We all want photos of ourselves, photos of us enjoying our children, and photos of our whole family together. Finding someone to take our photos every day is pretty much not gonna happen. And hey, we are photographers! We don't want to pay someone else to do what we can already do, right? I have spent every single day of this last year practicing self-portraits and my timer.
I have mastered it with a remote and without; after hours of practice, I would suggest a remote. It is much easier and they are not that expensive. On Ebay, a Canon IR wireless remote averages $7-$10 with free shipping. There are many advantages to having 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.
Another necessity for self-portraits is a tripod. I have used no 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. However, 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.
So now you have the equipment. Where do you start? Decide where you want to take your photo. Pick a location with great light. Set your tripod up and set your camera to the self timer option. Set it to 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, snap away. Push the button as much as you want. Try different faces and poses so you are guaranteed a good picture.
Practice makes perfect. If you don't get it right the first time, readjust and try again. The memories made from self-portraits are worth the trial and error. Learn more about how to take self portraits here.