How I take photos of myself

Came across this photo and thought some of you might find it interesting. Someone asked me the other day who took my photos and I said “ME!”  Mr Rae is usually at work when I want to take pictures, and he doesn’t really know how to use the camera in manual mode anyway.


So here’s what I do: I have a wired shutter remote from B&H, and attach it to an even longer cable so that I have about 12 feet of cord between me and the camera, which is on a tripod. Then I stand in the entryway to our house — the only place in my house with a white-ish wall that has enough light for photos — and press the shutter button on the remote to snap the picture. I have a 2-second timer delay set on my camera so I can drop the remote before the photo is taken. That’s it. Campy? Probably. I keep feeling like there’s a better way to do this but it works for me. Sometimes I put a munchkin up on a stool behind the camera and let them push the remote button instead. The photo you see above is just one of a couple “test” photos I take before I get started to check exposure and so on. For the maxi dress photos I was going for a slightly out-of-focus, ethereal/airy effect, so I overexposed them a bit.

Most of my photos then need to be cropped so that you don’t see my door, my rug, etc, because I try to use the largest aperture I can for the lens so that I get as much light as possible. Even in that entryway there’s not a ton of light.


So that’s pretty much my one photography secret revealed. Oh wait, there was this post a couple years ago about using white posterboard for photos. OK, two photography secrets. I feel like I’m gradually getting better at it, but I’m always learning new things. The internet is pretty amazing that way. Any tips you want to share?

12 thoughts on “How I take photos of myself

  1. TFS! So funny you mention your hubby not knowing how to shoot in manual mode – mine only uses auto and despite me showing him easy tutorials he won’t stop =( I’d love to get a wireless remote someday!

  2. Not that your way isn’t great, but the wireless remotes have gotten pretty cheap around $40. For my birthday a couple of years back, I asked for an RF wireless remote for my camera — the cheapest I could find & it works great! I use it for all our family photos — including at the beach –well, worth it! I can keep the remote in my hand because it is so small. I would suggest RF over optical because you don’t have line of sight issues.

  3. It’s nice to know that you take the pictures yourself! I’ve only tried that once and didn’t bother getting the tripod out — I think I’ll have to do that next time. I have a wireless remote for my Nikon DSLR that I picked up for about $22 on Amazon, and it’s pretty darn slick. And it small enough that I can completely conceal it in my hand so it’s not immediately obvious in photos.

    Love the Washi dress by the way, in all its iterations. I’m waiting until we get back from vacation and I actually have time to make it though before I buy my copy of the pattern 🙂

  4. What a neat idea! You wouldn’t even be able to tell that you took them yourself.

    I have a question…but it doesn’t have to do with taking pictures of yourself…how do you do your hair like that? 🙂

  5. I followed your link to a previous entry where you say your flash makes things over exposed.

    Try taping a little piece of paper over the flash to reduce the amount of light.

  6. I actually prefer the photo before it was cropped! I like the additional context — the hinges of the door, the grey floor, etc. It seems a little more genuine, a bit more artistic with those details around the edges.

  7. i was JUST wondering this, seriously. your photos never look remote controlled to me! i always make the husband take mine, but i should probably get a remote because sometimes that gets…stressful. 😉

    • haha, YES. Stressful is a good word for that.

      Me: “Um, honey, could you try to take at least one picture where I take up at least 20% of the photo? I look like an ant in this one.”
      Mr Rae: *bangs head against wall*

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