BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects : Understanding Self Portraits

Photography Question 
Terri  Stanley

Self-Portraits: How to Shoot Them!

I am having trouble taking self-portraits. My face is either not in the picture or out of focus. Someone started telling me about a string method. I was hoping you can tell me how to use this method or another method that might help take a good self portrait.

To love this question, log in above
10/7/2004 4:49:15 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Both of these scenarios are common when attempting self-portraiture.
  • To overcome the first problem: When you compose your shot, remember a particular element within the scene that is your approximate height and is visible in the viewfinder where you will later be standing. With your camera mounted on a tripod, tilt the camera angle to where your face will appear at the same spot as the object you used as reference.
  • The second problem ... relating to focus is easy if you can focus manually, but more difficult if you only have an AF camera. You will need to "pre-focus" the lens to the point where you will later be standing. You can use the self-timer (standard on most cameras) to do this by pointing the center of the viewfinder at a solid object at the same distance to the camera that you will later be standing. Set the timer and press the shutter. The camera lens will focus on that spot, but won't take the picture until the timer finishes its cycle.
    Then, quickly re-compose and get into position before the timer runs out.

    To love this comment, log in above
    10/7/2004 4:55:12 PM

    Log in to respond or ask your own question.