Can't find a model? Check the mirror!

As another weekend approaches, another great photo idea pops into my mind. Only problem is, I need someone to model for this shot. Nobody is available, though. And that ad I've been meaning to put up on Craig's List didn't happen again this week. Ugh! What to do? Got it! I'll use my remote clicker and tripod and get in front of the camera myself. I'm not the best looking model, but a lot of the time buyers are looking for average people.

The best $30 I ever spent was on my remote clicker. Set your camera to click the shutter release 2 seconds after you click the remote. This gives you time to press the release and then reposition your hands so the remote is not visible.

And a grey card is a must have item, as well. This will allow you to meter on the card, which quite accurately represents skin tone. Every time I meter off of my grey card and then shoot myself, I get good exposure. And if your camera has bracketing capabilities, even better! Meter off the grey card, then set your bracketing up to shoot the second shot slightly under exposed and the third shot slightly over exposed. One of those shots is going to nail the exposure perfectly.

The only other thing you need is a tripod. Attach your camera to it, frame up your shot area and you're good to go.

And of course, don't forget to set your camera/lens to auto focus. This will allow you to move around a bit and still get a sharp image.

So don't ever let your great ideas get put on the shelf because you don't have a model to work with. Check the mirror! You've got a willing model staring you right in the face. Have a blast!

- Mike

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July 07, 2012


I have a few images here where I was my own model using a radio release but getting sharp focus on the eyes isnt easy requires many extra shots and its difficult to control ones expression when you are trying to get it right and frustrated by failure to start with. David

June 26, 2012


Thanks again everyone for the kind comments! And the humor, Wisconsinart :-)

June 26, 2012


Great article. Thanks for the idea and the how tos!

June 26, 2012


Hi Mike, Thanks for that, I will take your advise and try a few, nothing to lose thats for sure...Have a great weekend and thanks for the encouragement.

June 22, 2012


Good advice. I always get a chuckle when one of my self portaits sells.

June 21, 2012


I tried but the mirror broke. :(

June 21, 2012


YUp, my best sellers are of myself : ) You do need a model release for yourself, but that's all. Also shooting yourself is greta practice on how to pose models...

June 21, 2012


Great images, great model.

June 21, 2012


very good article and love the photos! have to say I became a photographer so I had an excuse to be on the other side of the camera though! looking into the remote control however.. what a great idea~

June 21, 2012


Thanks for the comments :-) Mike

June 21, 2012


This is a really useful blog! There are tips and sample images, no self advertisement...Altough I'm not brave enough to get in front of the camera! Thanks for sharing it :)

June 21, 2012


Thanks for sharing your ideas!

June 20, 2012


I have a lot of selfportraits! And it sells well!

June 20, 2012


You do have to fill out a Model Release for yourself if you use yourself in a photo. Just put your info into both the model section AND the photographer section of the Model Release. Have a witness to sign off as the witness on the Model Release too. That's all there is to it!

June 20, 2012


i have been considering doing self portraits for DT also, but quick question, how do we do the model release?

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Photo credits: Mike2focus.