If you've got an iPhone, you've probably used the Panoramic photo setting to take photos like this:
Recently I was visiting Sequoia National Park and trying to take photos of tall sequoias. I was getting shots of the top or bottom of trees:
For some reason, I thought to put the camera into Panoramic mode, turn the phone sideways, and swipe the phone from bottom to top, creating a vertical panoramic photo:
The perspective is a little bit tweaked toward the top of the photo, but at least you can stand fairly close to the bottom of something very tall and get the whole thing into the shot.
I showed some French tourists how to do this and they were really psyched...or at least I think they were.
Not sure if this works with other brands of smartphones, but I suspect it might. Give it a try.