HOW TO TAKE YOUR OWN SELF PORTRAIT // BOTHELL, WASHINGTON PHOTOGRAPHER

Sure, it seems simple enough to take your own photo. You've mastered the selfie, but I'm talking about taking your own self portrait with your DSLR.

I know there are a TON of gadgets out there. Many of which I'm not aware of I'm sure, but I know I have the basics. I have a tripod, a camera, and a basic remote that connects to my DSLR camera.

Some of you may be saying, "why would you even take your own self portrait?" Great question! I was in a bit of a bind. I needed to check out different pockets of light in my home for a education course I am a member of, and also needed an updated headshot. Self portraits are a great way to try out new lighting set ups, new backdrops, etc. It's great practice without the added pressure of getting the perfect end result right away. It allows you time to practice before photographing your client.

It takes SO MUCH energy for me to take self portraits. I mean it is painful. I have two children under the age of 5 which always add a stressful and creative twist to the madness. Usually by the time I've gotten the shot to be in focus, one of my kids have photo bombed in the background or they've knocked the camera over mid-shot. I also use these HUGE boards as my backdrop, so getting those out of my garage and into a place that my baby won't reach is always a challenge.

Plus, when you decide to take a self portrait, you have to actually get ready. I live in comfy clothes when I'm home with the kids so it's kind of a big deal for me to dress up. When you take a self portrait for a headshot, you have to take time doing your hair and makeup because you know that it's going to take forever to get that ONE shot (if you're me) and you really don't want to have to invest time into getting ready again if you don't have to.

Ok, as I'm re-reading this, it really sounds like I'm terribly lazy. I'm not lazy, I'm just a little picky about when I'm going to invest time into getting ready. There's a mindset that needs to take place.

So, you've mustered up the energy to take a self portrait with your DSLR. Now what?

Grab something in your home that is as tall as you or your focal point. My son has a t-ball stand that did the trick for me since I sat down in my photos. The tee is just as tall as my approximated sitting height. Place the object at the exact location where you will be sitting so that you have the appropriate depth of field covered when focusing. I love to use back button focus (it's a game changer, learn it if you haven't already). I got my camera into manual mode, back button focused on the tee, then exchanged out my tee with me (I didn't plan that I swear). 

This was me about midway through. I'm sure you can sense my delight in this process.

I talk a big game here about how much work this was (and it was), but, it was great to try new lighting scenarios, get a new headshot, and to look presentable for a day :)