3 Self Portrait Photo Tips (For Amazing Self Portraits)

How to Take Self Portraits with DSLR

3 Tips for Taking Better Self Portraits

We all enjoy photos of ourselves, including photos of us with our children and photos of our whole family together!  But 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 really wanted (with myself included in the shots), I decided to spend every single day during this past year practicing self-portraits using my timer.  

To save you plenty of time and frustration, here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way: 

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1. Using a Remote for Self Portraits

After hours and hours or practice, I have mastered self portrait photography with a remote and without.  Based on my experience, however, I would suggest that you DO use 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 moving.

Taking Self Portraits with Tripod

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 gets damaged when it accidentally topples over.  Trust me, DON’T DO IT.

Tripods can be expensive but keep in mind they don’t have to have the top piece that connects to your camera – you can find a connector online that matches your camera. 

You can find some great suggestions for tripods here.

How to Take Photos of Yourself with a Camera

3. Locations, Lighting & Posing for Self Portraits

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

First, you will need to decide where you want to take your photo(s).  For best results, try to pick a location with great light.

Then, 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 the 10 second option.

If there will be children in the photo, place them where you want them to be, focus your camera and then 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 your remote button as much as you want.  Try different faces and poses to ensure you get a good picture.

How to Get a Camera to Focus on Self Timer


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 will be 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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