I use a an Apple iPod Touch because the form factor matches the iPhone. It's in a waterproof case on a lanyard. Use (hotel) wifi (at night) to upload the day's shots and video clips to my iCloud account.
There are many inexpensive point and shoot cameras on the market, many quite inexpensive. You need a way to easily and quickly offload the day's photos either to your phone, cloud, external storage, or your computer if that's along for the trip.

Posted by
26 posts

I second the Baggallini bag recommendation. I use one of the cross body hobo styles that has two zippered pockets on the front that are the perfect size to slip a phone into. Check ebay, Mercari, or Marshall for an inexpensive one. There are so many styles to chose from. I love the one I have so much that I have it in three colors and and if I see it for sale (it is from many years ago and they don't make this style anymore) I get it so if I wear it out I will have backups. I don't normally shop that way, but that is how perfect that bag is for traveling.

Posted by
829 posts

I vote for the Bandolier case and strap- a little expensive, but good quality. Also nice for the gym [outdoor gym, that is. ]

Posted by
829 posts

I also use the Scottevest and Exofficio jackets/ vests with inside cell pockets. So I can put my phone [on the Bandolier strap] inside my top layer if needed. I really like the strap to prevent me from dropping the phone into a canal, lake, etc.

Safe- future- travels!

Posted by
2455 posts

Even though I am a huge Baggallini fan I’m kind of liking the Bandolier for it’s looks, size, leather & quality.

Posted by
829 posts

Janis, if you register on their website, you should get either free postage or a small discount. And- they do have sales a few times a year. I'm on my fourth or fifth Bandolier over many years and phone model changes. The quality is very good, and the customer service great. And altho I love the colors, I have learned to stay away from the lighter colors, because the light colors will show dirt.

Also, Nordstrom usually has a few styles.

Good luck and safe travels- eventually!!!

Posted by
2455 posts

Thanks Pat for all the helpful info. I can think of a couple times finding cameras or cell phones left on restaurant tables. I notice people automatically put their cell on a table. Another time I found a camera on a ledge in Monemvasia, Greece. What a shame. I can understand the rationale of a holder/Lanyard to keep your device secure.

Edit to add: I walk everyday and bring my cell phone. I usually put it in a pocket but I think the Bandolier would fit this need. It’s also small enough to wear under my coat during cool weather.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks everyone for your good insights and advice. I have also found this item which is handy if not discreet. (Amazon)
Gear Beast Universal Cell Phone Lanyard Compatible with iPhone, Galaxy & Most Smartphones Includes Phone Case Holder with Card Pocket, Silicone Neck Strap

Posted by
2104 posts

Lynn, Thanks for the recommendation of the lanyard (first item on your list). I ordered it and I think it will work!

Posted by
176 posts

Like Lynn I use a wrist lanyard, and an iPhone case which has 2 holes through which you can loop the lanyard:

https://www.amazon.com/GVIEWIN-Ultra-Thin-Shockproof-Transparent-Protective/dp/B08VRNML8N/ref=sr_1_22_sspa?crid=AK05SGG3BQLF&dchild=1&keywords=iphone%2B11%2Bcase&qid=1614113599&sprefix=iPhone%2B%2Caps%2C252&sr=8-22-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzOTRYUEpITTFISkw3JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNjk3NDMxMlRMN003RkJQVDBURiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMTE4NjYyNUYxOVJUQ1BDVFpOJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYnRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1

I use the wrist lanyard because I don't trust myself; I'm afraid I'll drop my phone when I'm using it, so I just loop the strap around one finger. Incidentally, my lanyard got caught once, and ripped through one of the holes so my husband just drilled another hole.

Posted by
11 posts

I keep my phone tucked away for emergency data and voice calls.
A compact camera is more versatile and a strap or lanyard keeps it ever-ready.
People drop their phones from sweaty hands; then no pictures plus no functional phone.
One lady shot dropped her new iPhone while recording her family during a gondola ride on Venice’s Grand Canal; no doubt it was a nifty video drifting to the bottom...

Posted by
423 posts

Like others have said, I also use a phone case that has a wrist strap. When I'm not using my phone (for photos), it goes into a zippered pocket inside my cross-body purse. I considered using a neck lanyard but I don't like having something around my neck, especially if it's hot outside. The wrist strap works well for me, but everyone has their own comfort level.

Posted by
283 posts

I too am loving the Bandolier cases! Like Janis, I walk every day and in the winter I just put my phone in my pocket, but in the summer I struggle to find a good solution. My workout shorts have a pocket, but I find the weight of the phone (just an iPhone XR) tends to pull the shorts down on that side, so it gets annoying. The Bandolier would love this problem.