Pin It

Self portrait photo assignments give me anxiety.

Not to mention the fact that looking at my appearance isn’t my favorite pastime, self portraits are just plain hard.  How do you focus?  How do you hold the camera?  Does a mirror work?As I’ve mentioned a couple of times lately, I’m working through Angie Warren’s Fly Guide.  My first assignment was to identify my favorite ever photos, and the 2nd was to take photos of my home.  And the 3rd, as you guessed, is self portraits.I’ve written about self portraits before. This go round was different because the photos were all taken at the same time, in the same room.The most important thing you can do when taking self portraits is to turn on Auto Focus.  Back button focusjust doesn’t work for these babies.Some I shot with a tripod.For other shots, I held the camera.  Unless you have long arms, you’re going to need a macro lens to hand hold – otherwise, the camera will be to close too your face to focus.  I used my 24-70, which has a minimum focal distance of 1.25 feet.  I love that lens!

I got really close for some shots.

Ihanged the camera angle and my head position a lot.  And tried to vary my expression too.

The good thing about self portraits is that you are the client.  You can be a bit more forgiving on soft focus, because these shots are just for you.Remember that the lens, on auto-focus, is going to focus on what’s closest to it.  Use that to emphasize what you want to, like a special piece of jewelry.Also, self portraits don’t have to include your face!

A remote shutter release is key for tripod shots, unless you want to wait on the self time and run back and forth to your camera countless times.  I have the Canon RC-6.  I love this gadget, and it’s actually quite affordable.  The off brands are even cheaper, but I can’t vouch for their reliability.


So, this self portrait exercise is over.  It was good for me, really it was.  And my husband wants one or two for his desk, so it can’t be all bad.