How To Take Self-Portraits With a DSLR

Piper O'Shanassy26 Mar 2022

Have you ever considered shooting photos of yourself? We're not talking about selfies in front of the mirror or random photos taken with your phone's front camera. We're talking about self-portraits using your DSLR. Capturing shots that are intriguing in their composition and technique, with a good amount of effort and skill put into it, and whereupon glancing at the photos it's totally clear that you took the photos yourself.

Don't enjoy having your photos taken by someone else? Now you can throw that alibi out the window since you'll only need yourself. Are you anxious that you won't look good in photographs? Fret not, you will have everything under control in a self-portrait.

How To Take Great Portraits With a DSLR

Due to its extreme popularity, the word "selfie" was added in dictionaries in 2013. Selfies are simple to take and share with today's cameras, but while they’re good for social media posting, they aren’t very professional-looking. This is where self-portraits come in. Whether to add to their professional portfolio or to showcase their artistry and creativity, many photographers are making careers out of self-portrait photography.

Here are the essential tools for taking flawless self-portraits:

  • 85mm f/1.2 lens
  • Canon EOS 6D camera

As one might imagine, you can't be in two places at once to focus an 85mm f/1.2 lens on yourself. The idea is to configure your camera such that it can be aimed and shot remotely via a wireless device. Depending on your camera, the steps may vary. The steps are as follows:

  • Go to your camera's Wi-Fi settings and enable it.
  • Connect to your preferred device.
  • On the next screen, choose Camera Access Point Mode by tapping 'OK.'
  • Choose Easy Connection next. This screen will show a randomly generated password key, which will be needed in Step 7 below.
  • Make sure that you are connected to the internet and that the Canon Camera Connect app is installed on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Next, navigate to your device's Settings and join a Wi-Fi network called "Canon 6D."
  • Type the password key at random (from Step 4).
  • Reopen the Canon Camera Connect app. In a few seconds, a window should appear, giving you the choice to link to your camera. When you tap it, your phone and camera will be linked.
  • From this point forward, it's all downhill. In the camera app, navigate to Remote Shooting. You'll now be able to see what your camera sees. You can focus by tapping. Using the navigation arrows, drag the focus selection around.
  • It may take a few photos and some practice to perfect the technique, but the ultimate result should be clean, precise, and professional self-portrait photos.

Which DSLR Mode Is Best for Portraits?

Choosing settings that will consistently result in stunning portrait photographs could be challenging for photographers.

Manual mode provides you full control of your camera settings while shooting portraits. You set everything and nothing at all is left to chance with your camera. This allows you to carefully pick the ideal shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for the picture. Start using the Aperture Priority setting while photographing people. Once you're comfortable, switch to Manual mode to have complete control over your photographs.

Auto mode is an excellent place to start for self-portraits. Camera settings like Self Portrait and Portrait mode may be used to blur backgrounds, highlight skin tones, and soften hair. Photograph in Aperture Priority (Av) mode for greater control over depth-of-field. You can also choose the aperture in this semi-automatic mode.

Which DSLR Lens Is Best for Portraits?

When you initially start in photography, you'll most likely use the lens that comes with your camera before progressing to a higher-quality zoom lens that covers the focal lengths you require.

The truth is, you can photograph amazing portraits with a zoom lens, but prime lenses are far superior. They not only feature wider max apertures, which is perfect for focusing on the subject, but they're also incredibly sharp and provide higher overall picture quality than zooms.

50mm lenses are excellent for full-length and waist-level portraits, both in the field and in the studio. This is because the lens has a wider field of vision than an 85mm or 135mm lens, and you don't have to be too far away from the subject to obtain these crops.

The 85mm focal length is by far the most favored for portraits if you want a lens with an appropriate working distance from the subject and a smaller field of view than a 50mm lens. It's the best lens for shooting a headshot or a head-and-shoulders portrait since it doesn't get too near that it distorts the subject's features.

How To Take Self-Portraits With DSLR Without Tripod

At first, learning how to shoot a self-portrait could appear unusual. After all, you're often the photographer, not the subject. You're used to being the photographer; the artist, rather than the model.

Here's how to capture self-portraits without a tripod using your DSLR:

Keep your camera steady. 

A tripod's primary purpose is to keep your camera stable when your hand can't. The simplest solution is to stabilize your camera by putting it on a stable surface close to you. Anything that will keep your camera up and will not get in the way of the shot will work.

Set your camera settings. 

Adjust your camera settings. To guarantee adequate exposure, adjust the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to the conditions. If you're unsure how to optimize these settings, use the exposure triangle or use the auto option.

Use a self-timer. 

You can't take a self-portrait without the use of a self-timer or remote control. When utilizing a self-timer, keep in mind that you need to establish and lock your focus first. You can use an app to manage the focusing points or camera settings if your camera can link to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Get the right illumination.

Once you've got everything in place, make sure to compose your shot in a manner that works with the light in your setting. You don't have to use flashes or strobes; shooting with the available natural light will suffice. All you have to do is adjust your stances and camera angles correspondingly.

Pose and snap photos. 

Since everything is in place and ready to go, it's time to start posing. Rather than set, static stances, try to move throughout your poses as though they were motions. Rather than being entirely still in your postures, give yourself some emotion or activity to accomplish.

Self-portrait photography is a great way to reflect on oneself. Self-portraiture, which can be done anywhere and anytime the whim strikes, not only lets photographers experiment with lighting, backgrounds, and settings, but also helps them to develop a better grasp of what it really takes to portray emotion and character.

Piper O'Shanassy

Piper O'Shanassy

Piper grew up with a love of animals, which quickly turned into a love of photographing them. She shares her tips and tricks on photography, and hopes she can help you shortcut your expansion of a passion.

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