There are multiple reasons why taking a self portrait is my least favorite type of photo session. Don’t get me wrong. I like being the subject of a photography shoot, but being the photographer and being the subject has its downfalls. I recently decided that I needed to get some new profile pictures. I grabbed the trusty tripod and headed out the door. With spring in the air and a backyard free of snow, I brought my toddler along to play around while I put the camera on the timer setting and started to take my own portraits.
Getting the Focus | Grab Something to Focus On
This is by far my biggest struggle with a self portrait. I put the focus on manual and kept guessing about where I would be standing. Unfortunately, I never got it correct. I didn’t have a tall enough toddler to stand in the correct location while I tweaked my camera’s focus. I tried to focus on the top of my toddler’s head, but he never stayed long enough. I also tried this with my german shorthaired pointer. I started to look around for something that I could stand up in front of the camera to focus on. I finally spotted a Christmas tree trunk and stuck it in the soft spring ground. It finally worked! I used autofocus to get it just right and then took the trunk down. However, I forgot to put it back to manual focus! I quickly realized this and I got everything back in order and was ready to get started. This is by far the hardest part of a self portrait session.
Camera Settings for your Self Portrait
Next I tweaked my camera settings around, but this one was easy. I only needed to come back to the camera once or twice before I was pleased with where I had my shutter speed, ISO and exposure.
One, Two, Three, Click | Always Grab the Remote
As I waited each time for the timer to take my picture, I was trying to think of how I was looking in the frame. Was my face tilted too high? Was I looking to far to the left or right? Am I making cheesy smiles? As I watched my toddler running around, it started to give me inspiration for my smiles and expressions. I kept running back and forth to the camera to click the button and to look at how I was doing. I was really starting to wish that I would have grabbed the remote instead of all this running back and forth and waiting for the timer.
I was finally pleased with what I had taken and moved on to playing around with my toddler. The portrait session took too long for my liking and made me appreciate being able to take pictures of others. I am glad that I don’t have to set up a tripod and run back and forth to the camera to get the focus right, the settings and to check my images.