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Quick Self Portrait Tips

Quick Self Portrait Tips - Alison Morgan (Cattyal) shares a few self portrait tips.

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Portraits and People

Alison Morgan (Cattyal) is well known for taking self portraits, we asked her to put a list of tips together for the site and here they are:

Self Portrait
Photo by Alison Morgan (Cattyal)


A tripod is essential as you can't hold your own camera and pose at the same time! When you put the camera on the tripod, make sure it's at a height that lines up with your head. A remote trigger is handy as you can fire the shutter from your sitting position but if you don't have one, just set the camera's self-timer.


A plain wall or a plain sheet of fabric work well. Clothes rails make good fabric systems although it does limit you in the width/height of material you can use.


I find a low stool and a taller bar stool handy to have. The bar stool often gets draped in a plain fabric and I use it to lean on.


So you don't have to worry about focussing, switch the autofocus on and put something in the place you'll stand/sit to focus on (I use a light stand, sometimes with a sheet of A4 paper stuck to it with a smiley face). Once the camera is focused on it, switch places with the object and take your shot. A bit of tape stuck to the floor comes in handy if you plan on using the same location for several self portraits.

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JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
28 Sep 2011 9:57AM
Excellent tips Smile sometimes i use manual focus as you say.
But sometimes i use auto focus if the scene is bright enough and rely on the AF finding me.

Sometime i also find the video out on the camera can be connected to the TV so i can more easily review each shot as its taken.

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