Using yourself as the subject in photography can be difficult. For starters, you have to manage to be the photographer and the subject, which requires some skill and guess work to do it just right. One of the more difficult objectives as the photographer is composing your shot and ensuring that your subject, you, will be within the composition and in focus. It is often difficult to do this because you don’t have a point of reference. This can easily be fixed by placing an object where you will sit, or will your face will be. From behind the camera, you will have something to focus on and a way to compose the image.
As the subject, this becomes difficult because you don’t have a photographer looking at you to ensure you are in the proper position, posing correctly, making the right face, etc. So as the photographer, you must already have a clear idea of how you will pose and how you will look before the shot is taken. It is also not uncommon for a film photographer to use Polaroid film or digital cameras to take a few test shots in advance.
Self-Timer and Cable Release for Self Portraits
There are two ways for you to pose in front of the camera and snap the photograph. First, you can use your camera’s self-timer, if available. This will give you about 10 seconds to get from behind the camera and into position. This works well if your position is easy to get to and settle within that time frame. Most self-timers also have a system to blink a light faster and faster as time winds down, giving you some notice of when the shutter is released.
The second way is getting a long cable release cord. This will allow you to get as far from the camera as the cord stretches and take a photograph from positions that would’ve taken too long with a self-timer. Plus, there is no need to wait or hold still as you have complete control over when the photo is taken. The major downfall with cable releases is that you can only get as far as the cable reaches and you’ll often see the cable in the shot. Cables can be hidden in many instances or made to look like part of the shot, but sometimes you’ll always be able to tell it’s a cable release.
Which ever option you choose is up to you. But always make sure to keep photographing as you learn with experience. Being the photographer and model is no simple task.