let’s face it. we live in a selfie world. you’ve heard the jokes..’if you don’t take a photo of your dinner, did it even exist?’ this idea bled into the selfie culture which encouraged people to take photos of themselves doing anything + everything. whether you like it or not, it’s a trend that’s likely to stick around. so if you’re going to take a selfie, why not take a good one? technology is on our side here so let’s take full advantage.
get your gear in gear: dust off your camera manual and open it up. educate yourself on your camera model and its specific self timer instructions. on my camera i literally click two buttons and my camera is set to either a 10 or 2 second timer. if you have any trouble locating these options on your camera, shoot me a message. 80% of the time, i can set my 10 second timer and have more than enough time to push the shutter button from behind my camera, get myself in position, and get the shot when the timer goes off. however, i eventually purchased a wireless remote that allows me to get myself in position and take a photo without even touching my camera. a quick google search helped me find a remote that would work with my camera model and the best part is that the remote was only $22 so if you’ve been rejecting the idea of self portraits because of potential remote costs, just search and see what’s available! i reckon you’ll be surprised at how inexpensive this tool can be! i also have a tripod that i set up about 80% of the time but again, it’s not a necessary piece of gear. in fact, the first image in this blog post was taken with my camera sitting on top of two books! bottom line: read your manual and grab the gear that works best for you and your budget. chances are, your camera will be the most expensive gear in the equation and you’ve already got that, so experiment a little with your camera’s timers and using objects as ‘tripods’ and you’ll be one step closer to being a selfie pro!
give yourself grace + forget about being perfect: the biggest mistake you can make when taking a self portrait is getting in your own head. remember the reason that you’re getting in the frame. perhaps you’ve hiked to the top of a mountain and want to snap a self portrait at the top. perhaps you want to hop on the couch and snap a photo with your children to remind them ‘hey bebes, mama was here too!’ or perhaps you just need a new profile photo for instagram. whatever the reason, you won’t regret any of the photos that you take–only the ones you wish you would have taken. i am guilty of being overly critical of myself and my technical skills when i take self portraits and while i generally dislike all of the photos right off the bat, once i come back to them a couple of days later, i’m simply happy to have them. and THAT is the whole point of a self portrait. so i’ll say it again. give yourself grace and forget about being perfect.
cheat. pick focal points that already exist: so you’ve got your portrait idea in your head. you’ve set your camera’s timer, you’ve got your camera in position, you’ve set your appropriate aperture, shutter speed, and ISO and now you just need to pick a focal point and you’ll be ready to go. except chances are, you’re standing BEHIND your camera wondering ‘how am i going to know where to set this focal point if i’m not currently in the frame?’ my advice? cheat. pick a focal point that already exists. for example, in the photo below there is an electrical outlet right behind my oldest daughter’s little tush. i set my focal point close ‘ish’ to the electrical outlet (giving myself grace, of course) and that’s where we took our positions for the photo. knowing that i had told my camera to auto focus around the outlet, it was safe to say that if we positioned ourselves close to the outlet, we’d end up in focus. and i was right. in the second photo, i set my camera to auto focus on the right side of the back of the crib where i knew i’d be sitting. this way, all i had to do was sit in the vicinity of the right side of the back of the crib and chances are, we’d be in focus. again, we were. you might also find it helpful to set your aperture a little higher than you might like to just to help ensure that you get the most in focus as possible.
this week i challenge you to get in the frame. whether it’s by yourself, with your spouse, with your kids, with your roommate, your dog..just hop in! be patient and give yourself plenty of grace. this is definitely an acquired skill. it took me about six months practicing once a week to really get the hang of self portraits but i am so happy that i put in the time because now i hop in the frame with my daughters once a week and we typically knock it out in less than ten minutes. don’t forget to post your images to social media using the hashtag #ClubClickPic! i can’t wait to see your images.