Photography Tutorial: How to Set up a Self-Portrait

Learn the basic techniques for taking a self-portrait on your phone or a reflex camera, with Laura Zalenga

Self-portraits have been a fundamental component of self expression throughout history, allowing artists to explore their own external image and internal truths.

While every new smartphone has a front-facing camera you can take a selfie with, a well-taken self-portrait typically requires a little more thought.

Laura Zalenga (@laurazalenga) is a photographer passionate about the art of self-portraits, who has given talks for clients like Adobe, Disney, Sony, and Mercedes Benz.

In this tutorial, she shares three different ways you can set up your own self-portrait photoshoot easily and effectively, depending on what tools you have available.

1. Phone timer

You don’t need a complicated photo kit to be able to take a great self-portrait: a smartphone camera with a self-timer is more than enough.

First, you need to find a support for your phone. If you don’t have a tripod, get creative. In this tutorial, Laura opts for a roll of tape, but a cup or even a shoe could prove just as useful. Make any adjustments you need to ensure the phone is stable.

Once you have placed your phone on or in its support, it may be difficult to access the on-screen button to take the picture. Most phones will have another button on their side (such as the volume buttons) which you can use to trigger the timer.


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