How to Take a Self Portrait

Using Your Timer: A Guide to the Perfect Self-Portraits

How to Take a Self Portrait

We all enjoy photos of ourselves, photos of us with our children and photos of our whole family together!  Finding someone else to take these family photos every day is pretty much not going happen.

And hey, we're photographers!  We don't want to pay someone else to do what we can already do, right?  So in order to capture the family photos I wanted  (with myself included in the shots), I decided to spend every single day this past year practicing self-portraits using my timer.

1. Should I Use a Remote for a Self Portrait

After hours and hours or practice, I have mastered self portrait photography with a remote and without,  However based on my experience, I would suggest using a remote.  You will find that shooting a self portrait using a remote is much easier and remotes are not that expensive.  For example, a Canon IR wireless remote averages around $7-$10 with free shipping.

Here are some of the advantages of using a remote:

    • Your camera can refocus on its own once you are in place and click the button on the remote.
    • You can take multiple photos that capture multiple expressions with the click of a button, all without getting up.

Using Your Timer: A Guide to the Perfect Self-Portraits

2. Using a Tripod for Self Portraits

Another necessity for self-portraits is a tripod.  I have tried shooting without a tripod as well, but it is so much easier and less stressful with a tripod.  Balancing your camera on tables, books, and other objects can be risky and expensive if your camera happens to topple over and gets damaged.  Trust me, don't do it.

Keep in mind, tripods can be expensive.  They don't have to have the top piece that connects to your camera.  You can find the connector online that matches your camera.  Find some great suggestions for tripods for photographers here.

Using Your Timer: A Guide to the Perfect Self-Portraits

3. Locations, Lighting & Posing for Self Portraits

So now that you have your equipment.  What do you do next? 

Decide where you want to take your photo.  Try to pick a location with great light.

When you're ready to shoot, set up your tripod and set your camera to the self-timer option.  Make sure to choose the option with the longest time.  My camera has a 2 second and a 10-second option, so I always choose 10 seconds.

If you have children in the photo, have them in the place you want them to be, focus your camera on them and push the button.  Walk (or run) into the photo (I don't always make it in time for the first picture, but your camera will now respond to your timer).

Once you are all in place, click away.  Push the button as much as you want.  Try different faces and poses to ensure you get a good picture.

Using Your Timer: A Guide to the Perfect Self-Portraits


With self-portraits, practice makes perfect.  If you don't get it right the first time, readjust and try again.  The memories you will make from self-portraits are worth the trial and error. 

Learn more about how to take self-portraits here.

Do you have any questions or comments about using your timer for self-portraits?  Leave us a comment below - we would love to hear from you!  And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (We really appreciate it)!

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