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Week 7 Challenge: Taking a Self-Portrait

Week 7 Theme: Me

I have to admit, taking a self-portrait is not on my list of priorities. I am far more comfortable behind the lens. But as I go through this challenge with you, I realized it was time to take one!

The most common self-portrait technique is the long arm {aka the MySpace picture}. This is by far the simplest. Simply extend your arm as far as you can and shoot! These are great when you need to take a quick picture or you want to take one of you and the kids!


Stephanie Glover Photography | Self-Portrait

I stood in front of our bay windows to get some much-needed natural light. When shooting your picture, choose a place inside or out that offers a lot of natural light.

The long arm is especially great for taking a self-portrait with a cell phone. If you don’t have a dual camera on your phone, here’s a little trick. Use a mirror to help you see your framing and to see the shutter button. I have used my rear view {and bathroom} mirror many times for this! Also remember to keep the camera a little higher than you are and try to keep your hand steady.

Stephanie Glover Photography | Self-Portrait
I used my bathroom mirror to see the phone screen so I knew my picture was framed the way I wanted. And I could see the shutter button!

Another option is to use your camera’s self-timer option. This is a relatively new feature to me as I’m usually behind the camera. But now that I’ve used it a few times, I will be definitely using it again. When using the self-timer, it would be helpful to have a tripod or a steady flat surface {table or shelf} at the necessary height for your picture.

Stephanie Glover Photography | Self-Portrait

I had an unwilling participant! I had the camera balanced on our bay window and sat on the floor with him. It was the perfect height!

A third option is a remote. This is an inexpensive option and gives you more control over when the picture will be taken. This way you won’t have to guess when the timer will go off. I find that what you think may be 5 seconds is actually a lot longer. Again, you still need a tripod or a flat surface for your camera. But at least, you won’t be running back and forth to make sure the camera got it right! The only downfall to this option is that if your hands are in the picture, try to conceal the remote.

And lastly, one more tip. A lot of models “jut” their chin out when they get their picture taken. To jut, is to push your chin out, towards the camera, almost unnaturally. Some people say this takes 10 pounds off! I’m not sure if that’s true but if you take a picture of your chin sticking out, compare it with a picture of your chin at normal height. The difference is pretty wild.

Now that you have some options on taking a self-portrait, it’s time to get shooting.  Since taking a picture of yourself is itself a challenge, your challenge this week is to just do it! And don’t forget share your self-portraits on the Picaboo Facebook page! If after you’ve mastered the self-portrait. take pictures of things that express who you are.

Want to be a better photographer? Check out our Photography Tutorial Library!


Are you enjoying my 365 Tutorials? Are you in the Philadelphia Metro Area? On March 24th, I will be holding a dSLR Basics Workshop where you will learn hands on how to use your camera and get out of Auto mode! Grab your ticket today HERE.


And lastly, in case you haven’t heard, we’re running a fun contest called Two Weeks of Love. Every day until Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring a different book submitted by our customers. The results have been amazing. Here are some of the winning books: Little Brown BearI Love New YorkTil Death Do Us PartAnabelle’s ABC BookSouth African ClinicPhotography 2011, 60 Things We Love About You, Our Life In PicturesPB&J: A Love StoryMaking the Baseball Team & A Boy Named Benny. Want to create your own Picaboo Photo Book? Start here.